Multiple Enthusiasms

Infinite jest. Excellent fancy. Flashes of merriment.

What I’m going to do now

No, yesterday’s post wasn’t a joke. Honestly, I’m not into the whole April Fool’s thing; I generally think pranks are annoying at best and infuriating at worst. I don’t like to be fooled. I like honesty.

I’d take a picture of the letter, because I take pictures of just about everything else, lately, but I’m not going to. I think they filled up all their slots already. I hope that’s what happened, because they don’t actually yet have my full application; I don’t take the GRE Lit until next weekend, and I’d thought they were waiting on that score.

Apparently not. Ah, well.

Alma’s comment yesterday, though, brought up a good point that I’ve been thinking about a lot the past couple days (actually, which I’ve been wondering about for a while now); it’s Creative Writing–does one really need a PhD in it? Do I really want to pursue a doctorate in making shit up? I’d had a couple of ideas for what to do for a ‘creative dissertation,’ but I actually have a couple of ideas for real dissertations (in both literature and theology, in fact), and I think that might be more fruitful.

I think I got what I needed from my Master’s degree. I studied with one of the two people who made me want to come to this program, but ultimately I feel I came away with more from other classes. It’s great to be able to say I studied film with the guy who directed The Empire Strikes Back, but both Coleman Hough and Syd Field challenged me in better, different ways, and I learned more from them.

Yesterday, I officially handed in my thesis. I’ve got two more days of class next weekend, and then it’s all in the bag.

I’ve been asked a few times what I’m going to do next. Which surprises me, because everyone already knows:

I’m going to Denver.

I’m not sure why people thought it might be contingent on getting into their program. Coming out to LA wasn’t; I paid for my apartment several weeks before I got word of any decision on anyone’s part. I’d already decided I was going to do it regardless of whether or not I got into USC.

And I did. I would’ve. I didn’t leave myself any other option.

Same here. I’m not staying in LA, and I’m not moving back to Jersey. Denver has felt, for a long time, like the next logical step. There’s something about it that calls to me, which seems kind of a silly thing to say, looking at it, but there it is.

Vonnegut is known for having said that very often it’s best to jump off the cliff and grow your wings on the way down. Somebody (I want to say Emerson or Thoreau) once said that, in seeking new land, one must occasionally force one’s self to lose sight of familiar shore.

I don’t believe anything in life is certain (not even death, mainly because: who knows? I’m smart enough to know that nobody knows what occurs after the body stops breathing, and also enough to know that I am not my body), and so I’m looking forward to this coming summer. I think it’s going to be awesome. I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I’m taking the leap now, and heck, even if I don’t grow my wings on the way down, I’ve never gone wrong by the seat of my pants.


  1. The wing quotation is one of my absolute favorites–mostly because I personally have trouble jumping in sometimes. I’m usually such a passionate/intense person that, if I commit to something, I really want to have a plan going in. This June, I’m not going to have control over anything. I’ll be thrown into a classroom without any formal training…and told to just do stuff…to figure it out as I’m going…with cameras and judging eyes evaluating me. It’s terrifying–all the more so because there are actual kids involved…ones that failed regular school and will be there trying to catch up.

    So, rather than obsess about that–and think about how scary that not having a plan thing is–I’m obsessing about dorm room accomodations and how exactly I’ll be able to ship all my belongings home before running to the airport for my Saturday night flight.

    Of course, the idea that I can have any control over any of it is a complete illusion.

    Anyway, that’s all to say that I really admire your ability to figure shit out on the way down. I have no doubt you’ll do amazingly well.

  2. You know, I don’t think it’s silly. Not at all. There are some things, that if you’re in tune with yourself enough, you just know. Your throwing all caution to the wind is commendable. Some people would never be that brave.

    Sometimes we have to take a few risks in life. Life would be sterile otherwise.

    I’m excited for you.

  3. I didn’t think it was an April Fools, but the damn annoying day made me hesitate to say this: You’re in excellent company. You’ve got what you needed from school. The Denver plan sounds perfect for you. Good luck, and God speed!

  4. @Alma- yes, here’s certainly hoping. And heck, even if one doesn’t grow one’s wings–well, I bet I’d still make a really big splat.

    @Lisa- I’m excited, too!

    @Will- Thank you much.

  5. It’s “You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” That was one of the quotes I sent ya. I feel insulted that you did not say it right.

    Their is a difference between where you are going and what you are going to do and though you can’t do one with out the other the question still remains; what are you going to do in Denver?

  6. @Gotham: like me, you’ll know it when I do it.

  7. Your going to denver and you don’t know what your going to do? You have it backwards. You can go to Hollywood with just a dream and no real plan. You need a plan to survive in denver.

    Also, I do not have a telepathic link with you so sadly I won’t know what you do when you do it but Carrot Top will so be carefull.

  8. I would say you can do better without a plan in Denver than in Hollywood. Hollywood is much more expensive in terms of living costs, and it’s also harder to find a decent job. Denver’s always been welcoming to explorers.

  9. I was making a joke. You know, the steyotypical person goes to Hollywood without a real plan except a dream and the determination to “make it.” No one goes to denver with that in mind. Yeah, Will will be fine but I think you could bet money that at some point he will get involved in dairy farming.

  10. What’s wrong with dairy farming.

    And I think it depends on what “it” is. If the dream is to live well, and successfully, and write a whole hell of a lot and do some teaching, why couldn’t one go to Denver with that in mind?

    I mean, hell, that’s precisely what I’m doing.

  11. Nothing is wrong with dairy farming. For a long time a gallon of gas was cheaper then a gallon of milk so dairy farming can be quite lucrative. I simply meant it was a good bet because when I think of denver I think of farms. If you do fall in love with the place you will likely become a farmer to make your living.

    As for the dream, again I meant the dream of making it in Hollywood as in “rich and famous.” You went to Hollywood with the plan of going to school as oppose to the people who belive their going to “make it” and don’t bother planning ahead. Now, if I havn’t made this clear enough just google it because I’m tired of explainging the subject of what was suppose to be a funny joke… which is now clearly dead.

    Have fun in Denver with what ever you do.

  12. @Gotham: I got the joke…just didn’t think it was all that funny. But, then, I’m not one to peddle stereotypes. Dairy farming? That’s so Greeley. The only time I’ve ever seen a cow in Denver was during the Stock Show. Denver is a lot of things, but continually calling it a cow town is both ignorant and unimaginative.

    I’m sure you’re a very nice girl, but don’t perpetuate ideas about an entire state in your attempt to poke fun at Will.

  13. Again, the cow thing was a joke. I thought it was funny. Denver + cows = ha ha? No? Oh well. I’m actually rather serious though about Will becoming a dairy farmer. Since I am from North Carolina Will could just as easily assume that I would become a tobbaco farmer, which I might do if not for the fact I don’t want to grow cancer. However, if I lived in florida Will might say “Helen, I bet your going to get a orange grove or make a amusement park.” Which I might very well do. The reason I can safely assume Will would have a dairy farm is because he once said “I might enjoy being shot” or something to that extent. Now, couple this with the fact that he already has list of jobs that really aren’t that related to each other (one minute he’s a personall trainer the next minute he’s in advertising?) it would only make sence that once moving to Denver he would try a occupation he had nver done before if for the no other reason then to see what it was like. This is also something cliche of writers.

    I’m sure your a very nice girl, but you assume so much when you know me so little of me.

  14. @Gotham: I assume nothing of you, except for what you’ve written here. I responded to your first comment and not the ones that later clarified. My assessment of the situation was that you were trying to prod Will in whatever way you felt appropriate. You just happened to use a stereotype (one that’s been abused by others) about Denver being a cowtown. I pointed out that people have used it in an unimaginative and inaccurate way. That’s what I was referring to–the use of the stereotype, by you and others–not you as a person. I don’t make ad hominem attacks on people. I was merely urging you to find something else…something funnier and perhaps less offensive. I never thought you were trying to be offensive.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: