Notes from a Summer Residency:

1. We are intensely protective of the faculty. Even the quietest students are prepared to shut down hecklers (even planted ones.)

2. You can’t tell height via Zoom. I have never felt so tall and so short at the same time.

3. Some of ya’ll are reserved in “real life” and wild on the page.

4. It is so hot. (Unrelated to above. )

a. Will Colorado have AC? I don’t care if we relocate residency to Florida if there is AC.

5. Current students are just delighted to be here together (until the inevitable plague.) We didn’t have time for bad feelings.

a. Maybe the second part is why the schedule was so busy.

i. Considering above, admin is smarter than we give them credit for.

6. The stairs in College Hall made me want to be taken out by the Ghost in the Basement.

a. the first step down from the first floor is a doozy. Irregularly spaced steps …

i. Anna wants more forever friends.

7. I am too stubborn to take the elevator, but not too proud to be smelly and out of breath during workshop.

8. I am still physically capable of climbing through windows to unlock my door.

a. Judging by the purple color on my leg, I shouldn’t climb through windows.

9. Vermont locals will pretend you don’t exist for weeks if they don’t want to say hi.

a. Same with facilities if they don’t want to bring you a screen.

10. Bears will leave you alone if you are too drunk to be afraid.

a. Don’t take this advice.

11. It is very easy to laugh so hard you feel like you are dying.

a. There are way more jokes about elephants than I ever realized.

i. I find elephant jokes hysterical.

12. Meeting Patrick Madden was a treat. It is rare I find someone with more kids than me.

13. The true test of my good nature is the dining room.

a. There is never enough dessert and simply making more is unimaginable.

b. Eggs come from animals.

c. Broccoli is a limited commodity.

d. We need a line etiquette orientation.

i. Assemble at your table.

ii. Don’t stand in front of food to chat.

1. See. I’m learning about myself here.

a. I am food aggressive.

14. Adam is good for an existential crisis.

a. Worms touch themselves and it’s a good thing.

15. There isn’t a single staff, faculty, or GA here that isn’t passionate about the program.

a. How much they get beat up is staggering.

i. I am guilty of more lapses in grace than I want to admit.

1. Especially about lack of dessert.

2. And in defense of fruit.

16. Cottonwood snow is magical.

17. I am a little upset I never got to encounter one of the ghosts.

18. People love to sit in the fountain.

a. I am people.

19. It is possible to spend a whole month Dwelling with Connie and never have an extended in-person conversation with her.

a. It is possible to never have an in person conversation with Connie and still be profoundly changed just by being in her orbit.

20. It doesn’t matter where I am. I am waking up at 5am.

21. I write best under duress.

22. Most people love dogs.

a. Some people don’t like dogs.

i. We all have our flaws.

23. It doesn’t matter how long I spend with Statue Guy. He is creepy as hell at midnight.

24. Washing your laundry in a public space is bizarrely intimate and even a bit voyeuristic.

25. Renegade.

26. Profanity belongs in Fine Art.

27. The flying bugs in Vermont are HUGE.

a. I don’t have a screen on my window.

i. I don’t sleep alone.

28. There needs to be more period lit written and read aloud.

29. I miss my family and other dogs so much it is physically painful.

30. Meeting friends and faculty after a year and a half of virtual is better than I ever could have imagined.

31. Did I mention it is hot and there is no AC?

Emily Fortune McArdle is a VCFA student, currently at the Montpelier campus yet on her way home to Maine. She’s a reader, editor, and more importantly a very funny writer.

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