Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Amanda Abel Joins the MFA Writing Masses

As many people have said before (and below) me, I am elated to be invited by Tom to join this blog. I was here during the last season, though without an interesting screen name like Wandering Tree. ;) I created the MFA-Limbo ning group for people to discuss application and program concerns while avoiding worries of the watchful eyes of MFA faculty and selection committees.

I'm originally from Texas, and if I'm forced to be honest, I'll admit to being from Dubya's home town. But when I think of home, it's Austin that I claim, as I spent about a decade there from college on. I'm a poet and a documentary photographer, but am most passionate about teaching. I got an MA in documentary photography and discovered my love of teaching during six grueling but rewarding quarters of TA'ing in Santa Cruz. My ultimate goal is to teach creative writing and photography in underprivileged communities, and I expect there'll probably be some adjuncting thrown in there to sustain myself.

I'm now in the program at Vanderbilt and loving every minute of it. Being here still feels like winning the lottery, especially because I was a waitlister. But the truth is that out of the six of us, half were originally waitlisted, and I think all of us only applied because Vandy waived their online application fee. None of us thought we had a shot in hell.

I went all in last year and applied to 17 programs to ensure I'd get in *somewhere* fully funded and would never have to go through the application process again. This blog was a great resource for both support and mania, and I'm still friends with many of the people I met on here (koru, franny, and others). I'm looking forward to sharing my program experiences and answering any questions that people have. Until next time!

9 comments:

Sheila Lamb said...

Welcome, Amanda! Look forward to blogging with you!

Jessica said...

Nice to meet you! I'll post my intro soon...

Adam Atkinson said...

Glad to have you on board, Amanda!

Jeff said...

Of the 17 programs you applied to, how did you make out? You mentioned you were waitlisted at Vanderbilt, but was there anything beyond that?

Thank you!

Writer Dude said...

The factoid about the small number in the program and several of them being wait-listed (yourself included) is an interesting one...

I woulda treated a wait-list like a rejection -- put me in an orange vest and take away my shoelaces -- but apparently there really IS hope on the LIST.

Lookin' forward to reading your posts -- and that goes for all you new guys ;)

amanda said...

Thanks everyone! I'm excited too.

Jeff & Writer Dude, I was accepted outright to Colorado-Boulder, U Memphis, and U Washington, waitlisted at Vandy, Syracuse, LSU, and VCU, and eventually accepted off the list at Vandy and VCU. I withdrew my name from the lists at Syracuse and LSU before I got final notice. I had zero hope for my Vandy & Syracuse waitlists.

None of my first three acceptances had full funding, so I was holding out as long as possible to make a decision. Vandy poetry faculty started emailing me in mid-March when they sensed that a couple of the poets they'd accepted weren't super-enthused and I came to visit and was fortunate to be accepted while I was here. The other waitlister was let in on either April 14th or 15th, but was also in the loop with faculty emails to him until that time.

Claire Dawn said...

Oh! Vanderbilt! That's a great one, I've heard. I can't wait to hear more about it.

Ashley Brooke said...

Amanda,
I hope you are enjoying your program. Thanks for creating the Ning group, it was lots of fun during the mess of last application season!

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