Ten Things About Bennington That I Really, Really Love…

  1. My Intake Class, henceforth to be known as “The Class of Jan ’08” – actually there are 25 of us, so that is really going to be 34 things I love. And of course I don’t love all of them. There is a profound sociability distribution which would make that impossible. However the delight of being with 25 smart people who share my passion for writing, after being stuck in suburbia for 5 years, is indescribable. Some of them also share my passion for wine…
  2. Liam Rector, my teacher this semester and the Director of the program – this guy is incredibly intelligent, has read EVERYTHING and knows exactly how to pare a poem to the bone. He also has this roguish little smile. I’m meeting him to discuss my reading list at 4.30.
  3. The Campus Bar – OK it’s not the Ritz, but they sell large glasses of chardonnay for $2.50 and there’s Table Football.
  4. Having a Pigeonhole – the English word is better than ‘box’, don’t you think? People stick poems in them, postcards, notes.
  5. Having a Mealplan – the food is OK, honestly. Some of it is a little experimental, but the curries have been good and the breakfasts are wonderful. The main thing is: I didn’t shop for it; I didn’t cook it and I don’t have to wash it up.
  6. Snow – I know, I know, and we haven’t even had much of it for the time of year, but it makes the campus look idyllic, and there’s that whole college thing about scarves…
  7. Missing lectures – attending them too, obviously. But I’d forgotten how deliciously naughty was that feeling of “I think I’ll just lie in bed a bit longer and skip the first one” — which I did this morning.
  8. The Faculty Readings – Liam’s reading tonight. Timothy Liu (who is really funny – you should have seen him at 80s dance night) tomorrow.
  9. The fact that for the entire semester I need to read 25 books (I love reading), write 10 poems a month (I sometimes write that in a week), one 10 page essay and then I’ll be 1/4 of the way to getting my MFA.
  10. My husband and kids for letting me come here for ten days. Oh, and Donna and Rachel for looking after my kids! I love them, and miss them, but this whole experience is enabling me to rediscover an Anna I’d lost sight of over the years. Thanks guys!

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