Friday, August 26, 2011

I Want: PhD & Creativity

About once a month, I find myself obsessing over PhD programs. I furiously jump from university website to website, looking for the most interesting interdisciplinary programs and progressive English departments. Some people stalk their exes on Facebook or celebrities on Twitter - I stalk my academic idols' profiles on university websites. Young and brilliant scholars like Lisa Brooks, Daniel Heath Justice, Christopher Teuton, and Taiaiake Alfred make my heart go ba-boom, ba-boom. (Okay, that might be pushing it a little).

As a Native academic/writer/education advocate myself, I am looking for a PhD program that allows me to marry creative writing and pursuits with Indigenous academic thought and theory. Some programs I've come across combine a PhD in English with an M.F.A. This could be the one, I thought. BUT - in my university career I've never taken a creative writing course. So I might as well see if I like to study the art of writing, right?

So, I enrolled in a summer fiction writing workshop at the university where I work.

The course wrapped up 2 weeks ago, and I didn't get a magical answer to the question of whether I want to study creative writing. It did get my creative juices flowing. I got some nice compliments from the instructor on my work. It reminded me of the things I love about creating a fictional world. It provided some touching moments, like when two students expressed their appreciation for my writing. It challenged me, as one student read his Tom King-esque trickster turned philosophy piece.

While I was looking to this workshop for some kind of revelation, I think I always knew at heart that I love to write and it's something I want to pursue. What the workshop really provided me is a renewed love of writing fiction, some tools to keep with it and the confidence to share my work with others (look out for some pieces on the blog in the future!). For this, I am grateful.

And, in the end, I am still a wannabe writer and academic.