back to school? MFA dreams and scheduling conflicts

lately, with the difficulties and horrors of the move to Cleveland falling upon me like starving mongrels upon the barest scrap of flesh upon discarded bone, I’ve been considering something that I swore I didn’t want to go back to. After accompanying my g’f to the university a couple of times to fill out paperwork and talking to a couple mutual friends, I’m considering going back to school.

Sitting in the hall while my g/f talked to one of the profs about teaching comp, I have to admit, I began to miss it. I enjoy being around university english departments. There’s a feel there that is comforting and known. But school has also been the one constant in my life. It’s known for a reason. I’ve always been doing it for nearly as long as I can remember and the only reason that it’s a “nearly” is because I do still have a few remnants of memory from when I was around four years old.  I have been going to class for a very long time.

But it’s also something I question the use of. At least for what I would be going back for (MFA in creative writing). I don’t care to workshop and I have read more in my life outside of a classroom than inside of one. I enjoy it and do it a lot. I trust my abilities to read and re-write my own work.

But a stipend would be really nice and it’s work that I know I can do. And maybe this is where people would have a problem with me going back. I would be doing it for the money. And the fact that I view someday working for auniversity, teaching creative writing, as a pretty cushy way of life. There’s work involved but coming from a family where my uncle worked 12+ hour days in a hot kitchen as the kitchen manager/chef, my grandfather worked as a construction laborer, my mom works in the (basically) un-airconditioned laundry of a nursing home and a dad who works in a prison – grading papers and talking about writing is pretty damn cushy. So maybe a fair share of it is just perspective.

The bad news is that I don’t know if it would work with my g/f’s schedule and watching the kid. We might be able to bend it to work but it’d be a bitch. So I’m looking into that. And we wouldn’t have the money to hire a babysitter and we still don’t know anyone in cleveland with whome we would trust the kid.

Whatever I do, I need to make my decision quick as I want to get in for the spring enrollments for the local MFA program. I need to decide if pursuing an academic career is something I really want to do. Or whether I want to look for another job that will help get us by while, hopefully, giving me time to write on the side.  The idea that I could have a career getting paid to write without really being successful (as I have viewed the majority of the writing instructors I have had) is fairly interesting to me. But, in the end, I just don’t know. It is something I have to sort out in the near future.

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