Spring 2012 will be my final semester at my MFA program. I’ve been debating with myself for two weeks now whether I should take advantage of the fact that I can just take thesis hours for my final semester OR choose to take thesis hours plus two classes.
So, here are my pro and con lists:
PROS & CONS OF TAKING THESIS HOURS PLUS 2 CLASSES
-Deadlines. I’d be required to turn in 11 poems, plus two short stories. I could also turn in revisions of the poems for my thesis, so I could get more feedback on my overall thesis.
-Criticisms. I’d get comments on all work turned in.
-I’d be able to take a fiction workshop from the Richard Bausch.
-Less time. The final draft of my thesis is due in March. Taking two classes, plus TEACHING two classes, would leave me little time to give that the attention it needs. I also wouldn’t have much time to read to prepare for my comps.
-More stress. Less time means I’d be more stressed to get things done.
-Reading and critiquing other people’s work. While I enjoy doing it, it takes up a lot of time outside of class.
PROS & CONS OF JUST TAKING THESIS HOURS
–More time. I could work on my thesis more, plus plan my lessons, grade, have time to go to the gym, wrote on my own time, etc.
-Less stress because of above.
-No deadlines. There’s nothing like deadlines to inspire me, which means I’d be all on my own, and I have some worries about not producing without this “deadline” hanging over my head. I’ve done pretty good over break, but it’s still a concern.
-No critiques. I’d actually need to start getting together with my outside workshop group more or finding folks online to help me out.
Seeing this on the screen helps. It’s obvious that I should seriously consider just taking thesis hours this semester. I wasn’t able to dedicate a lot of time last semester to my thesis and extra time next semester could really be put to some good use toward that. My other concerns, like not producing, are going to be my concerns after I graduate anyway. Maybe now is the time to try being consistently independent with that.
Thoughts? For those of you who did an MFA, did you have the option of just taking thesis hours? Did you take advantage of it? Why or why not?