Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything new here AND it’s almost time for the new VP class so I thought I’d mention a few things I wish I’d known beforehand:
The topic of the one-on-one sessions are completely up to you. You can take the opportunity to ask for specific feedback on your submission or you can ask anything at all (within the bounds of polite behavior). I wish I’d gone in a little more prepared, but my sessions were still awesome (probably due to the quality of the instructors, not my tongue-tied, shy questions). They are there to help you improve your writing.
You can ask the staff anything (even if it seems slightly beyond the bounds of polite behavior). If you’re having trouble adjusting, let them know. If you unexpectedly get your period (or whatever the manly equivalent is) they will go out and buy you supplies and it will be no big deal. They are there to help. They are also writers and attendees of previous VPs and know lots of things.
I never used my laptop during the sessions but it was still important to have. I took handwritten notes and two of my classmates recorded the sessions and made them available to the rest of the class. Two years later I still go back and listen to them, but it would have been great to have my own–especially of the group critique sessions, where a certain person with the initials PNH speaks at the speed of light. Just saying. YMMV.
It’s ok to ask the instructors if you can follow up with them after VP is over. I am terrible at this. I’m still kicking myself for not following up with Uncle Jim.
I brought an eye mask and ear plugs and I used them. I could have brought the whole pack of earplugs and shared them with people who didn’t. They were crucial for me to get to sleep.
Everyone is telling you not to go in sleep deprived: DON’T GO IN SLEEP DEPRIVED.
And don’t forget to have fun.
ETA suggestions from the VP community: Get a flu shot! If traveling from overseas get a travel health insurance policy to cover you.