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6 pointsI realize it's been some time since my last post, but there really wasn't anything exciting to write about until recently. So now I'm in that never-ending waiting period. Every day I find myself staring at my phone, demanding the email notification light to start blinking. And then it does, and I think, "wow, it really worked!". Until I read the email, which has nothing to do with my applications, and 9 times out of 10 is something I couldn't care less about. So then I sit at my desk annoyed at that email, and start the email-light demanding cycle over again. It's usually then that I make myself do something productive which works for a good 5-10 minutes until I find myself staring at my phone again. Apparently, I have developed the attention span of a goldfish. Of course, every so often I do hear something positive. Now, you would think that hearing something would help squelch the anxiety I feel towards my other programs, right? Oh no, actually it makes it worse! It's almost like some twisted gambler's fallacy, if one school tells me something, well then the others have to as well! So if I hear something from School A on Monday, well then Schools B-H will definitely tell me something Tuesday. And if not Tuesday, then Wednesday, and so forth. And yes, I realize the lack of logic there, and I've tried to tell myself that. But have you ever had an argument with yourself? Mine never end well. In fact, they usually end with me staring at my phone... So at this point, I've had one in-person interview (School A), one phone interview (School B.) and I'm officially waitlisted at another school (School C). So that's 3 out of 8 programs, with no word from the rest. I think I might be waitlisted at School D, but I'm not sure yet. From what I've been told from the schools I have heard from, if there is anything positive coming my way I should hear back from School B in the next few days (for an in-person interview invite) and School A should be making admissions decisions early next week. From my experience, School C has a long waitlist so it's hard to say where I stand there if they even get to the waitlist (they didn't last year). So for now my hope is on Schools A & B. I thought that knowing when I would hear back would be helpful, but I don't know if it is. I mean I guess it is in a way since I know when to expect it, but at the same time I feel like a little kid waiting for Santa to come. Except that I don't know if I'm getting a present, or if Santa will give me a lump of coal sometime later. I know it's only 1 more week. I already waited 1.5 weeks for School A (plus 6 weeks), I can wait another week. At least that is what I keep telling myself. I also made a decision that if I got an interview I would only tell a select group of people (less than 5 total). I thought that would help because then I wouldn't have a lot of people asking details about the interview...which just leads to questions about all the other programs to which I applied. Also, then you don't have 20 people giving you advice about the interview. Don't get me wrong, I'm far from perfect, and I am more than willing to ask others for advice. However, I like to do it on my own terms, and ask the people I trust, and know how graduate school interviews work. Hearing about how interviews work at your place of employment probably will not help me at X University. I've done a good job keeping this all quiet, but it is much harder than I thought it would be! After my phone interview yesterday all I wanted to do was tell someone...anyone...fine, everyone how it went. Once I get in somewhere I'll probably share interview details (if there are any at that point) with anyone who asks, I'm just hoping that day comes soon.
1 pointSo - as I attempt to procrastinate my way into ignoring very real assignment commitments, I figured I'd write a post on "what happens next." As you may (or may not know) I applied to 6 programs, was accepted 3, and ended up attending my first choice program. I applied to 4 PhD Programs, a DPA program, and a DBA program. I got into 2 PhD programs and the DBA programs. Of course I've gone back to see what the other programs look like. One PhD program gets 30-40 applications and accepts 4 with hopes of getting 2. The year prior to my application they accepted only and were looking for faculty. No specific details. The other PhD only took in 4 students against a usual class of 10-12. Suddenly I don't feel so badly. I considered the DPA to be a sure thing - still not sure what went wrong there. So - now that I've reflected on my defeats - where is it all at? I ended up with a summer entry - taking a summer course in my specialization (3 credits). For the fall I took two courses, one in the program main curriculum (3 credits) and another in my specialization (3 credits), along with a research residency (1 credit). The result - All A's (including an A+ - I didn't even know these existed!). For 2017 I'm in my residency year, which requires that I do one 9 credit semester and an 18 credit year. I took the 9 credits in the spring (which is now and the work I'm currently avoiding). One course has concluded (I needed a 62 on the final paper to get an A - so I should be ok there). The second course, which I'm working now (I need to submit two papers tonight, one is half written, the other is a short research report - I'm taking "short" to heart). This course has given almost nothing in terms of feedback, so I really don't know where I stand. The third the professor (who is also my program planning chair) went out early in the semester with medical issues. I don't know when or if she'll return, so this could complicate things. The sub in professor has been fantastic and I'm chugging along quite nicely. That paper is due in about 5 days. I will start it right after I finish these two. Am I happy I went into the program? Yes. Do I regret it? Also, yet. It has been an overwhelming amount of work, but I can see and feel my growth as an academic. This is part of the life/career plan - so I'm fortunate to be moving forward and accomplishing the goals I've set for myself. For the rest of this year I'll be taking an independent study this summer to work on a paper that can lead to publication as well as a conference (which will be 3 credits and falls into the professional development section). In the fall I'll take another specialization course and another core curriculum. In terms of progress I'm currently planning to sit for prelims at the 3 year mark and have set aside another year and a half for dissertation. This would put me out at about 4.5 years, well below average (from what I've read) and well before my 40th birthday (my goal). I'm just hoping I can sustain momentum and clear prelims without too much a challenge. To all of you just starting - I wish you the very best. Dig in, dig deep, and keep moving forward. Good luck to you all.