(All of us are) getting schooled


After my girls met their teachers today (they start school on Monday), I came home to look over my MFA application materials. I’m hoping to mail them off by the end of next week, so that I can work on a short story for a friend who’s guest editor for an upcoming issue of an online literary journal.

After Labor Day, I want to delve back into outlining Finding Om.

When you go back to school after a 15 year break (I graduated law school when I was 24), even just thinking about school can be daunting. Transcripts? How do I get transcripts? (Note: Some schools now allow you to get them online so all you have to do is print them out!) Who will I ask for recommendations? (Particularly when you’re going to study in a field where you have little experience.) What should I say in the Statement of Purpose? (I turned 39 a week ago. Shouldn’t only young chick-a-dees in their twenties have to write Statements of Purpose?)

This is where the internet has saved me– I’m easily able to locate people who are applying or have recently applied, and seek their advice. I can email friends of friends of friends who have graduated from the same programs I’m applying to. I can read blogs about students’ actual experiences in their MFA programs. I can connect and become part of a community, before I actually get in to that community.

Thank goodness for the World Wide Web.

*   *   *   *   *

I enjoyed this piece form The New Yorker blog. Here’s an excerpt:

[E]verything is fiction. When you tell yourself the story of your life, the story of your day, you edit and rewrite and weave a narrative out of a collection of random experiences and events. Your conversations are fiction. Your friends and loved ones—they are characters you have created. And your arguments with them are like meetings with an editor—please, they beseech you, you beseech them, rewrite me. You have a perception of the way things are, and you impose it on your memory, and in this way you think, in the same way that I think, that you are living something that is describable. When of course, what we actually live, what we actually experience—with our senses and our nerves—is a vast, absurd, beautiful, ridiculous chaos.

Just as I thought– there is a very fine line between truth and fiction.

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6 thoughts on “(All of us are) getting schooled

  1. Oh my, Anjali, you’re going to have a lot on your plate – but kudos to you for going after what you want, I think that’s awesome! Wishing you all the best in your studies! ~ Julie :)

  2. I think it is so wonderful that you are applying to an MFA program. Maybe they should adapt their applications to fit the non-traditional student (not my term). I hope you will write about the process along the way. I love that quote from The New Yorker blog…thanks for sharing it.

  3. Thanks, Robin! The application process isn’t so bad. Thank goodness I’m only applying to two schools!

  4. My husband went back to school at 51-52 years old to get a Masters in Music. He is a jazz guitarist. He was welcomed by the younger students in the University. The auditioning process was nerve wracking, but he feels like the experience and knowledge he gained was worth every minute. Some of it was intense.

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