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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Celebrating 30 Years of McNeese M.F.A.

Brendan and I made a pilgrimage "home" this past weekend to celebrate 30 years of the McNeese M.F.A. program. The trip was amazing. McNeese is the best decision I ever made: 1.) I was able to spend 3 years of my life surrounded by like-minded, but diverse people who all share the same creative interest in writing, 2.) I cultivated my passion for teaching and gained 3 valuable years of experience, and 3.) I met the love of my life :) There are actually more than 3 reasons...best friends of my life, best town to live in EVER (ghost hunting, crab catching, etc.), kind, nurturing teachers that really care about students individually, full funding <okay, okay, enough with my graduate school nostalgia! Enjoy these pictures from our awesome weekend.

What's Louisiana without a crawfish boil? 

Young and young at heart-it's like one big family :) 

Brendan 

3 of my favorite people-Becca, Ezra, and Baxter :) 

Fun Fact: I threw a baby shower for every baby in this picture! Baxter with twins Roan and Rhys

 Fun story: The whole reason I ended up at McNeese? Adam Johnson, a McNeese alumni, wrote an essay in this book about his decision to attend McNeese, and I read it and contacted him via email. He sent me Neil Connelly's contact info, and the rest is history. Adam gave a reading from his latest book, The Orphan Master's Son, a fictional novel set in North Korea, and talked about his research process, which actually involved a trip to North Korea. The reading was fantastic, and I was fascinated with all that Adam had to say. Even though he is highly successful and in demand right now (he is even meeting with Hilary Clinton to discuss North Korea in addition to giving readings all over the place), Adam was exceptionally down to earth and kind. McNeese wouldn't raise them any other way! We also enjoyed readings by Neil Connelly, McNeese M.F.A. founder John Wood, and a lecture by Daniel Westover. The programming did not disappoint!

A picture of Adam Johnson taking a picture of us...


With our former professor, Neil Connelly 

Me with current M.F.A director, former professor, and poet Amy Fleury-PS-Check out our class t-shirt I designed
Aw...can't believe it has been one year...

M.F.As, Class of 2011 
Thanks for letting us crash at your place, Erica! And happy 30 years McNeese M.F.A! I'm already counting down to the next reunion...at which, I'll be old. But Brendan (and the rest of our class) will be ancient :) (maniacal laugh)

<3 S, B, L&Z

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