What a weekend it's been! On Friday night there was a big dinner party (very informal) at an English professor's house. There were lots of good foods and drinks, and I really think I got to know more of my classmates, probably because I had a few (free!) beers and was even more social than I usually am. I found out that two of the Ph.D. creative writing students have MFA's from the U of Arkansas, though neither of them knew where Conway is. They are transplants from Southern California.
Yesterday I went hiking in the Smoky Mountains (only 45 minutes away!) with an interesting girl who is a first year MA like me. She's from West Virginia, holding a BA in German and an MFA in fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence. She has lots of interesting New York stories, but she told me she's never published any of her writing, which concerns me. I really struggled over applying to a few MFA programs, and had I gone to one, I would have wanted to publish. I guess it's just her prerogative.
Today I finally found Walmart! And it's not far away either. I'm concerned about my intelligence, as I don't understand why I couldn't find it last weekend. Perhaps it was because I went at night and I'm new in town. I purchased some household items and came home to spend the afternoon reading and doing laundry. I usually don't like being by myself for long periods of time, but today wasn't so bad. I only got a little homesick, thinking of all my friends moving back to Conway to start a new year at my beloved UCA. But then I'm about to start a new semester at UT, which may become my beloved, too. I still get lost EVERY time I step on campus, but perhaps that will change after a week of navigating the place when classes start.
I have to meet with the director of English graduate studies this week to talk about what I want from the program and my future goals. I hope he doesn't scoff at me when I tell him I really, honestly want to teach high school. I mean, maybe I don't want to do it forever, but I do want to try it out. It's something I've been running from, I think, something I've always wanted to do but allowed others to convince me I was too good, too smart, too something for the job. Still, I can't shake the notion that it's something I want to do, and I remember one time last semester I was talking to Donna Bowman about this overwhelming desire to work in the public schools, even the at-needs schools, and she told me, "then you have to do it." I think that's how I'll explain it to Dr. Dunn, if an explanation is even needed. "I firmly believe that to whom much is given, much is expected, Dr. Dunn, and I've been given a lot. I want to--have to--spread the blessings." Well, maybe that sounds pretentious.
Well, I wish luck to all those gearing up for a new semester!