If you think that it’s impossible to work 9-5 and still get your MFA then put away your pessimism and listen here. The trick in solving this dilemma is to do your work ahead of time. You should know who your professors will be in the fall by now. Get started by sending them an email requesting the syllabus for next semester, or at least some of the reading requirements. I had been bugging Professor Lisicky, bless his heart, for a syllabus straight away at the end of May. I now know exactly what my reading and writing load will be for two classes in the fall.
The great part about getting started early is reading Loosing My Espanish, for Contemporary Fiction class, while languidly tanning by Lake George, in the Adirondacks, as opposed to rushing through it in the pits of Dana library. In reading more about the author, H.G. Carillo, I found that we share the same literary ancestors, my favorite being Isabel Allende. Since the summer lends itself to spontaneous frolicking, I decided to look up our shared lit relation, and found a theatrical adaptation to one of Allende’s most acclaimed novels House of Spirits. Went to see it not too long ago on a misty little evening.
While reading for your fall courses don’t forget to take notes. Most importantly, don’t forget to write. Since I had written a few short stories last summer that were worthy of turning in for Jayne Anne’s fiction workshop, I found the fall semester actually do-able. So get started on your writing, and your reading for the fall. You might actually find yourself in the middle of October with a little time to kick around some leaves while on your way to check out film versions of your favorite books.