Shopping for an Advisor
This afternoon all the students from all the classes and the faculty attended orientation (yes, another orientation). The faculty took turns telling about their favorite teachers. Several of the women faculty had favorite teachers who were male, which is interesting to me since I married my favorite teacher. A couple of the stories ended with the teachers telling their students that they were going to be writers one day. Neither of these students had expressed this desire openly. Isn't it interesting what teachers can see?
Once the all-student orientation was finished, the faculty got together with us first-termers. They took turns briefly describing what they write and what kinds of work they feel comfortable advising students on. Then for what felt like the fiftieth time today, we students introduced ourselves, said where we were from and what we write.
By sometime this Friday we first-termers have to turn in a sheet with our faculty advisor preferences marked. So this opening round was kind of like the first trip to the car dealership to see what makes and models are available.
But it's not like we really get a lot of choice this semester. We have to check at least seven names (I think there are 12 faculty members). To help us decide, there will be faculty interviews on Thursday when we have the chance to ask questions about how they like to work (by email vs. snail mail, for example).
Kathi Appelt, the program director, takes a more philosophical/spiritual approach. She says whoever you get is who you're supposed to get.
Marc Aronson, an editor and non-fiction writer/faculty member, won't be available on interview day, so I may have to chat with him tomorrow. One thing the faculty encouraged us to do for our first two semesters is play with writing. Marc compared it to finger painting. Non-fiction picture books would be pretty far out there for me, so I may chat with him about that.
I came here thinking I'd work on my YA mystery, but maybe that will depend on who I get as an advisor. I'll go with the flow.