I have begun a Master of Fine Arts in Writing at Pacific University Oregon. Where in Oregon is this institution you ask? The campus itself is in Forest Grove however the kick off to the semester begins on the northwest tip of the state in a coastal town called Seaside. All of us writers have taken over the Best Western Ocean View, inhabiting the halls and stairways and conference rooms and cafe and bar. I’m certain the hotel staff will be happy to see us go on Sunday morning, all of our demands and artsy farts ways clogging up their establishment.
Seaside is lovely and I imagine it’s grand in the summer. At the moment its gray and cold and sideways rain falls in regular intervals. There’s plenty of inspiration here, the sea and the rain and darkness. There’s not a lot of people in town so it feels as though we have it to ourselves. Here comes the writers, the townsfolk said. Let’s get the hell outta here!
The program itself is great. Staff is top notch and the faculty is superb. I truly feel humbled and honored to be around so many talented and brainy people. The conversations and interactions I have here, I have not had in a long time and to this degree. There is a feeling of intellectual overload here but isn’t that what grad school’s about? I don’t know because I’ve never been but I’m guessing this what it’s supposed to feel like. Smart and witty with lots of big words and egos and lots of talk about where you live now and where you’re from originally. Lot’s of wandering souls it seems.
And then there’s the writing. We all write so we all have that in common and the inspiration of being near so many other people passionate about the same thing is infectious and bothersome. Both in good ways because we’re pushed and challenged and humbled and know that if we’re ever gonna get it right, we better get to work. And isn’t that what grad school’s about? Feels like it is.