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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/20/2017 in all areas

  1. 12 points
    orange turtle

    sexual harassment?

    Update for those following this: I went for my morning meeting, and sat somewhere else. I purposely placed myself near the female professors. Got a raised eyebrow from one but I just shrugged it off. After the meeting, one of the senior PIs I sat next to asked if everything was fine. She said I hadn't said a word during the meeting and had moved to sit with the "older and more senior people" instead of hanging out where the grad students tend to sit. She also mentioned that I had uncapped and capped my pen "over a hundred times" throughout the one hour meeting and hadn't taken any notes, which seemed to her like I was terribly anxious (she's a psychiatrist) and I was usually pretty chilled. She said she was annoyed at the pen uncapping and capping at first but when it continued she thought this was more than just "usual graduate student tics, idiosyncrasies, and anxiety." I pretty much wanted to cry right there. Mostly because I have been dreading this meeting. I think she is probably very well-trained to know when someone's going to cry so she asked me to go to her office with her. I told her pretty much everything. And she flipped. She started cursing. I've never seen this professor frazzled. But she then said she would talk to the other PIs/co-investigators if I was fine with that, and would move towards removing him from the team and said "We can always get another investigator from that area. There's several other guys I know." In the meantime though, she said I didn't have to attend the meetings until he is gone. They won't penalise me. I am so relieved! And I ate about a pound of chocolate so I'm now sick to the pit of my stomach and sugar high. But that's okay. :-)
  2. 8 points

    sexual harassment?

    @rphilos put down the shovel. The first sentence is the OP is the one that mattered. No additional details were needed for anyone who has had any training in how sexual harassment is defined or on how to conduct oneself professionally in the work place. You have attempted to hijack the thread by going on and on and on and on about "morality" and the law, uniformed statements about legal "semantics," hypotheticals about unattractive men getting turned down for a date (a revealing example), and comments about autism. Women don't need the permission of or validation from men to feel the way they feel about their own experiences or if they want to take action. If men don't want to be accused of improper conduct, they should do some soul searching, learn the relevant policies, get some training on how to act appropriately, dial up their situational awareness, stop thinking with their Johnsons, and govern themselves accordingly. In regards to soul searching, you should look in the mirror. To repeat--the OP provided all (read: all) of the information needed. A faculty member propositioned a graduate student for sex and the student took umbrage. Your demand for additional information and ongoing attempts to shift the conversation indicate that your first, second, and third thoughts are that it is okay for someone to exploit a position of power for sex.
  3. 8 points

    Love vs Grad School

    I guess my question is one of how serious you and the SO are. Do you see a real future for the two of you together, one where you can pursue your passions/interests plus be together? How will you feel about having delayed graduate school if you and your SO were to break up 3-6 months from now? Thinking about things in this way might help you have a good perspective on your relationship, which can in turn help with making a decision. Personally, I picked grad school when in a somewhat similar situation and I don't regret it. Why? Because the SO that wasn't that supportive of me moving across the country for grad school was being selfish and wasn't interested in what was best for me long-term, which means things would've ended disastrously at some point.
  4. 6 points
    Dogfish Head

    2018 Applicants

    I took the GRE last week, and I think that I did pretty well. One step closer to being able to apply to programs this Fall .
  5. 5 points
    Averroes MD

    Need help making sense of correspondence

    I don't know how good of an idea it is to post the full text of the email on a public forum.
  6. 5 points
    orange turtle

    sexual harassment?

    @serenade, @avflinsch, @NoirFemme, @Hope.for.the.best, @Pandas, @aberrant, @Comparativist, @TakeruK, @Concordia, @fuzzylogician, @telkanuru @cowgirlsdontcry @Sigaba, @EliaEmmers I have read all your advice, suggestions, possible departments /individuals to approach, sympathies, and thoughts. Thank you. I have a meeting tomorrow where CreepProf, as Fuzzy christened him, will attend. I am going to take it step -by -step for now. And start by seeing if I am too uncomfortable attending the meeting. And if I am, then I will consider approaching another PI who is younger and seems quite motherly (I know I'm completely stereotyping here and it's unfair that women often get burdened with more disclosures). I think I'm gonna make an appointment with counselling, too, just to see if they might have ideas as professionals. For now, I think I will try and "move on" and try not to let him affect my work. It just doesn't seem worth it. And this board / forum has been immensely helpful in helping out things in perspective, including the *initial* questions about context @rphilos and @Comparativist. I appreciate (very much!) that women and men who are uncomfortable with a proposition should not have to provide context, *but* I can also appreciate that if I am asking for advice, I should have to contextualise it for more complete advice. Thank you. This has helped clarify the yes-it-is-no-it-isn't thoughts. And I'm gonna bring lots of chocolates for the meeting tomorrow. A female friend in my department always reminds me for all stressful days that "chocolates help when dementors are nearby." (Harry Potter fans will understand) :-) P.s., if I left anyone's name off the list, my apologies.
  7. 5 points

    Project Proposal portion of SOP

    You should delineate your broad questions and why answering them in a particular place/time is compelling to you. The SOP is not a dissertation prospectus. It is your monologue justifying how going to X school makes sense to answer those questions. You will need geography/chronology because you are applying to work under the supervision of specific faculty that you must name (and contact). They are standard not because they are required per se but because if you don't, then you are not writing a statement of purpose. I'm not sure I understand your questions. No, don't ramble about your topic of interest and definitely don't do name dropping. You will have an opportunity to do this in your writing sample. The SOP should be about your big questions, your experience as a researcher, the department you are applying to, and how you see yourself in that program. In other words, you should show evidence of a coherent transition between a past, a present, and a future. Again, this is not a project proposal, at least not for US institutions. I strongly suggest you look at SOPs samples, like this one. You can also search for horrible samples as examples of what not to do. They helped me a lot.
  8. 4 points

    Historians and Charlottesville

    Hi all, The terrorist attack in Charlottesville and the vile Unite the Right protest that accompanied it have brought up some old discussions that I've had and re-had and re-re-had with family members (many from the South), some who voted for and continue to support Trump. After the election, I decided to distance myself from some of them. I'd spent too many hours trying to dismantle wild claims using evidence and argument, to no avail. I'd get the same all-caps Fw: Fw: Fw: emails a month later. For my own sanity I had to stop responding. I'm finding myself getting sucked into such conversations again. I can't help but think historians have a vital role to play at moments like these, but I'm wondering what shape that role should take. On public fora, I try my best to stay calm and civil, and I try not to talk down to people, but I often fail when I hear things like: "today's Democratic Party is the party of the KKK," as if 152 years hadn't passed since the KKK's founding, or "removing Confederate monuments from public parks is erasing history" – not to mention false moral equivalencies like those Trump has been making of late. I'm wondering how y'all deal with this. Is it worth responding? If so, how to do it in such a way that our interlocutors hear us, maybe even are convinced by us? I've been called an elitist by the afore-mentioned family members more times than I can count. Once the scarlet E has been sewn onto the conversation, the conversation is dead (at least in my experience). All subsequent arguments are heard as self-righteous finger-wagging. What can we do? What is our responsibility as historians in times like these?
  9. 4 points

    Fall 2018 Applicants

    Heh well then Europe seems like it's out! Looks like a partially or fully funded masters is the way to go if you don't get accepted to PhD programs this cycle. Absolutely agree with @Sigaba's suggestion to figure out what history means for you. I wouldn't be overly worried, though, about the (admittedly touchy) subject of interdisciplinarity. Some programs (Cornell's, to take one example) actively encourage working with scholars outside the Department of History. Others are known for their strong departments in other social sciences, and are known for blurring disciplinary boundaries in innovative ways (anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor; sociology at the University of Chicago). Just be judicious in where you send your applications -- avoiding cranky cranks. As for readings: I'd start with the classics (outdated in some ways, but they'll give you lots to chew on): March Bloch, Apologie pour l'histoire ou métier d'historien, 1941 (trans., The Historian's Craft, 1953) R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of History, 1946 E. H. Carr, What is History?, 1961 Then some newer books/articles: Various books and articles by Reinhart Koselleck (many have been translated into English) François Hartog, Le Miroir d'Hérodote. Essai sur la représentation de l'autre, 1980 (trans., The Mirror of Herodotus: The Representation of the Other in the Writing of History, 1988) Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, 1995 William Cronon, "Why the Past Matters," 2000 François Hartog, Régimes d'historicité. Présentisme et expériences du temps, 2003 (trans., Regimes of Historicity: Presentism and Experiences of Time, 2015) A couple textbook-like resources on historiography: Caroline Hoefferle, The Essential Historiography Reader, 2011 Eileen Ka-May Cheng, Historiography: An Introductory Guide, 2012 My absolute favorite is a book that hasn't been translated into English: Antoine Prost's Douze leçons sur l'histoire (1996, revised 2014). It's a wealth of resources on the practice of history, history's relationship to other disciplines, trends in Western historiography -- and it's written in an accessible, often droll style. If you get less terrible at reading in French, give it a try! I can't recommend it enough.
  10. 4 points

    Need help making sense of correspondence

    The professor seems pretty clear that you should improve your Arabic before applying to the program. The "I and my colleagues have decided..." suggests this may be a policy now, perhaps a new one, explaining why there are currently students in the program with less Arabic than you. You got a very clear explanation of why this is now the policy, given the current state of the job market. Frankly, I would take this advice seriously because once you start the program, as she says, it'll be hard to get your language to where it needs to be. If that means that by that very decision you're going to make it very hard for yourself to get a job after you graduate, it seems wise to take the extra year or two to beef up your language skills and allow yourself a more successful career down the line. One or two years aren't going to make that much of a difference from the other end of a long successful career, but if not investing them properly can mean not getting started even, well, I think it's clear what you need to do. The only thing she says that you should pay attention to is the question of career goals; if you aren't interested in an academic career in the first place, things might be different.
  11. 4 points

    PhD Horror Story

    https://www.allisonharbin.com/post-phd/why-i-left-academia-part-1 Quite the read, and a fairly concise statement about how intra-university politics work.
  12. 4 points
    Rhet/Comp person here. There are lots of questions here so I'm going to answer a few I know answers to and direct you to some ways to find out if rhet/comp is right for you. What do Rhet/Comp folks do? Well it depends on what type of program you're in. Some rhet/comp folks focus more on traditional aspects of rhetoric (think the classics, aristotle, theory, writing, and communication), other programs are more interdisciplinary and their departments may overlap with other programs at their university (Womens studies departments, English lit, digital humanities, ect), some simply have their own specializations (MSU for example has strong Cultural Rhetorics and Digital Humanities tracks). Mostly though some common themes you'll find in rhet/comp lit is writing (surprise!), community, stories, literacy, persuasion (through rhetorical devices), and communication. Is a Rhet/Comp PhD always focused only on college writing and literacy issues like WPA and writing center work? If I am interested in studying propaganda, advertising, and political rhetoric, is a Rhet/Comp PhD right for me? See above- of course not! If you are interested in WPA or FYW then you will find it much easier to find programs (and faculty) that fit your interests. Most rhet/comp people who end up as adjuncts or in early faculty positions do serve as college writing instructors. However, many serve as WPA, program directors, or in positions in other fields (digital humanities, Arts & Sciences programs, or within smaller sister departments within their research interests- think a rhet/comp degree holder whose thesis was on indigenous methods of storytelling may serve in an Indigenous Studies programs). For your second response: there are many programs that would have faculty studying propogand and political rhetoric (especially in light of the recent election! search CFPs for special election issues and you'll be pleasantly surprised), but your interests would also fit within a communication program or a media studies programs (it just depends on where you think you fit best based on region, finances, and faculty). Do I really have a better chance of finding tenure-line work with a Rhet/Comp degree than with a Lit degree? This is tricky, so I will leave this to lit people to discuss the job market in their field, but I will say Rhet/Comp (just like many humanities programs) can provide training in areas that will help you get a degree (such as professional writing, website design, coding, technical writing, ect). I have seen many of the people from my program leave with jobs in hand and our department has only grown. I realize though that this is not the case everywhere. Jobs are hard to find in any field right now, so if tenure-track is your goal, ask programs about their graduate's record in receiving these positions. Am I more likely to find a standard classroom teaching gig as a Rhet/Comp, or am I more likely to work in administrative roles like WPA or writing center director? This will depend on your research, focus, and GA position. If you don't want to be a WPA no one will make you. I will say though just in terms of job availability there will always be less WPA positions than teaching positions. Most universities have 1-3 admins in a writing center whereas they may have 20-30 teach positions for "standard classroom teaching" (note: I'm talking about FYW, rhetoric/comp, and potentially English class positions since let's face it most Rhet/Comp people end up in an English department not in a stand alone Rhet/Comp department). What are some specializations or subfields in Rhet/Comp that are especially popular right now? What are some subfields that I might not know about (given that I clearly know very little to begin with)? Just to name a few that I know of from my department's subfields: pedagogy, literacy, teaching, visual rhetoric, digital rhetorics, cultural rhetorics, disability studies, indigenous studies, chicano/a studies, trauma studies, queer theory, environmental studies, African American studies, multi-modal composition, accessibility, professional writing, rhetorical theory/historiography, and technical writing (these are literally just some of what people in my department study- find a department that is flexible and enthusiastic and they will help you find spaces for your work) And, what other aspects of Rhet/Comp am I clearly trampling over in my ignorance in this post? This is not your ignorance, but a lot of people think rhet/comp is just writing, or just like the field of English because we are so often housed in English programs. However, Rhet/Comp is a very growing and changing field. There is also a great divide in the field between more traditional programs and more "progressive" programs. Where you do your MA/PhD will greatly influence what you will read, how you will be trained, and the programs you will be able to more easily network with. Rhet/Comp is a lot more diverse and nuanced that just writing, but writing is at the heart of what we do. If you want to focus more on literature, history, or a particular time period literature may be a better fit for you, if you want to focus more on theories of communication then communication may be better for you. It just depends on your resources, desires, and focus. I highly recommend searching through a department's website and looking at what their graduate students are focusing on. Their research interests will show you what is more popular/available in their department and you will often see common themes. Taking a brief look through their list of courses is also a good start. I chose Rhet/Comp because I always enjoyed theory and persuasion over literary analysis, as an undergraduate I had the opportunity to take rhetoric classes that really made me think about my position, power, and motives (in fact we talked quite a lot about propoganda and power). Overall I found a place in the field that was open to me really exploring my identity, power, and position and overall challenges me to write (and discuss other's writing) from a place that questions those priveleges. However, rhet/comp isn't the only place you can do that work and our field is smaller than lit. Our field is growing because we are able to secure some funding through digital humanities programs, Writing Centers, and First Year Writing pedagogy/labs (something some more traditional programs/english programs may not be able to). PS: Online writing is a very hot topic right now so there is space for that interest as well.
  13. 4 points

    sexual harassment?

    I agree with the first bit, but I'm not so confident with the second. As with the others here, I find your adviser's advice (particularly the tone of her delivery) to be, at best, inconsiderate and insensitive. But that does not mean that it is necessarily wrong. You need to ask yourself if you're willing to die on this hill. Filing this sort of complaint, particularly over your adviser's objections, and particularly if it ends up not going anywhere, can have a serious impact on your career. I'm not saying I think it should, but we deal with the world as it is rather than as we would like it to be. My advice is to do your homework. Figure out how strong of a case you have and how the evidence you will give will filter through the administrative process. If you only have your own word for what happened, is it likely to be dismissed? Can you find other examples of sexual harassment complaints at your university? How successful were they, and why? If you can't find any (or only a few), do you think that's because none exist or because the university does not want them to exist? Is this what your adviser was trying to tell you, in her own crude way? You need to consider your adviser, as well, regardless of whether she's included in the formal process. What's her relationship to the harasser? She's clearly not likely to support you, but if you pursue this, will she actively oppose you? Do you think she might have had a relationship with the man in question? Will you have any confidence in any letters of recommendation she writes? Will she talk about you positively to her peers at conferences? Will you need to find a new adviser? Can you, or would you have to switch schools? And yeah, these are some pretty scary questions, and the fact that you need to ask them is precisely why sexual harassment goes unreported, and why, ultimately, the guy felt confident in making advances. Turns out the patriarchy sucks kind of a lot, but is really rather good at what it does.
  14. 4 points

    Genetic Counseling Fall 2018 Applicants

    Hey Everyone, I created this map of all the different ABGC-certified programs with information like application deadline, and number of students accepted, etc: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1M57n5YZeNsw7nwxEwfXTAWsmsCw&usp=sharing Some of the information was hard to get from the websites and some of the schools haven't updated their application deadlines from last year, so I can't guarantee that all of the information is 100% correct. All of the tuition information is for the full 2-years of study and is out-of-state tuition, because I figured that was more applicable to most people. We can work on updating the information together, so if anyone notices anything that needs to be changed just PM me. I also didn't include any of the up and coming programs, so if anyone has information on those let me know.
  15. 4 points

    Time for outside activities during grad school?

    I'm of the opinion that you must pursue other interests. I agree with you: that person was exaggerating. We all need a way to distract ourselves, to turn stress, worries, questions into something productive. I practice sports: I joined two clubs and an intramural team, I go to gym/swim/run, and I even picked up two new sports during my comps/prospectus because it was a way to also learn something new and accompanying the process of intellectual 'acquisition'. That said, I don't know how serious you can be about an instrument. I know of people how participated in some small performance events because, like you, had a semi-professional past. I also know of people who joined choirs/church bands as a means to channel this. Others collaborated with the performing arts department for fundraisers. I tried to resume piano lessons but they were too pricey for my stipend. I sense you will have to come to grips with the fact that you may not keep up with your professional pace. For example, in my program we don't have any responsibilities in first year other than doing well. That was a great time for me to feel at home doing sports I practiced at home, it was a way of adjusting. During my second year it was harder to keep up with team sports and in my third year it was impossible, hence I picked up individual sports. Lay out the five-six years ahead of you and think about your PhD requirements (teaching, coursework, comps, etc). If you know what's happening when, you'll be able to tune the amount of time you devote to your music. But by no means abandon it.
  16. 4 points


    no. Move on and focus on the writing sample and statement of purpose. Those are more important than the GRE.
  17. 3 points
    St Andrews Lynx

    Professor wants me to lie?

    If I was in that situation I'd take the free registration, introduce myself confidently as a postdoc and then feign TOTAL IGNORANCE if called out. "Oh, my boss Prof X handled my registration." (Honestly, given how cheap most academics are they'll probably be impressed with your ability to get something for free) If it only costs $20 to register as a non-student or something like that then just tell your PI you'll pay for the registration yourself. If it costs something like $200 and the PI would otherwise be paying for your registration...then either swallow the lie or don't go.
  18. 3 points

    Need help making sense of correspondence

    Please keep in mind that @fuzzylogician and @TMP (especially IRT history) consistently offer outstanding guidance--the fact that they agree with the professor in your OP is, IMO, sufficient reason to reread the POI's response to you, and to think it through. Please remember that sometimes (read: often) there's a big difference between what you want to hear and what you need to hear. The professor in the OP strikes me as someone who cares about you--a person whom she's never met--and is doing her level best to put you in a position to succeed, not just in gaining admissions to UC Davis, but to maximizing your potential as a professional academic historian. While you may get more favorable answers from other POIs, they may not necessarily be better answers.
  19. 3 points
    I was strategic in a slightly different way, but I think that my topic helped a lot with where I wound up being accepted. Rather than focusing on what others might do, I tried to pick a topic that aligned as many of my strengths as possible. I think that kinda helped make it unique naturally, if that makes sense. I've worked the most with Hegel and was most comfortable with his Phenomenology, so I wrote my sample on that (like @isostheneia!). But I also know ancient Greek and had taken courses in ancient philosophy and the philosophy of tragedy, so I wrote on Hegel's Antigone, where I could use some of my own translations and bring in ancient ideas as well as working with some contemporary secondary literature on Hegel's work. All the schools that accepted me had professors working in both ancient Greek and modern German philosophy and a smaller subset of them were really excited by the work in tragedy. So, I think the best bet is to write about something that you're confident that you can produce your best work in. Especially if it can pull together multiple strengths in a natural way, even better!
  20. 3 points
    By all means apply to MSU - they do indeed have a strong African History department. But please don't use rankings, particularly for subfields. They mean exactly shit, and foster the wrong idea about how postgraduate work actually functions.
  21. 3 points

    TAing for prof with poor 'rate my prof' score

    I'd like to chip in with some extra advice. All sorts of teaching can be educational for TAs. In the worst case scenario, where the professor is actually a messy, unfair, dull cartoon, you can see situations that you would handle differently: the what-not-to-do situations. If this professor is in fact a bad professor (in what ever sense this could be), then you can think of ways in which you would do things differently. Here are a bunch of possible questions you can observe: Are they disorganized? (How would you organize your classes?) Are they unfair? How? (How would you handle the issues more fairly?) Are they boring/disengaging? (How would you engage students?) Do they have a bad presence in the class? (low voice, monotone, hiding behind desk, etc) You can imagine others. Also, the bright side of being a bad professor's TA is that you can meet with them periodically, ask questions about the reasons for ways they handle things, and even make suggestions. (Of course, this depends a lot on other factors. I TAed for my advisor so I was a little confident in making suggestions).
  22. 3 points

    Drop in Graduate School Applications

    The school I am going to said the drop between the 2016 and 2017 cycles was almost 50% and the DGS said he wasn't entirely sure why. That said, I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing, because the issue we've seen in the discipline in recent decades is that more PhDs are being awarded than jobs being created for PhDs. So perhaps the lower number of applicants will mean the system is starting to even out? Or maybe I'm just being hopeful lol.
  23. 3 points
    Hi! I hope your MA experience is amazing and best of luck with your first semester! If I could sum up some of the things that I learned from my MA (in a way that is hopefully helpful to you), I would say - (1) Be open and engaged with professors; they're (obviously) some of your strongest allies in the application process. Getting to know them and asking their opinions on best practices towards applying during that first semester will (a) give you a network of awesome LWs and advisers and (2) help you figure out what adviser style works for you. Hitching your wagon to a superstar is great, but you risk detaching somewhere in the troposphere if the adviser is misaligned with you in a holistic way. It's a weird way to put it, but I hope I'm at least sort of clear. (2) Be open and engaged with your peers; they're your second line of defense in PhD apps. Finding good friends means (usually) good and honest eyes who can read your SOP and WS. Moreover, I've some of my best app/scholarship practices from friends (and from reading their work.) (3) Focus on creating a great WS by keeping things simple. There are many opinions on what the WS is; I would say that the WS is the "workhorse" of your application - its primary goal is to prove that you can create and sustain an intelligent and engaged academic argument for 18ish pages. It's also good to explore a bit in your field, but the WS doesn't need to be the "showhorse" that the SOP (with all its ambition and intellectual acrobatics) needs to be. I learned this in a lovely convo with a peer today, so - hey - friends are key. (4) Reach out for help if you need it - there are lovely folks on here willing to talk. There are lovely folks at your program (in the English department and elsewhere) likely willing to help. It sounds like a platitude because it is, but it takes a village (in some sense) to make this whole PhD app thing work. FWIW, I haven't stuck the landing yet in terms of apps, so please - take my advice with a lot of salt (well-intended, not Salty Salt), ignore whatever doesn't work for you, and PM if something does stick out. Best!
  24. 3 points

    sexual harassment?

    I think I understand where you are getting at, but I believe this type of advice is very bad advice because of the way power dynamics work in academia, thinking like this will led to very few things being reported. In many cases, whether it's sexual harassment or other types of bad behaviour, it is easy for a grad student to incorrectly blame themselves or assume that the behaviour is "normal" or "expected". When an incident like this happens and someone thinks they need to make a Title IX report, the complainant (to use the policy's term) should not have to justify or investigate or determine whether or not the action they are complaining about fits whatever the definition of "harassment" you want to use. I think a lot of people misunderstand what actually happens with a Title IX report. The point of a Title IX office and a Title IX coordinator is to collect these reports/complaints/whatever-you-want-to-call-them. If anyone feels that something is amiss, they should make a report/complaint. Making a report does not "ruin someone's life" (see the many cases in the news where people who are found guilty yet still continue to work) nor does it label someone as an offender. Making a report is exactly what it sounds like: you report it to some central office. If the Title IX coordinator decides that the report/information is actionable, then they will start and coordinate an investigation. This due process is what will determine if someone violated the policy and what actions needs to be taken. Note that sometimes, for small offenses, such as situations where someone just doesn't know the social norms, the "action" can simply be education or training. I will also note that often the worst offenders will use this excuse as a reason to behave badly. For years, I worked as part of a group of grad students advising the Title IX office on policy education and outreach. So I know the process very well at my school (could be different at others). But, at our school, we always encourage people to say something if their "gut feeling" tells them something feels wrong. If it's not actually wrong, then no big deal. But if it is actually a problem, then no one can do anything unless information is collected. This goes back to my first paragraph: often, the people in positions of less power might assume that action X is okay even if it feels wrong. I believe it's far better to encourage people to report "X" to the Title IX office whenever it feels wrong, rather than to have to "investigate" it themselves to find out if it's wrong. The authority and responsibility to investigate lies with the Title IX investigators, not the complainant. Finally, I would also have to disagree that harassment (or Title IX violations) must happen at least twice (or whatever you decide) to count. Harassment could be repeat occurrences, but it could also be one single severe occurrence. In addition, it could also be many moderate severity occurrences happening to five different people, but only once to each person. These are all things that the Title IX office should be aware of, and if people don't report "X" when it feels wrong, it may never proceed to investigation and the offender can harm a large number of students one at a time.
  25. 3 points
    Work to improve how you define your interests as a historian. Why history? ===> Why African history? ===> Why Central/West African history? ===> When (period of primary interest)? ===> How (social, cultural, religious, political)? ===> "So what?" (what kinds of questions/issues do you see yourself addressing as a graduate student). All of the answers to these questions can/should be provisional. Start the process of looking at Africanists in every history department in the United States. Pay attention to where Africanists got their graduate degrees--you will likely see patterns. Once you get some scratch, get a JPASS and start looking at journals related to your field(s). Look for articles that discuss the historiography of African history generally and your area/periods of interest specifically. These articles will help you to define the forest you want to explore and help you to identify scholars whose work you should read. Give thought to developing dossiers on scholars in your field. Include the titans of the old guard (even the apologists), those who overthrew the old ways of thinking, the established generation, and the up and comers. Develop a correspondence with historians you worked with as an undergraduate and historians you might want to study under as a graduate student. Do what you can to avoid asking questions that you should answer for yourself. If you get stumped, make sure you communicate what steps you've taken before phrasing the question for help. Only use your screen name here on websites related to your education. Do not use it for social media. (In the past, I made this recommendation in case academic administrators and members of the faculty decided to highlight, right click, search google for evidence of asshattery. Now, it's also about keeping as small of a digital footprint as long as the White House is in MAGA mode.) If your work for TFA brings you to that organization's office in DTLA, keep in mind that the central branch of the LAPL is a few blocks away.
  26. 3 points
    Do an M.A. Learn French (at the very least, possibly one or more African languages as well, though that depends on what exactly you're doing, possibly Portuguese, Dutch/Afrikaans, German, etc depending on exactly what countries you want to work on. This could be instead of French, but working on West Africa without French seems unlikely to be feasible). Your background at the moment is unlikely to get you into a PhD program good enough to get you a job post-grad school, but assuming you can afford it/find funding, an M.A. program should be doable and give you the chance to be a strong candidate.
  27. 3 points

    Future Job Market For History MA & PhD Grads?

    Don't count on it at all. Universities are increasingly replacing those tenured positions with adjuncts to capitalize, I mean, exploit the labor force. Little pay, no benefits. Departments have to work hard to lobby for tenure-track positions and proposals are not always accepted (I've see a fair share of rejected hiring proposals).
  28. 3 points

    MAT or MA in English before getting PhD?

    1. Getting into a renowned English Ph.D. (i.e., programs that are well-known have a good placement) is a lot harder than getting into MAT at Ivy. I went to a private boarding school and I have quite a few acquaintances who got MAT degrees at Ivy, including Columbia. They are all bright people, so I'm not talking less of people who go into that field, but the chance of getting into a MAT program and Ph.D. program (especially if it's a respectable one) is simply incomparable. Especially for the latter, you should have a research experience on top of a clearly outlined research interest--not just the passion for working in a certain field. 2. Even after getting into those well-respected programs, you really need to stand out in your cohort to remotely have a shot. And I'm saying "to have a shot," not "to get a job in academia" because even shining in your program won't guarantee a tenure track professorship. The market in academia, especially for humanities, is brutal. My brother is doing his Ph.D. at a highly-ranked Ivy institution for economics and the job market for economics in academia looks better than humanities because quite a few of the Ph.D. degree holders join a research lab or a private sector, which simply is not an option for humanities students (except for Alt-Ac like doing an admin job at universities, but this has a tiny market as well.) Even so, it doesn't mean it's looking good. These students are tons of best-achieving students from their undergraduate institutions with nearly perfect GPA and extensive research experience as an undergraduate student. Still, most of these "outstanding" students don't end up getting a tenure-track job unless they are willing to move to somewhere no one really wants to live. And becoming a professor in humanities is way harder. Even if you're willing to move to the middle of nowhere, that won't expand your options that much. Check out Chronicle of Higher Education to read more about it. 3. So let me revise your statement for you. Realistically, you shouldn't be torn "between pursuing a career in education (K-12) or in English academia" because "pursuing a career in English academia" is nothing like "pursuing a career in education (K-12)" when it comes to the job market. You should rather be torn between "pursuing a career in education or doing English Ph.D. for 6 to 8 years and still have no stable job in academia." But a nice thing is, as long as you are not hung up with being in academia, high schools (including private schools that pay you really well) are enthusiastically accepting Ph.D. holders. So if you are okay with teaching K-12, you won't end up doing adjuncts in different schools (i.e., doing a part-time job in many different places without any benefit or insurance). But you really want to stay in academia, the odds are against you (and me and anyone who wants to get a TT job). The reason why a lot of Ph.D. students start Ph.D. is that they love doing a research and they do have a specific research interest they want to contribute to. If you want to start Ph.D. *only* because you want to get a job in college and teach college students, that's not a good reason to start Ph.D. *all all.* I think you should learn more about the job market reality in humanities academia before you argue between those two options. Jobs in academia (especially full-time tenure track professorship) is really, really, REALLY rare. I can't emphasize this enough. 4. As Rising Star had pointed out, I'm having a hard time seeing why you'd want an English Ph.D. when you want to become "a professor of education [educational leadership and policy] at a top research university." In general, I seriously recommend you read more about job prospects on top of looking at the CVs of the professors in the education department at a top research university. 5. Echo449 already answered this, but MA.T. will *not* help you getting into an English Ph.D. although it won't hurt you either. What Ph.D. programs are looking for isn't a teaching experience. They're looking for someone who is capable of doing researches, and a teaching experience on top of that might be a plus. But without that, MA.T. won't help you, especially if you want to get into programs that are crammed with qualified applicants. And this is why people say writing samples and SOP are important. You should show your potential as a scholar first and a teaching experience in K-12 doesn't show that aspect. Anyway, good luck with MAT program and choosing your career path!
  29. 3 points
    I personally found that most students actually are able to carve out much more than 30 minutes per day, especially if they follow the advice of protecting/managing your time. As others wrote in the threads linked by rising_star, time management and setting priorities is really important. I would estimate that most students in my program have something like 10-15 hours per week to devote to personal interests. In some years you might have more and in others you might have less. And some weeks of the year could be very work heavy while others not so much. But on average, most students I know commit to some sort of leisure activity that "costs" about 10-15 hours per week. I know students who are part of a band, some that train for marathons, some that pick up a new sport (e.g. tennis), some that get their pilot's license. Others split this time over several activities that require less time each. Or, just use it as open leisure time and not engage in structured activities at all. There's nothing wrong with using your 10-15 hours one week to binge-watch House of Cards, for example. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything
  30. 3 points

    Aspiring Phil. Student Help

    It doesn't matter. It's your trajectory and the quality of your current work that matter. Doesn't matter, unless it's a fake university like Liberty University. You'd be surprised how many schools academics recognize. We're usually pretty familiar with the academic world. Plus, in order to get our jobs, we (literally) applied to hundreds of universities. Hell, I'm Canadian and I'm pretty sure I can name around 200 or so schools in the US alone, most of which most people have never heard of. I can even name at least one school in most European countries. So don't worry on that front! Very few students get recommendations from big names; most don't. What matters is that the professor is familiar with your work and interests, and can speak to your ability (and perhaps, in your case, your upward trajectory). Also not a big deal. But, as hector549 said, you'll need to clearly articulate why you want to pursue philosophy at the graduate level. And that justification will have to go beyond "I want to teach philosophy"; it'll have to talk about why it's philosophy in particular that you're interested in. What areas of philosophy do you want to study? Why? Incidentally, wanting to teach philosophy generally isn't enough to get you through the PhD process. It's a grueling slog, and you need to know that there are no jobs for you at the end of it. You really need to be motivated by your research project, otherwise you'll burn out fast. You'll be competing with 600 other people for the same crappy job in a state or country far away. You'll apply to a hundred or more jobs every year, get zero to one interviews, and maybe if you're lucky after five or six years of that you'll earn 30-40k teaching five courses a semester in a tiny town somewhere you didn't especially want to live. Getting an MA is easier, but it's increasingly less sufficient for teaching at the HS or community college levels, because those markets are increasingly flooded by people with PhDs (note also that philosophy isn't usually a "teachable" for HS, so you need enough courses in other subjects to get certified). That's not meant to discourage you, just to give you an idea of what you're going into, and of the fact that the reasons you give for wanting to pursue the MA or PhD will have to look sufficient to counterbalance those factors.
  31. 3 points
    Don't be silly. This isn't some regimented conversation that we have to conduct in logical notation to avoid ambiguity. That's clearly not what Duns Eith was saying. Besides which, the reality is that many of our social interactions--especially the early steps of a social interaction--are largely governed by convention, and as members of the same culture we're governed by roughly the same conventions. So there is a fairly uniform reason why grocery clerks greet you in the checkout line by asking how you're doing today, to say nothing of why the rest of us non-clerks start conversations that way. Asking a student what their post-degree plans are--and asking by saying "what are you gonna do with that?"--is just another way of initiating chit-chat. I personally think it's about as silly as asking a child what she wants to "be" when she grows up, but it doesn't take a towering intellect to see that it's a conventional move in a chit-chat context. No big deal.
  32. 3 points

    2018 Applicants

    Hey everyone! Just a reminder that I'll be starting the gmail group later today, so please send me a gmail address if you'd like to join
  33. 3 points

    Undergrad to MPP

    I strongly recommend working for at least a few years before attending grad school, even if you are confident that you know what you would like to do. Work experience will increase your likelihood of receiving funding, and working in your preferred field will let you gain out-of-the-classroom experience that admissions committees want to bring to the classroom. Even if you are admitted to your preferred school now, work experience will help you after graduation. Students who go straight to Masters programs often lack experience in things like interpersonal communication, office etiquette, how to run a meeting, and personal time management/task tracking that employers value (even after you are hired). I don't mean to imply that you don't have these skills or that you can't learn these things in school or internships, but I believe that these skills are much stronger in people who have at least a year of full-time work experience, and will substantially help you land and succeed in a job and succeed in your field after you graduate.
  34. 3 points

    2018 Applicants

    Okay. So, if you're interested in joining our group where we help each other stay on track with applications, please private message me a gmail address and I'll coordinate a chat. Let's aim for everyone to provide me with the address by Monday so we can get going. Sound good? I think this is the best option because we could also share our work on Google Docs if we want to coordinate readings and offer each other feedback. I'll try to mention everyone who has shown interest so far: @mk-8, @Keri, @Narrative Nancy, @punctilious, @a_sort_of_fractious_angel (don't know why it won't let me tag you?), @lit_nerd, @verjus. If I forgot anyone, please go ahead and let them know. If anyone else wants to join, please send me your info. You can make a new gmail account with your screen name if that makes you more comfortable. There's no pressure for you to provide your real identity if you don't wish to do so.
  35. 2 points

    When/how to pick research topic

    Glad I could help. I think that's really important to keep in mind in general when you start wondering, why a PhD, when you could stop at a MA? What kind of job do you want as a career? Why the major you chose? It really helps to answer all of those questions, and provides direction and motivation. I.e. I chose a PhD because I want to make medicine and cures, and want to have a direct and active role in the process in the industry, I don't think I can do that with a MA. Again, because of my belief in proteins and their role in diseases and cures, the best option for me was Biochemistry instead of say molecular or cell. I think a lot of people lose sight of the bigger picture and why they're doing what they're doing, especially when you're in the PhD program. It's going to be very stressful at times, and you're not going to enjoy it all the time, and it'll lead you to ask the questions above. It's important to have a strong end goal, one more than "I just want to get my PhD because degree or pay". I think having direction and true passion for that direction is really what separates a good Grad student, and an amazing one, not intellect or skill. Good luck searching!
  36. 2 points

    Fall 2018 Applicants

    I think it's best to treat the MA application as if it were a PhD application in that you should demonstrate in it your seriousness and the depth of interests as well as your understanding of the particular department in which you want to study. I believe the application should be explicit in saying that the MA will serve as preparation for the PhD. By doing that you will prove that you know what you are doing and are not idly stumbling into the profession, but rather that you are attempting to take careful steps towards developing intellectually and professionally before embarking on your doctoral research. That said, as far as I know from friends in the field (which is a small number of people), it is not absolutely necessary to get in contact with POIs and name them in your statement of purpose when applying to the MA. But I think it is a good idea and it is better to err on the side of overdoing your effort in the application. And, the writing sample, LOR, and SOP are just as important as in the PhD application, especially if you hope to get some kind of funding. You should always be aiming to impress the committee as much as you can!
  37. 2 points

    Ideal GRE scores for MSW applicants

    Ideal score regardless of program: 170, 170, 6.0. Program-specific advice: Beyond the school's websites, I found the results tab on gradcafe quite helpful. They are searchable by program, keyword, which is a great resource. General GRE Advice: Don't worry about a target score. Work hard at studying, develop tools and strategies, and don't stress out too much. As much as the first line felt like sarcasm, it wasn't. The GRE is a score maximizing effort. Do your best, and decide afterwards if it was good enough.
  38. 2 points

    Need help making sense of correspondence

    @miami421, I just wanted to highlight this extremely excellent advice from @Sigaba, which was concise so perhaps runs the risk of being overlooked. The thing about grad programs is that we often look for the answers and advice that we want, even if it's not actually the best or most realistic. Often faculty know that that's the sort of validation we're looking for, so it's likely easier for them to just tell us what we want to hear. I don't know who this POI is and I'm in no way saying that you're unqualified or that you shouldn't apply to PhDs without more Arabic-- I'm not in that field so wouldn't really know how that might affect your progress or marketability in the future. But when you find someone who is willing to take the time to be honest and level with you, those are people I think you want to take a second glance at. In my experience, even though their info is often inconvenient or unfavorable in the short-term, they are often people you end up appreciating down the road. And as Sigaba says, just because another POI doesn't care about your Arabic proficiency, doesn't necessarily mean they have your best interests in mind. Anyway, I know language requirements are frustrating, but that's my two cents. Hope it turns out well!
  39. 2 points

    sexual harassment?

    Ignoring the sidetracking comments, @orange turtle, you are completely justified in your feelings, and I am sorry that happened to you; your advisor's reaction is demoralizing and a real shame, in part because of what it probably means about her experiences of being a woman in your field and more importantly for how it's impacted you. Since we're talking about Canada and not the US, you can talk to someone in a position of authority without them being required to report it (as I understand it). It's up to you if you choose to do so and what other steps you choose to take. I can see several decisions that might make sense, given other circumstances. One thing to definitely do from now on is to document every interaction with CreepProf, so you have contemporaneous notes of everything that happens. From there, it's really a question for you and unfortunately a question of politics as to what makes sense next. It seems pretty clear that your advisor isn't going to be a supporter on this front, but an important question is whether she will object, or if this could affect your letters from her. (I'm assuming that you're definitely not getting a letter from CreepProf, so you're already limiting your options given that this is someone you've worked with who otherwise would write you a letter.) I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that an older married dude who's been around for a while has done this before. You can't possibly be the first one. Now, it's a whole other matter whether the department is aware and what it would be willing to do about it. It could be that each person thinks she's the only one, worries for her career, and doesn't report. It's also unfortunately entirely possible that people have reported in the past and didn't get the necessary support, and were pushed out one way or another. There has to be some rumor mill surrounding this that maybe has some info. This is crucial -- doing this alone is possible but very difficult. It's much easier if there is someone who can be on your side. And even so, unfortunately, the victim bears the burden of proof and you have to continue wallowing in it for a long time, since these procedures can take months and months. I am not trying to tell you what to do at all -- but it's important to be aware of the potential consequences and to do it the right way. Either way, your concern should be for your own well being and your career, definitely *not* for him and how he might be impacted!
  40. 2 points

    Do you save old papers?

    I keep everything. It's the archivist in me.
  41. 2 points

    Donald Trump Scandal

    This is a repost of an earlier thread with a click bait title. Locking. Post appropriately and don't bump your own threads.
  42. 2 points

    GPA and GRE

    This could also be explained by there being a very significant correlation between high GRE scores and a strong writing sample, letters of recommendation, and GPA, which wouldn't be at all surprising. This is a straightforward case of correlation (between high GRE scores and success in admissions) not equalling causation.
  43. 2 points
    I guess I'm confused. What makes you think pursuing a PhD in English will qualify you to be "professor of education [educational leadership and policy] at a top research university". Have you looked at the CVs of folks working in those departments now? If you do, you'll find that many actually studied education at the doctoral level, not another area...
  44. 2 points

    GRE Scores Overview

    I haven't been able to find an overview of GRE scores, but these are the median/suggested scores I've been able to find: Berkeley: 161V; 154Q Stanford: 166V; 163Q; 5.5W Wisconsin: above 75th percentile Duke: 162V; 160Q Indiana: above 70th percentile Notre Dame; 160V; 155Q; 5.0W a surprising amount of schools don't seem to post average scores ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  45. 2 points
    Thanks @maxhgns, for a sensible reply for the OP's initial three statements. We need not be defensive when they simply don't understand the profession, let alone for those who simply frame things only in personal or public utility and practical benefit. (Small talk + ignorance) = opportunity for you to share some information about your life and what you value. This is what they are actually going for when they ask these questions. [edit] You may be the only philosopher they ever meet outside of a silly TV show or movie trope. By getting defensive to an inquiry only solidifies that you yourself likely have nothing to offer the public and little to offer relationally. Condescension or dismissiveness only shows that you can't handle such a basic question that most of their peers can.
  46. 2 points

    Chemistry Supervisor in Biology PhD program?

    Schools can be strange. Where I did my PhD, there were multiple non-overlapping and very similar fields. You could do Molecular and Cellular Biology at the medical school, you could do Cellular and Molecular Biology in the biology department, you could do Biochemistry at the Medical School, or Biochemistry in the Chemistry department. All of these departments had wildly different requirements with respect to number of classes, what type of exams acted as qualifiers, etc. It would have been really hard to cross them and keep everyone happy. People crossed over with collaborations and work between all of the above, but had to have an advisor in their home department, or where they were actually enrolled and getting their degree.
  47. 2 points

    Pursuing hobbies

    The best advice I got about academic time management was this: Put in the things outside your work first (sleep, time to maintain your health, relationships, hobbies). Then use the time remaining (within reason) for work. Research (and teaching) can easily extend to fill any time you allocate for it- there is literally no end to what you can do. So limit it by deciding what your other (arguably) more important life priorities are, then make sure you take time for them. As a starting point, I worked grad school as a regular 9-6 job. Sometimes I had to work outside that, but I tried to keep that to a minimum and only during discreet periods. That also ensured I had time in the evenings to cook good food, work out, spend time with my family, and pursue my hobbies. As a great resource, I'll recommend the book "Making Time, Making Change" (http://store.newforums.com/Making-Time-Making-Change-SDB05.htm). I went to a faculty development seminar by the author, and it was fantastic at refocussing the narrative from "how much time to do I have for things outside teaching" to "how much time do I have left for teaching once I budget in the really important stuff in my life".
  48. 2 points

    How to stand out in a SOP

    Great exercise! Thanks for that too. I forgot to say @webbks that my best resource was a blatant friend. He read my SOPs with no mercy and chopped out all my weepy paragraphs. Keep someone like that close to you. Regarding websites... I can't recall any other but I think I also googled "terrible SOPs for grad school" or something like that. Sometimes it is helpful to see what not to do. (maybe this one?)
  49. 2 points

    Practice GRE Exams

    Yes, I found them to be very accurate. I suggest using the ETS materials and Magoosh. I'm not sure if this is true, but I heard that Princeton Review practice questions can be easier than the actual test.
  50. 2 points

    Multiple fellowship/scholarships

    The short answer is yes, most students should always apply to any **major** scholarships and fellowships that they are eligible for. However, keep in mind that it is likely that with every new fellowship you earn, your funding package will be recalculated. For example, when starting my Masters, I was initially accepted with the standard department funding package (in March), which is a full load of TA work, some RA pay and a department fellowship, total was 24k (no tuition waiver in Canada, but tuition is about 6.5k back then). Then, I got a national fellowship (applied in the previous Fall, awarded in April), which was valued at 17.5k, so my funding package changed. My RA offer was removed and my TA load was cut in half. My total pay would be 30k though, so I still ended up with a better package than without the national fellowship. Finally, in May, the department asked me to apply to a University-level fellowship and I was awarded that fellowship in August. The value was $10k, but ultimately, my new funding package was $36k (no tuition waiver still, so take-home pay was about $30k). The adjustment was that all department fellowship monies were removed and then replaced with the University fellowship. So, in the end, my income for my first year came from a national fellowship, a department fellowship, and a half-load of TA work. With my PhD, the policies were a little different. My department had a policy to pay every student the same amount, no matter if they bring in money or not. In 2012, when I started, this number was $29k + tuition waiver. In my last year, this number has now increased to $33k + tuition waiver, to be closer to the national fellowship numbers. When I started, I also had a 3 year fellowship from Canada, valued at 20k USD. This did not change my stipend at all, my school just removed $20k from their offer so I got the same as anyone else. Later, I got a fellowship from the US government and that was valued at 24k USD. Again, my take-home pay remained the same. This year, the same fellowship I had will increase in value, from $24k towards stipend to $35k towards stipend, but that's only an upper limit. Winners of this fellowship will still only get $33k stipend. The only way a student here will get a stipend above the prevailing rate is to win a fellowship that specifically instructs the school to pay the student a stipend above $33k or provides a budget that is meant to go directly to the student above $33k. For example, the most common way is to win the NSF GRFP, which is currently valued at $34k for direct support, so NSF GRFP award winners get an extra $1000 compared to others in my department. Sometimes people have nice fellowships from their home country that pay above this value though, but that's rare. Even in these above cases, where winning more fellowships doesn't make a big change in your stipend, it's a good idea to try to get the major fellowships. There is prestige involved. Lowering your costs to your advisor/department may have fringe benefits. In my case, I was able to ask for a needs-based award in order to pay for some medical costs in my first year that the department said they were willing to help since I cost them less than others. And, my advisor was willing to send me to more conferences / spend more on my computer/travel because they were spending less on my salary. Awards sometimes also come with non-salary benefits. One of mine had a travel budget I could use, which was helpful to pay for myself to visit places to give talks and help my postdoc applications. Others come with societal/network benefits that you can tap into. So, the longer answer is yes, you should apply to more fellowships if you feel that the additional effort to apply is worth it. This is a cost-benefit analysis that needs to be tailored to you, your needs, and your program/field norms. For me, I would apply to 1) university/local fellowships that don't require a ton of effort (e.g. a CV, a research statement, a letter from your advisor), or 2) national-level fellowship that carry a lot of value for my field (at least $10,000) and some sort of prestige/side-benefits etc.