17 November 2006

Higher education let me down.

So I said, "I'm going to do it. I'm going to enroll over at Hamline for their MFA program and get smart."

But first I talked to my boss. Which was good, because I found out that I can't do it. Hamline has their residencies in January and August, which are super-busy times here at the Journal. "We wouldn't be able to let you go for a whole week," said my boss. "I'm sorry."

Bummer. I sent an e-mail to Hamline: "Is there any way that I could at least study with some of these faculty without the residencies?"

They wrote back, "Nope! Maybe the job situation will lighten up."

Sorry, guys, not in a million years. (The Angus breed is getting popular and profitable, which is good for my job, but not good for making things less busy.)

Dammit. Dammit. Dammit. I really like this job, because of slow times (like right now), and they're super-generous regarding everything else. But they do expect you to be here during busy times and pull your weight -- fair enough.

It just bugs me that this program can't loosen up to help folks like me out. I need to stay in this job to support the family when my husband heads over to Waddell and Reed to work as a financial advisor. Also, it's nice to have money. Freelancing was cool, except I was working on everything else EXCEPT my novel because novels don't pay the bills. So it's like I keep my job so I can work on my novel!

I really need education and guidance, though, because I miss school and I want to move to the next level. The University of Iowa has correspondence courses for writers, though it's more for literary short stories. I'll be signing up for those.

I just hope I get a good teacher this time. I've taken a U of I correspondence class in the past. For the first half of the class, I had a great teacher; I wrote him letters and he'd answer every question in them and talk to me about the craft. Then the semester changed and I got a new teacher, one who disregarded my letters, and he'd mark up only the first few pages of my MS and say, "Okay, these are the problems, I don't need to mark up any more pages." In short, he was a dick.

Of course I could always tell the bosses if this happens again and get a different teacher, I hope.

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