Getting the Word Out

I’m about four days away from going back to school, for the first time in nearly a decade. I’m looking forward to it with a nervous anticipation.

Most of the nervousness is schedule-related. I have no idea how I’m going to find the time to attend classes, let alone actually perform my coursework. There’s no way I’m letting that stop me, though, because the opportunities here are incredible.

Master of Professional Writing

I mention this now because I spent Thursday morning on campus at the University of Oklahoma attending an orientation for new grad students. I met four new artists (other writers just starting my MPW program), as well as a score of journalism and PR grad students.

The orientation was a valuable introduction to the people we’re going to be studying under and the places we’re going to be studying under them. (The Gaylord Journalism and Mass Communications building on the OU campus is just unbelievably gorgeous.) More than that, though, it was an incredible opportunity to meet the people I’ll be working with.

That’s really what appeals to me most about the program — the people I’ll get to know. The college has gone out of its way to bring in some incredible talent for this particular program — published authors and distinguished professionals in the field — and we’re going to be working with them in small workshop settings. And, of course, all the other students in the program are people like me.

I spent a couple hours getting to know another MPW student named Amber, who’s a copyeditor at Tate with our own Jessie Sanders. She’s also an OU Professional Writing grad, and she’s got a lot of friends in the Oklahoma City art scene. I mentioned some of what I’m doing with the Consortium, in passing, and she leaped at the opportunity to put me in contact with some really remarkable people.

I also got to talk with a PR student from Romania who specializes in Non-Government Organizations (another name for non-profits), and who was fascinated to hear that I’m trying to start one of my own. Those are two of the four people I had a chance to speak with at any length at this event — and the only two to whom I mentioned anything related to the Consortium — and both of them were anxious to learn more and help out however they could.

It’s going to be a fascinating fall semester.