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The Perfect Nanny

It is very important to me that I find a place in this world where I can be the no-bullshit, borderline emotionally abusive professor. Positions that require me to celebrate creativity in all its sloppy, undisciplined forms are not going to work out. No participation trophies, no pep talks. If you want to feel a sense of accomplishment without actually achieving anything, do drugs. That's what drugs are for.

Key words for me to avoid (all found in one description for a low-residency instructor): "nourish," "grow," "cultivate," and "healthy." What are these words doing in the description of a job that has nothing to do with vegetables or nutrition? There's nothing healthy about writing fiction. You're weird, you're maladjusted to reality and so you escape into a world of make-believe. You're choosing to do this deliberately and in a way that reveals it to normal people, which makes you weirder, and possibly self-destructive. If a lack of encouragement is enough to make you quit, that's good, because it means you don't have the metal for this, and it's better to find out sooner than later.

Students and faculty can "celebrate each others' adventures in self-expression." Adventures. Sounds like a goddamn fantasy camp. Again, they seem to be mistaking the work of writing for the taking of drugs. Here is exactly what that program seems to be looking for:


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2014 02:12 am (UTC)
Well, teaching creative writing, especially depending on the school, might actually have a lot to do with vegetables.

(The students are the vegetables)

But seriously, "celebrate each others' adventures in self-expression" sounds like a self-help group or a pottery class for bored 40-somethings.
Mar. 20th, 2014 02:27 am (UTC)
I believe that is precisely the hazard of low-residency MFAs, too many bored purposeless vegetable people.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


L.A. Fields
L.A. Fields
L.A. Fields is the author of The Disorder Series, the short story collection Countrycide, and My Dear Watson, a queer Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Her work has appeared in anthologies of horror, erotica, and academia.

She has a BA in English Literature from the New College of Florida, an MFA in Creative Writing - Fiction from Columbia College Chicago, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Aesthetic Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas.
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