2.14.2005

Getting rid of TWFs, etc.

Michelle informs me that Bausch said something to the effect that the Workshop is considering changing financial aid, which sounds like a great idea to me.

Why doesn't the Workshop ditch TWFs and what not, and just give everyone the exact same amount of aid? Then, those who want to teach can (possibly based on the same kind of three top choices sheets we fill out for Workshops), and those who do not don't have to. Otherwise, I think people get into weird situations which are ultimately bad for their careers (weeks playing nothing but XBox because of the enormous amount of freetime they have) or for their undergraduate students (see Marco).

Frankly, I don't see much point in the current incarnation of financial aid as some kind of competition (except for the fact it gets people to read the red folders by telling them it's actually some sort of honor). I don't think anyone ever wrote any better or worse because of the aid competition, and as the faculty said over and over again, a TWF is no indication of future success. All the current finanical aid set up seems to do is cause hard feelings (see Chris Offutt's comments regarding Elizabeth or Workshop Class of 2002 for examples).

Plus, I think the red folders would be read regardless -- some of us are extremely interested in the machinations of the Workshop, and I actually think these people would volunteer for the job (see Dunkeys or Kclou -- I could be wrong, but within 5 minutes of entering Iowa City, Connie was telling me Dunkeys was the guy who knew everything that was going on -- and he is still the one that keeps us all on Workshop-related topics, while I want to make jokes about Biblical Archaeological Review).

One of the best things a writing prof ever told me was that "There is room at the top for all of us." Don't you think the elimination of the aid competition would allow Iowa Workshoppers to become more of a United Front in the lonely business we've chosen for ourselves?

10 comments:

Jane said...

Yes.

Pete said...

If the awards system were a person, we'd all think he was an asshole.

Perhaps for this reason, I've never actually heard someone defend the status quo. Sure, we all speculate as to why it is done that way: motivation this, competition that. But I've never heard anyone actually praise the system, let alone defend it. Nothing fosters more anxiety, depression and bitterness in the workshop than this very issue. Is there some counterbalance to that fact, some necessary function that could be carried out no other way? I don't think so, so fuck it.

kclou said...

the current system is a melodrama machine, and melodrama is bad.

dunkeys said...

Unless you're talking about The O.C.!

(But Ethan is no Seth Cohen, let's be honest.)

kclou said...

Actually, I love The OC. From Boston Sports Guy today: "Does anyone else think that the controversial lesbian kiss on "The OC" is simply paving the way for the controversial gay kiss between Ryan and Seth?"

Grendel said...

I guess this is taking it far off-topic, but could someone describe "The O.C." for those living without TV? I think of it as a kind of "Melrose Place" but I don't know where I got that idea. I've only seen poster ads.

PJKM said...

Grendel - it's more like 90210 but with better production values. Also, everyone is younger and better looking, even the parents.

dunkeys said...

It's worth pointing out that the actors are younger, not the characters (no 30 year olds playing high school juniors this time).

I hate to say this, but the worst part about The OC (should we just make an OC thread?) is that it may have already jumped the shark.

I mean, Luke is gone! How can you get rid of the guy who said, "Welcome to the OC, bitch?" in the very first episode? After one season? Does this upset anyone else? How much story potential did they throw away by getting rid of him, the super-buff idiot jock, and his gay dad? And why hasn't the Sports Guy not jumped all over this already?

El Gordo de Amore said...

Dammit! I ask a seemingly provocative question about the Workshop, sit back and wait for my string of comments, and the whole thing gets shanghaied by the O.C.!

Damn you, Dunkeys. Damn you to Hell.

dunkeys said...

Capitalism, baby.