Saturday, April 16, 2016


I chose the title "Sick!" for its dual nature. I mean it partially in the 90's slang way. It's so sick that I successfully defended my thesis! I'm a Master of Fine Arts now! Sick! But I also mean it in the literal way--I'm grappling with a stomach bug. Last night I was nauseous with fever and chills. Today the chills are gone, and the fever has gone down, but I've been ping-ponging all day between my bed and the bathroom. At least my body waited until all the important stuff was over to do this to me.

As I mentioned, my thesis defense was Thursday morning, and it honestly couldn't have gone better. I was nervous at first, but once the conversation started I felt confident. Most of the questions my committee asked were ones I had already anticipated having to answer--though I was a bit surprised by their questions about the YA market, whether or not I could sell a YA book that references sex and has characters swearing. Everything I learned at the SCBWI Conference last year came in handy. My favorite part was when Anne Stevens and I got in a good-natured tiff about whether or not the Jesus Christ Superstar score could be classified as disco. (Although with those particular backbeats and string arrangements, I still can't understand how the issue is up for debate. Andrew Lloyd Webber was just ahead of his time, okay?) Anne also stole the show by wearing her Godspell sweatshirt. Of course, I looked pretty awesome as well.

Me and the world's best committee

After the defense was finished, I promptly walked to In-N-Out and got a chocolate milkshake to celebrate. Couldn't do much more than that--I had to teach in the afternoon, and I had a job interview the next day. Alas, the world does not stop for major life accomplishments.

The job interview went reasonably well, though the beginning was a total nightmare scenario. The position is in New York City, so we were planning on a Skype interview. I've done Skype interviews before, but when I video chat with my friends, I typically use Google Hangouts, so I hadn't used Skype in a while. About a half hour before the interview, I opened Skype, added the new contact, made sure everything was in order. When they called, I clicked on the button--and Chrome told me I needed a new plug-in. Panicked, I sent them a message explaining the situation and quickly began downloading the plug-in. When it was finally ready, I clicked to install it--and a window popped up explaining that my computer's operating system couldn't run Skype. Which is ridiculous. My computer's only six years old. Extra-panicked, I downloaded the Skype app on my phone, and then I was finally able to call them back. Fortunately, they seemed to think the whole thing was more funny than anything else, and I don't get the impression that they held it against me. Nevertheless, it was embarrassing. If there are more Skype interviews in my future, don't be surprised if I ask one of you to have a test-call with me beforehand.

If there's one good thing about my stomach bug, it's that I had time to apply to more jobs--SEVEN of them, to be precise. Listen, don't beat yourself up about not being as cool as me. Most people can't be that productive when they're sick. But I'm the True Champion, so I'm a special case. If you're even 1/10 as cool as me, you're doing tremendously well.

Alright. Time to drink more Gatorade and binge watch something on Netflix. I hear that this How to Get Away with Murder show is good? I guess we'll find out.

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