Last year around this time, I was in the thick of applying for graduate school. With the Korea money coming in thick and fast, I decided to burn as much of it as possible by going for an MFA in screenwriting. I applied to a number of schools, but this story starts when I was offered an interview with Northwestern’s Writing for the Screen and Stage program.
It was my number one choice, so I was naturally elated that they wanted to talk to me. The interview itself was an unqualified disaster from the get go, when my webcam refused to let the professors see me, even though I’d ditched my balding sasquatch look in favor of shaving and combing my hair and wearing pants. A few really terrible attempts at humor later, my interview was over, and I’d thrown away the chance to go deep into debt in pursuit of my dream of being a soulless Hollywood hack.
Five days later, I was waiting at a bus stop, coming home from a nerd-out session at my buddy’s apartment. Bus stops in Korea almost all have a built-in wi-fi hotspot, because hanging out with your laptop at the bus stop is the cool and safe thing to do, so I checked my email on my iPod and saw I had one from a Northwestern address.
“Five days,” I thought. “They must have really hated me to reject me that fast.” Resigned, I opened the email and started to read.
“Dear Jake,” it said. “I am excited to offer you a spot in our 2012 MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage program.”
“Oh well,” I thought. “That’s that, back to the drawing boar- WHAT?!”
I read it again. And again. My heart started to race, and I felt some weird kind of energy boiling up inside me with nowhere to go. I had two options standing at this crowded bus stop surrounded by stoic Korean men: primal scream, or some intense physical reaction of equal energy expenditure. I chose the latter, and took off sprinting for about a block before jumping up and down like an American who’s just heard Osama Bin Laden died, much to the bemusement of my Korean bus-waiting audience.
And now, after a spring working to set up Old Lady Comic Con at a sewing shop back home and a summer on the East Coast leading discussions and UN simulation with the young international policy leaders of tomorrow because that’s something I’m totally qualified to do, I’m here in Evanston. Living the dream of spending all my money and working until my brain runs out of think.
This might very well be the last post here at English Major Away. If it is, I thank you for your readership and support. And in the near future, I’ll be setting up my professional website. I encourage you to check out www.jakedisch.com. Or www.jakedisch.xxx, whichever I ultimately decide upon.
‘Til next time, dear readers?
What, you thought I was kidding about Old Lady Comic Con?
Gaze into the ceaseless horror of the most popular exhibit at the sewing convention.