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MaytheSchwartzBeWithYou

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MaytheSchwartzBeWithYou last won the day on March 17 2016

MaytheSchwartzBeWithYou had the most liked content!

About MaytheSchwartzBeWithYou

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    Double Shot

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    Art History PhD

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  1. Hey Neek, I'm happy to tell you my current treatment, though admittedly there isn't much to tell just yet - I'm supposed to check with my doctor every month and potentially try out new things if what I'm doing isn't working. As of now, I'm on a prescription dose of Meloxicam (Ibuprofen) to "take the edge off," and I'm also supposed to try to build up an exercise/relaxation pattern over time. I'm not on a very rigorous treatment plan, but I don't want to take any serious medication if I don't need it. I may need a sleep aid in the near future (fibro can cause sleep disturbances), but I'm trying to do without that, too. There isn't a TON you can do about fibro as of now, though there are three FDA-approved drugs to treat it. There are also a number of other drugs - especially SSRIs, and things like Gabapentin - that were created for other purposes but also help with nerve pain. Opiates are LAST resorts. Outside of medication, getting a lot of rest, regular exercise, and stress reduction are all really important. It's amazing how interconnected the body's systems are, especially when it comes to hormones and sensory perception. I hope you're doing well!
  2. What sort of conservation are you interested in? Have you taken any art history courses before? How are your science grades? I ask about science because if I remember correctly, conservation programs require knowledge of chemistry/physics. I don't think you'd necessarily need to get another complete undergraduate degree in order to be accepted into a conservation program, but you might need to take additional courses (either before applying or after acceptance) in order to enter grad. school at a similar level of knowledge to other incoming students. It might be really helpful for you to ask the conservation programs you are interested in what additional coursework/experience you might need in order to qualify for admission. As far as other programs, I don't know whether you are in the United States, but the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has a Master of Science in Historic Preservation. The SAIC is an awesome school overall, though I admittedly know very little about this specific degree program. Also, check out NYU IFA's Conservation Program, The Courtauld Institute, London (which I think has both a degree program and certificate in various kinds of conservation), and UCLA/Getty's Interdepartmental Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials. Google is also your friend - I found this article that lists nine conservation programs.
  3. Hey Neek! Sorry for the late response, I've been on and off GradCafe lately. Yes, that does clear things up, thank you - and I'm glad you have a support group at your school. I'm hoping they have something similar where I'm going, or perhaps I'll work to start one myself. Hey frosty, I'm so sorry the last few years have been so rough. Mental illness, like a lot of chronic issues, can so often go unnoticed/ignored because people can't SEE that you're ill (as you know, of course). I'm really glad you were able to work through your period of significant struggle and come out with your degree in hand. Congratulations!! As I also suffer from anxiety/panic disorder, the coping mechanisms you have been learning should be really helpful as you start your PhD. Over the years I've learned some exercises that help keep my anxiety in check when I'm having an attack - I'd be happy to share them if you're interested (though what works for one person doesn't always work for another). @orange turtle, thanks for your input - those are great suggestions! I was actually officially diagnosed two weeks ago, and am really happy to be starting an actual treatment regimen. Here's hoping I find a doc on campus who takes fibromyalgia seriously!
  4. Oh, I TOTALLY get the thing about avoiding sugar. I'm also diabetic, so I'm pretty careful most days about what I eat. I tend to take pieces of bread off my sandwiches, refuse wine and champagne, skip dessert, etc. etc. People who don't know me often look at me funny and tell me to "live a little," but they don't have to deal with the hyperglycemia symptoms afterward!
  5. Faceless, I'm so sorry to hear you are dealing with colitis. I have a cousin with colitis and it was hell for him for a few years. How are you doing now? How did you handle your flares during your master's? Thanks, ejpril. I am ALL OVER Google, especially without an official diagnosis, so I know exactly how you feel! Thanks for the encouragement - I do plan to talk to Disability if I feel it's needed, but I have been counseled to be careful about divulging my health issues to people in my department (as I said, I want to be seen for my work, not the drawbacks of being chronically ill). I'm glad you felt more accepted when you moved to the US! How are you feeling now? Neek, your post is really great - thank you for sharing your story and such great advice. I wonder if, since things like yoga and walking are good for chronic pain (not to mention stress reduction, whether you are sick or not!), you might be able to find some people in your department with whom to engage in those activities, and perhaps form friendships with some of your fellow students if you haven't already? I'm sad to read you feel isolated, and I'm happy to talk further (on the forum or via message) should you (or others!) need a listening "ear." Any differences in physical ability you might have in no way limit your intellectual and social contributions to your department - I hope your peers realize that. I'm incredibly fortunate to have a supportive spouse and a close relationship with my parents, so I have something of a built-in support system. I really appreciate everyone's responses, and your willingness to share information that might be sensitive and/or personal. Chronic illness presents a whole new set of issues and lifestyle changes I have yet to wrap my head around. Part of me just wants to "put it out there" and be like "this is part of my life, I am who I am, I still work hard and I'm awesome, deal with it." But, we know in the professional world it's not that simple...
  6. Hello All, I haven't seen a ton of comments about chronic illness on the forums, so I wanted to post in case any other incoming/current grad students are navigating grad. school with an ongoing health issue. What I'm going through is somewhat new to me, so it's a little difficult to share. I'm trusting all you smarties on here! :-) I'm really excited to start my PhD in the Fall, but I'm pretty nervous about managing my coursework, research, and all of the other physical, emotional, and intellectual demands of the program. I've had symptoms of SOMETHING (possibly autoimmune, possibly fibromyalgia) for about the last year, primarily pain, fatigue, and "fogginess," and am undiagnosed due to inconclusive test results. The past month or so has been fairly difficult, and every time I have a flare-up I worry that it might be the "new normal." The sorts of possible diseases for me can take years to diagnose, so I'm not sure how Disability Services might be able to help. I'm sure some of it is the stress of feeling ill, not knowing why, and worrying about whether it will go away, get worse, etc. Understanding the way academia works, I also would much rather be known for my work and accomplishments than the fact that I have a health problem that impacts my studies. I want to show I am committed to my PhD and my program, that I have what it takes, but I also want to walk the fine line between excelling in my program and taking care of myself. Right now I'm just trying to practice accepting my situation, working through the bad days as much as I can (at my current job), understanding my limits, etc. That being said, I know going back to school will be really different from my day job. Does anyone else here suffer with chronic illness, and how do you plan to/how do you navigate the demands of school with your health constraints? I appreciate your comments, and admit to wanting some comfort that I am not alone!
  7. Just to add a couple of thoughts: Switching from another field into art history isn't impossible, but I think it's really important to have a clear understanding of WHY you want to swap practice for history. You should also have at least some overall ideas of your research interests - specific periods, theories, regions, media, artists, issues (or a combination of the previous). You don't have to have a full THESIS idea at this stage, but the goal is to be able to talk and write about your interests and how you hope to expand upon them in an MA program. I second @modmuse's recommendation of taking art history courses, and I encourage you to choose and use those courses as springboards for finding potential research areas, if you don't already have one. It also can't hurt to do some outside reading on your favorite topics to give you more background - you could even ask your undergrad professors (or better yet, potential MA advisors) for their recommendations of materials you should read. Keeping in mind why you are leaving studio practice and what research fields you might want to specialize in for an MA program could really help you both in selecting and applying to schools (including writing your SoP), as well as steering yourself in a clear direction as you move forward. I suggest, too, looking at the profiles of current students at the schools you are considering to get an idea of their backgrounds. Some universities are more open to "non-traditional" students than others - that is, they may have accepted students with a background in studio practice, like yours, or from other disciplines. It might help, too, to contact a few of these students and ask how they handled switching fields in both applying and choosing where/what to study.
  8. I still think it would be wiser to apply to PhD programs. For one thing, many PhD programs at major universities are now offering only joint MA/PhD programs, so you can always take the extra coursework if you need it (and already having an MA, you likely have an advantage over BAs in applying). Applying for another terminal master's program means going through the same application process in another two years. Look, I mean, bottom line is OP CAN apply to Williams or other master's programs. I'm simply saying I don't see any benefits to doing this that you wouldn't get from a PhD program, WITHOUT the two extra years.
  9. Even if the OP CAN get in, that still leaves the question of why they should complete a second master's in the same field. Unless they feel they received a poor education from the Courtauld (unlikely), why do it?
  10. I think modmuse is right - scientifically speaking, I'm not sure how accurate any conclusions you could draw from this list might be. Your list includes all types of positions (some which don't really require PhDs to obtain, though you may run into some trouble competing for higher-level jobs without one), and there is also no indication of how long someone has been in the field. Competition is really fierce right now, so out on the job market you'll be competing with people who DO have PhDs, even if you decide not to get one. Just my humble opinion! :-)
  11. LOL, you can call me Schwartz! :-) I think the differences between European-style and US-style programs are really interesting. I could be wrong (this is just what I've heard from a few prospective POIs who went to European-style programs), but U.S.-style programs seem to prepare you more for a career in academia. The people I've spoken with said the shorter PhD programs in Europe have little to no coursework, and are sometimes just a few years to write your dissertation under faculty guidance. You get your degree, but you don't necessarily get any of the professional development skills you need (teaching, other forms of academic writing/publishing, networking, grant applications, etc.). It might be something to look into.
  12. I'm glad I could help, and please feel free to PM me if you want to talk about grad school, dealing with terminal illness in your family, etc. (though I'm sure you well know how different, and sometimes isolating, life feels once your family is in a situation like this). My dad is stable on his current chemotherapy, but at some point it will stop working...and he has a rare cancer, so there are only so many forms of treatment available. So much of this is a waiting and hoping game - stability is a real blessing. In terms of deferment/leaves of absence, it's really important to know your options and how to enact them should you need to make a decision on short notice. Every school/field is different - programs in my field don't typically allow deferred admission, but most if not all schools allow leaves of absence, and my new school allows multiple leaves of absence for various reasons. I find some comfort in the fact that these options aren't "I have to quit the program" choices, but rather short-term solutions that allow me to attend to important issues in my life without having to worry about how it affects everything else.
  13. Hey Plume, first of all, I just want to say I'm so sorry that you are in this situation. It sounds like you and your parents are close, which makes it even harder. I'm in a really similar position - my father has had stage 4 cancer for the past few years, and I already live halfway across the country from my parents. I'm about to start a PhD program in the Fall, and I, too, sometimes feel conflicted about whether I should really be moving home to spend time with my family (we try to see each other as often as we can, about once every two months or so) - though living away from home, I felt guilty about this long before I ever applied to grad. school. My Dad promises he'll be around when I finish, but obviously he only has so much control over it. I think the right path for you is a very personal choice, based on what your relationship with your family is like, whether you feel you can handle continuing to live away from them, and to some extent, the progression of your dad's illness. I'm an only child and very close to my parents (my Mom also has a limited support structure to care for my Dad). However, my Dad is currently stable, and I know for sure that while he'd love to have me home, he doesn't want me to hold up my life, or miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to move home and stay with him. That being said, if/when he starts to decline, I've given a lot of thought to coming home for a while. It's really, really hard sometimes to be so far away, especially when he was really sick from chemo, but there are some things that help us feel connected - Skype/FaceTime calls, visiting as often as we can, keeping open communication about how things are going on any given day. When things are tough, sometimes my parents just need a safe space to vent, share their fears, or have a good laugh. I find this kind of support to be a small way I can help from afar, both so I feel "hooked in" to what's happening and so I feel like I'm contributing something. It's important to remember, too, that you should have the option to take leaves of absence, if needed. At some point you will probably have to make a decision to put your Dad before anything else, but that time may not be now. Just out of curiosity, could you defer your admission if you needed to? Its also important to take care of YOU and your needs. It's not wrong, or unhealthy, or selfish to want to pursue your career during such a difficult time - if you don't maintain some semblance of sanity and happiness in your life, your Dad's illness can engulf your whole world and throw you into an emotional situation that is really difficult to crawl out of. On the flip side, graduate school can be so stressful that your Dad being sick could affect your ability to keep up with your studies. I think it's ultimately about finding an emotional balance that allows you to process your feelings about what your family is going through, while still getting up every day and being as present as you can be in your own life. Oh, and other forms of self-care -- talking to a therapist or clergy member, engaging in meditation, art or journaling, exercise, meals or coffee with friends -- any activities that can give you a short "pause" on what is probably always in the back of your mind. i don't know if anything I've said is helpful - I've actually never tried to talk to someone about how to deal with this. (It's also too late at night for me to be super eloquent - sorry!). I sincerely wish you and your family strength, health, and joy. Congratulations on your admissions!!
  14. I'm pretty sure it would make your admission a lot LESS likely, if you were considered at all. You already have a master's in the field, from the Courtauld no less - why would you need another? Master's programs are designed to teach you specific things, which you (I assume) already learned at the Courtauld - so the next logical step would be to apply for PhD programs. An admissions committee would be confused as to why you are applying for a duplicate degree, and likely would consider it a poor investment (of time and/or money). Getting a second MA in the same field probably also isn't going to help you get into a PhD program - you'd be better off taking one-off courses, or getting some research/publication/curatorial experience, etc. What is preventing you from applying for PhD programs now, if you are interested in continuing your education? If your goals for getting another MA are to study in the US and to stay in education longer, then I'm confused as to why you wouldn't consider PhD programs in the United States instead of, or in addition to, applying at Cambridge.
  15. I'm pretty sure I did. :-( I'm sorry!