Warp Speed

Warp Speed

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Three weeks into the semester I have read five books, written drafts for three pieces (however short), and taught six classes. That’s a lot of numbers for someone who works in words.

On top of my required coursework and teaching, I’ve started hearing the tiny chirps of the thesis bug. It likes to appear at random moments, such as when I’m waiting for the bus or making a cup of tea. It’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t worry too much about your thesis in your first year of the program, lest you get your mind set on one idea and you then prevent yourself from allowing it to evolve naturally in the time leading up to when you actually start writing it. You don’t want to start writing a thesis before you’re ready, and I’m not anywhere close to being ready to begin. But I have been working with some ideas, noticing reoccurring themes in my work and doing some extra reading that compliments and speaks to those themes in the very little free time I actually do have.

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So let’s talk about that free time, shall we? In my last post you might remember that I was going to be taking on a pretty packed schedule this semester. All of my classes (attended and taught) are done by Wednesday night, which means I should have Thursday-Sunday free, right? In an MFA program, things aren’t that simple. I still have office hours for my Writing and Rhetoric II students, editorial meetings for South Loop Review, and work at the Learning Studio, on top of reading at least one book per weekend. Sometimes, I’d like to imagine what the total page count would be for all the things I’ve read since I started grad school.

The only solution is to stay organized. Legal pads, notebooks, sticky notes, date books, and a daily reminder app on my phone all keep me organized and on track, for the most part. As I write this, week three is winding down and it already feels like the semester is zooming by—better hold on tight!

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(And I should probably be reading my darn books instead of taking selfies on the Redline)