Monday, January 01, 2007

6 Weeks and Counting

One topic I only ever brush upon here is my thesis paper, and that's because I'm of the school of: don't talk about it or you'll jinx it. But I have mentioned my writer's block, which I admit has a lot more to do with the fact that I have a serious phobia to success. What I finally had to admit to myself is that my block has a lot to do with a phobia of not being in school.

If I'm not a student, with papers and due dates and meetings with professors, then who am I? I've never known life without an academic responsibility pending. And to tell you the truth, because that's what I strive for here, I'm afraid of what that life will be like. I fear that that life will be more like lunch meetings and business trips and three-piece suits and conference calls, and that in and of itself is enough to induce the most hideous nightmares I could ever imagine.

As I student, it's still ok for me to wear flannel and clogs and keep my hair in pigtails underneath a bandana as I do my homework. As a non-student I'm having coktails afterwork at one of those stupid afterwork bars full of the afterwork crowd that I like to make fun of. Or at least that's how I picture it.

What started all this? I heard from my professor today: I was granted an extension on my paper, which is good news. The due date is now mid-February... which is scary. By March I will have no more homework due; it'll just be preparing for my defense, getting my presentation ready and finding out when to show up for graduation. There will be no more residencies for me. If I want to see my classmates I have to plan special outings and such- things grown-ups do.

And let me tell you what's really hard: knowing that the School of Visual Arts is located directly across the street from my office AND they have the photography classes I've been dying to take. Plus, Baruch? Only a couple of blocks west, an they have a MA program in Corporate Communications that would help me rise in the PR ranks. These are options that jump out at me everyday, Monday thru Friday. It's like a sickness. I'm addicted to school. Is there an anonymous meeting for that?

In the meantime, I'm trying to concentrate on the problem at hand: my MFA thesis papers. One 25pg paper on the craft of writing and 25,000 words of a creative piece. And to hell with the sperstitions that have held me prisoner: My craft paper is on the immigrant novel and how the author conveys a search for identity in the main characters through various literary devices. My creative piece is a group of linked stories entitled, Enfermos, which also happens to be the title of one of the stories, surrounding one family that is strangely similar to mine, and the characters' own search for identity while straddling two very distinct and different cultures, with a little nod to magical realism thrown in...just because I love it so.

Wow, that felt good to get out.

So...six weeks...25pages and 25,000 words perfected and edited within an inch of its life in six weeks. Can I do it? There's only one way to find out.

Now if only I can keep myself from mailing out these SVA and CUNY applications...

*smooches...with a stack of re-writes on my desk*
so school is in session
get your chin off your desk
now pick up your pencil
and turn over your test
use your education and take an educated guess
about me