My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Residency #3 in the Hamline University MFAC program

So...I've been a slogger lately due to my commitment to this program.  I began my Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing for Children a year ago this week, and the coursework has kept me plenty busy!  So busy, in fact, that my blog was a casualty.  I can't promise to return to regular blogging, but I am going to blog about my residency experience the next couple of weeks.  In a low-residency program, the student (ahem, me) attends an 'intensive' every semester and then completes additional work throughout the semester from home.   Think of a semester's worth of lectures, instruction, guest speakers, and workshops all crammed into a little less than two weeks.  Long days and short nights but filled with glorious discovery.

The first residency, I didn't have a clue what to expect.  I didn't know anyone in my class or anyone who had completed this program (although I knew someone in the program).  I hadn't been in a dorm in a VERY long time.  Also, I hadn't planned to rent a car or anything because the schedule was so rigorous.   I mailed bedding, mattress pad, pillows, etc. to MN.

During the winter residency, my second, it was very, very cold (as you can imagine), and we live in a hotel because there are regular students in the dorms that time of year.  I didn't get a car because I was uncomfortable driving in the weather.

So here I am at my third residency.  I flew in last night after numerous delays due to thunderstorms.  I have two semesters under my belt, lots of manuscripts cooking, and I KNOW how awesome residency is, so I look forward to it like crazy.  It is a major deal for me to leave my house with four kids for two weeks, so by the time I get here, I am already exhausted.  But no matter, I am with my people.

And I rented a car.  A cheeky pick-up truck.  (not what I reserved, of course, see the Seinfeld episode about a rental car 'reservation', but I love it.)  Who would have thought I'd have to leave NC to drive a pick-up truck?  Anyway, this morning, I set out in my awesome truck to get things I need locally instead of shipping them, then I registered, went to my dorm, and unloaded the truck.  (Yes, I put things in the back--it's called a 'bed', you know...a nice man at Target corrected me this morning.  Of course, I KNEW that in my brain, but the new truck vernacular hasn't reached my lips yet.)

So here I am in my dorm room.  At my desk.  Looking out at campus.  I always set 'residency goals' for myself, set up a work schedule (I like to get up and write in the morning before classes begin), and go over the course schedule.  I am hyper as a kid at Christmas.  I just can't wait to tackle all these exciting topics and learn to be be BETTER at what I do.

 My first event today is to meet the new students.  I am a mentor/buddy for two of them, and I have corresponded with them prior to today.  I look forward to meeting them in person.  I am always inspired by the people in this program from all over the country, all walks of life, all kinds of 'day jobs', all levels of publishing credits, and all ages.  (Yes, I am one of the oldest.)

So that's all for now.  Not much to report yet since we haven't begun, but I will have more for you later!

Also, Grandma Koppelman is still in the hospital.  I hope to see her tonight or tomorrow.  It is about 40 minutes to her house from here.

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