How many seconds of uncomfortable silence did you allow to pass whenever someone outside the program asked what you’re studying in graduate school? In what ways did you then try to qualify why, exactly, you would pursue a master’s degree in the field of creative writing?
What was your strategy for dealing with the crippling shame you experienced every time you compared your graduate assistant stipend paycheck to the paycheck you’d earned at your previous job?
How many times did you realize, upon returning from the bar, that you are no longer twenty-two and cannot keep up with your cohort? Did you change your behavior after these realizations? Why or why not? Explain yourself, please.
How much weight did you gain during your two years in the program? Was this weight gain primarily due to a) too many pints of cheap beer at the bar; b) a constant stream of boxed wine purchased on sale at Kroger; c) your late-night ritual of stress eating half a loaf of bread; or d) all of the above?
Defend your behavior in the writing workshop. Just all of it. Go.
What was your avoidance strategy when you ran into your undergraduate students at the rec center?
If you were given an MFA re-do, what changes would you make the second time around? Feel free to organize your responses into the following categories: cohort drama, late-night fried bar foods, terrible story drafts, ill-advised workshop comments, and alcohol consumed.
Now that you’re about to graduate, please explain how you intend to deflect the following questions: “So what’s next?”; “How’s the writing going?”; and “What do you do?”
Please draw a picture depicting how you envision life after the MFA. Acceptable responses include drawing nothing but a huge frowny face or coloring in the paper entirely with black ink. Unacceptable responses include sketching a succession of question marks that increase in size and desperation.
When applying for non-academic jobs in the future, will you include the MFA on your resume, or will you leave it off and just pretend none of this happened?