Thursday, August 6, 2015

Student Intern Shares Experience at MFA Residency

By Andrew Clough, Creative Writing and English major

Ashland University offers a pretty hefty list of
undergraduate majors and minors. This list extends even further when you take into consideration the masters programs that are offered as well. One of these programs is the Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. This  is a very fun and interesting program for which I had the pleasure to be an intern. As an intern I got to drive students, faculty, and visiting writers to and from the airport, as well as shuttle them around the town. This left plenty of time for some great conversation. Anything from writing techniques and stylistic choices to the joys of everyday life as a muse, and even a certain love of cheesy poofs, was discussed in the many trips. This alone was an incredible experience. On top of the personal conversations with published writers and faculty alike, there was also the experience of sitting in on seminars for writing improvement, visiting writer and faculty readings, and thesis defenses of graduating students.

It was a refreshing experience to be surrounded by a group of writers with a passion for the creative aspects of English. As an undergrad life can get pretty busy and certain activities like pleasure reading and writing can get pushed aside in order to accommodate the vast amounts of homework and activities that go on during the school year and during the summer. Forty-hour work weeks take time and energy away from these creative endeavors, but the creativity and passion surrounding the MFA students and faculty was a great variation to the typical routines of the summer. Meal time conversations with everyone in the program revealed that they too were looking for a change of pace and to pursue the passion of writing. While the seminars and conversations were a great experience and the visiting readers were spectacular, I particularly enjoyed the faculty readings. I loved hearing them read their own personal writings and getting to see a different side to the professors that I usually only see in a classroom environment. It was great fun and I recommend to all people interested in English and Creative Writing looking into applying as an intern or eventually enrolling personally into the MFA program, it was great fun and helped to improve my own thought process and writing technique.