Thursday, January 03, 2008

Slow and steady wins the race.

Wow, you could hear a pin drop around this blog. Did we all really get our apps out the door, or did we just scurry off for a bit of holiday revelry? (Both, maybe?)

No revelry for me yet--I'm applying to low-res programs with deadlines as late as March. My recommendations are coming in this month, I'm still selecting samples to suit each application, and I'm just heading down to the coffee shop to edit my personal statement. Anyone else taking it to the eleventh hour? All those with noses still bent to the grindstone, show yourselves!

There may also be a few folks who (heaven forbid) have missed the deadlines altogether. Why not reward yourself for trying, and get thee to a writer's conference where you can still take the time to improve your craft? Here is a great list.



40 comments:

JoeyD said...

Apps have been out since November, and I only found out that my letters of rec have made it to their respective destinations...but two of the schools are now saying that the transcripts that were sent in November have not been received (one school's final deadline is Jan. 5). They're buried in a pile of unread parcels in the university mail room, right? They'll get there by tomorrow...nothing to worry about...right?

Pensive495 said...

Joeyd:
I've talked to about three of my institutions in regard to transcripts and recommendations showing up late or not at all. If you call, most of them will say that as long as the application, the fee, and the manuscript are in by the deadline, the others are alright to straggle in. That may ease your mind a bit too, if you need to resend some of your transcripts. You should check with the program. I sent my stuff priority mail with track and confirm so I can see online when it arrives. It's 5 bucks a pop, but is well worth it to ease my mind.

As for me, I just finished my ninth application. Six of them were due this weekend. The next three are spaced out over the next month and a half, so I'm breathing a little easier. I swear to G, if I have to tailor one more G D personal statement... statement of purpose... statement of intent... teaching philosophy... intellectual and academic statement... I'm going to go bonkers. But the bulk of it's done. Now I'll just have to simmer in a hot pot of anticipation.

Heather said...
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Heather said...

Future M.F.A. applicants...not to sink joeyd or pensive, but I think the best thing to do for transcripts is have your University send them directly to you a month before you send out your apps (thus, you must request them TWO months before you send your apps). You can request them all sent to you at one time in a big manila envelope (saves postage), while each individual transcript is in its own, stamped across the seal envelope, making privacy and/or tampering a nonissue. If you live near your alma mater, you can also just pick up these envelopes there. This is what I did and it worked great...I just didn't have enough faith in the Registrar to get it done...I was worried enough about the LORs I had no control over! (i.e. anything not online...)

JoeyD said...

Yeah, I was told to call tomorrow to see if they located my transcript. And another school is saying that they don't have my transcripts yet, so what the hell. Thanks for the tip, though. It'll all work out in the end, either I get in or I don't.

tuesday said...

joeyd, i'm with you. my applications went out in late october/early november, and from what i'm seeing so far, everything made it where it's supposed to go.

i would give schools a couple of more weeks to get organized. so no, don't worry; take action, but never worry. :)

all the best to each of us as we wait!

Sean said...

2 Applications...mostly...out the door. Three to go. University of Washington is done with the exception of my GREs. I dont know if anyone's used their fee wavier program, but it's awful, confusing, and...just awful.

University of Virginia tried to go completely out the door. I sent the manuscript but the online application blew up in my face on the due date. I'm trying (repeatedly yesterday) to call them and see if there's anything i can do. It was done except for the end part....

Looking forward UMass Amherst and Univ of New Hampshire are due on the 15th and i'm much more prepared. I'm hoping to get that stuff out on the tenth and the University of Southern Maine, Stonecoast is all due February 1. Thank god.

Hope everyone else is having a great time... > < why do we do this stuff to ourselves, again?

Heather said...

Also, here's a paragraph posted on UWMadison's website about current M.F.A. applications, should it be comforting:

"...So long as you've sent in all the requisite material, your file is almost certainly complete, and even in the highly unlikely event it isn't, rest assured that we will contact you if we need something from you. It might also help to know that our goal is to admit the 6 students we think will be the best fit for our program and that our decisions are based almost entirely on writing samples and not at all on minor matters such as how your letters of recommendation or transcripts reach us."

Vince said...

i'm still submitting applications at this point. SO HANG IN THERE!

Ray.L. said...
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Ray.L. said...

i changed my mind about applying this year. the semester was too stressful (i'm still in undergrad). so i'll take some time "off" and get my mind, applications, and portfolio prepared.

in the meantime maybe i'll see some of you at awp (or cave canem or breadloaf or bucknell or swi...pending i get in any of these conferences.

Raina

mummy licker said...

i'm with ya, vince! still applying and eager to have my weekends back. 4 more to go!

delicata said...

I'm still working on mine, too! I have two in-state program apps due on the 15th, another on Feb 1, and all the rest are low-res programs due between February and April. I'm just about done with final revisions to my writing sample, am in possession of all my transcripts (had them sent directly to me), GREs went out in July, most of the rec letters are either sent or on the way, mostly finished with online applications for the 2 apps due the 15th, and will keep working on my SOPs this weekend.

I hope to send everything out to the two programs with 1/15 deadlines on the 8th.

I'm usually a very last-minute sort of person (as in barely squeaking through by the deadline), so this is pretty good timing for me.

Jim said...

Da List:
- New Hampshire - out the door
- Oregon - out the door
- Iowa - out the door
- Cornell - out the door
- Rutgers - PENDING
- U-Mass Amherst - PENDING
- Arizona - out the door
- Old Dominion - PENDING
- Western Michigan - out the door
- Notre Dame - out the door
- Colorado State - out the door

Three more to go!

Luke said...

I THOUGHT I'd finished everything weeks ago. One of my recommenders has turned out to be very flaky; he got all the online letters in, after much cajoling and prodding. He claimed he already mailed the postal letters of rec. Turns out he probably didn't. Now I've got to scramble to get in touch with him, or a backup. Problem is, my university's Spring semester doesn't start until February, after the applications are due. I may have already missed one. I don't even know what to do. I'm screwed.

Sean said...

jim - gratz on UNH and UMass - im still working on those applications. Maybe we'll both get lucky? here's hoping.

Cienna said...

Hey,

For those of you (like me) who are finished with the process and feel bereft of something to obsess over, check this out:

http://www.thegradcafe.com/survey/index.php?P=8&DT=A&PL=C

You can look up the programs you've applied to and see when people started receiving acceptance/rejection notices last year.

Cheers!

Jensen Whelan said...

Luke,

I had a similar problem with one of my lorws. Most of the schools understand that this is out of our hands. They were all very accomodating. If you're really worried, you might try emailing the schools. In my case, I was able to fax a copy of the letter to one school with the understanding that an "official" copy was on its way. Even the schools whose deadlines have passed have probably not started reading letters yet, so I think you're still probably ok if you do eventually get in touch with your recommender and get new letters off. Have you called your recommender?

JoeyD said...

I thought it wouldn't bother me, but the waiting game, I'm finding out, is pure pain. Not like I'm just sitting around...and it's not like I can't do something else if it doesn't work out this time around. Well, at least I know that the transcripts were received at one of the schools in question.

stacylynn said...

9 applications down, 3 to go. Soon I'll just be waiting...

LAG said...

Jensen,

Thanks for the advice. I was able to get a hold of the recommender and think everything is resolved now (hopefully).

Incidentally, anyone else applying to Carbondale notice that Patty, the office systems specialist, is amazingly nice and helpful?

Ashley said...

7 out of 8 applications done! My obssessive nature is going to kill me over the next few months waiting. I'm pretty proud of myself because right before all the apps were due I was a passenger in a serious car accident, and I've temporarily lost the use of my dominant hand, so getting all these apps in (one-handed!) has been challenging. I did it though! I'm new to this blog and love it. I have a question though -- what do you all think the best way to contact the admissions for each school is, to let them know that my accident-related Incompletes are the reason for my seriously dropped GPA (terrible timing -- I went from 3.8 to 3.3)? Thanks all!

Bolivia Red said...

Ashley,
Yikes! I hope you're doing better. Congrats for getting your apps done inspite of the extra stress and challenges of the accident.

Was the drop in GPA or the incompletes actually noted on the official transcripts that went out with the applications? If not, you don't have to explain anything.

If they are on the transcripts, you might want to send a brief note explaining the circumstances and the date you completed or plan to complete the missing coursework. Send it directly to the program side of things unless everything had to go through the campus admissions office. Offer to have a fresh transcript sent (if necessary/requested) when the completed work is reflected on the transcript.

Rest assured, though, for many programs, the gpa itself is not that big of a factor. I'd never have gotten in, if so.

R.P. said...

I'm all done! 11 out of 11 schools. I finished a little early. Maybe the big silence is all of us holding our breaths on updates on our application statuses and waiting for the admissions/rejections to start rolling in.

Samara said...

Ha ha, I don't think I sent a single one in earlier than two days before the due date--many of them the day of.

Jensen Whelan said...

lag,

good to hear. i was pretty freaked out about my letter problem. glad to hear yours sorted itself too.

Carbondale-Patty is so great! Helpful and calming to my nerves. She was a great help.

R.P. said...

Samara- it helps when your hubby runs errands and does housework so you can finish early! Plus he compiled some of my MFA info. He was my self-appointed assistant for a few weeks :)

R.P. said...

I'm wondering, is anyone else married young and going into the MFA?

delicata said...

Depends on what you mean by young. I'm married and will be 31 this month. The biggest way it's affecting my planning/decisions is that I can't just move anywhere, and if I were single I'd quit working full-time to become a full-time student. That doesn't seem to be an option right now. I'm hoping to start the MFA in the fall.

spillingink said...

thank you all for your candor and honesty. i am so freaking nervous. all i can talk/think about is "oh my god where am i gonna get accepted, what if it's nowhere, blah blah blah!?" my friends/family must be very annoyed with me right now. this waiting game is ever harder than the actual application-making. in fact, this is my first comment ever, because before actually putting the apps in the mail, i was doing just fine. not anymore. i have this awful feeling in my gut that i did everything wrong.
will we start getting acceptacne/rejection letters in feb or march? i want them now!

Andrew said...

R.P.-
I'm married and 23 and applying for a handful of MFA programs. Fortunately my spouse and I are young enough that neither of us is bogged down too seriously by career commitments, making it easier to relocate anywhere from Alabama to Eastern Washington.

Cheers!

r.p. said...

andrew- I'm 22 and I'm in that same kind of space in life. We're both working and just waiting to hear from my MFA programs.

Will your wife be working while you write and do the MFA?

Amy T said...

I am married and half my list is low-residency schools because I think my husband is going to be working in Denmark for the next two years. The partner thing matters, big time!

Denmark: Now that freaks me out. Applications? Not so much. I really want to be in a program next fall, but I figure if it's meant to be it'll happen. Is that weird?

Pam said...

Sorry to shift topics somewhat, but I want to thank Amy for the list of writers' conferences.

I'm planning to attend the Tinker Mountain Writers' Workshop in Virginia this summer. (It's not on the list.) Anyone know anything about it that might make me change my mind?

I'm a little worried because it offers only two poetry workshops--beginner and advanced--and I really want the advanced one or nothing.

I haven't applied to grad school. I'm currently in love with the idea of Warren Wilson (I'm going to visit the campus in about a week), but I won't be applying in time for July, in part because no one knows who I am! I'm finding it nearly impossible to get recommendation letters.

Oh, but now I've drifted from my own original topic. Sorry.

The other summer program I hope to get to one of these days is the one at the Naropa Institute. Maybe a week of it, which is probably all my household, budget, and not-quite-Beat mindset could handle.

Amy T said...

The Warren Wilson campus is GORGEOUS. You're in for a treat; if you're there on a Thursday night, go to the contra dance. I used to live one town over, in Asheville, and loved it.

Sadly, I decided not to apply there--partly b/c they wanted recs purely from academic references. That's hard for me, at age 32. I have one good academic reference, another non-academic teacher/mentor, and then a slew of people who I know professionally. But that does me no good with WW, and probably means the program is wrong for me. I'd rather know the institution values my work experience (which is actually in publishing!). Oh well...

Good luck. And have fun in Black Mountain!

Amy

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morella said...

As another poster said, I've been lurking around this site for a while, catching hints from all of your questions. I am elated right now because everything is out...except for recommendations of course, but it gives me some peace to know that I'm not the only one in that predicament. I've applied to UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, UNH, Warren Wilson, Bennington, Vermont, Lesley and Queens University. I'm not sure what my or my husband's work situations will be this upcoming year--he's applying to PhD programs in saxophone performance.... I guess now that we've lived the "high life" for a couple of years on our teaching salaries, we'll be going back to being the poor artists we really are....

dawn Buthorn said...

I just happened to find this blog while obsessing over low res mfa programs-I'm waiting to hear from 3 more. I applied to Lesley, Vermont, Pine Manor (accepted), Spalding (accepted), and Hamline. The wait is killing me!!

Andrew said...

R.P.-

Yes, she'll be working while I write, which is great if you ask me! Actually she is a glass artist, so we try to spend time working on our crafts together; it's really a blessing to have another creative person in the house.

Pam said...

Amy--

Loved Warren Wilson, desperately want to go there. I'm also going to have trouble with academic references--perhaps more trouble than you, since I'm about to turn 47.

I wasn't told that only academic references would be considered, but it was clear that they were favored.

The staffer who talked with me told me that they look at the work first and then use the references to narrow the field. She said that only 5 to 10 percent of WW applicants are accepted, and that there was one person currently in the program who didn't get in until her fourth try.

I'm taking courses at the Writer's Center here in Maryland; I'm hoping that one or more of my instructors will come through as "academic" recommendation writers.

I, too, am a published writer, so I'm hoping my current and former editors will also be helpful.

I'm not going after WW until the fall, if at all.

I'm just cowed by this whole process, frankly. I'm a writer. I'm not sure what else I have to do to "succeed"--conference networking, learning vast amounts about other writers....I guess I never realized it was such a daunting world. Makes me wonder why I think I want it at all.