For a writer whose days are mostly spent by choice by herself in front of a screen, eleven days of amazing and stimulating workshops, lectures, and readings–connected by speaking to people, finding seats, speaking to more people, making plans for dinner, and speaking to yet more people–can be quite disorienting.
I used up all my words.
The people in charge of the residency encourage us to get away from it even while we’re in the middle of it. So I would often run, or take a walk and take photos.
One of the main events at residency is the announcement of the advisers for the next semester. The list is posted around 7pm on a bulletin board. People trickle in, huddle around, emit small sounds or large ones, sometimes kick things.
My adviser for my last semester will be my first choice–Douglas Glover of Numéro Cinq and the author of, among other books, Elle, which won the 2003 Governor General’s Award. This semester I will finalize a creative thesis of 75 pages, write a 45-minute lecture, and prepare for a 20-minute reading. I will give the lecture and the reading at the winter residency, on the last day of which I will graduate, ending this wonderful journey.