Ah, the age-old discussion: to MFA or not to MFA? I am currently one year into an MA in Rhetoric and Writing Studies, a program that I enrolled in after a few years away from academia. I am enjoying the program but have an ineffable desire to pursue an MFA in creative writing once my MA is said and done. (It's an odd thing to be in the thick of an advanced degree with your eyes and heart already magnetizing toward an entirely different academic endeavor.) Since I can't necessarily go for the MFA right now, I am keeping my appetite at arm's length with a steady diet of literature on the subject of MFAs--a combination of program descriptions of the various programs in California and Arizona (UC-Irvine or ASU, pretty please) and blogs/essays written by writers both currently enrolled and already graduated from their programs seems to do the trick. So I ask myself and my fellow scribes here on the forum: To what end might the pursuit of an MFA lend itself? To continue expanding my abilities as a writer? To gain the respect of writers in the field and earn my way into literary academia? To teach? To become a full-time novelist (ha-ha)? Is it even worth it? Though I can answer some of these questions myself, I know that my answers aren't the only ones out there. I would love to get a discussion going on the topic.