Over the weekend, I have managed to narrow down my list of grad programs to apply to from Infinite to 34 and now to 6 definite and 10 maybe. The final list will hold 10 schools. Yep, that’s a lot, but I’ve been advised — in person and in print — that because MFA Writing Programs generally accept very few people, and since criteria for selection are so varied and subjective, it is best to apply to as many programs as financially possible. I have been fighting with the feeling all day today that I could save myself some time and heartache and achieve the same results by stacking $600 on my table and setting in on fire, but… I have pared the list down, and I have both no-way-in-hell schools (Iowa, I’m looking at you) and I-can-probably-make-that-cut schools on the list.
The remaining 16, in not much order: U of Iowa, Syracuse, Michener Center at U. Texas @ Austin, Indiana U. – Bloomington, University of Arkansas, University of Alabama, Cornell, University of Washington, U. Wisconsin – Madison, NYU, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Oregon, University of Maryland – College Park, University of Minnesota, Washington U. in St. Louis, and the University of North Carolina – Wilmington.
I’ve done research, in reference books at the KU library (Peterson’s and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs book of writing programs, which was very helpful) and then at each individual school’s Web site. I’ve made note cards for each candidate school with relevant information — program length and focus (number of hours in workshops, for instance), financial aid, acceptance rates, faculty of note, notes on visitors and events, required thesis projects, deadlines, contact info, etc. By tomorrow, I WILL have this narrowed down to ten, because on Tuesday morning, my three recommending instructors are getting their packets of Forms to Fill Out. They have been forewarned about the number of schools I’m looking at (actually, two of the three were the first people who recommended applying for “at least six, if not ten”).
Also this weekend, I saw Jarhead with and her husband. Mmm, Jarhead. I owe a big movie post, because that was movie number 58, and the last one I noted was #53.
I’m baking a pumpkin pie right now. It was $2.50 at Target, and Cool Whip was $.89. I love the entire world, except the pie has to cool for TWO WHOLE HOURS after removal from the oven, during which time it makes the whole house smell in a way that’s making me kind of want to lick the walls. This waiting seems particularly cruel.