Two years ago, Michael C. White sent me an email. It came to me via Blackberry, and upon reading the words on the miniature 2 inch screen, I threw my phone at my boss; jumped around in the air, yet didn’t answer any of my coworkers’ questions as to why I was jumping; drove home quickly, though safely; and then hit my brother’s car while parallel parking.
He was writing to let me know that I had gotten into Fairfield University, which was the leader of my top three MFA programs.
An hour later, I got accepted to another graduate school. In the next two weeks I was accepted to all of the five other schools I applied to. I’m sure I mentioned this previously on the blog, but the first time I applied to graduate school I got denied by all five colleges. I was an undergraduate at the time, and I threw a bunch of recently written fiction together and applied to some of the most prestigious writing programs. The completed application was half-assed. I just didn’t expect to not get in to graduate school. I don’t write about all my acceptances to boast or brag (but I must admit, I consider getting into every grad school I applied to as one of my greatest accomplishments); I write about it to showcase that if you fall down, you need to brush yourself off and try again. I waited longer than I should have to reapply (out of fear), and I applied in nonfiction (after only writing two nonfiction “essays” in my entire life), but I did apply. I did my research and put in a lot of time, stress, tears and effort into my graduate school search.
I highly doubt Michael White knew just how much of a gift he gave me. I’m sure he knows that an applicant will be thrilled to learn of his or her acceptance. I certainly was. It is just that the past two years of my life have been the best two years of my life. My experience in Fairfield’s MFA has challenged me, changed me and pushed me to be not only a better writer, but a better person.
Thank you for taking a chance on me, Michael White. I won’t let you down.