I've been writing since I was 8. I took three creative writing courses in college and published a bunch of stuff in local literary reviews while an undergrad. My major was English Education, so I studied plenty of poetry. I dabbled in the idea of going back for a Masters of Art in English, with a concentration in Poetry and Poetics. I instead went for an MFA in Creative Writing. But I don't have a determined poetic aesthetic. Yet. That is why I call myself a neophyte.

Back in 2006, when I was considering what exactly to do for a graduate degree, I only dabbled -- and didn't go full-on -- with the idea of the MA in Poetry in Poetics because that would have meant going back to UMaine again. They always say not to do that. I took one Master's course up there and figured out why, mid-semester. I'm glad I only dabbled. Going back to your alma mater is not as exciting as the challenge of a new place, with new ideas and new people. Going to school involves more than just the academic aspect of education. There's also the social aspect.

The people surrounding me during round two in Orono were all the same people who had helped shape my thinking as a pre-neophyte (before I even realized that one needs to develop a vague framework of poetic aesthetic before one can truly start to get to work on writing poetry one can mildly live with). I knew I needed to get out of my bubble, explore other spheres, and then determine WHAT DO I WANT TO WRITE.

That's the thing - the thing that kicks into my head constantly: WHAT DO I WANT TO WRITE?

So, that's what I'm beginning to determine as part of my critical thesis.