Friday, January 22, 2010

Mailbag, Friday, January 22

Lots of good discussion going on concerning, amongst other things: Is-my-application-complete anxiety, typo anxiety, plan Bs, teaching abroad, the weather conditions of various programs, how to distract yourselves from the aforementioned anxieties, what makes for good teaching and good critiques, and books to read. Did I miss any major threads?

Some links, gathered up top here for ease of access:

Seth's application response time database, which is up and running for the 2010 season.

(Some other resources Seth has made available at this time: Lists of low res programs, creative writing PhD programs, playwriting/dramaturgy programs, and screen/scriptwriting programs.)

As Seth has noted in the comments, he'll be posting a bunch of other good stuff on February 1st, once his contractual obligations to PW magazine allow it, so check back on the Suburban Ecstasies blog then.

And here are a few awesome ways to distract yourselves from general application anxieties, grabbed from various comments (thank you, commentators.)

Puppy webcam!

A poem! "It's the time when we are waiting to be told."

Satirical stick figure games!

Add your own favorite books to read, websites to visit, and things to do to reduce the anxiety, below, as well as open season on other topics, of course.

869 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   801 – 869 of 869
Unknown said...

@Dead Cats Society

"No self is of itself alone. It has a long chain of intellectual ancestors. The "I" is chained to ancestry by many factors ... This is not mere allegory, but an eternal memory."

-Erwin Schrödinger

I vote for this one! Works well for the writing community, I think.

insertbrackets said...

Trilbe,

Thanks so much, I can only hope I am half as cool as I appear online...I guess? Hahaha.

Juliana Paslay said...

@ Jenna

I love it! You are right, the idea of multiple 'selves' is a good concept for writers! Good ole Papa Erwin...

Daniel said...

Anyone know what the selectivity is for LSU?

frankish said...

If I understand Seth's recent rankings correctly, LSU would have an acceptance rate of roughly 33% or better. I don't see it in the list that finishes (with those on the bubble) with selectivity around 32%, and it's not listed in those top 50 programs for which no numbers are available. Of course, maybe I just didn't see it when looking through the rankings. 33% seems way too high, at least to me....

Arna said...

Hey-oh fake out UC Irvine email! Be warned!

Mostly Swell said...

@Jenna
Way nerdy, that you are!! I didn't mean to imply exclusiveness. (: And enough of my geeky self-absorbed self. Really. I think I went over board. Alas. I was always the last to be picked by a team on the playground.

But, for those of us who aren't being accepted (for this moment) it looks like we have something to look forward to! Coughdrop, let us know when you find the perfect pledge.

@Cratty
wow, that's cool that you used to do that sort of thing (and your story about Robert Thompson is funny.)

Mostly Swell said...

@Jenna
Oh, I didn't see your 801 post. Great quote. It sort of has a futuristic tone to it, a sort of hint that we will someday no longer be dead cats, instead, thriving writing programs, contributing to the chain.

Mostly Swell said...

TYPO: thriving in writing programs

Juliana Paslay said...

So, Where we meeting? The old Indian Cave? :P

In any case, glad we're all keeping hopeful here! Woo the cat is aliiive!

Mostly Swell said...

which one?

Juliana Paslay said...

the one beyond the stream!

(nerd alert: I may or may not really like that movie)

Ashley Brooke said...

Frankish,
I don't think LSU's acceptance rate is anywhere even close to 33%. If it really isn't on TSE, it must be because data is not available or for some other reason. The program is fully funded and has received quite a bit of attention as of late. My guess is that it would have gotten at least 200 applications.

Mostly Swell said...

50/50 I'll be there

Ryan said...

Frankish, I agree with AB, not to mention the fact that they only accept like 3 or something students per genre, but they probably get at least 150 per. Especially with Seth ranking them high and because of the three year funding package that is clearly adverised on their website.

Jeff Griffin said...

Irvine fake out email here, too.

Better late than never: congratulations Koru! Hoping some more acceptances will come our way tomorrow...

-M.

Juliana Paslay said...

@Mostly Swell

hahaha! A more perfect answer has ne'er been spoken

frankish said...

@AB, I agree. It's possible that I misread Seth's rankings, that Seth forgot to list LSU in the appropriate section (either listed in the top 50 selectivity or in the top 50 ranked for which there is no data), or, well, I guess, something else. :D

I would expect the acceptance rate to be well below 10% (at least in fiction). But who knows??? The higher the better, at least to me, as I'd love to get in there. ;)

Cheers!

koru said...

@Tory, Glad to know someone there! :-) I'll get in contact with you once I'm back on earth!

Thanks for the well wishes everyone! Here's to hoping that more schools notify soon so we all hear good news!

Right ... now back to my Pimms.

Mostly Swell said...

@Coughdrop
(; this parallel dialogue is kinda funny.

But I need go work on my writing. I think I figured out a solution to my POV issue.

Ciao for now!

Unknown said...

To all you wonderful geeks (and non-geeks! Equal opportunity!) who love both the uncertainty principle and literature, you MUST MUST MUST read Michael Frayn's play Copenhagen. It's one of the best instances of philosophy-turned-art I have ever read/seen. It re-tells the details-unknown 1941 meeting of Heisenberg and Bohr long after WWII ends, exploring many possibilities.

I'll admit, I'm not such an avid play-reader (though I do attend performances rather frequently), but this one stood up to on-the-page scrutiny.

Trilbe said...

And for all of the dead cat fans out there, you MUST MUST MUST read Martin McDonagh's play _The Lieutenant of Inishmore_. A dead cat + Mad Padriac + a bloodthirsty IRA sweetheart = brilliant satire of the violence of politics. And this isn't one of those cop-out, dead-cat-for-a-moment plays. Noooo... The dead cat stays for much longer than any decent person would have it.

Lucas said...

Hey Frankish...sample swap? Eh? Eh?

frankish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

Yay, koru! Congratulations!

On another note, I would like to support Trilbe's review of "The Lieutenant of Inishmore." That play was awesome on so many levels.

Trilbe said...

@Laura - Yessss!!! Wee Thomas the Cat!

Mostly Swell said...

@Gena
Thanks. Google led me to a pbs "guide" to the play:

@Trilbe
Google did not lead me to a study guide on your suggestion, but many links to peruse.

I will explore them both.

And, yes, I did say I was leaving for awhile, and yet, as Michael Frayn so aptly put, the Uncertainty Principle applies to human thinking as much as it does to a physical onject. (-; I am making progress, none-the-less.

Mostly Swell said...

@Gena
the website, try again:
http://www.pbs.org/hollywoodpresents/copenhagen/id/id_play_1.html

Trilbe said...

@MostlySwell - I can't imagine The Lieutenant of Inishmore being taught in schools, you know, having a study guide -- but I suppose anything is possible! It's very, VERY dark. But, like Laura said, it works on a lot of different levels. And it's really good! McDonagh won an Obie for it, plus the British stage awards for playwriting. Not that popularity is a gauge of brilliance, but it was on Broadway for a good long run and was brought back to the West End more than once. I saw it, not read it, but I think it would be a good read because it's got genius dialogue and it moves very fast. And God knows it's got insight aplenty. More insight into people and politics and rebellion than most of us can handle -- the splinter group of a splinter group of the IRA, that represents the real struggle(!?).

Anna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandra M. Yee said...

I don't have Internet at home, so that saves me from being too obsessive about this blog and overly neurotic during the waiting period. (I love checking in every now and then to see that I'm not the only one surfing Craigslist for housing possibilities when I haven't been accepted anywhere yet.) But I just received an email from VaTech (poetry) requesting a phone interview in the next two weeks, and I am in complete panic. I can already taste my foot in my mouth.

Thanks to the person who pointed out LSU's online application about 800 posts ago. I'd totally forgotten that part of the application and got it done at the eleventh hour.

Best of luck to everyone!

Laura said...

I've actually never seen "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" performed, but I read it and loved it. I was in Ireland at the time, and everything in it just clicked so perfectly together. There is a lot of violence in it, but I can't think of one scene from that play that was unnecessary or just for shock value. Soooooooo good.

Mostly Swell said...

@Anna
I'm afraid that's where my paranoia comes in. My writing sample may suck or it may not suck - and I really want to let it lie, in wait of official word on whether I am a dead cat or a live cat.

And is getting lay/lie correct a prereq? jeez, I have to look it up every time.

Mostly Swell said...

Has anyone else read HH Dalai Lama's "The Universe in a Single Atom"? He explains the cat in the box thing really well. And that just seems funny to me.

I have sortof a haiku/senryu on the audio version of his book:

"The Universe
in a Single Atom"

on my iPod.

:) arr arr

Dolores Humbert said...

Sandra,

I got the email too (for fiction) and am already verklempt! Any ideas as to what they'll ask? And I've read on PW that they do a conference call, with practically the entire faculty on the line. Terribly exciting and frightening! Ah!

Morgan said...

re: Irvine, Brown, the UMass thing I still haven't gotten in the mail

It's way to late for fake out e-mails. What are you trying to do to me??

Ashley Brooke said...

Good luck to those who will doing interviews with Virginia Tech. I've heard nothing (fiction), but that was the application that I royally messed up when I was applying (I had some problems with my LOR submitting their letters) and I'm therefore not even sure if I am in the running. They were also my first application and received an SOP with at least two serious typos. Maybe I'm just making excuses. Good luck with the interviews, they sound nerve wracking! You can do it, though. I recommend getting them over with as soon as they'll let yet so you don't have to worry about it!

Ryan said...

Blah. Got an email from LSU saying, guess what, I'm missing a transcript. Guess this was because they didn't remind me to also send one to the graduate school. LSU's website is some kind of 1999 party though, honestly. The post-application details are way better, though, and it was great to get this email now rather than two weeks after the fact, so props for that!

Ben McClendon said...

@the little poet who could:

I actually worked out a whole DEFCON scale for my waiting anxiety:

DEFCON 5 - Nobody has received notification. I check the MFA Blog every now and then.
DEFCON 4 - Notifications, but not Top 50. You know, Low Res and stuff. I check the Speakeasy and TSE fairly frequently, MFA Blog daily, maybe twice per day.
DEFCON 3 - Top 50 notifications have begun. I'm checking TSE and Speakeasy at least once a day, and MFA Blog at least six times daily. My posts get noticeably stranger.
DEFCON 2 - Notification from a school I applied to, and in my genre. I hit the refresh key and keep all three sites open in separate tabs. Some posts aren't in what people would easily recognize as English.
DEFCON 1 - April 1 has arrived, and I haven't gotten in anywhere, and furthermore don't know whether to believe anything on said day. I have learned to climb walls. While knitting.

@Everyone:

In the realm of science and art, the play I'm practicing for is Picasso at the Lapin Agile. If "Picasso and Einstein walk into a bar..." is an opening that intrigues you (conceptually, not verbatim), then you should check it out. Oh, and Steve Martin wrote it.

Nick McRae said...

@ Koru - Congrats!

@ Sandra & Dolores - Good luck with your interviews!

NM

Nick McRae said...

Also, is it a little bit sad that I only know about Schroedinger's Cat because of "The Big Bang Theory"?

Ryan said...

Lord, I hate that show. (no irony intended)

Xataro, yeah, I must be more ocd than you, because I had to force myself to close the tab to this blog a few times last week, because it was four in the AM here and i was still updating it; i mean, i was doing other stuff too, but damn.

Also, something cool that I've noticed a lot of schools doing (by a lot I mean a few mentioned it and LSU just proved it to me because it has "receieved" and I never sent them), are not needing "official" docs until admittance. For instance, LSU basically told me that i could send photocopies and if I got admitted they'd need those to officially admit me. Which is kickass in my opinion. $23 bucks saved so far. Wish I had implemented this plan sooner.

Ryan said...

Maybe I should clarify; got an email that said "we need a transcript." I went to check my status online and it had my GREs as received (I haven't sent them). This means that, like they say, they are accepting what I told them the scores were until I get admitted, if I do, and that's good enough for the admit. committee.

Ryan said...

In fact, if I had a blackberry or iphone, I would probably get chewed out daily for checking this blog at work. Seems like most of it gets talked about while I'm away working (an evening shift, no less)

Kevin said...

@LSU

According to the creativewritingmfa.blogspot listing, Louisiana accepts 25 to 30 students a year. Of course, this is probably across all genres, and possibly erroneous. And I haven't found anything anywhere that says how many applications they receive, but I'd be surprised if it were under 200. The posts last year showed that about 3/4 of the people that applied were rejected, so it's far from a safety. I think it's one of those programs that's still somewhat under-recognized, even though it's in Seth's top 30 overall ranking, and will get more competitive as more people find out about their large guaranteed stipend.

@Dead Cats Society

Technically, we don't have dead cats yet. We have cats that are neither alive nor dead. ... We have zombie cats.

Ashley Brooke said...

Kevin, 25-30 is the number of students in the entire 3-year program. That would be less than 10 acceptances per year.

Ryan said...

yeah, they don't accept 30 students. in seth's listings, it's listed as xtra small, meaning less than 6 per g. And I think it could be over 200, but i mean, if you figure virginia gets 600ish, and Ole miss got like 100 for poetry last year (seth's old ranking I think), I don't think 200 is too much of a shrinkage of their actuals.

Ryan said...

I'm talking about the list in PW; it's listed at XS

Ryan said...

Also, I want to recommend Made Flesh, Craig Arnold's second collection. It's bloody brilliant.

Nadiya said...

Okay, Irvine somehow has me registered as applying for an Art MFA not CW one. Argh. Just wrote them in panic asking what I should/could do and whether my SOP and portfolio ever reached the CW program.

Also received the VTech phone interview invite. Seriously freaking out now. Now (since I'm in South Asia) if I can only figure out the time zone thing...

j.d. said...

Not to freak anyone out, but I heard Iowa got over 1300 applications this year. Not sure if that's just for fiction or if that includes poetry too.

Still keeping my fingers crossed.

Jasmine Sawers said...

Random!

Has anyone seen this? Sorry if it's already been posted here, but I thought it was funny.

How to Use the Semicolon

Okay, I really just like that picture of where is appropriate to kiss a plague rat.

In acceptance/rejection news, I have none! And my ongoing project is to cultivate a total lack of anxiety over it.

phillywriter said...

I'm seriously jealous of those of you who received a VA Tech e-mail about phone interviews... Good luck to all. Meanwhile, I won't be able to concentrate at work today because I'll be waiting for calls from Ohio State and Alabama and an e-mail from VA Tech that will likely never come...

This is so painful.

Nick McRae said...

Just got word (by email) I've been accepted at Ohio State for poetry!

Simply Thrilled!

NM

John said...

Agreed, Phillywriter. I didn't apply to Ohio State, but I did to V-Tech. Can I get an email??

Danielle Wheeler said...

Congrats again, Nick! Already two great programs to choose from. You must have a killer sample, dude.

Jasmine Sawers said...

Congratulations, Nick! And other OSU acceptees I may have missed in these millions of comments!

Eli said...

Yay McRae!!

Woo hoo Koru!!

(that's as good as my poetry gets)

Jennifer said...

Congrats Nick! You are on a roll!

Brandy Colbert said...

you're kicking ass, Nick! nice work. :)

Trilbe said...

@Nick - Congratulations!!! Is your poetry secretly made out of candy? Delicious candy that no one can resist? You are seriously awesome!

Trilbe said...

Wait a minute... Henri Cole is at OSU, right? I hate you, Nick. I love you but I hate you! You and your poems made of delicious damned candy! ;-D

koru said...

@NM ... congrats on a second acceptance!

@ all the VT inverviewees ... good luck! and remember ... you're interviewing them as much as they're interviewing you. ;-)

@phillywriter ... chin up. the RIGHT program for you will call/email you.

Nancy Rawlinson said...

New mailbag just went up.

Juliana Paslay said...

Congrats Nick! You get to CHOOSE a program! How cool is that???

and re: whoever said that we should be the Zombie Cats Society instead of Dead

But what would we yell then? APPLICAAAATTIOOONSSS! or FAAAAFSAAAA!

oh god this waiting game is making me truly insane...

phillywriter said...

@koru
Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm trying hard to stay optimistic, but it's difficult!

This process has made me realize that patience really is a virtue - and one that I definitely don't have. At least not when my dreams are on the line.

MelonHead said...

Gah! One of the programs I applied to earlier this month keeps emailing me saying I'm missing one letter of recommendation, even though I quintuple-checked my submission package and it was sure and hell in with the rest of my materials. They've received everything else, but this one letter has gone missing.

Scramble, scramble, scramble...

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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