February 14, 2017 by Ray Yanek
Synchronicity is a mysterious, wonderful thing.
If you’ve been here before, you’re probably aware that my daughter plays travel softball. Last year, she joined a new team and they played in a Fall Showcase tournament in St. Charles, Missouri. As with all showcase tournaments, college coaches and scouts prowled about and I did some prowling of my own. Humming Run-DMC songs, I would juke and jive non-nonchalantly around the people with the clipboards, trying see from which school they hailed.
I noticed time and time again a few coaches Lindenwood University. I had never heard of the school, so I shrugged and moved on.
A few hour later, I saw a Facebook post that a girl on my daughter’s team was at Lindenwood (which was located in St. Charles) doing a visit.
A few hours after that, while searching for a Starbucks, I took a wrong turn. I took a wrong turn and just happened to drive by the campus of Lindenwood University. My wife and I laughed, thinking maybe God was not-so-gently pointing to a possible school for my daughter.
We were wrong.
A few months later, back at home, that restless feeling I sometimes get reared its head. Things felt flat and just felt off again, like something wasn’t totally right. Other than when I was with my family, the only spark of magic I felt was when I was writing. In years past, I’ve considered looking into MFA creative writing programs as a way to improve my writing and as a way to give a career in a writing a focus and push start.
But I always balked.
Hit by tuition / sticker shock, I feared there was no way I could afford it. Most of the low-residency programs required a few weeks a year on campus which would require travel (which wasn’t a terrible thing…) but would add even more expense. Fear held me back too. Fear and self-doubt. Maybe I wasn’t good enough. Maybe I would get rejected. Maybe all of that writing business was self-delusion. So I would pack that dream away, like I always had, and go back to the day-to-day.
So I thought I knew where all of this would ultimately lead, but I was bored. I fired up the computer ran the same search I had run four or five times over the years for low-residency MFA’s programs. I revisited all the schools I had researched before, but then— I paused. This time, there was a school I could not for the life of me ever remember seeing before—
No shit. Lindenwood.
It’s not a new program. It has a strong history, but if I had ever seen it before it never stuck with me. This time though it was kind of hard to pass up.
I clicked and excitement welled in my chest. The course offerings looked amazing; the reading lists in the lit classes covered authors I had always wanted to study; the faculty was experienced and well-published, and the price was right. No residency was required (kind of a bummer) but the program offered a discount to teachers–of which I just happened to be one.
I am utterly thrilled to say that, yesterday, I received an acceptance letter welcoming me into the MFA in Creative Writing program at Lindenwood University.
Synchronicity, man. Weird, magical, wonderful stuff.