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Old Bill

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Old Bill last won the day on February 20

Old Bill had the most liked content!

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About Old Bill

  • Rank
    Cup o' Joe
  • Birthday 08/19/1979

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Burtonsville, MD
  • Interests
    Early modern / Renaissance literature; book history; Shakespeare; historicism; other stuff...
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    Ph.D. in English (applying w/ M.A.)

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  1. Yes, Jeff Cohen and Holly Dugan are great at GWU, and I would add Ayanna Thompson to that group, as she deals with early modern performance. She's also a wonderful person, for what it's worth. That being said, I'd still opt for Emory for any number of reasons...but mainly for the stature and the reputation of the program. GWU's location in D.C. is also a double-edged sword: you have access to the LOC, Folger, and dozens of other vital research resources...but the campus is as urban as it gets, right smack-dab in the middle of the city, and just a pain to navigate. And the cost of living in D.C. is sky-high, whereas Atlanta is much more reasonable.
  2. For what it's worth, I was at UNC's visit days yesterday and today (just got home twenty minutes ago, in fact), and chatted with the DGS about waitlist situations. He said that he should have a clear picture of the funding situation on Wednesday or Thursday of this week. He also mentioned that prior to his stint in the DGS role, all waitlists at UNC were considered "acceptances"...but acceptances without guaranteed funding. So you could be "accepted" to the program, but they might not be able to pay you or offer tuition remission. Needless to say, the waitlist system is certainly a lot better! That said, it's obviously not perfect. Sorry to those of you who still haven't heard anything one way or another. Incidentally, the way funding works at UNC is weird -- he said that around 70% of rejected offers simply "disappear." The funds don't get reallocated to other students, and funding has to come from elsewhere. Weird indeed...
  3. In some programs you can take an undergraduate course for graduate credit. Sometimes you have to make arrangements with the professor to have different assignments (i.e. you don't need to do an exam, but need to write a 20-page paper or something), but if it's a course that is a close fit with your interests, it's worth asking about.
  4. I've been holding off on responding, but I think O_M is right on the money here. The "anything is possible if you try" part of me wants to say that you should have no problem getting into a Ph.D. program with only a creative background, but frankly that's not realistic. I think @PoetInCowgirlBoots' experience might be a bit unique -- still encouraging, of course, but atypical. Like it or not, there is still a perceived divide between creative work and critical literary work. I personally think it's a false dichotomy, for reasons I'll mention momentarily, but what I think and what seems to be the case among literary faculty are two different things...and the latter is what matters. As with the orphic one, I believe you'll need to take several literature courses and be able to produce critical writing in literary fields to be considered for a Ph.D. Taking a course per semester for the next couple of years at your nearest institution might be enough. Just remember that you're also going to need to build connections with literary faculty so that they'll write you letters of recommendation, and you'll need to produce a ~15-page paper of high literary merit to demonstrate your suitability for doctoral study. Needless to say, you'll also need to dedicate some space in your statement of purpose to why pursuing a literary degree makes sense when you're coming from a creative background...and "job prospects" shouldn't receive a single word in the process... I second this excellent advice! I think @positivitize has outlined a legitimate area of pursuit for you. My pre-academic background is in creative writing. I never got an MFA, but I wrote around 400 sonnets (and many other poems in other forms) in my mid-to-late twenties, publishing about 50 of them overall, and being very involved in poetic pursuits. My shift to academic work in my early thirties pretty much nullified my creative writing impulses (other than a workshop in undergrad). That being said, in my final semester of my M.A., I'm taking an MFA course dedicated to the long poem, and the course has been a hybrid of reading and writing. I've been very impressed by the level of discussion regarding the readings. The tenor is a bit different from pure literature courses, but there's not a lot of difference otherwise. I think that a transition into critical perspectives on poetry might be a great avenue. Take a few courses that deal with an era of poetry that interests you, and that might be enough to make a good narrative for how your interest in writing poetry led to an interest in studying poetry on an academic level. I used similar language a couple of years ago when I first applied to graduate programs, and it got me into my current M.A. program, at least.
  5. No, and this is precisely the problem. Their stated methodology is that they basically just sent out surveys to graduate programs about other graduate programs. Surveys. Seriously. And a whopping 14% of those who were sent the surveys actually responded. NONE of the things that we would consider to be vital information about a program were taken into account -- it's purely hearsay; informed hearsay at times, I'm sure, but hearsay nonetheless. By way of analogy, their methods aren't too far removed from looking at a teacher's RateMyProfessor profile to determine how strong of a teacher he or she is. Actually, even RMP is probably a better indicator, as at least you can assume that the students doing the rating actually interacted with the teacher, which is more than you can say for the USNews rankings. There are thousands of things worth mobilizing against in this day and age, and ranking systems like this are pretty far down the list...but I wish there were some way to expose the system for what it is: specious, misleading, and wholly unrepresentative of what it purports to provide.
  6. Here's a vent: being comfortably over the suggested word count minimum for your Capstone project, only to realize that your word count was toggled to include footnotes...and de-toggling it puts you a few hundred words under! This is after chopping six pages from my last round of revisions, to adding a couple more in this round. I know that no one's going to look too closely at the word count for an otherwise ideal paper, yet seeing that I'm still sixty-five words under is making me want to write "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" seven times to make up for it...
  7. ...and every so often the inmates run the asylum!
  8. Just like the old gypsy woman said!
  9. Everything is starting to make way too much sense.
  10. Wait...if she's Miss Prune, does that mean that she's Mr. Prune's daughter?
  11. Don't mind Mel. She hasn't had her daily dose of prune juice yet, and she gets a little surly when that's the case.
  12. Yanaka!!! Congratulations!!!! This is the best news I've heard in days! Way to go! You've had so many bad blows this cycle, and I'm so incredibly relieved that you finally have some fantastic news!