Posts tagged with "mfa" - Faerye Net 2009-01-03T00:46:15+00:00 Felicity Shoulders My thesis as a cloud 2009-01-03T00:46:15+00:00 2009-01-03T10:11:36+00:00 <p>My friend <a href="" target="links">Robert Peake</a>, a thoughtful poet gifted in procrastination, recently turned in his <span class="caps">MFA</span> thesis and made <a href="" target="links">word clouds</a> of his critical essay and creative thesis (collection of poems, in his case), which you can see on his blog. (Clouds show each word at a size proportional to its number of uses in the text. Wordle defaults to removing dead-common words like &#8216;and&#8217;, and uses the 150 most used words unless you specify differently.) Of course I jumped at the chance to be the next to perform this act of procrastinatory genius, and plugged my opus into <a href="">Wordle</a>.</p> <p>Here is my nearly-complete story collection/complete creative thesis, <em>Sea Selves</em>, in cloud form:<br /> <a href="" title="Thesis Wordle by Eilonwy Anne, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="325" alt="Thesis Wordle" border="0"/></a></p> <p>I really liked the random font and other options Wordle chose, and the layout that came out first try, so this is exactly what Wordle pumped out, transformed only in color. I took all these shades from photos I&#8217;ve taken of the Pacific Ocean. (Pretentious? <em>Moi?</em>)</p> <p>Here is my critical essay, <em>Sea Change: Visions of the Ocean</em>, which I tweaked a little more:<br /> <a href="" title="Essay Wordle by Eilonwy Anne, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="303" alt="Essay Wordle" border="0"/></a></p> <p>If for some reason you want to look closer at either, you can click through to the Flickr page and press the &#8216;all sizes&#8217; button right above the image. My word clouds look very different from Robert&#8217;s, which is to be expected. Not only is my thesis prose, but mine is themed. I hope someone with a non-themed short story thesis tries it next to compare! There are a few words I&#8217;m slightly surprised by on my thesis word cloud, others I&#8217;m glad came through so strongly, and some which were a matter of course. And it&#8217;s interesting to see the names of characters from very different stories and worlds nestle so promiscuously together.</p> <p>For fun, here is a wordle of <em>Sea Selves</em> with 1500 words rather than 150. I think it makes clear why 150 is the default:<br /> <a href="" title="Thesis Wordle with 1500 words. by Eilonwy Anne, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="282" alt="Thesis Wordle with 1500 words." border="0" /></a></p> <p>In short, I hope Robert has started a fashion. This was fun, and I hope to see other MFAers follow suit.</p> Dear Body (an apology) 2008-06-28T00:27:23+00:00 2008-09-01T20:46:19+00:00 <p>It&#8217;s been a rough few years, hasn&#8217;t it, my body? I&#8217;ve brought you to Residencies and stuffed you with greasy pub fare and cafeteria food, sat you on the cold cement or damp grass until you were sure your flesh would be numb forever. I kept you up late at parties, stood outside near smokers, didn&#8217;t balance the occasional beer with the habitual water, and slept in a dorm room full of allergens and stale smoke. Residencies in Seaside, I paced you up and down the frigid beach, and dashed between rooms in the freezing open-air hallways of one hotel wing.</p> <p>And between? The semesters were almost worse. Returned to your comfortable bed, I kept you awake planning stories. I stayed up all night writing, or planning, or failing to write, and dragged you to a job where you had to stand up for hours, lift heavy things, try to be graceful manipulating messy liquids. When the work shoes wore out, I made you wear them anyway for almost six months, and tried to fob you off with the occasional hot bath.</p> <p>And what did you do in return? Did my migraine frequency peak, or my feet stop functioning? Did I get scurvy, or pneumonia, or food poisoning? No. You found me a clarity that lies beyond sleep deprivation. You kept me from doing the nod-jerk at all in this, the most dignified Residency of my time. There have been bad times, it&#8217;s true, but they seldom interfered with my deadlines. My eyes continued to focus on the books, my fingers to type out stories.</p> <p>A bit further, body. Out onto a stage in a gown, mortarboard and, against too-late recommendations, non-sensible shoes. Bear with me for one more day of celebration and learning. I can&#8217;t promise there isn&#8217;t hardship and box-carrying in your future, but this, this has been accomplished. Thanks for sticking with me, body. Thanks for mostly being on my team.</p> Final residency 2008-06-19T16:20:11+00:00 2008-06-19T16:20:11+00:00 <p>In Oregon for fewer than 6 hours, and I&#8217;ve already bought a book at <a href="" target="links">Powell&#8217;s</a> (okay, airport Powell&#8217;s, but still) and eaten <a href="" target="links">Pizza Schmizza</a>. Huzzah for home, for easy no-sales-tax math and shade, glorious shade!</p> I made this. 2008-06-16T18:51:52+00:00 2008-06-16T18:53:02+00:00 <p><center><a href="" title="Formal copies of thesis"><img src="" width="375" height="500" alt="Sea Selves, my thesis" border="0" /></a></center></p>