Part of the whirlwind craziness of the past week or so has been my general anxiety at returning to college. Not in a big way -- it's not as if the Michigan MFA program took one look at its current crop of incoming students and decided they'd made a big, big mistake to leave me hanging on the waitlist. Rather, I was fortunate enough to be granted permission by Nick Delbanco to take his fiction seminar in the Rackham Grad school English Department this fall. In truth, I was not entirely sure what I was getting into with the class -- the description in the course catalog seemed a tad vague and maybe suggested that it was better suited for those making a transition between poetry and prose. But the professor was kind enough to offer me a spot and I am determined enough to get better at writing, so I jumped at the chance -- stupidly underestimating the web of academic virtual paperwork it takes to officially do such a thing.
It doesn't help that everything happens online these days and I come from the handwritten-paper-slip approach to signing up for courses. Then there was the matter of applying as a non-degree-seeking student to the Rackham Grad School and getting immediately rejected because I was supposed to apply as a different kind of non-degree-seeking student. Then there the matter of obtaining an "override" -- or official department permission -- to sign up for the class. And then there was the absolutely terrifying matter of signing up for the class online in a complex system that is no doubt completely intuitive to anyone born after 1980.
But all of that is in the past. I finally figured it out -- with an IMMENSE amount of hand-holding, guidance and encouragement from the Rackham English Department. (I'd name names, but I don't want anyone to get a reputation for being the go-to gal for the completely confused.) Class started last Wednesday and while it is a small group -- so far just six of us -- it looks to be an interesting endeavor.
Since a couple in the class are poets in the MFA program, we will be looking at the poetry-to-prose journey a bit, but we'll also have plenty of time for workshopping each other's pieces and getting individual guidance from Nick. To be honest, I'm not even sure at this point what I want to accomplish with the class. Of course I want to emerge with a stronger piece for re-applying to the MFA school in the Fall, but I don't know if that means reworking an existing story or embarking on something new. So many decisions!