1. When did you just know you had to escape the real world and go back to school?
2. Is it really bearable to spend one/two/three years in a city/town/cow pasture of that size?
3. Are you enjoying the program or is answering my questions taking up literally all the writing time you get this month?
4. How much money have you borrowed from your parents to supplement your stipend so far?
5. Do you feel like a writer now?
6. Does imposter syndrome make you constantly question whether you should even get an MFA if you won’t win a Nobel and be personal friends with Toni Morrison one day?
7. Have you talked to other accepted students?
8. Are any of them hot?
8. Could your most famous professor call me again to confirm I got accepted? I’d like a voicemail for posterity and my mother.
10. What proportion of the students with severe anxiety and a host of psychological disorders would you say spin wildly out of control within the first six months?
11. If your writing practice called for only writing while drinking single-origin coffee and casting your sad eyes over a waterfall that no longer powers a mill, could you make that work in your town?
12. Have the faculty ever made you run footraces for their affections?
13. Will I ever have to read James Wood?
14. If you’re teaching undergrads right now, how often can you cancel class?
15. Does the student health insurance cover daily therapy sessions when you’re really struggling to capture what it means to be a millennial and it turns out the answer is debt and extreme dependence on parental surrogates for approval?
16. Do any of the therapists there look like my dad?
17. Does your program actually give a shit about poor/Black/Latinx/Asian/queer/disabled writers? You can be honest, I won’t tell.
18. Does the program have a deep-seated resentment toward the western canon or does everyone still get a hard-on for Foucault?
19. Do the faculty keep their graphs evaluating your worth as human beings where enterprising students can find them?
20. Have you found a good mnemonic for helping your parents remember what MFA stands for? My mom hates “MotherFucking Artiste.”
21. Are there any professor-specific drinking games I should know about before signing up for classes?
22. How many graduates have agents and seven-figure advances by the time they graduate?
23. On a scale from one to if-you-had-a-brother-in-medical-school, how much do your parents love you?
24. If I come visit the campus, can I crash with you?
25. Can my mom come too?