Michele Regenold, Writing for Kids from the Boondocks

A blog about writing for children and the quest for publication.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Faculty frenzy

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.


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