Clarion Expenses

One of the things I found really helpful before I went to Clarion was Linda J. Dunn's page on her Clarion expenses.

So, in that tradition, I'm noting down my own Clarion expenses here.

By way of preface I should note that I didn't bring a car. I didn't miss it one bit. I probably would have missed it a lot if there hadn't been a bunch of generous people (Amy, Jason, Susan, Rick, and John at least) who brought cars and drove their classmates to the various activities that were more than walking distance away. Without a car I hardly ever went shopping, so I hardly ever spent any money.

Application Fee12/30/200025.00
Clarion Fee2/28/2001100.00
Board (minimum charge)6/5/200198.40
Dorm fridge & microwave6/5/200127.00
T-shirts, mug, etc.7/12/200154.96
Board (balance due)7/14/2001201.01
Restaurant mealsThursdays64.79

That doesn't include the money I spent for books by the various instructors (I tried to get at least one book by each author to get signed), nor the money I spent at the Gap for black pants and shirt for my angsty writer costume ($42.38), nor the various out-of-pocket expenses that I paid cash for (sodas from the machine, printer paper), but that's a pretty complete summary of the money I spent related to Clarion.

I received the Marjorie and Walter Farrell Scholarship, which I very much appreciate.

People for whom a scholarship would make the difference of whether you could go or not: Note that we didn't find out how much of a scholarship we were getting until a couple days after class started. Journals from past years describe the same thing, so I guess you have to expect that you just won't know in advance.

The way Owen worked was that we checked in for free, then wrote a check for room, board, and miscellaneous a couple of days later. The "board" portion was $2.40 for each day we were staying (that we had to pay to the cafeteria whether we ate there or not). Then, when we checked out we got a balance from the cafeteria cash register and brought it to the front desk where they subtracted the amount we'd already paid to calculate the balance due.

For me, going to Clarion was really quite cheap. (Very possibly cheaper than staying home, actually.) A big part of the reason is that I ate most of my meals at the Owen Cafeteria.

The food at Owen was never very good, but I almost always found something edible. And it was generally healthy--not too salty, reasonably low in fat. It was really handy to have the cafeteria there. You could go down just about any time from 7:00 AM until 9:30 PM and find something to eat. The fact that the food was often terrible just made it less of a temptation, so I could keep writing when the writing was going well. And, because it was open so many hours, I never felt like I had to stop in the middle of something just so I could eat before they closed.

On Thursday evenings there was generally a group that went out to eat before the reading and I usually went with that group (those are the "restaurant meals" included in the table above). I ate out a few meals in addition to that--maybe one meal a week on average. Other people did different things, some almost never eating in Owen, others doing things like bringing cup-o-soups in and using the cafeteria's hot water.

Here are a few other articles about writing and attending Clarion:

Clarion Journal

Philip Brewer
Champaign, Illinois
3 February 2002