Second year contributor
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Start of Second Year: Pressure Cooked

Jeff Attaway

Right now I feel like I’m concaving into myself building up and about ready to burst. I feel like I’ve felt this way since the start of term, and the feeling isn’t really letting up. Perhaps I’m more of a circus act right now trying to walk a tight rope while balancing an elephant on a tray in one hand and twirl a flaming baton in the other. It feels kind of like that. I also feel the pin pricks of my hyper awareness making me feel like they’re eyes on me at all times both literal and metaphorical. But then again none of that really makes sense. So let’s start again.

I’m officially a second year student and since my program is only two years long that means my journey through my MFA years is almost over. There is something somewhat bittersweet about it because I can’t help but wonder where the time went. First year feels like it was yesterday, and it’s odd to think the 2nd years’ whose works I got to know so well are now out in the world doing something else as I will likely be this time next year.

My juggling act includes my assistantship, a part time job, working on Thin Air (our universities lit mag), homework, and applying to PhD programs. Each of these are pulling at my sleeves for attention, and I have yet to perfect the right balance to give each their due attention. By this point I thought I’d have it figured out but all I’ve really figured out is that when I have to choose to between sleeping and eating, I’m going head first into slumberland.

I have my hands full with a fiction workshop, a creative writing readings class, and an American Indian lit class all of which require a good amount of reading. I feel myself inspired to write more and more these days but also find myself drifting off in class sneaking a quick jot down of an idea that I hope not to forget since I know I won’t have time to write when I’m home. If this journey has taught me anything it’s that time management is my achilles heel. I feel myself piddling away this precious time I won’t ever get back again when what I should be doing is managing it so I can make the most of what I have and really just write and write and write.

Even still, I feel the most inspired right now. I feel driven to write and I have only to just put a pen to a page and let go.

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