Thankfully and wonderfully, I have been accepted to Pacific, Spalding, UNO, Vermont College, and Goddard. I'm thrilled that these fine institutions think enough of my talent and promise as a writer to ask me to join their writing communities. But now's the tough part. I have to decide.
To be honest, it's keeping me up at night. I've not been sleeping well for the past two weeks (and neither has my poor husband). I've done all the research I can, read the right books, talked to the right people. I've narrowed it down to two schools, which, out of respect and since I haven't officially "accepted my acceptance" anywhere yet, I won't mention here... yet. But these last two schools, and the deciding between them, is quite literally making my head ache. I know I can't go wrong with either, that I'd have a great experience at both, and that what I do with the degree is up to me.
However, I'm still pondering this unqualifiable program characteristic: the power of "pedigree." Writing the word "pedigree" creeps me out, but it's a sad but true fact of academia--where you got your degree matters. Would I be hurting my (somewhat future) teaching career--because I know I wouldn't hurt a writing career, not by any stretch--by not attending a top ranked school?
It's a point to ponder. And ponder it I will, again, all day and probably into tonight. Look for a future post about what I finally decide, to come later this week. And one, after, about how I came to the decision (i.e. my research, other tools, the process). As I know from personal experience, there's a great lot and a great little information out there in cyberspace, about going for your MFA in Writing--and sometimes, a first-hand account can be helpful.