Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sage Advice from Geoffrey Wolff

I just want to share some advice from Geoffrey Wolff in the MFA Handbook. He's speaking to new MFA students, about to enter their first year. What should you do this summer? Here's Wolff's take:

Students are naturally shocked at the amount of work they enlisted for. They take a course about teaching, they teach, they prepare work for workshop, they study and comment on their colleagues’ work. Then they endure what Camus termed the fleas of life: where to live, how to furnish it, where a car can be repaired, who’s a good dentist, where do you go to have a good time? It can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s crucial stay awake during the summer before the program starts. Write up a storm that summer. Arrive with new work. That’s the most profitable advice I can offer: Hit the ground running, and you’ll be happy.


Jason Michael MacLeod said...

I would just add to that if you can at all get to the new city/town by the begining of August (or earlier) you can take care of many of the little things prior to classes starting. Also, don't feel as though you'd be completely isolated by getting their early--there are certainly 2nd and (depending on the program) 3rd years around who would be happy to show you the sights and buy you a drink. In my experience at my program, the writer's are VERY social and happy to help new folks get settled. (And the 1% who aren't, you don't want to hang out with anyhow).

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