Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Orientation and Resetting

Parker Stockman

A new batch of students are coming

A new batch of students are coming

And so another school year begins…I can’t believe it. This is the beginning of my third year in the program, and it just seems like I moved to Chicago yesterday. Of course, a lot has happened since then, but it’s time to welcome a new cohort. I worked Orientation and met the new Fiction cohort (among many other incoming students in other programs). The Dance Movement Therapy and Counseling students can definitely throw down–they were at the mixer the night before orientation the longest of any other group, and they were a lot of fun to get to know. The new fiction group seems really, really great, and I can’t wait to get to know them more!Before the new semester started, I took some time to reset. It has been a long two years of classes in the program, and there have been some highs and some lows. I needed a month to take some time for myself, to kind of get away and clear out the pipes before starting the hard work on my thesis.

This, I think, is important for any program. You need to take some time here and there to reset.

So, what’d I do?

Sunday Funday downtown--Chicago does it best

Sunday Funday downtown--Chicago does it best

First, a friend came in from Los Angeles and we tore up the town. We had a great afternoon on the Trump Tower terrace and looked out over Lake Michigan and the Wrigley building. After he left, I spent a few days reading, watching Breaking Bad, and getting ready for the next few events I’d partake in:

Lollapalooza fun

Lollapalooza fun

Lollapalooza. The lineup was great this year, but unfortunately, I forgot to buy a 3-day pass and they sold out. I got a Friday pass and saw Icona Pop, Imagine Dragons, American Authors, Nine Inch Nails, and the Killers, but I was bummed that I’d never get to see one of my favorite bands, ever, in concert: The Postal Service.

And then? They released tickets to an aftershow, which would be their final performance, EVER.

Postal Service!!

Postal Service!!

It sold out in minutes. And I got a ticket to it.

Postal Service

Postal Service

This band got me through my undergraduate years. They got me through my first big breakup and could take me back to any memory I needed them to. Their album is the one I listened to while writing my graduate school applications and one I listen to while writing many sections of my novel-in-progress. And it was the most blissful, emotion-inducing, happy, exciting, and thrilling show I’ve ever been to. It made my summer.

2nd Story summer show

2nd Story summer show

I spent more time doing some soul-searching, reading and going to story telling events (like the above 2nd Story special summer show), getting prepped for the courses I’m teaching this semester, getting stuff ready to move into a new apartment, and then I felt reset, and what better way to celebrate?

Why, meeting the new students, of course.

Orientation and Resetting

And so another school year begins…I can’t believe it. This is the beginning of my third year in the program, and it just seems like I moved to Chicago yesterday. …

Creative Writing - Fiction MFA Parker Stockman, parker.stockman@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Graduate Experience