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Master of Fine Arts and Thesis

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Hey everyone,

 

So, here I am, finished with Winter quarter and just one more to go. In 12 weeks, I will be walking across the stage again, shaking more hands than I care to shake, and snatching a decoy diploma; the real one comes five months later. I will be a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts with an emphasis in Fiction. That's one wordy title, and one I've worked hard to achieve.

 

However, I'm not there yet. I have this one more round of courses. History of Fantasy and Horror Literature, bumped from undergraduate to graduate with a supplemental two units. Fiction workshop with Nalo Hopkinson. And Thesis Hours with Laila Lalami.

 

But those aren't the biggest tasks. My thesis has to be submitted to Laila, Susan Straight, and Michael Jayme six weeks from now. I need to submit fifty pages of that, revised from earlier submissions, in two week. The final thesis in Storyist needs to be 128 pages, and I have 63. That means I have to write 65 pages over the next 5 days. That's 13 pages a day. Then, I have a week to revise all 128 pages. After that, the quarter begins, and time may become sparse. There will be much work to do over the coming three months though.

 

I wish to hold myself accountable for these pages, so I will be posting at the end of each day my ending page count. If I reach my goal, give me a pat on the back. If I don't, heckle me or throw me into the pig sty. They're getting a little hungry anyway.

 

So, I set out for a marathon of writing, with Target's Cupid Blend coffee in one hand and my apple wireless keyboard in the other, and I beg that you all wish me luck in this endeavor. Luck and effective caffeination.

 

Warmest,

 

Brian Jeppesen

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Hey Brian,

 

Good times! I still remember my days writing my grad thesis, as if it was yesterday. 80 pages on "Coleridge and Poe: Gothic Dread Through Narration"—by the end I was nearly suicidal from stress, but in it's bizarre way it was a good time, I felt extremely productive and at the height of my academic powers (until, for political reasons, the one thesis advisor who didn't really take any interest in my thesis slammed it before passing it, but that's another story...ah, academic politics...how I don't miss you at all...).

 

I wish you the best of luck, but you won't need it—I've no doubt you'll get the job done, and done very well! It may take more out of you than at this moment you're sure if you have in you, but that's what real achievement does. I still every now and again look up my old thesis, and find that it has been used by others in their research, and feel proud that in some little way I've contributed to the literary conversation. And you may feel that right now, you're sort of trying to be "allowed in" but before you know it, you'll be one of the voices on the inside. It's going to take effort, but you'll do it.

 

Trust me, I know things. ;)

 

All the best,

Orren

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Hi Brian.

 

Ah, yes. The old days of caffeinated scholarship.

Best of luck to you.

And may all your food and beverages be super-charged.

 

-Thoth

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Yes, good luck from me, too. I typed the first three chapters of my dissertation on an old-fashioned Selectric before my mother-in-law took pity on me and bought me a PC. Ah, the joys of instant editing, cut-and-paste, and typo correction without White-out! I never looked back. :D

 

You'll make it, I'm sure. And congratulations on getting this far!

M

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Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the vote of confidence.

 

Orren, that grad thesis sounds amazing. I love both of those writers. I have several collections of both of their works, including the Norton Critical Edition for Coleridge. Those are my favorite pre-modern authors. I should look up your thesis sometime when I have that thing they call "time."

 

Marguerite, as a teenager and child, I wrote all of my stories and novels on an old manual typewriter made by Casio. We got out first computer when I was eleven, but with five siblings, it was never available. I didn't switch to writing on computer until I built my first computer in 1996. Just like you, I never looked back.

 

So, yesterday, I finished up to 76 pages. That's exactly the 13 I needed. Today, I hope to do more. I am now upgrading the caffein to include a Starbucks Doubleshot Energy & Coffee. (While I don't condone write while abusing substances, I've never been one to take my own advice--so, why should I start now?) So, by the end of the day, I need to be at least to 89 pages.

 

Warmest,

Brian

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Looks like I missed a day of posting. I got called in for a meeting with the instructor for the course I teach. She needed help fixing some other TAs grade books. That derailed me a little. Nevertheless, I'm at 112 pages. That means, if I write 16 pages today, I'm golden. 16 pages in a day is not the simplest undertaking, but it can be done. I have 8.5 hours left in the day, so two pages an hour should do it.

 

Will Brian push forward and reach his target, or will he miss his leap and fall into the fiery chasm of chasmness and flames? Find out next time on "Master of Fine Arts and Thesis."

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Will Brian push forward and reach his target, or will he miss his leap and fall into the fiery chasm of chasmness and flames? Find out next time on "Master of Fine Arts and Thesis."

I'm on pins and needles, poised on the edge of the chasmic chasm of flaminess.

 

His thothiness,

-Thoth

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I'm on pins and needles, poised on the edge of the chasmic chasm of flaminess.

 

Ouch! Thoth, come on now. Get down off of those pins and needles. They're poking you.

 

Now, if you insist on staying up there until you know, then here you go--I made it to 125 Saturday, then 130 Sunday. Now, I get to revise and revise and revise some more, and just keep right on revising until my committee and graduate division approve it. I'm so close.

 

So, I say, throw a celebration in my honor. Praise me for the awesomeness I possess. And I shall see to it that one of my servants rewards you.

 

The King of Randomness,

Brian

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May the odds be ever in your favor! :D

 

And mega-congratulations. Don't hit the champagne until you finish the revisions, though. ;)

Best,

M

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Hyper-giga-congrats, BT.

I'll save the super-hyper-yotta-congratulations until after revisions and acceptance.

Have one of your minions prepare a congratulatory muffin basket.

 

Sure is nice getting down off all those pins and needles.

-Thoth

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