Grad School Diaries No.2

I took a much needed month off from The r|s edit. I missed it, but it was so necessary. I was finishing up my first year of grad school! And boy can I tell you it feels SO good to be done! The last month my desk has been a mess with books, stacks of papers that I spent more time looking through than doing anything with, spilled link (literally), blackout poems, and more coffee cups than I could count.

If you are new here – HEY! A small run down for ya: I am studying Poetry at Chapman University, and I will be graduating in a year from now with my MFA <3

Earlier, I talked about my first semester and documented what it felt like to get started and how good I felt, finally feeling like I was in my element. That feeling did not fade. In fact, it grew stronger.

I took an interterm course so I had virtually no break since last August and GIRL the hustle is real, but so worth it. In my interterm course I finally started to really hone in on what I wanted to do with my thesis. I took a fairy tales course (which, if any of y’all know me personally you will know I died when I found out it was available) and it was so great. It was a literature course, but I was able to work in my creative writing aspect and played more with the art of language. That was such a great course and it really set me up for success in Spring.

Spring Semester was literally a blossoming moment for me. I was able to take an independent research course and I focused on feminist poetry and I WAS LIVING. I read so many amazing women poets and honestly, I never felt more inspired with my own writing. This independent study pushed me into new territory and I ended up submitting panel proposals for conferences and got in touch with some of my icons. I fan-girled only a little and re-read my emails eight *THOUSAND* times so I didn’t sound like a stooge. So worth it.

In my workshop class we did this huge project where, for thirty days we submitted a poem every day. It was rough, but so rewarding in the end. I came out of the project with a mini-manuscript that I can work with, revise, and ultimately start sending out. It is an understatement to say that this semester was a workhorse semester, but it felt SO GOOD.

I also got involved with the community that revolved around me. I became a mentor to six high school students and it really changed my life.  I told myself I wouldn’t cry many, many, times. Our final reading I broke my promise because I couldn’t help feeling the overwhelming love for these students that were blossoming in their writing. It was just so pure, and they were so brave for their final public reading. It truly was life changing for me.

I was also more involved with the interdisciplinary journal on our campus, Anastamos, and I was actually asked to take over as the Managing Director! This is really exciting for me because editing and publishing is definitely something I am extremely interested in as a career path once I am done. I am excited for this next year to really get going on the journal. I will definitely share more information about that as my journey continues.

I am finally able to take a bit of a step back and take a little break for the Summer. I am still going to focus on my thesis stuff and research tons, but I am also now going to focus on wedding stuff, which I am super excited about!

Cheers to one year done, and one more to go!


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