The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Back to School (preview)

with 3 comments

I’m leaving for Skidmore College in a week.  My trip will take me to Saratoga Springs, which is in mid-upstate New York, not far off the Vermont border.  I’ll be there all of July, participating in the New York Summer Writers Institute.  I applied last winter to the Advanced Fiction workshop and was accepted.  I was pleased to be accepted in an area where have been working my butt off on developing my skills for the last year and a half.  It looks like the work has paid some dividends.  I’m looking forward to the workshops helping me move further along.

Several friends have expressed how awesome it will be to be back on a college campus–especially for an entire month.  No doubt I’m looking forward to it.  As I intimated to a friend Monday evening:  There are certain people who seem born to be on college campuses.  I would include myself amongst them, having always felt comfortable in academia.  Campuses are bright, vibrant settings loaded with possibilities, revolution, optimism, parties, insane drink specials at local bars…  heck, I can’t even list it all.  I’m excited, but also nervous.  It’s not like when I showed up to Ball State on August 27, 1988.  It takes a lot more doing when you’re an adult.  Being away from home for five weeks can be quite staggering if only because of everything you need to do before you leave.  Who’s going to take care of the cat?  Gotta call the cable company.  Suspend the gym membership.  Who can I get to water the plants?  Why the hell is it so hard to get my mail forwarded?  What if I need to see the chiropractor?  All the loose ends are enough to roll into a big ball of stress–and this is without getting into the metric ton of shit I need to take with me to live a normal life for five weeks (like the damn Brita filter and pitcher!).

The institute seems to have a solid reputation.  This is the 25th year, and I’m certain that if it wasn’t reputable that it wouldn’t have lasted so long.  Plus, I read some positive reviews online.  I’m not so worried about that.  Aside from the lineup of instructors, the list of guest speakers and readers is pretty staggering (they have been sure to mention that all told, Pulitzer Prize winners and National Book Award winners have been among the crowd…  as if they need to do more to promote the situation).  They have somebody coming in every night of the week.  I also like the idea that they’re running concurrent workshops with fiction, poety and creative nonfiction.  Good writing makes use of all genres, so it will be good to have all those other vibes rolling.  In brief, I should not be short of colleagues well-steeped in all aspects of literature.  I suppose now would be as good a time as any to finally figure out who my instructors will be, along with familiarizing myself with their work.

So, this will be next major serial on The Seeker.  Stay tuned–  I’ll be checking in throughout July with updates from Skidmore, plus I’ll throw in a few more things along the way.  Lord knows I’ll be doing plenty of writing.

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Written by seeker70

June 23, 2011 at 10:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Well, we must keep in mind that you are now a 41 year old going back to a campus setting. Of course being a democrat helps with the liberalism associated with liberal arts college campuses. I would think you may rather be in a postion of an elder in this situation, and may have to pony up to being a mentor or grownup with the age potential of having children that could be in college, although you may find others similar in the capacity that you will enter. Kidding aside, I am certain you will enjoy the trip. If possible take some time going across upper NY state to enjoy the wineries and veiws. Please plan a stop in Syracuse at the Dinasaur Bar to get ribs and BBQ. Definately worth the trip.

    Mike Burd

    June 24, 2011 at 9:06 am

    • I’m not concerned about the younger crowd. The price and time committment of this endeavor rules out a lot of the younger writers. Nonetheless, I’m expecting a wide range of ages. And to prepare myself once again for dorm living, I’ve purchased a Bob Marley poster. I’ve also packed my Christmas lights.

      seeker70

      June 25, 2011 at 10:41 am

  2. […] looking at this as a big step as a writer–bigger than the last time I spent a good chunk of summer on a college campus.  I’ll finally get some solid, structured instruction in writing poetry.  I’ve pretty […]


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