Apr 6, 2008, 8:31 PM
Post #526 of 793
You said, "If I was moving on my own, I'd have no trouble deciding to take the higher $$ offer." It sounds like that is what you really want to do, and since you said your husband is supportive of whatever you choose, you should take the better offer. Even though Madison was your dream school, the reality is what you will be living with for the next few years.
Re: [janeeyre] Has Anybody Made a Final Decision?
[In reply to]
More money equals more time to write, period. If I were you, I would save the extra money if you don't need it and use it to prolong your writing time without having to get a job for another year out of school. Not having to teach for two years will signficantly add to the amount of time you get to spend writing--plus it sounds like if you want the teaching experience, there is a third funded year to do that. M.F.A. programs are incredibly short, and if you have to spend a significant amount of the two years teaching, even a single class, you may end up shortchanging your own writing. At Wisconsin, the HEAF is open to all alumni who haven't published, so although you have a shot, you can't really count on winning that, but it sounds like at Wash U you can count on having a third year. They are both really great programs, but it sounds like Wash U is offering you a better deal.
The only reason I would recommend attending Wisconsin is if it is the only school where you have decent funding. I was all set thinking Wisconsin sounded like a dream school myself, but right before I applied, I heard from a couple writers who have experienced Lorrie Moore in workshop that although she is a brilliant writer, she can be quite unpleasant as a teacher. After hearing details, I decided not to submit my application. Since the program is so small, you'll have to take a workshop with her at some point during the program, and if you end up having her as your thesis advisor, as two of the six fiction writers do, that might be two very painful years. I don't mean to malign the program or an admired writer, but I also know that it might be helpful information to you under the circumstances. If you're thick-skinned, you might get along with her just fine. But I find workshop to be difficult even when everyone is being nice, and this is something I would want to know before committing to a program.