Well, that’s that. The 2011 Summer Residency for the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults is over. Though I know a few stragglers are still in Montpelier with family or are preparing to embark on vacations, everyone else was well on their way before the 10 AM check-out time.
After yesterday’s graduation we fellow Graduate Assistants went down the hill into town and ate crepes at The Skinny Pancake, an eatery most worthy. We had talked of getting an order of poutine for the table to share but in the end it was a good thing we didn’t, our stuffed sweet and savory crepes were good enough. It was the second time we ate out as a group, though we also shared plenty of other meals in the cafeteria, and I think by the end we gelled as a group the way the individual classes do. I would go back and do it all over with dp, Catherine, Christopher, and Pam in a heartbeat.
As these residencies continue I find there are fewer and fewer recognizable faces from when I was in the program, and a whole lot of new faces. The “kids” I met as First Semesters last year were now officially in the middle of the program and it was interesting to see how they’d sort of “mellowed” into things. I think that its impossible to go through the program and not be changed, while still finding your creative spirit and zeal invigorated in the process. It was great to be able to “check in” with them and not feel so much like I was returning to a school full of strangers. Of course, no one remains a stranger in a small program like tis fr long, but still. Then again, the class that will graduate in January of 2012 were the incoming class during my graduating residency of 2010, which means that if I return next summer I will encounter the entire generation of five classes that entered after I left the program. How odd! It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long!
The current graduating class – all of them really, but this one is fresh in mind – is full of brilliant writers who I cannot imagine won’t find their way onto bookshelves and e-readers in short time. Godspeed, you League of Extraordinary Cheese Sandwiches! May your bready exteriors remain fresh and your cheesy souls remain creamy and smooth.
As usual after returning from VCFA I am both exhausted and supercharged. I’m ready to tear back into my writing with zeal but I’m also dying to take a massive nap and get some laundry down. After 11 days in a bubble I have read last Sunday’s paper and scanned some headlines on line just to make sure I didn’t miss any major news. Women’s soccer lost in a shoot-out after overtime, and Rupert Murdoch’s “news” organization is full of the same type of unsavory and immoral characters they promote into office. That about covers it, I think.
All of which to say that I am unprepared to deliver an original story from The New Grimmoire today. Tomorrow perhaps, or Saturday at the latest. I still don’t know if I’ll be pushing off Poetry Friday into the weekend as well. All I know is that, like a vacation, I need a break from the break. One day of re-entry and then tomorrow, day one, 8 AM, lasers.