Jul 13, 2004, 12:18 PM
Post #6 of 184
I did a low-res MFA too, and am completing now a conventional-residency PhD.
Re: [pongo] Registered and ready to go
[In reply to]
I'd really second David's idea of making all your reading, even your lit.crit stuff, aid your writing.
If you're teaching 2 classes of comp (often 30 students in each section) and taking 3 classes, the hardest thing on earth is to find some time to write. It can be done; it takes time to find how to manage it, to prioritize.
I have a friend here at Houston (a PhD student) who took 4 classes each semester, wrote 3 critical papers every semester as well as the requisite 2-3 stories. She taught 2 sections each semester, and took up additional classes at a community college, and volunteered her time as a slush reader for both fiction and nonfiction submissions for a literary magazine. She's my personal hero. Clearly, I can do more work if I had to, I think when I bemoan the lack of time I have....
I liked most the professors who pushed me to try new things, to read widely, to re-read things that I really hated. I liked having to articulate ideas about the stuff I was reading. Learn whatever you can from whomever teaches you. What doesn't prove useful, discard later. Be open to change, to possibility.
Maybe it goes without saying, but if you're in a place where you feel unsafe because your colleagues or professors are saying hateful things, you don't have to stay in that environment. There are other classes, other workshops. I've had this experience, and stayed because I didn't want to offend the community. My writing suffered. I learned little, especially since the useful stuff the community provided me with was tainted with my emotional response to the discriminatory stuff that came earlier.
Oh, yeah, and have fun. A lot of it.