Thursday, May 12, 2016

Please bring several sheets of looseleaf paper and a pen.

I'm writing this blog entry while my 102 students are taking their final exam. Look at them, sitting quietly at their desks, chewing thoughtfully on the pens in their mouths. It's charming. Assuming I head into the world of publishing/literary nonprofits, as is my plan (is it tangible enough to qualify as a plan?), this may very well be the final final exam I ever give.

Let's all pause for a moment of bittersweet nostalgia.

Speaking of Life After The MFA, I've applied to over 60 jobs. It sounds absurd, I know, but it's actually easier at this point, since I have several different cover letters written for different kinds of positions. I still tweak them based on the individual company or organization, of course, but I don't have to do much from scratch. Most of the time I can breeze through four or five applications in a day. The most I've ever completed in one day is 8, I believe. 

So many of the positions are in New York City, simply because the writing world tends to be centered there. (An unfortunate tendency, in my opinion, but an inescapable one.) That said, I've also applied to positions in Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Boston, and Boulder, among other places. I even applied to a position in Boca Raton. I don't really want to live in Boca Raton with all the retirees, but at least I'm familiar with the area, as I have relatives there. Ultimately, I'm open to pretty much anywhere, as long as it's a city. I'm not a big fan of rural living. Of course, I've never actually tried rural living, but I suspect I'd get bored. People are infinitely stimulating. Landscapes are only stimulating until you get used to them.

I've finally started to hear back from some of the positions, which is a relief, since I've been feeling impatient. Unfortunately, they've been rejections so far, but I expected that. I've heard it's nearly impossible to get hired in New York unless you already live there. Besides, I'm a writer. Rejection is a part of daily life. I'm confident that I'll eventually find the right place for me.

And if not, I'll go to New Zealand. (Thanks, Leta, for the tip about New Zealand's Working Holiday Visa.)

One of my students just asked permission to blow his nose. Um...yes?

Last night I went to see Shannon and the Clams with my friend Chase. It was a great show--they have a very 60's/garage/punk vibe, if you're into that sort of thing. Made me miss my gogo dancing days of yore.

Let's all pause to examine how much cooler I used to be:

Tonight it's our last ::sniffle:: ever ::sniffle:: game ::sniffle:: of ::sniffle:: Dungeons & Dragons! Well, our last game in this particular campaign--the one we've been playing for almost three years. I'm sure we'll all jump into future campaigns with future friends, but I'm awfully sad to see this one go. Where will I be without Penumbra Dreadful? Who will spread the Raven Queen's good news about the Joy of Death?

So many "lasts." Of course, since I have no idea what I'm doing with my life, they're only lasts in theory. But it's still strange. Tomorrow night we're going to the Pioneer Saloon. Will it be my last time karaokeing there? No--I'm sure it won't be. I'm going to make a point to go out there every time I visit Vegas for the rest of my life. The Pioneer Saloon is one of the most magnificent places I've ever been.

That reminds me--I have to figure out what I'm going to sing. I'll be taking suggestions in the comments.

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