Monday, February 18, 2008

Waiting, Watching, Stalking

You're still unaware of the MFAblog, you're a little behind the curve. I actually find it more useful and insightful than the crappy forums and message boards. Why? Probably because there's a group of people weeding out the wackos and picking which questions and thoughts get made into posts. Also there's a lack of hateful and disparaging ranting that is positively refreshing. So many people post in anger that it's enough to turn your stomach.

Don't drink and drive. Don't shop when you're hungry. And don't post when you're pissed off. Just because your life is crappy does not mean the rest of the world gives a shit. Stop, pause, breathe, and consider whether or not your response is actually useful information. Of course posting "thank yous" is acceptable even if the only information conveyed is that you found it helpful.

Then there's the lovely work of my new best friend Seth Abramson. He's complied a listing to the best of his ability of when MFA programs across the country have contacted applicants with acceptances over the past three years (06-08). Of course, it's not conclusive and it's not scientific. But he's done the dirty work of sorting and cataloging with lovely little symbols that don't detract, as well as cutting out all the crap about the applicant doing various happy dances across her living room floor and screeching into the phone upon receiving the call.

Everyone knows that you dance when you get the call. Stop posting about it on open threads. Save the story for your own personal blog. Thankyou and congratulations.

I've scanned my dear buddy chum wonderboy Seth's blog twice now. Only twice! And I'm proud of that restraint. Each time conjures up the same sick feeling in me. My throat closes up and I stop breathing until I reach the name of the first school I've applied to. It doesn't help that I haven't applied to a single school in the first half of the alphabet. So by the time I get to the M's I'm starting to turn funny colors if the page hasn't scrolled fast enough.

Then a deep woosh of air fills my lungs. No one in this application cycle has reported an acceptance to my school as of 2pm today! Close my eyes. Breathe in a couple more times. Remind my body what air feels like. Hey, it's still possible, keep breathing. Keep breathing.

Then I look to the next school. Same process. But thankfully shorter as there's less of a gap between the M school and the N school. The recovery for these next few schools is shorter. I don't have to encourage my own breathing quite as much because I didn't have to hold my breath as long. There's fewer schools with MFAs after the letter N. And my man Seth hasn't listed schools as the formal "University of ..." as much as just cutting to the chase and listing them under their popular names so there's hardly any U entries.

The good ol' boy Seth is my only indulgence in this process. Or my only weakness I should say. I refuse -- refuse! -- to get on the Poets&Writers boards because there is no filter and I would have to read about four years worth of BettySue and BobJoeFred dancing across their living room floor and screaming into the phone's mouth piece before I could get any idea of what was going on in the world of acceptances. I refuse to neuroticly waste away the next month of my life there.

I'm not usually clingy, but my new boyfriend Seth might disagree ... wait, what's that? Seth's not real and I can't date him out of my undying gratitude? Bummer. Oh well, I'll just have to keep stalking him anyway. ;)

Highly Recommended