Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Where I complain about applications and secretly display alma mater pride.

I miss those days where you could look at your SAT scores, look at your GPA, match it up with some columns in the big book of college stats, and figure out exactly where you could or couldn't get into ("I'll never make it into Yale, but I'll definitely get into Colgate, and let's throw Georgetown in just to see."). Instead, I have listings of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of creative writing programs, with no idea where I might have a shot at getting in, where I should probably avoid (though I have a clear idea of what might be a complete stretch, what with acceptance rates of .5%). I forgot how much I hate applying to schools.

Speaking of schools though, my undergraduate alma mater has a sizable number of well-published writers, and a pretty great creative writing program. I've given myself a couple of good kicks over the years for not having taken more advantage of it, but this is what happens when you opt for a psych major over an English major, only to be told you can't do a "creative writing concentration" for a minor.

One of our alumni (and a current professor of my college) just came out with a new book. And is giving a reading this week. Except I just realized that if I posted the info, a sliver of detailed personal information would then be available to the general public. So I'll sit on this and ponder. I'm quite proud of the accomplishments of our esteemed alumni, and I tend to (in conversation with friends) point out "So-and-so is a XXX graduate" when a name gets dropped, but I may just have to learn to deal with reining in that urge on this blog. Alas.

**No, it's not Colgate, where I would have ended up had I not recieved my acceptance from my school (the last of the packets to show up), nor is it Yale, where I didn't apply, nor is it Georgetown, who waitlisted me and made me mad since I didn't want to go there in the first place thanks to a pompous old man who interviewed me and caused me to have an immediate dislike for the place.

5 drops:

C.D. said...

What would your consider your top 5 graduate creative writing programs?

vivian said...

The Atlantic (August Fiction Issue) says (alpha order): BU, UC/Irvine, Cornell, FL State, Iowa, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, NYU, UT/Michener Center, and UVA.

The top 5 low-res programs are: Antioch, Bennington, Pacific, Vermont, and Warren Wilson.

angelle said...

my dream school would be uc irvine, to be perfectly honest. I'm trying to limit myself to NY/Tristate Area and California schools, although I wonder if I should broaden my locations. The only problem is, I want to make sure that I have a good mix of the really good schools, the lesser known and easier to get into schools, and obviously something in the middle. But of course, there's no easy answer to that for something like an MFA. That, and I want to decide on another cali school to apply to but I can't figure out which one is more middle ranged that I might be able to get into. le sigh.

writtenwyrdd said...

I have a creative writing focus in English and truthfully it added nothing to my writing ability, except that I improved in my ability to step back from my work and look at it more objectively.

For the matter of school choice...unless you are seeking an academic career, I cannot see that it matters. Go with what you can afford, can get to readily enough for the residency periods (if you aren't going full time) and other such concerns. A Masters won't get you published. Only good writing will do that. And, mostly, you teach yourself by doing. IMO anyhow.

writtenwyrdd said...

PS the low-res masters here in Maine has genre writing, which makes me halfway tempted. But then, I don't read much in the was of literature.

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