Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To Kill a Mockingbird (or at least a college student)

School is back, and homework has taken over my life. I had all these intriguing ideas for blog entries, but I'm afraid they have all gone the way of my free time and sanity. I have so much to do that I've had to resort to my favorite way to de-stress...list making. When all else fails, seeing everything I have to do written out in a nice, organized list with due dates makes me feel better. The hardest thing for me this semester has been all the required TV watching for my Buffy class. It just feels plain wrong to be watching Buffy episodes when I have TONS of work to do. I guess I'll just have to get over that.

There are bright spots in all my craziness, however. One of those is Senior Seminar. Professor Tekulve is working hard to prepare us for our senior project, which includes not only my manuscript, but also an 8 page critical introduction where I talk about my writing/influences. That's really exciting to think about. When I look back over my past four years, names like Ann Pancake, Diane Gilliam Fisher, and Lee Smith immediately jump to mind. In my opinion, there are no better teachers of narrative voice than these writers. I guess I also have to be completely unoriginal and sing the praises of Harper Lee. It just doesn't get any better than To Kill a Mockingbird.

On a related note (and also very exciting), I will be starting the whole grad school application process next week. Once again Professor Tekulve comes through. She has nominated me for a scholarship competition (a big deal since there is essentially no scholarship money for low-residency MFA programs), and she has agreed to take a look at my manuscript to offer suggestions for polishing it for submission to the programs I am looking at. (Maybe they will be able to teach me not end my sentences with prepositions.) I am so grateful for all the help and guidance I have received from the faculty at Converse. Their generosity is astonishing and, at times, overwhelming.

Because I don't have enough homework to do, I have also joined an amazing women's Bible study. We are doing Stormie Omartian's The Power of a Praying Woman. It has been really wonderful so far, but it does increase my already crazy homework load. It's worth it, though. Michelle, the leader of the group, is such a wise and quiet spirit, and the other ladies are so kind and open. I'm grateful that they have taken me into their group as if I had always been there. I guess I'm just seeing generosity at every turn.

It's after midnight now, and I am fully aware that this blog is probaby not my finest work. It's been a very long, very busy day. I'm exhausted and more than a little overwhelmed, but I just have to remember that this journey will be over all too soon. It will be replaced by another equally challenging one. I'm just going to have to take it one day at a time, cliche or not.

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