Sunday, December 2, 2007

My Version of Graduate School Research/Preparation, Which I Have Perfected Over the Last Five Years

1. Go to Bookmarks folder labeled "MFA"; click to open.
2. Choose program from list of unrealistic schools compiled based on my complete lack of research re: schools I may actually be able to get into, thus consisting of only those schools nearly everyone has heard of, and therefore, good (on reputation if nothing else), and therefore, unrealistic.
3. Look through guidelines.
4. Look at faculty list; become frustrated and feel stupid because I only know one name on the list.
5. Convince myself that the school has obviously gone down hill and does not attract the quality writers it once did.
6. Look at list of past faculty; become reassured in #5, because I recognize more than one name on this list.
7. Begin online application, or Access already-begun online application.
8. Fill in information such as Name, Current Address, Phone Number, etc.
9. Come to portion of application that actually requires thinking.
10. Start outlining a personal statement in my head, while becoming frustrated with the fact I am in contact with only one professor from college and therefore can’t even get three letters of recommendation.
11. Criticize the era of inflated grades in which I graduated. Tell myself the teachers were not actually concerned about their students, but only making it look like their students were doing well, thus inflating their own credentials.
12. Skip ahead to Tuition page.
13. Go back to Personal Information page; make sure email and home address are correct.
14. Open folder on desktop labeled "Poetry." Make minor changes, such as adding an "and" where previously none existed, to many poems.
15. Reconsider future; open folder on desktop labeled "Nonfiction."
16. Return to graduate school web site; save online application.
17. Choose another program from MFA Bookmark folder, repeat steps 3 through 16.
18. Convince myself that reading more, right now, will benefit me in this process.
19. Leave pages open on computer, so I will (obviously) return to them in the morning after finishing a novel or reading a number of poems tonight.
20. Put computer to sleep (not off; need to see those pages first thing in the morning).
21. Take novel or book of poetry from bookshelf; bring to bed.
22. Open book sitting up in bed.
23. Awake at 3 a.m., shut book laying open beside me, go back to sleep.

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About Me

David Luke Doody is a freelance writer and editor. He is a founding editor of InDigest Magazine (, an online literary magazine and the blog editor for Guernica Magazine ( His writing and interviews have appeared in those magazines as well as in The Huffington Post,, The Minnesota Twins Yearbook, and Intentionally Urban Magazine, among others.

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