Feels like I’ve been away for far too long. I’ve been busy with many things. One of which is my education. I’m working on my MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College. Finishing up my last packet for class was somewhat intense. It kept me pretty busy. The program is rigorous, but what makes it somewhat fun is the epistolary format used for communication. Everything is by mail, so it is like corresponding with a pen pal of sorts, or an old friend. The work is more personal. I’ve just completed my first semester and I love it so far.

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I’m excited about the next semester of residency which begins in June. Vermont is beautiful in the summer. The campus is quaint with trees throughout. A private enclosure with a shallow area containing water in the center is a wonderful area to sit and read or write–it’s one of my favorite spots. There are many such areas on the campus. Overall, it’s an amazing experience. Spending a week in quiet contemplation over the program, which students create for themselves each semester, is enriching. Various workshops, poetry, prose and guest readings fill the residency with plenty to do and learn. Ultimately, we decide where we want to go with the program. We pick the books we will read and annotate, and with our instructor’s guidance, we develop our fiction, non-fiction and/or poetry work through editing, revisions and rewrites. There is nothing like being fully immersed in the process of creating your curriculum. The other amazing thing about Goddard is it is not grade driven. Students are simply required to complete their work to satisfaction, no grades. This is attractive to me because I’ve always felt that grades are a divisive method of education that lowers the self esteem of those who are forced into the construct of competition with others. The only person I compete with is who I was yesterday. Goddard is an excellent fit for me.

June is fast approaching. I’m already preparing for my trip to Vermont. I’m excited. The only draw back is getting there. It is one of the worst areas to travel to. Whether by plane, car or train, the journey to Plainfield is a headache. Small price to pay for such an amazing low residency program.