“Mom!” yelled my daughter, Cara, who I thought already left for school with her sister. I was running late for work, again, and failed to answer. I was looking for a warmer pair of gloves for the upcoming polar vortex due to blow that January afternoon.
Phew! I just submitted my final paper for one of the two grad classes I’ve been taking since April 9th. it’s a relief to be done. Although I’ve learned much from both classes, the bigger lesson is not to “bite off more than you can chew” (sorry for the cliche, but all my creativity is wiped the hell out). Anyhow, I’m done, but I could have absorbed more knowledge if I took one class instead of two. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I was overwhelmed by literary thoughts that interrupted my life as a teacher, mother, wife, family member, and friend.
My biggest recommendation to students enrolled in higher education of any level is to go slower when possible. Don’t overload your coursework because your tuition covers 15-21 credits. Ugh! I took 21 credits once as an undergrad and was miserable. Schooling needs to be challenging but not miserable. Take an extra semester if needed.
I will be enjoying the rest of my MFA requirements, slow and steady. I have too many responsibilities beyond another college degree. I love my life to be filled with real people (not just characters in books), backyard places beyond my imagination, and things that might remind me of the people and places I keep in my memories. My point of this unedited post is to live life fully but not overbooked. I seem to learn much more from stepping stones and mini journeys. Big, overzealous leaps often end in clumsy pitfalls.
The final paper I wrote for The Long Story & Novella course made me realize how smaller can be bigger; majestic mountains can be seen in molehills; novels can grow from character sketches.