Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dreams can come true: I'm going to grad school

I got some great news yesterday. I was accepted at Boston University in its graduate program in creative writing, with an emphasis on playwrighting. Starting this summer, I'll start taking literature classes and come September I'll be taking a full load at the Boston campus.

I was standing on the Park Street T platform when I got the message on voice mail, and I think for a moment I was overwhelmed. This is something I've wanted to do for a very long time, something I thought perhaps had gone by the wayside, like the sailboat I had once dreamed about owning and living aboard, and then suddenly, it seemed, it was handed to me that simply. I'll guarantee I'll be the oldest grad student in the English department. My daughter said I need a new backpack for school. The idea seemed slightly silly to me. Can't I just use my leather satchel?

I was quiet about it. I didn't tell a whole lot of people that I was applying. I tend to do things quietly anyway. I've learned the less attention you draw to yourself the less hassle you have in your life. People--certain people, certain kinds of people--like to cause ruckuses--and the less they know, the less bother you have in your life.

When I was about 17, I decided that I was going to travel. I was enrolled to attend Ohio State, but dropped out before I sat one day in a class, got a job, unloading trucks of all things, working my ass off on a loading dock throughout the winter, saved all my money, and my parents never knew a thing about it until about a week before I took off alone for Europe. I knew they wouldn't understand why anyone would want to travel the world like a hobo, so I just hid everything from them.

I had my first meeting at BU last summer, talking over the program and the possibilities with the program's head, Kate Snodgrass. This fall term was the first I could apply for, and I had to fill out forms, take the GRE, write and edit samples, write a personal statement, and find three references. It gave me time to think about what I really wanted to do.

I want to write, of course.

And I want to teach, hopefully at the university level.

And I want to continue working with the small theaters I've been working with in the Boston area for the past few years. I feel there's a movement afloat right now, akin to the energy one felt in the early eighties when Boston's comedy scene was just starting and Jay Leno, Steven Wright, Bob Goldwaithe and a host of other young comics were just gaining a voice. And just like students come from all over the world to study at schools like MIT and Harvard then stay and start high tech and bio tech companies, people are also coming to Boston to study theater at BU, Brandeis, and Emerson, falling in love with city, and staying and starting new theater companies. That's what's happening on Boston now, and I want to be a part of it.

It's something that I've always wanted to do, and with the economy the way it is, it seemed the right thing to do. Start something new. Work hard for something you've always wanted.


Lafe said...

Congratulations! How incredible, and what a brave endeavor.

My oldest son Schuyler is in his 2nd year of grad work at UVA - he applied at BU and was accepted but thought his living expenses would be greater in Boston. You were almost co-students.

When Coco and I hit the road to tour, my counselor asked me: "Now that you're living your dream, what will you dream of next?"

I hope you enjoy living it as much as you did dreaming about it.

Corey said...

Congrats dude. You'll make a fine Dean in a few years. . .

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