Back to school, sort of

Wes’s previous post about literary autodidacts really struck a chord with me. While a formal education can open doors, there comes a point in one’s life beyond which going back to school becomes either financially or logically prohibitive.  There’s only so much student loan debt that fits into a librarian’s budget, after all.  And honestly: who needs three master’s degrees?

Not me, that’s for sure.   Not unless I can then waltz up to the bursar’s office and trade them in for a shiny new PhD.  And since I don’t think most institutions of higher learning make deals like that, I’ve decided to matriculate this fall at what I like to call August Wilson University, otherwise known as…

…wait for it…

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

It’s true!  As we may have mentioned once or twice before, playwright August Wilson is the only person to hold a diploma from CLP – you can read more about that here, if you’re curious – it’s a story that never fails to inspire me to reach beyond what I think is possible.

So, standing on the shoulders of a giant, I continue my never-ending quest to learn as much as I can with The Portable MFA in Creative Writing.  This fall I’m working my way through the chapter on fiction, which includes a very long list of suggested readings, almost all of which are available through the library.  The list includes:

If creative writing isn’t your cup of tea, consider designing a course in soapmaking, Buddhism, classical guitar, ultimate fighting, or anything else you’ve ever wanted to know more about (be careful with that last one). It’s not the same as getting a diploma, but if your thirst for knowledge exceeds the depth of your pockets (or your tolerance for early-morning classes), we can hook you up with a wealth of lifelong learning materials.

As for me, I certainly wouldn’t say “no” to an MFA program that offered me a full scholarship based solely on my mad ninja-blogger skills.  Interested parties should visit the Reference Department, where I will be devouring Robert Stone’s Dog Soldiers during breaks and lunch.

–Leigh Anne

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