The plot thickens!
I had a long conversation today with Maya Sonenberg about the University of Washington. It turns out that the funding waitlist I am on, is for FULL funding. No tuition, health insurance, plus a slightly larger stipend than TTU. That is officially a better offer. If I get it.
I was telling her about my concerns about where I am educationally and how that relates to the MA, and her response was, "Don't sell yourself short. You got in here." Which is a very good point.
So what if I do an MFA and then a PhD? That would shore up my lit classes, give me more exposure to teaching etc, etc. The domino effect of THAT conversation is that I got excited about Wyoming again.
Then I wrote a long email full of questions to KSU (since I can't go visit). The letter back was really wonderful. It sounds like the campus is big and beautiful in an agg-school grandiose way like Tech (though the grad school offices are in the basement of the English building). But the town has a lot more in terms of green spaces: parks, trails, etc. Which I dig. Plus the campus has a botanical garden. (!!!)
The luxury and torture of choice! I really don't want to pick the wrong school. Because once I'm there, if it is between taking a break and a loan, I'll take out the loan. And THAT will make me nuts, just like the debt I have now makes me crazy and sad and stuck.
The good news for someone is that now that I have seen the official offer letter from Portland State, I will be politely (and graciously and damn--regretfully) declining it tomorrow. It is the coolest that they want me, and Tom Bissell seems like he would be a fantastic professor, but I just can't see going into debt to the tune of $40k or more when so many funded offers are on the table. That's crazy talk.
I have yet to hear what Arizona is offering--though if I get a TAship, it is apparently "usually granted" for both years. Hopefully they tell me soon. And at this point, I am not willing to entertain Penn State. I will assume rejection to keep my open slots to 6 (!!!!) which will be 5 (!!!!!!!!) tomorrow.
What would you do: go for an MA and hope that you got accepted into an MFA in two more years, or go for the MFA now and try for a PhD in two years? Wait. Don't answer.