All posts tagged: Oregon State

In Search of Lost Mojo (An introduction)

Image: Adeline Oka You applied to MFA programs last winter peddling your best traits: a voracious curiosity and an insatiable lust for soul-stirring prose. A year later, after a 17-day cross-country road trip originating in South Florida, after getting settled during one of those famed blissful Pacific Northwestern summers—the apex of which was witnessing a cosmically rare solar eclipse from smack dab in the path of totality—after briefly evacuating to New York City when those dreamy days combusted into a toxic haze fueled by catastrophic wildfires, you find yourself in rural Oregon the night before fall quarter starts, shivering in your Miami clothes, frozen before a white screen. Fraud, you scream in your head. It’s not that you knowingly deceived the ad-coms; what you’re realizing is, like the photo from eight years ago you still keep on your Tinder profile, that portrait of your writer self is outdated. That version was based on who you thought you were at 24, when you first seriously considered getting an MFA upon realizing, during your first graduate program, that you didn’t just want to read …

On Wishing & Leaving

“I wish you weren’t leaving.” I get this not from my friends and/or boyfriend but my coworkers. This is the case, I think, for two reasons. First, my friends aren’t ones for IWYWL because now is the time to leave.  Also, to possibly return to a brighter and more bubbling Boston in two years. But mostly to acknowledge that, while I’ve worked since graduating (TWO WHOLE YEARS!) to become an adult and pay for my own health insurance and wipe down my stove-top, realistically I have no responsibilities. I say this with confidence because the hardest thing I’ve done to prepare for my imminent departure is sit in my boss’s office and tell him I’m leaving. Which leads to number two. I really like my job, and my job likes me back. Here’s the takeaway: it’s inherently satisfying and rewarding to be to be great at something. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be life-changing or liberal-arts-approved meaningful; I’m not distributing books to low-income orphans, I’m not publishing the wide-eyed try-hard innovators of tomorrow. I’m working for …