Grad School Diaries No. 1

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I have been slightly mia, buuuuuuut


What a semester. So full of everything I needed, and wanted out of a master’s program. I met so many amazing, wonderful and talented people who filled my literary circle and community. It was amazing to be able to be in a program that gave their first year students so many wonderful opportunities.

It was the first time I really felt right about career choice so far, and I am really excited to see what my future has in store.

A part from the regular and daily grad school work, Chapman University provided a really wonderful community that I am proud to be part of.

I took an Advanced Poetry workshop, a literary analysis course dedicated to Oscar Wile, and a course called Aspects of Being a Writer, which is geared towards first year/first semester students and is like a semester long orientation course to the MFA program. AND IT WAS ALL SO GOOD.

You guys, I have never felt so apart of something. EVER. And it felt so so SO right. And you know how motivating and inspiring that was?

I have just felt so seriously blessed to be given this opportunity to work alongside so many amazing mentors, teachers, peers, etc. It has been an incredible learning experience thus far.

I was able to meet and workshop with some amazing people, read at a poetry reading, researched and read almost all of one of my all time favorite authors works, be nominated for an international poetry project, and share my voice on a stage I never really thought was my stage.

Next semester I am jamming a fairytales course (if you know me – you know how STOKED I am on this), another advance poetry workshop course, and (hopefully) creating my own feminist poetry course that I am so excited about. It is seriously going to be so amazing.

I have struggled so much with what I have wanted to do. For me, I always felt like teaching was going to be my path, but I learned, slowly, that you really never know what your “path” is going to be; I taught myself to remain true to ME, and listen to ME and do things for ME. And it is 100% not selfish to be like that.

I was lucky enough to be part of a mini workshop with Carolyn Forché and she also came to my classes and talked writing, and life, and what she has seen and her writing life, etc. What was really lovely was how raw and real she was. Literally no holding back, no glorifying – all real. And as a writer it is really important to know that, hear that and live that.

Carolyn gave really amazing advice and she told us to read and research 4 major authors a year, one for each season. We should also, as a writer, be fully immersed into the literary world and read 3-4 poetry books a week, or one full-length fiction/collection of short stories. I thought this was WILD and amazing. She gave me a really lovely list of poets I should start with and I am really excited to sorta map my reading world, in this regard, and set it up for a yearly sort of journey. I have also been thinking hard of an author that I can start with. I *finally* decided on one and (sorry don’t hate me) I will announce it later this week when my Winter reading list goes out! I thought that was the perfect time to start this sorta hand-in-hand reading journey.

I also created this writing life plan that just encompassed everything I want to accomplish and it felt good to pull deep down, look into the future and just all around to come up with this ever-changing “life” plan. I want nothing more than to write. I love it. It feels so right. And it is so important to make sure that this is a daily thing. I am no word counter, but I know that what I put down, feels right – and I am so okay with that!

This year, I was able to dig pretty hard and I created my voice in the writing community – and y’all… you do not know how amazing it is to feel this way. To finally feel like the path is semi straight and to just feel embraced. It is SO GOOD.

I know this was a short and sweet post but we have a double-header this week with my winter reading list comin’ at ya soon too! So, don’t miss me too much 😉

p.s. – here is my “I JUST FINISHED MY FIRST SEMESTER OF GRAD SCHOOL FACE that I snapped right when I was done (had to document):

Cheers, y’all!

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