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Roller Coaster

Posted by aberrant, in Life, Grad School App 22 February 2012 · 935 views

Had an emotional roller coaster ride this week. Earlier in the week I went to visit a school at NY. While they spell out everything about how great the school is, the city and everything, it became an unachievable illusion as I received a rejection letter from that school. I have to be honest that I didn't see it coming, as I personally felt that most parts of the interviews went well, except one.

I had an interview with the chair of a department in the school. He is big in his field and a frequent author in one of the two highest impact journals. When I stepped into his office, he told me to sit, and said "talk to me" coldly. The next roughly 40 minutes showed that this guy did not read my application at all - he knows nothing about me as he asked me some questions that I spelled out in my app. He asked me questions that do not related to science much in my opinion. And since I was forced to do the talking at the beginning of the interview, I talked about my background, my reason to go to this school, and my research interest. From time to time, he attempted to make argument with some of my statements but I am able to make my stand point crystal clear. He then challenged me that I should not do things that I currently wanted to do in grad school (that is technology related). He introduced me this story of Pony Express and tried to argue that "you shouldn't learn a technique unless you are able to develop something new out of it". Funny thing is that I applied to a discipline of this umbrella program, in which capability to use an experimental technique is important - if a technique isn't important and one should not make it an priority to learn, why should the school offer such program in the first place? Besides, the long history of this technique shows that it is still the most dominant tool in the field after a century, with the appearance and development of other techniques.

Anyhow, conclusion is that the program rejects me so it's their lost. There is nothing else to say after venting & whining to a couple others.

Another visit at the south was great. I like everything about the program, and the only problem that I have is the location. I think the interview went pretty well so hopefully I will hear some good news in a few weeks of time. As of now, it is time to get back to the waiting game.

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