Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

On the train one evening, I listened to a boy ask his mother what happens to the moon in the morning. She assured him that, even though we can’t see it, it’s still there. This interaction was one that I knew I had to unpack. While my duty as a writer is to create, it is even more so to unearth and give truth the space to beam.
In her essay Write Till You Drop, Annie Dillard articulates how and why one writes:
"You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment."
I am constantly astonished with life, even the everyday mundane. Even these seemingly trivial moments on the train seem to have a profound message if you are patient enough to look for it. In our fast paced world in which we are more concerned with our online presence than the life we live each day, these little moments get lost. But these pockets of humanity are becoming ever more important in the digital age. It’s these moments I hope to capture and make relevant again.
It was also Annie Dillard who said, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." I don’t want to look back on life thinking that I fed to an egocentric society. I want to know that I served as a microscope to my readers, that I helped bring back a pulse to a society that lives in a digital reality.
Although writing is done alone, it has the potential to connect people in new and dynamic ways, to establish communities and cultivate relationships with oneself and the world at large. But just as an individual cannot grow within an insular world, nor can my writing develop substantially in isolation. I want to return to graduate school to get my MFA in Creative Writing to grow within a community of writers so that I can then build a community from my work.
I often think about the boy on the train and how he learned a truth that may have shifted his entire world view. And then I think to myself: I’ve been basking in the sun for far a while now, and I am eager to see the moon.

Michele from Illinois
Northwestern University