I just graduated with my master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction — for the second time! 🙂
January, 2011 June, 2004
In 2002, I entered the Writing Popular Fiction distance-learning program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. So began two years of pretty much constant writing, critiquing, writing, reading, and writing. I traveled to Greensburg twice a year for intensive residencies where I sat through classes on writing and fiction, and I participated in workshops on my and other classmates’ writing.
Then, in 2004, I taught at our June residency, defended my thesis (a middle grade fantasy novel), and walked down the graduation aisle to get my MA.
*wipes hands* All done.
Or was I?
In 2010, I went back. They’ve opened up the program to be an MFA, and they’re allowing those of us who missed out on a letter to return to get “F”ed, as we call it. 🙂 So that’s what I did!
This meant more intensive reading and writing — much more than the first time around. The new classes are meant to be spread out over the entire experience, not over one year as I did them, which means that 2010 was pretty insane for me. I was on a super fast track, tearing through literature faster than I can rip open a box of cookies. 🙂
It was fun — but exhausting.
Everything became worth it, though, when I defended yet another novel in front of my professors and peers, and I walked for a second time down the same graduation aisle.
In 2004, I graduated in June, when fireflies blink like little fairies around Seton Hill’s green trees. This time, I graduated in January, when snowflakes and ice cover the world outside the window.
For a Florida girl, it’s pretty exciting to visit Pennsylvania during the seasons. We don’t see snow or even many fireflies where I come from. The scenery was just another benefit of the whole thing.
Now, of course, I miss it. 🙂 I miss the classes, the structure, the people, and the beautiful place where we gathered to share stories.
Did you have a memorable college experience? What was it like?