A Love Letter (of Sorts) to MFA Students

My beloved grad school Antioch University begins its spring residency today.  It only felt appropriate to give a shout out to the friends I made there, some of who are still going through the MFA program, and others who teach there.  So here’s what I learned during grad school.

First, if it feels like you’re enduring two weeks of egotistical cocksucking, you are.  New students are scared and need that encouragement to feel welcome.  Graduating students need to feel that their two or two and a half years of hard work has paid off.  And you know you like being complimented on your skills too.  So, much like the holidays, the residency is a time to give and a time to receive.

Second, respect and savor the Tattle Tale Room.  This dive bar may look like a piece of shit (one of the perks of being a dive bar, after all), but it’s an incredible hang-out, a forge of wonderful memories blessed by the gods of Rock.

Third, there will be people there who have a hard-on for saving the world from social ills like environmental destruction, economic inequality, and Republicans; and there are people who go to become better writers.  Just remember that it’s a degree in creative writing you’re after, not a degree in being a hippie.

If you feel like you’re head is about to explode, Holy Cross Cemetery is right across the street.

If you’re going to the closing conversation, bring tissues.  People cry there more than at the ending of Charlotte’s Web, and there are more hugs than the end of a Saturday Night Live episode.

Paperwork and formatting suck major ass – terrible, hemorrhoid-ridden ass – but there is no Heaven without a Hell.

If you rent a beach house, pray that it gets rented to someone else at the last minute because then you’ll be compensated with an even better house without an added cost.

People come and go, but the Four Points hotel will always be affectionately known as the Four Porns. 

That said, go learn some new shit!

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