Yesterday, I scheduled the final three courses of my undergraduate education.
Is it possible to hold your breath yet feel like you're finally able to breathe at the same time?
That's about where I am right now. In other terms, I'm choking up. I cannot believe that I registered for my last semester yesterday. They were small actions, just submitting the courses I selected weeks ago with a few clicks of my keypad. It didn't feel quite as momentous as it does now.
My (often) hour-plus commute decreased from three times a week to once a week, and rather than three classes and an internship, I only have three classes. Two of the courses are online while my Rhetoric & Professional Writing (R.P.W.) Capstone is in person. This is the final course to determine whether I have earned the R.P.W. part of my dual-English degree. Right now, as I'm sure many of you are aware, I'm currently in a Creative Writing: Hybrid Forms Capstone for my creative major.
It's hard to fathom that I will have my double-major B.A. within the next six months when I still starkly remember taking collegiate courses during my senior year in high school. I had my entire degree planned out then, and although a few courses have changed here and there.
I'm blown away by everything that I didn't expect.
At Sinclair Community College, I never anticipated working for their Writing Center or tutoring department. Additionally, with their yearly Spectrum Awards to celebrate writing of all types and at all levels, I was nominated for four different award categories. Though I won three of four, as shown on my bibliography, I was honored as the top English student that year. Because the professors believed in me. So many of them still believe in me.
I'm tearing up right now.
I'm forever grateful to the faculty at Sinclair Community College. Tim Waggoner, Adrienne Cassel, Adam Williams, and Caroline Reynolds personally instructed some of my courses. Elizabeth Scarborough hired me on as a tutor; to this day, I have never loved a job more. I was also graced by the recognition and support from the Chair of the English department, Lisa Mahle-Grisez.
Because of them, and several others, Sinclair lives in my heart each day.
I have been similarly blessed at the University of Cincinnati with professors like Laura Wilson, Jonathan Kamholtz, Christine Mok, Teresa Cook, Rebecca Lindenberg, and Chris Bachelder. The internship I currently have with their R.P.W. department has been eye-opening, as well, and I've been lucky enough to learn bits and pieces of what makes an English department successful.
As I choke up about my final semester and await responses from my graduate applications, I cannot help but be thankful to the people that supported me each step of the way. I hope to make you all proud.
In my first October post, I vowed to write more.
I am happy to announce that I have!
To my novel, THE CORRUPTION TRILOGY: VERIWEN, I have added more than 4,000 words. Then, for my hopeful collection STOLEN MOMENTS, I finally nailed down the structure and organization. This revelation is a relief in itself.
Of course, coursework still comes first.
PERSEPOLIS is the next text up for discussion in my Hybrid Forms Capstone course. I am a little more than halfway through, and because I saw excerpts years ago, I know the pain is just on the horizon.
When I experience pieces like these, I am reminded of the V for Vendetta quote: "Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth."
We need more pieces like PERSEPOLIS in the world. For insight. For awareness. For honesty. For truth.
Someday, I hope to pen something even a quarter as impactful.
In the last few years, I have noticed that my writing grows congruently with my education, which is one of the many reasons why I decided to pursue graduate school. Well, this morning, while knee-deep in PERSEPOLIS, I received an acceptance email from one of the three graduate schools I applied to.
Graduate school as an institution is intimidating, so this acceptance is comforting. I am truly honored.
With all of my program applications, I also applied for teaching assistantship positions/funding, as I cannot afford to attend graduate school otherwise. With the college that accepted me this morning, their assistantship is a secondary process, so I'm waiting to see if I am offered a position.
It will be a few months yet before I hear from the other two graduate schools I applied to, but I am thrilled. So thrilled. I mentioned before, on my Facebook writer's page, that my writing sample was a risk; I am in tears knowing, for at least one institution, the risk paid off.
Keep those fingers crossed! Now, it's a waiting game.
The season of Spook is upon us, and naturally, I couldn't be happier.
I also couldn't be busier.
I'm knee-deep in my second-to-last semester at the University of Cincinnati, finalizing my graduate school applications, working full-time as a Lead for a medical alert monitoring company, and snatching every moment in-between to write. STOLEN MOMENTS - a poetry chapbook or collection, I haven't decided yet - entirely encompasses this experience. It may turn into a hybrid form as I continue, but I haven't decided yet.
I've found direction is often directionless in writing, anyway.
Despite STOLEN MOMENTS, I've been itching to write fiction. Between editing Danielle Koste's upcoming novel, PULSE, almost two months ago and reading my fellow friends' works-in-progresses, this itch is mosquito-bite unbearable. The non-traditional, dystopian-fantasy trilogy of mine has been put on hold so I can focus on my academics and graduate applications, and I am steadily submitting my YA mainstream novel, FINE, but it is not enough.
I want to pour hours into a blank page, spinning the stories screaming in my head. I want to explore new, innovative forms, much like the ones I am studying. Some, like scriptwriting, take more research. Take more time. The craving won't go away, though. It just growls in my stomach, louder and louder and louder, until I'm writing a blog post. This blog post.
It occurs to me, now, how many writers talk about writing more than actually writing, and how, now, I am aware that I am doing the same as we speak, or rather, as I write and you eventually read.
So, once I've completed my graduate application, I'll swap those hours for my fiction pursuits. I still want to publish a novel before graduate school, and if that's going to happen, it's time to find more time.
What a beautiful conundrum.