Thursday, January 01, 2009

One Clean Slate with a Heaping Tablespoon of Uncertainty

Clean slate, folks. We have a new year to muck around in. I usually don't make a big deal about the new year (after all, it is technically just another day), but I feel a bit different today. There's something about having a specific goal for the year that changes my perspective. I know I have a lot of work to do for the MFA applications, and I know it has to be good work. I can't work on my writing sample with, say, the same forethought and effort I give to these blog posts. Nor can I let the MFA requirements slip for a month or ten. Procrastination is not an option this year. With the the number of application fees I'll have to pay, I can't afford to wait and do them all at once.

Then there's the GRE. My general impression is that the GRE doesn't matter much for the MFA programs themselves, but the grad schools in general require them. So I'll need to study for that. The GRE has double the pressure, though, because I have to beat my brother's score, and he hasn't left me much wiggle room. Right bro? Seriously, this test is a big deal. There's at least the possibility that my score could be a tie-breaker between me and an equally qualified candidate.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like a high school senior applying to some top colleges. When I applied to college I had no doubt I would get in to my schools of choice. Marshall University and Tri-State Bible College are fairly non-competetive. I was even confident about getting in here at the seminary. Covenant is a good school, but it's not primarily a scholar's seminary. Now, on the other hand, I'm applying to schools that are among the best in the field. That means I'll be up against the best writing students in the nation. If it was just a standardized test, I wouldn't worry about it so much, but writing is more subjective. Add to that the fact that I don't have a good sense of what quality of work I can do consistently, and my consternation increases.

So hopefully in the next few months I can crank out a couple of perfect 10 stories, which will then lead to me getting into every program I apply to. Then I can stroll onto campus as a superstar, and writing success will inevitably follow. That's how it works, right?


samuel said...

We'll be praying for you. Me and the mouse in my pocket. He guards the money that is also in my pocket.

Write on.

Joshua Duncan said...

Thanks, Sam. Also tell your mouse that my mouse apologizes for not responding about the Fledge stories. I seriously laughed out loud several times while reading them. I wanted my response to be worth reading so I waited until I had time to write good comments. That time didn't come during the semester. I apologize and wanted to let you know that I like the stories.

You need a new artist, though. :-)

Anonymous said...

Be the ball Josh...nanananananana

Joshua Duncan said...

I am the ball, Chris. I get more spherical every day.