I love the LROD commenter "Iowa Grad" who posted over on the Blah, Blah, Blah post (66 comments and going strong; you people are insane). Minus the MFA, I feel as if Iowa Grad and I are kindred souls. Here it is, his/her searing response to one of the bitter bobs (not me, though I am bitter):
Hey, angry anon: I have an MFA from Iowa. I earned it in the late '80s, wrote three unpublished novels before publishing my first book eleven years after getting the degree. I also taught as an adjunct at several colleges, sometimes earning a whopping sum of $1,000 per month for teaching four classes, with no health benefits or retirement, etc. It's been twenty years now since I got my degree, and I've published a few books and have a good job, but I still get rejections from little magazines and book publishers alike. That's part of the business, buddy. No one owes you squat. Nobody. Oh yeah...I'm a first-generation college student and accumulated a boat-load of debt for all three of my degrees. Based on your rants (or maybe there's more than one angry anon on here), I should have been handed a sweet book deal and a cushy job upon graduation. I guess I'm failing to see how you and I are different, except that I've worked my ass off to get where I am, and all you seem to be doing is bitching and moaning. I'm exhausted by the anti-MFA rant. I've never -- ever -- had an editor or agent ask me where I went to school, and I quit mentioning it on my cover letter once I realized that, no, it didn't get me anything. Hell, I'll go one step further and say that there's probably more anti-Iowa folks out there than pro-Iowa folks ready to open their doors and hand me a fat check. One more thing: Would I care if you liked my work? If you did, great; but if you didn't, no, not really.