LOA *Not the voodoo kind

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Packet 5 (the last of my G2 semester) made it into the mail on Friday just as the post office was closing.  I had it all on track, but I had some last minute issues that pushed me far closer to the deadline than was in any way comfortable with.  What matters is that it made it.  I can breathe again.

Yesterday, I submitted my End of Semester Self-Evaluation.  A troublesome document accounting for all the work I did over the semester, how it meets my goals, and what I plan to do next semester.  It’s a pain and rather stressful to throw together if you’re not expecting it (I wasn’t last semester, this time I was, but not a few days early), but it’s a perfectly reasonable expectation since this program is largely independent study.  I don’t take classes, so how else do they keep track of my progress through the program?

So, with that all out of the way, my second semester of grad school is officially over.  Woohoo!

And now for the good news/bad news.  I won’t be going back to school for another 6 months.  Yup.  I will be dealing with some major life changes (new location, new employment, new who knows what else), which will make it very difficult to continue school during that time, especially with the Teaching Practicum.  In addition, I wasn’t able to finish as much as I’d hoped this last semester, so it will be very helpful to have a little extra time to work on these things on my own before I dive into my third semester, which promises to be more difficult than the last, even without moving right in the middle of it.

I am relieved to have a break from the snowballing pace of this program and excited to have a bit of time to work on my novel without worrying about deadlines or people reading over my shoulder, so the break will be a good thing.  But at the same time, I’m really going to miss all my friends at Goddard.  The community there is fantastic.  It’s just an amazingly wonderful experience to spend a week with a bunch of other crazy writers who are just as passionate about their work as I am about mine.  Residency has been one of the best experiences of my life with the intense focus on writing, workshops, readings, visiting writers, it gets me so pumped to dive into my work and I learn so much in such an incredibly beautiful location.  I seriously can’t say enough about the community and the event itself.  So I will really miss not going up for another gorgeous Vermont winter with all the writers I’ve been celebrating and commiserating with over the last two semesters, especially the G2 Fireballs and the new G1 YA writers.

Taking this Leave of Absence was, surprisingly, one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make.  I’m really going to miss everyone and I’m going to miss the energy and excitement of Residency this semester, but taking this break is what I’ve got to do at this point in my life and in the program.

I plan to keep up with this blog so everyone can see my progress without the regular deadlines of school.  Hopefully keeping up with this will help me keep on track with my goals for the semester off so I come back for my G3 stronger than ever.  And I will see everyone again in June for the next Residency!

So, dear readers, keep in touch about your writing plans and progress, because I don’t want to slip out of the loop while I’m away.  Happy Writing!

J

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