Phew! I just received an email notification from SFU Admissions letting me know that I filled out my application for graduate studies correctly and I am now allowed to pay my application fee. Thank-goddess. At least I can get that part right in addition to cajoling three references to send letters in on my behalf!
On the other hand, I’m still working on the final and most important piece – the *dreaded* admissions essay. As of last night, I’ve got an acceptable draft which just needs some fine-tuning and a good edit to be ready. I really struggled with approach to this essay over the last little while, but got myself sorted out yesterday by asking some fundamental questions like: what am I interested in writing, discussing and researching about?
The answer? Apocalypse of course. Social and ecological crisis. The fundamental whys of a civilization that brought us to this point and the inquiry process that might lead us back out. The human artifacts that are evidence of our struggle to connect the dots over and over. The shocking divide in the world that allows the G-8 countries to walk around as though everything is okay while others are starving and overthrowing their governments. Etc.
And so from that premise – intellectual interest – the essay flowed and I was able to fill in the notes I started with two months ago, crafting descriptions of my work, my interests, my writing, my nascent book project ideas. Although it’s still in draft form, I think the substance of it is quite good (much better than what I had put down earlier) and Brian gave me a couple more suggestions for connecting my interests to the program last night which I’m going to include in my final draft. My plan is to get this done before the end of February so my application is in a month before the deadline. I’d really like to have it in, do my interview, and have an answer as soon as possible since I’m itching to know if I get to start the course readings in May (there is so much reading for the first year that they advise reading for the summer before the program starts).
Of course I am ridiculously nervous about my prospects, though I probably shouldn’t be. I just hate all this being judged part of application processes, and I can’t think of a grad program that is a better fit for me right now. We’ll see how it goes.