In Which I Change My Mind

Remember that whole graduate school decision and soul searching?

I eventually settled on Chatham University. Their program offered opportunities to study across genres, something I was interested in exploring. They also had a cool Words Without Walls program, which really appealed to me. Chatham was a logical choice, and a lot of my professors encouraged me in that direction.

But two months after my decision to go with Chatham, I still felt a splinter of sadness. When I started packing up my dorm in May, I happened upon my postcards and letters from when I studied abroad. The sadness started to kick in again.

I found out that doing the cross-genre courses at Chatham would be extremely difficult because of the way classes are structured. I had a hard time filling in my classes when I registered because they either filled up very quickly or ended up getting canceled for low registration. I was uncomfortable that my first semester was going to put me behind because I had to take unnecessary classes, which didn’t bode well for the next two years. The administration was very kind about it and offered to help, but I still felt a little less than confident.

And then there was the slight problem of how I had never actually contacted Bath Spa and let them know that I’d be attending Chatham. Whenever I thought about doing it, I’d almost cry.

I visited Pittsburgh with my mom in May to check stuff out. The city was nicer than I anticipated and the campus was quite lovely. I could see myself making it into a home and being okay with it. But I also found myself comparing it to Bath, and considering Bath is one of my favorite places in the world… Well, I just didn’t want to be constantly in one place thinking about another.

There were other factors as well, some personal and some reasonable. I found out that between the federal loan I’d been approved for, the GI Bill, and some other financial possibilities, I could attend Bath Spa quite comfortably and leave with less debt than I’d have at Chatham.

(Also Bath Spa has both a swing and ballroom dance club, numerous historical reenacting club, and… (wait for it) an all things Welsh club! I’m just saying.)

So yesterday I decided to embrace changing my mind and I sent my acceptance to Bath Spa University.

Guys, I’m going back.


7/7 Challenge and Update on Grad Schools

Back in December and January, I went a little crazy and applied to five graduate schools for programs in creative writing, fully expecting not to get into any of them. But only a day after submitting my last application, I heard back from University of Portsmouth with an offer. This was followed by an offer from Nottingham Trent University and Chatham University.

I am still pretty blown away. I’m not affecting false modesty when I say I honestly don’t believe my writing is anything special. I’m proud of my ideas and characters, but I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty normal, unremarkable writer. I think this comes from growing up in my teen years with some writers who had extremely unique, distinct voices, while my writing has almost always been pretty sparse, straightforward and simple. So when my prof and I talked about the probability I wouldn’t get in anywhere, I fully expected that to happen.

Well, this week I had a phone interview with a school which has long been a dream of mine: Bath Spa University. I’ve loved Bath, England, ever since I entered the city on my 18th birthday with my mentor, Nicole Pool. When I found out they had a Writing for Young People MA program, I almost had a heart attack. But I’ve known it’d be a long shot.

Continue reading