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Residency Soreness

Originally published at Through the Tollbooth. Please leave any comments there.

I am sore!

Nothing major… just an old VCFA injury acting up again.  My arms are stiff, my shoulders ache, there is a kink in my neck and my back is throbbing.  It seems to happen the first few days of every residency.  I thought it would be better during the winter semester where I can wear large padded sweaters and an extra layer of thermal underwear… but I was wrong.  The old injury flared up again.

You see, I have officially hugged more people in the last two days than I have in my entire life combined.  I don’t even hug my mother this often.  I hugged every one of my eighteen classmates (possibly some of them twice).  I hugged the graduating class and congratulated them on getting to this point.  I hugged the 4th semesters because they deserved it after surviving their critical thesis.  I hugged the 1st semesters and welcomed them to the VCFA family.  I hugged the 2nd semesters because I couldn’t leave them out.  I hugged my advisors.  I hugged my past and present critique advisors.  I hugged every other faculty member because they could one day be my advisor.  I hugged Melissa and Shannon for making this residency possible.  I think I even hugged the President of the college but I am not sure (it may have been some stranger).

I am officially hugged out!

My arms are now stuck in a permanent circle.  I look as if I have been carrying a large wooden barrel around campus.  It is officially impossible for me to take notes with my arms locked in an oval.

Oh well, I guess it is simply a hazard of residency.  It is nothing a warm NECI meal, a good night sleep on a tiny mattress and an evening in the wine pit can’t cure.  In a few days I will be back to myself again.

That is until it is time to go home and the hugging begins again!

Jeff Schill is a third semester student in Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing For Children and Young Adults program.

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