The last official day of classes of my first official semester as a Playwriting MFA Candidate at Columbia University was yesterday. YESTERDAY. That feels insane to me. This semester flew by much too quickly. I still have one final to take care of (Friday morning – oy) but I think now is as good a time as any for a semester recap.
So, here it is. My first semester of grad school by the numbers:
No. of classes: 5
No. of discussion sections: 1
No. of professors: 5
No. of TAs: 1
No. of buildings for said classes: 4
No. of papers: 4
No. of midterms: 1
No. of finals: 1
No. of books read: 11
No. of plays read: 25
No. of shows/artist salons/readings seen: 47*
*I might see more this week before I take off for winter break so…
No. of pages written: 204
No. of pages co-written: 10
No. of full-length plays started: 2
No. of ten-minute plays written/started: 5
No. of radio plays written: 1
No. of beers after Tuesday playwriting classes at 1020: Uh…
No. of times my nine other playwriting classmates blew my mind and/or made me laugh so hard my abs were sore: too many to count.
Whew. that’s a lot of numbers.
Now. Some lessons I’ve learned from school:
– I have much bigger plays inside of me than I ever thought possible.
– Stage directions are more fun than I was giving them credit for.
– Stage directions are more fun for me when they are abstracted. (Ex: “Silence. Regeneration. Sadness.”)
– If you’re stuck (and especially if you aren’t), inspiration really is all around. Paintings, music, foreign films, memories, other people’s work. Use it all.
– Put ten intelligent, funny, talented, inspiring, strong-willed, opinionated people with vastly different voices and interests in one room and you end up with a weirdly awesome supportive creative environment.
I certainly am ready to take a little break. My brain hurts to say the least. But simultaneously, I’m also ready to get back to it.
These three years (two and a half now) years are going to go much too quickly. I can already feel it.