Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Agony Of...

So I had this brilliant idea that I would finance my graduate school adventure with scholarships. My thinking went like this:
I'm a sometimes-grantwriter and an always-fictionwriter; I should be able to make my case with scholarship committees and get some funding.  It's all about telling a good story, right?  I can put on my poor-single-mom facade (I think it has big, glistening eyes that express silent suffering and stoic sacrifice) and talk about my goal to create social change by getting poor people to write about their lives.  No problem.
Except... I didn't get the scholarships, even though, for the record, I worked my ass off writing five (count em--FIVE) applications in May.  And now I have to face up to this (possibly) ridiculous ultimatum I gave myself that promised that I would continue with grad school only if I didn't have to go $20,000 into debt.  Which, without the scholarships, I do.  For an MFA degree that will increase my earning power not one bit.  Sigh.
Now I'm having a "what is the purpose of my life, anyway" crisis that has absolutely spoiled the one sunny day in recent history. 


Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

Hey, I had a whole frickin' month like that.

Yes, getting the MFA is expensive, but think about what you plan on getting out of it, aside from becoming the best writer you can. If you want to go into publishing, many of the presses want their editors to have at least a master's degree...and that would also probably require to leave Maine. If you want to teach college, the MFA by itself is no longer quite enough (because there are now so many people out there with MFAs). You need to have some publication credits to go with it.

It's hard. I've been thinking about all these things lately, but I'm going stick with it. I hope you can pull it off, too.

Jen said...

Oh, I know. I've made all the arguments to myself, and I just keep going round and round.

I think I'm just going to close my eyes and do it anyway. I mean, really, I own nothing--I guess they could repossess my bike, or my car with 280,000 miles on it.


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