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About ThousandsHardships

  • Rank
  • Birthday 03/18/1990

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    French Literature

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  1. I already have two master's degrees, but I'm entering into my PhD program (and opting for an MA in the process because it gives me more years of guaranteed funding) at age 27. I know people who are beginning their programs at all ages, from 22 to the late fifties. In my last master's program, we had a classmate whose CHILD was my age.
  2. Congrats!
  3. My friend (a medievalist PhD student at NYU) audited Latin 1 at Berkeley over the summer. Did all the assignments and everything. Auditing is not too commonly allowed in language classes, but for some reason she was able to do it. Maybe you ought to try something like that. She also audited other classes in Latin and in related medieval languages when teaching abroad during her gap year. She wrote all this in her statements so the schools were aware of it.
  4. I never got anything from my university after being recommended for admission, and I've confirmed with several people within and outside of my department that I'm not supposed to. While it's an odd way to do things and definitely not the norm, it does happen. However, I did have a funding offer from my department (a signed letter on departmental letterhead sent to me in pdf format), the response to which was considered our official response to the offer. If you were offered a TA'ship I think that should be good enough. I did have an amount in writing, but as long as the position itself is guaranteed in writing as well as the benefits and approximately salary thereof, then I would say that that's good enough.
  5. I've definitely heard of this happening. I can't imagine a school not releasing a student from an offer when the reason is a late acceptance from a different school (not the student's fault). I don't think they'll want to force a student to be there. However, I think if there's a potential of this happening, it'll make it more pleasant on both ends if you let them know beforehand that you're accepting provisionally but that there is a possibility that you may wish to go to another waitlisted school instead.
  6. You can't trust the estimated dates that they give if your offer depends on someone else's decision. Your program has no control over when the person is going to decide. They might do an estimate based on the average of previous years, but everyone is different. When I was first informed that I had been nominated for a fellowship, I was told I'd know around mid-February. By the end of February, I asked about it and was told that I was ranked second for this fellowship with only one recipient (i.e. first on the waitlist). From then on, they kept telling me "maybe two more weeks." Well, you know what? My lucky day was April 10th. It wasn't in two more weeks, it wasn't even four more weeks, but I got it nevertheless. That said, it's getting late in the timeline. The 15th is a Saturday, so you should call them today to find out what the situation is and if they plan to send out any offers after the 15th.
  7. I'm not sure about your field, but in general, Princeton is a school that's so prestigious that going there can really be a huge advantage when it comes to finding a job in the dwindling job market for academics. Honestly, the only reasons I would ever consider turning down Princeton is if funding was an issue or if I know for some reason that it would make me absolutely miserable. In your case, it actually seems like you'd be quite happy in Princeton. You get the funding and the family and the prestige and you even seem to get the impression that it may be a better fit. I'm not sure what you mean when you say Boulder is "exciting." If you have that tightly knit group of colleagues, I'm sure you'll find places to hang out. Princeton isn't a dead place.
  8. If you're interviewing for a job, you will be in a suit or a blazer. You will not be showing any of your tattoos unless you have one that's literally on your face. And if some shows despite a suit, then so be it. For the most part, the reason that tattoos are not looked favorably upon in the job market is not because of the tattoos in general, but because showing them visibly in an interview setting knowing that they might be frowned upon tends invite questions as to whether you're taking the job seriously. But as long as you prove yourself willing to follow interview norms and portray yourself as a dedicated professional, then the interviewer could really care less whether you're covered in tattoos. Once you're actually on the job, it also doesn't matter as much.
  9. A good amount of TA's are working at 50%, meaning they are expected to spend 20 hours per week on their teaching, in addition to other commitments if they feel like it. If you're not teaching, then I think 13-25 hours of extracurriculars are doable. They'd basically be replacing the time you'd be using to teach if you weren't funded by a scholarship or fellowship. When you're funded by a fellowship, they're generally under the assumption that it'll help give you a jumpstart on your degree by giving you more time to spend on research. If you don't want to use it like that, then that's completely your choice.
  10. No one seems to have started a thread for this year's IU folks yet, so let me be the one! I'll be starting my PhD in French/Francophone Studies this fall. I haven't actually visited the IU campus and have never even been to the midwest before. I've been living in California since I was ten and did both my undergrad and my master's less than two hours from home. Before that, I lived in Hawaii. Needless to say, the whole concept of having seasons is a bit foreign to me... Anyway, any other IU-bound people here? Which programs are you in, where are you guys from, and where are you guys planning to live in Bloomington? What makes you the most excited, and what makes you the most nervous about starting?
  11. Sounds like my old host mom from my study-abroad program...who made it a point to correct me when I announced I was going to leave, claiming she was the one who didn't want me. Because of course I should be begging to stay in the house of the ex-daughter-in-law of some famous person I haven't heard of and the mother of a twenty-two-year-old PhD student who is such a genius that the only reason she doesn't need sunglasses to hide herself from fame is because she was raised by a humble mother who taught her daughter to be humble so no one would know she's important (she literally said this).
  12. I think you could be a strong candidate, and your record clearly shows a positive trend and achievements within your field. In other words, I don't think your GPA will be a red flag. However, just because you're a decent candidate doesn't mean that you'll come out on top among the other applicants. Here's where your statements and recommendations come in. Make sure that you recommenders see your statements and give you feedback. Then follow that advice even if it means completely overhauling your statements five times. One advice I've gotten is to be not too specific but also not too general. Committees want to know that you will learn from their program, not that you already know everything. They also want you to be well-rounded, not just an expert on a specific topic. However, they do also want you to have a direction, something that you're interested in, a question that you're curious to explore, and an idea of what you want to do. It's a delicate balance. I think one good way to go about doing that in your statements is to use a past research project as a starting point. Talk about what you did and how it led to your interest and preparation in both your specialization and in the field as a whole. It's important to identify prospective mentors, but it's equally important to show that you're willing to learn from scholars outside of your existing expertise. That said, if you do see someone with an exact match, mention it in your statement! I got rejected outright by some schools with over a 50% acceptance rate. But I did get an interview and a top-of-the-waitlist position from an Ivy League school (not HPY but still) that seemed to have the lowest acceptance rate of all the schools I applied to. I'm convinced that the fact I had extensively cited one of the professors in my writing sample and mentioned this in my statement might have had something to do with it. And for the school I will be attending, the professor I intend to work with had taught the works I wrote about in his class and a lot of stuff matched his interests perfectly. It might not be the key to an acceptance, but it'll definitely make the person's eyes light up in recognition when they see your statement and your work.
  13. At the school where I did my master's, becoming a candidate means that you're close to graduation and have paid the fee and filled out the paperwork to advance to candidacy. However, being a candidate doesn't really mean much except that you've done part of the paperwork toward graduation and that you're now qualified to go on filing fee status, meaning you can pay a reduced fee and not register for classes (also no research or teaching obligations) for your final term as you put the final touches on your thesis. For this reason, even master's candidates don't often refer to themselves as candidates, simply because doing so doesn't add much in terms of your qualifications. For PhD students, though, candidacy means much more. It doesn't necessarily mean you're close to graduation. In fact, many PhD candidates are not even close to being done. However, it does mean that they've finished their course work and passed their qualifying exams, which represents a huge step in their research and scholarship. For them, candidacy means that they've gone through the rite of passage and become trusted scholars who can now navigate their research on their own, with minimal guidance. Often, PhD candidates call their status ABD, "all but dissertation." Some students who advance to candidacy but don't finish their degree actually put ABD on their resume as an accomplishment in and of itself. And I've even seen some programs that consider advancement to candidacy as equivalent to another master's degree and allow those students to emerge with a master's degree without a thesis or extra exam. At my old school, I also heard that international PhD students have a financial benefit for advancing to candidacy. I'm not sure about the details though, as I did both my undergrad and master's within two hours of home.
  14. I love university gyms and their group fitness classes!! The school I did my master's at also had wonderful PE classes open to all students. I'd take four PE classes every term (about two hours a day, four days a week total). I had been overweight since elementary school. I had never even been able to jog a single mile nonstop, and exercise of any kind made me feeling sick in ten minutes and would leave me winded and unable to function for the entire day. But by the end of my master's, I was deemed petite and muscular. I was able to run 10K races no problem and take military conditioning as a class (training with the cadets). I found a love for kickboxing and eventually found that even after an hour or two of intense exercise, I'd still be fully functional again within five minutes, as if nothing had happened, save the occasional bit of muscle fatigue. I kinda stopped exercising again after moving to France, but I fully intend to get back into it when I start school again. Fortunately I didn't gain too much weight this year, from what I tell. My new school unfortunately won't have PE classes to take, but I will take advantage of gym membership and use it to participate in group exercise classes. I've never had a passion for exercise, so those classes really help with motivation.
  15. It really depends on the program and school. I'm pretty sure I just clicked "accept" for my last school. For my future school, there's not even a portal or an official university acceptance, so replying via email is the only way we can accept (and from there on the admin puts us down with the university as having accepted and she says she'll come back with paperwork in May). And believe me, I've triple checked this last one to make sure that I wasn't just missing something. When you've clicked "accept" in the portal, it means that you've officially accepted the offer. Nothing will go wrong if you don't do anything else. If something is missing or if there are additional things to do or send, the school will contact you about it. As long as you've accepted it in the portal, they will not rescind your ability to enter the program just because you forgot to do something else. However, if you've been in contact with faculty in the program, it is polite to let them know that you've accepted the offer and that you're looking forward to working with them in the future. In my previous program it didn't seem entirely necessary because we didn't enter committed to any particular PI, and while I did go to recruitment weekend, I wasn't really in communication with anyone to the point where they need to know whether I'd be coming. But if you've been talking to people throughout this process, it'd be good to let them know.