Yes, I will admit that I have been remiss in my bloggin duties. I have been terrible so far this month in posting regularly. For that, I am truly sorry. I get just as much out of writing my blog posts as people do out of reading them, and perhaps more. I have not only been neglecting myself, though. I have been neglecting my readers. That is not cool.
So, what has been occupying my attention instead? I have been preoccupied with my upcoming graduate course in creative writing. As you probably know by now, I was accepted to the online Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing program at Southern New Hampshire University. I completed my Orientation Course (I think) and now have preliminary access to the ENG-510 coursework for the two weeks prior to the beginning of the class term on 22 Jun 2020. The course runs for 10 weeks. I have to admit that I am a bit intimidated by their use of rubrics, only because it is not something that I am familiar with. Perhaps all professors in all forms of education use them–I would not know because I have never asked. The rubrics, though somewhat foreign, are beginning to look more comforting all the time, though, because everybody knows what to expect. I know roughly how I am going to be graded on projects (minus the art of subjectivity on the professor’s part) and therefore, have a better idea of what I need to include and how I need to structure my projects (once I get to know the professor’s grading style).
The only difficult part about this whole thing is that of any professor that you do not know–the subjectivity aspect. Some professors attempt to be objective, and they are all human, so there is at least some subjectivity to grading with every professor depending upon their “bent”, as I call it, which is their area of interest, expertise, and experience. For example, someone who has a Ph.D. in Literature, as my professor’s bio states she does, has a different way of reading a book than I do. She will also be finished with her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with an emphasis on nonfiction and fiction the second week of our class. That is also in her bio. She does mention nonfiction first, and she is quite enthusiastic about the idea of “reading like a writer”. Obviously, that is something that I need to brush up on before the beginning of this class to do well. I am more of a fiction writer, whether it be poetry or prose. I have written dialogue pieces that could be easily rendered as drama (plays) as well. I can do creative nonfiction just fine. I just do not know the terminology, necessarily, but I will be fully remedied of that very soon, I have a feeling! I would not be taking the class if I already knew these things, though. That is what I keep reminding myself of. One takes classes to learn how to do things and the language that is spoken in doing them. Yes, the language is still my native English, however the terminology is somewhat new (perhaps I should say “rusty” because I have heard most of it before in my life) and will need to be resurrected or committed to memory and used frequently to be properly assimilated into my vocabulary.
I do not expect to get perfect scores, and I do expect to have my feelings stepped on in the critiquing process initially, but those are things that I need to be exposed to. Criticism, in whatever form it comes, is feedback, and feedback is always good (no matter how bad it may sound at the time). I do expect professionalism from my professor and some degree of respect for my efforts from my peers. I am not going to be stellar at this right out of the chute, and I know that. Nobody is good at something before they have learned how to do it. I just have to remember that I am not the best at this YET. That “yet” word is so very important to remember! I am not the best YET. With hard work and grit, I will be as long as I do my best, which I have found to be quite good in most things that I try. Baton lessons as a kid did not go well, but that was because my heart was not in it. I am very tenacious, though, and perseverance is a trait that I can say with confidence that I do possess. In short, I am excited about this M.A. program, and hope to get into the MFA in Creative Writing program after I have proven that I can handle this and have potential. I have already been dealt one rejection from the MFA program, but that is certainly not going to stop me from trying again!