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MFA me!

Dear friends -

I just found out that I have been accepted into KU's creative writing MFA progam. Yay me! This means I'll be pursuing a "terminal degree"; that is, I'll be upgrading from my current MA (creative writing), which is not the highest degree in the field, to a degree that is considered the highest available for creative writers. (For those of you not into academia, it's kind of like a PhD in other fields.)

Why do this now, 11 years after finishing my MA and when I already have a job? Well, businesses respect their premier products, and to have respect within a university, one needs to have demonstrated respect for their top product (advanced degrees). When I finish the MFA, that will mean I can teach graduate-level courses without having to use another faculty member (who has a terminal degree) as the "instructor of record" (that is, they input the grade for me). It also means I'll be eligible for possible upcoming full-time faculty positions (as opposed to my current, odd, non-tenure-track, 0.8 assistant professor position). It will also make the Department Chair's job easier, trying to make my current position more permanent as well as other things that having a terminal degree will help her do. Finally, it means that, should I be hired full-time, that I can do things like become Department Chair or College Dean, myself.

The best news is that the MFA program director tells me that I should only need to complete about 6 credit-hours to upgrade my M.A.!

There's also the goodness about getting to work with creative-writing teachers I haven't had in classes before, and a renewed focus on my writing.

So! I start next Fall, which will be exciting, what with teaching at least five classes; on the plus side, the Departmental scheduling officer (also the head of the MFA program) is only going to schedule me to teach two classes in the Spring.




( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 19th, 2006 09:26 pm (UTC)
A terminal degree? Is that where they give you the diploma and then a sniper takes you out?
Apr. 19th, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC)
Woo! Congrats. Have fun!
Apr. 19th, 2006 10:02 pm (UTC)
Congratulations!!! :)
Apr. 19th, 2006 10:11 pm (UTC)
Congrats! Cat dances for you.
Apr. 19th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
WOO! Rock on, rock star! Congratulations, Chris.
Apr. 19th, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC)
Rock on! It sounds like a great move professionally, and perhaps a satisfying way to focus your own efforts.

Uh, you're not going all mainstream on us though, are you? Because I don't want to read the Farm Novel, or the Faculty Novel, or anything like a Suburban Novel of Alienation. Those would suck.
Apr. 19th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)
Congrats! I'm looking forward to lots of prolofic prose pouring from you soon.
Apr. 19th, 2006 11:52 pm (UTC)
Wow, Chris, this is splendid! I'm so pleased for you getting into the program and heck, even if you do write the next 'A Thousand Acres' I'd read it!

Apr. 19th, 2006 11:54 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! How long is the program?
Apr. 20th, 2006 12:05 am (UTC)
Oh, FANTASTIC! That is so very cool, Chris! Congrats, man. Really, truly happy for ya.

Apr. 20th, 2006 01:02 am (UTC)
Apr. 20th, 2006 05:34 am (UTC)
All that talk of academia made my eyes glaze over, but I did see the words "yay" and "exciting." So if you're happy for you, we're happy for you! A chocolate Easter egg has been eaten in your honor, followed by a shot of bourbon. (See, I know how you like to celebrate auspicious occasions!)
Apr. 20th, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)
Thanks! Oh, man, I forgot the bourbon part of that equation! (Yes, I had a few Robin's Eggs and speckled M&Ms a couple hours ago....)
Apr. 20th, 2006 06:31 am (UTC)
Wow. Awesome.

- Eddie
Apr. 20th, 2006 07:55 am (UTC)
Great news!
Apr. 20th, 2006 12:31 pm (UTC)
If we stop learning we die

Chris I think you will do a wonderful job. It's exciting to follow your dreams, and interest. I firmly believe in education, and feel that it is something we should do throughout our lives. If we stop learning you die.
Apr. 20th, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC)
Can we call you the Terminator now?
My congrats too, Chris. And perhaps my compliments also on tackling the very difficult task of going to school full-time while working full-time as well; something I did myself for my terminal degree. At least, as with me, the school and work were in the same department, so there was some sympathy and understanding available. Meanwhile, *we'll* be sympathizing, and maybe vicariously joining in the soothing ritual of chocolate and bourbon.
Apr. 20th, 2006 02:01 pm (UTC)
Hey, good luck, amigo. And congrats on getting in. At least, from what I'd heard last year, the "creative writing department" has changed significantly since I was there, which is definitely a good thing. Not sure I'll ever return to academia myself but if you're happy about it that's great.
Apr. 21st, 2006 01:41 am (UTC)
Congratulations on your acceptance!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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