Don’t Go Back to School

I want to go back to school. I miss being in classes and doing close reading and writing papers. I miss the reading, the deeper thinking, and above all I miss having people to talk to about what I was reading, thinking, and writing. I miss the community, and lately I’ve been looking back on my undergrad experience with regret, feeling like I squandered and snubbed the community I had. In a word, I am lonely.

I want to go back to school, but I am trying to talk myself out of it, at least for the time being. I am not convinced that going back to school will give me what I am looking for, or that what I am looking for can’t be found at something less than a $30,000 per year price tag. More than that, I am not convinced that a graduate degree in literature or creative writing will really help me further a career, especially as a writer. The advice I have so often read is simply to write, write, and write some more. Or, as Ira Glass more eloquently put it, “do a lot of work” and I am not convinced that I have to go to grad school in order to produce a large body of work, and slowly improve. So until I am convinced that graduate school is worth the debt, I am going to try to find another way, no matter how much I want it. For my first attempt at a better, more frugal way, I am embarking on another quest (yes, right in the middle of the 26 in the Year 26 quest). I realize that all advice points against multitasking like this, but here we go.
I am undertaking on a course of self-study, the exact nature of which is unclear. Basically, I plan to read prolifically and strategically this year, hopefully developing a better foundation in creative nonfiction and women writers which will support my own creative work. Basically, I have a reading list. I’m still working on some kind of self-assessment strategy, but hey, this idea is still percolating.

In the meantime, I am finishing the books I’ve already checked out of the library, most of which are already related to these two topics: writing and women, but aren’t specifically geared toward my quest. And I am also reading some more self-help books, because as I’ve said before, I can use all the help I can get. This weekend I finished reading Don’t Go Back to School, and when I’ve finished the library books, I plan to start The Art of Non-Conformity.
I’m still not sure how to fix the loneliness. Burying myself in a pile of books doesn’t seem like it directly addresses the community issue, but I could be wrong. There is nothing like a good book to pull me out of my own isolation. I’m also looking at classes available in San Diego. Most of them occur when I am working, but there are a few in the evenings or weekends that look interesting. I still have to get over my aversion to buying anything for art, but I’m working on it. And by working on it, I mean I’m looking at class lists and journal subscriptions, not yet that I am signed up for any.

I don’t know what this means for the blog. Does it make sense to start a new one focused just on this quest? For the time being, I’ll probably just tag everything “Don’t Go Back to School.”

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