Saturday, February 02, 2013

The Sabbatical: Day 237

Sitting at the Westin in Chicago after two interviews and waiting for a third.  What an interesting week.

Perhaps the best sign today is that people keep complimenting me on my tie.  I'm pretty sure that's a good sign.  No one complimented my tie on Wednesday, the day of the Brown interview.  Same tie.
Different day.  Very different vibe.

Have enjoyed chatting with other MFA Directing candidates today.  Random conversations in lobbys and guy who had been at the Brown interviews on Wednesday shared that he too thought that it was a disaster of an interview...perhaps that's the strategy Brian uses to see how folks respond...though he didn't close this guys folder and talk about alternatives to grad school!  ha!  There were about fourty of us today in the opening orientation.  Once again, this is crazy competitive.

Had a great interview with the University of Iowa rep, Eric Forsythe.  Nice guy.  Good conversation.  Thank you Brown for having helped me craft my message a little more clearly.  I'm pretty excited about Iowa as an option.  Lots of good hands on experience, strong creative environment with the connection to the Iowa Writer's Workshop...and Iowa City is supposed to be a nice place.  It felt like I would be a good fit.  Also they take four folks and only accept candidates every three years, which is a nice model.

The Florida State interview went well and was preceded by waiting in the hallway listening to some enthusiastic woman having a really noisy climax in a nearby room.  Very strange.  The interview itself was a bit odd in that the program head was still in Florida and was participating through skype.  It actually worked quite well and while it was a short interview, they seemed like a nice program.  They do a two tier interview process, bringing six down to Tallahassee and then selecting three from that six. They didn't seem to have a lot of questions for me, so I'm not sure I'm a strong candidate there.

So now I'm waiting for a 2:00 interview with Indiana and then back to the road to drive home.  Its snowing out, so hopefully the roads will be just wet.

One of the things that was cool out of the Brown interview was the idea that we spend certain parts of our lives pursuing the answer to a question.  Brian noted that ten years was about the life span of any given question, which was an interesting observation given how my own experience has gone.  I spent about ten years exploring how you create a healthy, successful business, to which I found some answers though mostly by not doing so; and then about ten years exploring how you create a healthy, successful classroom...and found more success there as I found answers; and now I feel ready to spend a decade exploring the question of how to be a successful and effective director.  Obviously there are lots of subquestions within all of these larger questions, but they definitely help define those parts of my life.  And looking even further back, the big question that I was trying to explore before that was not the question, what do I want to do, but rather the even larger question, what makes me happy?  Of course, that is a question that I have continued to interrogate throughout my life, but it was a more immediate and compelling question in those years from 18 to 28.

It's a cool way to dice up a life.  Even if you don't make the kind of large career changes that I have made, I would still expect that different phases of one's life could be encapsulated by identifying the large question being pursued in each of those phases.  Change is constant, but also happens within the context of larger trends, patterns and arcs.

Hurray for free internet.  Just saying.

It's snowing harder.  The Indiana interview better be worth it.

More later.  Have a day!

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