It’s graduation day for the MFA students in the Writing for Children and Young Adults program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. And while I’m only beginning my second semester—just getting started—I joined the entire community in gathering (via zoom) to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates.
Annnnd now I’m a weepy mess.
I’m not going to go into detail describing either graduation or the rituals during residency that have elevated what I’m feeling right now—those traditions belong to the VCFA community and are not mine to share.
I’m thinking about mentors.
I’m thinking about what I learned from Katie Wood Ray as a baby teacher long ago: a writer needs opportunities to develop a vision for what it is that they are trying to do or make. As a teacher of writers, this pointed me in the direction of mentor texts, the processes of mentor writers.
I hear Katie’s voice in my head as I listen to these graduates, three semesters ahead of me on this intensely personalized (and crazy challenging) path. I see evidence of a wide variety of extraordinary writing lives built through hard work, through an embrace of (and surrender to) the creative process, through community.
I’m awed by what is possible. I’m so grateful to be here.
And I have a vision for what I am working toward over the next three semesters (and beyond).