Monday, April 2, 2012

M to the F to the A

I mentioned this a little bit ago, but I didn't want to talk about it too much until it was all finalized...I'm going to be starting an MFA program this summer!

I'm so excited to start the MFA in writing for children and young adults program at Spalding University in July!

I'm a teacher, so getting a master's degree means an automatic raise for me as soon as I complete it. I can get that degree in anything...and English would be the same raise as Underwater Basket Weaving. I have been trying to decide what I wanted to pursue a mater's in since I started teaching six years ago, but I couldn't quite decide. Most of my coworkers get theirs in Education or something similar, but, honestly, that sounds so mind-numbingly boring that I don't know if I could commit two years to it and not go crazy. I mean, I want my raise, but I also want the time I spend working toward it to be meaningful, you know? Several years ago I looked into American Studies, which was my minor in undergrad and would be useful for my teaching, but I hit some snags in the application process and sort of realized it wouldn't be the best fit. Then my writing bestie Heather started her MFA at VCFA and I was all ZOMG, this is a thing? This is PERFECT.  I can spend time learning something I actually want to learn about, AND I will be able to get my teacher raise! WOOP.

I did a lot of research into MFA programs, and I had some ups and downs along the way. I love the idea of low-residency programs, but may had their residencies during times I absolutely can't miss at work. (Taking two weeks off in MAY? Hahahahaha! Yeah, right.) But then I ran across Spalding's program that offers a summer residency, so no missing of work. They offer extended semesters, so I complete one semester per year, so I won't get too stressed out with a full-time working and full-time school workload. (You guys, my plate is already SO FULL.) They offer the concentration on children/YA which is KEY for me. AND, here's the best part...the summer residencies are ABROAD. YUP...this July I will be heading off to talk writing for two weeks in PARIS.

Paris, I am coming back to you! Thank goodness you will be less FREEZING this time around!

I'm not going to lie...I'm a little nervous about adding to my workload. I'm stressed and busy and adding another thing to my To Do list makes me want to cry. But the thing is, it's going to be stuff I care about and I'm interested in, so I don't think it will be that bad. And even though it will take me four years to finish vs two, at the end of it I will have a fancy degree that will mean a nice raise for me at work...and I'll be a better writer. AND PARIS FOR TWO WEEKS. (And other fabulous international cities in future summers, like Dublin/Galway next year.) So YAY.

52 comments:

  1. OH wow, I can't wait to hear how like their program. I'd love to get my MFA, so I can teach writing someday. I hope you'll share with us along the journey, as you have time, of course. And PARIS???? What a great idea, to have the residencies abroad.

    Congratulations and best of luck!!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! Yes, I love the idea of eventually being able to teach writing! And you know I'll be updating. :-)

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  2. Jess! I'm so excited for you! And you're making ME want to looking into Spalding's MFA program. It sounds amazing! Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks Katy! Yeah, this program sounds pretty amazing. It's sort of why I haven't really talked about it much until now. I keep waiting for something to go wrong. :-\ I think it's all set, though. I can't wait!

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  3. Congrats! That is so exciting! Wait, you get to go to Paris for two weeks this summer to talk about writing?! Where do I sign up for this program?! I am so excited for you! I can't wait to hear more about it.

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    1. I know, right? It sounds too good to be true. :-)

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  4. This is seriously so amazing! I'm still waiting for you to tell me you've made room to smuggle me along in your suitcase!

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  5. No way! Yes way! I'm very happy for you. I just finalized my week in Paris (sans kiddo)in June, so I KNOW your anticipation. You're going to have so much fun, and you can get a head start by doing all the readings done BEFORE to get there. Hello, night life!

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    1. Yeah, I've already got my hands on one book so I can get started now. And I'm going a little early with the husband to do some relaxing before it starts. WOOP.

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  6. AHHHH YAY!!!! WELCOME TO THIS WORLD!!!

    I am so happy for you!!!

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    1. WOOP! :-D Thanks! I may be asking you for advice at some point.

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  7. Cuz I wasn't quite jealous enough of your fabulous life already... :) This sounds SO exciting! Congrats!

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    1. Oh, don't be jealous. I'll soon be so busy I won't have time to breathe. :-\

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  8. SO EXCITING!!! Oh my gosh I can't believe you'll be in PARIS this July! Talking about books and writing! This girl is going to vicariously live through you like whoa. Take pictures!!

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    1. Oh, I'l take a TON of pictures. I'M SO EXCITED.

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  9. Congratulations! This is all such GOOD news!! :)

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  10. You're so incredible.

    I wish I could give you a legit hug, and look you in the face and tell you what an inspiring woman you are!

    :)

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  11. SQUEE!!! Jess, congratulations! How perfect and incredible is this?!? And writing for 2 weeks in Paris this Summer? Does not get more fab than that!! Huge congrats to you!!!

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    1. Thank you so much Andi! I'm SO excited.

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  12. Congratulations Jess! This is SO exciting.

    You sound like me. So many interests, so many things you want to do. Have a little bit of extra time (not really...but maybe) okay, fill it with something :) haha.

    I'm sure you're going to love it.

    And I can attest to all cities (Paris/Dublin/Galway). Awesome, awesome places. So excited to see your journey unfold!

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    1. Haha...yes, that's my life philosophy in a nutshell. Glad I'm not the only crazy one out there!

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  13. Congrats!!! Quita and I completed a low-res MFA program, but would've LOVED to have one that focused on childrens writing. You're going to have a BLAST! :)

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    1. Yeah, I looked into some general MFA programs, but I LOVED the fact that I could focus JUST on writing kidlit. I've taken a general writing class before and so many of the people didn't "get it," and I love being around people who do. :-)

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  14. Awesome. I wish they did library science abroad LOL! (I'm a college senior and I'm planning on getting my MLS in 2013...giving myself a year off to get a job **cross fingers**) But I may be going (back) to Europe anyway this summer - planning to stop by Paris after staying in Switzerland w/fam. (I really want to touch every continent - so far I have 4 out of 7!)

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    1. Library Science was going to be my choice if this MFA didn't work out.

      Yay for hitting all the continents! You can do it!

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  15. Congrats!!!! I love that you'll be in PARIS.!!

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  16. Congrats! That sounds so amazing Jessica :)

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  17. You already know this, but let me say it again: I'm so happy for you! And Paris? Mais oui!

    Try not to sweat the to-do's. It's going to be so awesome.

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    1. Thanks! Thank goodness I have you to listen to my crazy emails and help me stay sane. :-)

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  18. PARIS! That sounds incredible! Congrats!!

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  19. Congrats!!! That sounds like an awesome program!

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  20. So jealous! I wish I was that busy, actually.

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    1. Oh man. I love being busy, but it STRESSES ME OUT so bad.

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  21. I'm so excited for and proud of you. You're totally going to thrive with this experience! And of course...YAY PARIS. :D

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  22. Jessica, this is a-mazing news!!!
    Not only will you be working towards your MFA, but you'll get to do it at your own pace - and not to mention IN PARIS!!!! It's amazing how the stars line up, when things are meant to be.
    Take and run...and of course, keep us all posted!
    Congrats - this is really awesome!

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    1. EEEK! :-) Of course I will keep you all posted!

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  23. Whoaaa, Paris?? That's amazing! I got an MFA in children's book writing from The New School and it was awesome. It's definitely worth it to be in a problem that focuses on kid lit/YA. You're going to have a blast! Congrats. :)

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    1. Oh man...how I wish The New School had a low-residency program!

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  24. Wow, Jess. You are amazing for heading down the MFA road. I have mine in theatrical design and it was one of the best things I ever did. Can't wait to hear about your journey.

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  25. Wow, Jessica...this sounds GREAT :D
    I am so so happy for you! And the fact that it concentrates on kidlit is an additional WOW factor :D
    And the location??? I love Paris, it's such a beautiful city! You can write by the Seine or go up to Montmartre and sit at a café with a notebook overlooking the entire city...
    Oh and if you want to cross the border and visit Germany for a weekend, let me know :D

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  26. I got excited for a minute, thinking you were coming here to Louisville!!! I did a week long writing conference at Spalding a few years ago. Their program does sound amazing. Congrats!!!

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    1. You know, I will probably end up on campus at some point in the next few years!

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