The Day in the Life of an MFA Grad Student

7:30 AM. The alarm goes off. Snooze alarm until 8. Frantically shower, dress, feed yourself and your dog, take Atreyu for a walk.

9:15 AM. Leave for work. Arrive by 9:20.

9:30-11 AM. Sit in on your Contemporary Literature class. Take notes as to what the professor discusses and what your students discuss. Also, write about what you want to teach in discussion section that day.

11:30-1 PM. Work out, usually doing exercises in reps of 80. 80 squats with 55 lbs. 80 pushups. 80 barbell curls. Your hamstrings and shoulders are perpetually sore. You think this is awesome.

1:15 PM. Lunch. Do your homework for your class at 5:20 PM, forgetting to complete one assignment and stressing out about finding a place to submit your work for publishing. Also stress out about your blog. You haven’t kept up with it. You have no time.

1:30-2:45 PM. Do your homework, then reward yourself and dick around on the internet until it’s time to head back to work.

3-4:00 PM (On Thursdays and Fridays until 5). Teach your discussion section.

4:15 PM. Run home. Feed and walk your dog. Make dinner for yourself.

4:50 PM. Leave for class. Arrive by 5.

5:20-8:20 PM. Class. Try to measure up to your own expectations, fail spectacularly. Think about what you want to write for your blog. Worry about never getting published. Worry some more about never getting published.

8:30 PM. Home, cook dinner.

9:00PM Eat dinner. Do classwork for your undergrad course for tomorrow. Grade papers. Drink a glass of wine. Attempt to do the reading for the class you have tomorrow. Attempt to write an essay for that class. Fail at both. Retreat to doing work for your job.

11:30 PM. Bedtime. Pass out from exhaustion. Lather, rinse repeat.

 

Except! Today, 4:41 PM: Announce to your blogosphere the WEGO Health Activist Awards. Tell your readers how much it would mean to you to be nominated (and win!!) the Hilarious Health Activist Award. It will help you get published! It will help you define your brand as a writer! It will validate the existence of your blog!

Worry that no one will nominate Highest Form of Whit. Pray that they prove you wrong.

Please click here to nominate HFOW for the Hilarious Health Activist Award. Have a worry-free day, friends!

 

 

Coming soon: More posts. Many, many more posts. Because many more stories have been written.

33 Comments

Hey, I wrote this poem for the best poet I know alive today, who happens to live in California, too. I hope it brightens your day, though I didn’t write it for you. She so inspires me that I am starting to write more poetry.

“She”

A brilliant smile behind her eyes
That speak her lips that touch
Hides not at all her soul that sighs
Of fears in me too much.

A beaut’ful mind atop her nose
Can tell the subtlest scent
Not from within a budding rose
But of my heart so meant.

Her hair a creek flows down her cleave
Along the curve its shore
So that my eyes would never leave,
To always want for more.

She bursts to laughs so fair and bright,
A wink to speak my heart
Of hers in me to never bite,
A tongue so sweet that darts.

Though mountains move and oceans dry,
Her genius never dies.
She takes my heart through lows and highs:
It’s here alone I fly. (Note: this line taken directly from her work to seal this poem)

Hi, just to let you know that I wouldn’t want to be so pompous as to assume anything too advanced in your question. I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It’s 7 hours of flight from California and a quite French area. I invest in real estates instead of stock markets, so I can’t move to California just like that unless I have a good plan. Tenants always need services and repairs, small things like that.

I’m okay with her because she’s good at almost nothing other than poetry, but her poetry is good. For example, you can read this one (http://jesscy.com/2013/04/20/little-birdie/). So, she can afford to relocate for marriage. You seem to have well invested in California, job perspective wise, so it’s a bit different. Also, I am 36 now. She’s about 30, but you might be too young. Alright? You can keep this one in moderation if you want. I won’t be mad at you.

I’m in New York now, actually! Invested in my education here for the next few years.

What do you mean, you’re okay with her because she’s only good at poetry? And age? Is it more an ode to her writing than to the person itself?

Her poetic age is only about 2 years. I think it’s fantastic. If it takes 10-15 years to perfect writing, she can be a very good writer at 40 or so, which is very interesting. Joanne Rowling just turned a billionaire overnight for her series of Harry Potter. That’s why I was encouraging her to write some novels in which to embed her poetry, which sells much better when framed in context. She likes to travel, so I am giving up now. Well, I need an excuse to give up anyway. Success takes hard work. I showed her Katie Jennings (http://www.katieajennings.com/about.html), who’s about your age, just for comparison. You see, what a difference! It almost always takes about 10-15 years to start writing some interesting stuffs. In the case of Katie, she started very early. A writer can be very influential, making positive impacts around the world as well. Becoming a multimillionaire is not always the goal for a writer.

How about you? Do you write anything interesting? You can start practicing now while working with successful writers for career advice and mentorship. Unfortunately, I am a guy, so I have to protect the bottom line for financial stability. Writers tend to go through extreme poverty before seeing success. It’s not worth it without financial support and emotional support, which our society tolerates better with women. Besides, English is not my mother tongue. The Chinese market for writing is not as interesting, because people pay less for books. Copyrights and patents are also less protected there.

I’m just reading through your blog now. You write haiku. Well, haikus are not very interesting, because the rhythmic structure is completely lost in English. What is poetry without rhythm? You’re freaking 33 now! I remember how I panicked back then when I was at the age when Jesus died on the cross for us. Well, you are approachable then!

All traditional poetic forms across the world, regardless of the language in use for syntactic rendering, include 3 basic elements: rhythms, rhymes and syllable counts. This is just so that poems can work with music to make songs. It’s just that people realized that poems could be enjoyed alone without music later and they turned into a discipline of their own.

Free verses and blank verses are simply not my thing. I am very picky when it comes to the quality of writing.

You are so quiet! Is it mid-term now? Well, you can get back to me after the exams then. You are bisexual, but we still can be friends, without the benefits though. Porting poetry across language barriers is never an easy thing. I have a few attempts in my post (http://simplyjet.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/chinese-poetry/), with a brief intro to Chinese poetry for a comparison between English and Chinese. It’s not my focus now, but if you are interested, we can work on some of these little projects. Whenever there’s money, count me in! 🙂

There’s another brief continuation from the post about Chinese poetry here (http://simplyjet.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/type-template-or-generic-type/). And if you would like to see if you can smell Chinese in English, you can check this one out (http://simplyjet.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/shes-a-tough-girl/). I hope you enjoy.

I was out of state at a wedding! I’m 23, not 33, and I have been writing and publishing poems and stories since I was 7 years old. My haikus are comedy haikus, written for laughs instead of channeling the traditional technique of nature and rhythm.

Collaborations are always fun, but poetry is not my current focus. I’m a comedy writer–that’s where my passion is!

Well, you taught at high schools and quit before, so I was expecting you to be somewhere around 22-25. It’s okay to 33. Your baby face can go a long way to make you look young even in your 40’s. I met people who look like tweens in their 40’s. It’s not uncommon.

MFA is usually quite academic and can probably get you into music therapy, drama therapy and other weird stuffs like that. You can talk to your professors for career advice and placement. If the job market is really small in your field, you need lots of networking to build a career. It’s quite unfortunate.

Comedy is probably harder to sell than poetry, but if you do well, that’s fine. You have survived more than 10 years after school. I’m sure you’ll do fine. That being said, it’s still possible that you are 23, so?

I taught at a middle school, and I did not quit; My fellowship ended. I also just taught at the college level.

I am in an MFA for writing, and it is heavily artistic as opposed to academic. I am not worried about my career. I have plenty of options.

I am 23!

I read through your blog about your talks with your mom and other stuffs like that. It takes time to go through a few failed relationships, homosexual and heterosexual alike. You have to be at least in late 20’s. I usually keep a distance with gays, because I can freak out easily if a man tries to flirt with me. No offense. You talked about your willingness to convert and be normal, so I totally understood that. It’s better that you try hang out with a man who doesn’t know your blog, which you can show him after he’s hooked and done with you, like 6 months into a relationship. He should be able to accept you given that you already want to change. At the beginning, it’s not easy.

I really like The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant (http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/Neck.shtml). It’s a comedy and a tragedy at the same time. Can you write something like that? Although it’s not mentioned at the end of the story, Madame Loisel could have gotten the necklace back and sold it for travel expenses. She and her husband deserved some good time after the lost ten years. It totally depends on how badly she aged, say, from 23 to 33 in the story. This is something that words cannot tell. Guy de Maupassant should have given us two photos, before and after, of Madame Loisel, so that readers could possibly tell whether it was well worth it for her. An actress would be needed, obviously.

And I am not referring to you by citing the short story, because you have a very recent high-resolution photo (well, high enough to see the distribution of micro-wrinkles all over your face anyway) and even a video post at your blog. You definitely look like someone in her 20’s. However, I prefer seeing some serious works you have already done to gauge potential compatibility. I am half joking, of course. Dare to share? 😉

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