Grad School Nomads

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 by Rachel

Grades were due at 9 this morning, and almost everyone is gone. When first applying for my MA, I wasn’t just picking a school. I was picking a town where I thought I could LIVE. I didn’t pick a town like Phoenix with raging heat and stressful highways. I picked a mountain town, a train town with lots of nice little restaurants and bars—lots of stuff for us to DO. The same thing applied to my MFA selection. Of course, the main thing was for us to return to the South, but we also picked smaller towns with personality.


Milledgeville might be a little too small for Derrick’s taste (and even I think we’re too far from an airport for regular Vegas getaways), but I like this town and I’m glad that we’ve made our home here. I like our comfy house. I like my regular weekend shopping routine of Walmart, Big Lots, and Dollar Tree. When we’ve wanted to do something a little different, we’re in reasonable driving distance away from tons of cool museums, my two favorites so far being the Laurel & Hardy Museum in Harlem and the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins. We’ve spent weekends away in Chattanooga and at Jekyll Island. A 6 hour driving radius around Milledgeville has TONS of opportunity.


Here’s your backstory: After my sophomore year of college, I moved out of the dorms and into a house. From that point on, I either took summer school classes or worked at the gym during the summer. I would go home for like a week, but that was it. Only about half of my friends went home for the summer—most of them still dorm-livers. Summer was still filled with lots of parties and movie nights.


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Finishing my first year of MFA

Friday, May 7th, 2010 by Rachel

For all intents and purposes, I’ve finished my first year of my MFA work here at Georgia College. I still need to officially post student grades, but grading is done! This has been one of my easiest semesters to wrap up, primarily because students turned in their big research papers on April 19th instead of during the last week of school or today during their final the way I’ve required in the past. I think I might try to reconfigure the fall semester so it works the same way. Anything that I can do to make my life a little bit easier is a syllabus adjustment worth making.


Can you believe it? I’m HALF WAY THROUGH MY MFA!!! It’s pretty crazy saying that outloud.


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There are too many numbers here.


Or, GCSU vs. NAU orientation/teaching

Friday, August 14th, 2009 by Rachel

GCSU’s teaching orientation was much different than NAUs. For one thing, when I arrived at NAU, there were 40 Eng. 105 instructors. Here—13. Just the size of the programs alone leads to different handling of a lot of the administrative kind of stuff. I don’t even have a copy limit (not that I ever ran out of copies anyway), and I was simply asked to use copies in moderation.


Some of you remember the crazy two weeks of NAU orientation. Here, orientation was squeezed into three days, two of which were half days.


I’m glad that I already have two years of teaching under my belt. Eng. 105 was a four hour course with a ridiculous workload for students (and me to grade!), but I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to teach such a variety of essays during my time at NAU, as the requirements here at GCSU are much less strict and I have a LOT of freedom. I’ve basically developed my syllabus on my own, minus a skeleton/recommended readings/etc. We aren’t even all using the same textbook. After the first year, teaching fellows can choose whatever they want! Super weird.


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