Each semester every student in the Vermont College MFA in writing for children program gets a new adviser. The days leading up to the due date for the faculty preference form turn into a feeding frenzy. Faculty members get ambushed and waylaid by students trying to make their choices.
Sometimes students are polite enough to ask a faculty person who's just sat down to dinner if they can ask them about XYZ. Sometimes students ignore a gentle rebuff.
Student X, as he climbs over a chair with his tray in hand after he's
already settled elsewhere: "Can I talk to you about what I'm working on?"
Faculty member Y: "Sure, if you don't mind boring everyone else."
Student X doesn't mind.
One day during the residency (today in the case of this summer) there are scheduled faculty interview periods when faculty answer the same basic questions over and over:
- How do you work?
- What do you expect in the packets (of homework/5 per semester)?
- Do you use email? (not all faculty do)
- Are you interested in ______?
I'm skipping these periods today because as a 4th-semester student, I only have to put down 2 choices on my faculty preference form, and I've already decided who they are. My criteria are pretty simple:
- Do I like and respect the faculty member's work?
- Does the faculty member show interest in/enthusiasm for my work?
We'll find out the results in a couple of days.