Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pre-MFA thoughts, fears, excitement, etc.

Lindsay Hansen, The Ohio State University '13 (Nonfiction)

I moved into my apartment in Columbus a little over a week ago and I am very quickly falling in love with this city. It's the biggest city in which I've spent any significant length of time. So it's definitely taking some getting used to. I'm not at all prepared to read bus schedules, or to drive in rush hour traffic, or to take almost half an hour to drive three miles. Still, I love it. Despite being in the middle of Ohio, I've already seen more queer culture here than I ever saw in western New York -- my friends and I stumbled upon a drag show in the middle of the street in the Short North last weekend, for example. It was definitely cool, and made me feel a lot better about Columbus -- just the fact that things like that happen here. That's a good thing.

Unfortunately, I have another month of worrying/impatiently waiting before school officially starts. We're on a quarter system, so I don't start classes until September 22nd, and I don't actually teach a class until the 23rd. So it's going to be another really long foru weeks. That said, Ohio State is great about training the Graduate Teaching Associates, so we start a two-week long training on Monday morning. I'm terrified about teaching -- I do not feel qualified, at all -- but I feel a lot better about it when I realize I have so much time to prepare. (But then, also, is it that much time? It feels like forever, but those two weeks are going to fly...)

But anyway, that brings me to my first goal of my first quarter as an MFA student: Don't make a fool out of myself in the classroom, especially when I'm teaching. I'll be sure to let you all know how that works out.

And, although the teaching is really what I'm most worried about, the thought of my classes is filling me with a semi-healthy level of anxiety, too. As a GTA I'm only obligated to take two classes per quarter (which I am SO happy about...), so I'm taking a creative nonfiction workshop with Lee Martin (!), who seems like one of the nicest people I've ever met, and yet, I am still intimidated, and Introduction to Graduate Study in U.S. Ethnic Literature and Culture, which has an emphasis on Asian-American literature this quarter. I'm really excited about that class, too, but also a little apprehensive, because while I'm unsure about my abilities in graduate level creative writing classes, I'm relatively confident that I'm not at all prepared for a graduate-level literature course. Still, I can't wait to start. Three years of writing, reading, and talking about writing and reading. This is exactly what I've wanted, and I can't believe I'm actually doing it.


  1. Yes, do it!! Have a great year. Columbus sounds like a great city!

  2. As I said on your blog, Lindsay, I'm so glad you're enjoying Columbus! And I'm sure the teaching prep will be sufficient; I don't know if anyone feels truly ready to teach their first class, but you just do it the best you can and it works out fine. Enjoy this month of "free" time, and make sure you go to the Greek Festival during Labor Day weekend - the food is amazing!

  3. Hey Lindsay! Can't wait to meet you and my other future classmates when I move up to Columbus sometime in the next couple of weeks!

  4. Hey Lindsay! You're going to do great in the classroom.

    And if you end up doing any writing about it--George Mason's "Phoebe: a journal of literature and art" ( is now accepting nonfiction submissions, hosting a monied contest, and sporting a brand new website. Check it out!


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