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About qkhitai

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    MA East Asian Studies

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418 profile views
  1. Maybe others with more experience with the application cycle will know more, but mid June seems quite late to still be sorting applications out. I'm going through my own visa processes now as a fellow international grad and it seems like I'm looking at nearly a month minimum to get it sorted out. I'd feel more comfortable with a bit of a bigger cushion though, in case anything goes wrong, so sorting out a visa is probably something you need to do asap (let alone finding accommodation and booking flights etc). I'd probably lean towards cutting your losses with McMaster if I were you and coming to UoA (not biased!). The more you wait, the more stressful your summer will be and the more risks you run. Yeah I'm off to do East Asian Studies, should be fun!
  2. I'm off to UoA myself, albeit in a different program. Can't offer much advice as I haven't arrived yet, but there aren't many of us around here, so it's nice to see someone considering it. What's the deal with your UoA admission? How long do you have to accept the offer? Or have you accepted it and you're considering rescinding it if you get a McMaster admission? Also, have you gotten in touch with McMaster to ask what the delay is - or if they can clarify the situation?
  3. Check the specific journals they were published in, many journals host articles for free online on their relevant websites. Also a lot of people throw up their own articles on places like academia.edu, so worth searching there too. Feel free to ask your professor if you can't find something he wants you to read, chances are he has pdf copies of his own anyway. Everyone I've met in my field certainly seems to at any rate.
  4. I had a process of bashing different things together to see what stuck. For example, I might read a book and go 'oh, x theme is really cool', then read another book and think 'wow, y setting is really up my street', then I'll look at putting x theme and y setting together. Then I just kept going further down the rabbit hole, as it were, dissecting x theme and y setting and getting more specific until I found what I really enjoyed researching. So it started out for me by broadly mashing together literature and history, but then going forward and looking at specific kinds of literature, different periods of history etc, and repeating that same process of throwing interesting combinations together until I found something really cool. So yeah, there is definitely a lot of trial and error, and I agree that stumbling across that one thing that nobody has really studied before can really define your interests.
  5. There's also been an 'official' silence with my new department and I've not really heard anything since I accepted my offer. I speak to my advisor-to-be regularly enough, but our chats are relatively informal. I've received no information from the school or department administration or anything. I don't even know when I have to arrive there for orientation yet. So yeah, it seems like this is quite normal.
  6. When narrowing your field, I think the best thing you can do is just keep reading and writing, as others have said. I started my BA broadly interested in early medieval China (c.200-c.600 AD). As I read more, I began to discover that I really enjoyed tackling themes such as ethnicity and identity, which led me down a path towards a specific dynasty that had a proliferation of related issues. I could probably give a breadcrumb trail list of different books and articles that helped to get me where I am now, research interest wise - in terms of what inspired me or grabbed me and made me go 'yeah, I want to do this kind of stuff'. Everything you read, good or bad, helpful or useless, contributes to shaping your interests; you can cross things off the list, focus in on specific themes, discover things you'd never thought about before. Unless you go and make that effort, you'll never find out what you're truly passionate about.
  7. I lived in mainland China and taught sporadically part time. Happy to answer any questions. Cost of living is probably the cheapest out of the East Asian countries, but it's generally harder to get by without speaking the native language. I think that depends on the person. I know people who went from nothing to HSK 4 in less than a year.
  8. I agree you should definitely go into your studies with an open mind and would add that you don't want to necessarily pigeonhole yourself into one thing or another so early. That being said, you obviously have your research interests and a broad area you want to work in. If my supervisor turned around and said I would be doing research totally unrelated to what I applied to do and completely divorced from my interests, I would certainly feel not only incredulous, but also quite angry. But it doesn't sound like your case is that extreme. Like fuzzy I have no idea what goes on in your field, and I also don't know what you signed up for as it were, but from what you've said it does sound like there is some crossover between what you want to do and what your advisor is proposing? Are you still doing remote sensing(?) and using other tools that you can carry over to another area (intertidal) in the future? Will you get valuable methodological/practical/whatever experience from wetlands work that relates to other areas you are interested in? For example, I have to do some work in areas outside my own field of interest from my own MA (I do medieval history, but I'll be taking classes in modern lit and ethnic theory), but from this study I'll pick up a new set of tools with which I can go back and use in my actual area. Is yours a similar kind of case?
  9. I generally schedule research days or blocks of time, where I can alternate between reading, writing and editing depending on my mood or what stage of the project I'm at. I'm very much someone who writes on the fly and I've never been one for meticulous planning. Having a more fluid approach works well for me, as I tend to write a lot in short bursts, rather than a little bit every day. Being able to more freely swap between all the various things I need to do tends to keep me on top of my projects and maximises my available time. Cool to see another Nano writer! I failed a few times, but finally got a win in 2015. Keep at it!
  10. It certainly sounds relevant and there are plenty of similar conferences in my own field I'd jump at the chance to go to. But there will be more conferences in the future, and if you miss one then you'll assuredly get the chance to go to another somewhere down the line. Also consider how important or rewarding attending any conference will be, and weigh it against your other priorities. I had to pull out of attending a conference recently, which was a shame, but I just had too much other stuff on my plate. I doubt anyone will fund plane fare from NA to Europe for you (although I'd love to be shown wrong), but you may get enough to cover fees and a hotel. If it's in 2018 you have some time to save some funds for yourself if you really want to go I suppose. Not sure what people feel about (partially) funding their own conferences, but it's something I might consider if the price was right.
  11. I imagine that's going to vary on where you go and what conferences you wish to attend. If you're in the UK and you want to attend a conference in France, it probably wouldn't be any more expensive than going to one in the UK. For the US and North America though, I imagine it's a stickier situation and I doubt it's a case of 'oftens'. I know the conference funding I get at my Canadian institution wouldn't stretch to a trip abroad, but maybe it's something that can be supplemented.
  12. Demonstrating language aptitude for my research area; I was near enough flat-out told this was a key strength of my application. Not relevant for everyone, but certainly essential for many folks in humanities or area studies.
  13. I have a week before my UG dissertation deadline and I just discovered 30 relevant theses/articles on my topic hidden away in my downloads folder. I downloaded them ages ago and then promptly forgot about them. Some of them are certainly useful, others maybe not so, but I still have to go through and see what's what. But with the deadline approaching, I'm sure I'll have to compromise in places to get everything in on time, even if a few sources remain unread. I'll just have to read them afterwards and learn a lesson from not organising my research properly.
  14. Well it doesn't sound like you're doing much wrong then. I was going to say your coursemates don't sound like very nice people if no one them wanted to go for a birthday meal, but if you only told them on the day then that is kind of short notice I suppose. It still sounds like something is off though if they're that friendly but you're the only one ever stopping to talk to them. Provided it's not a one-on-one 'date-like' scenario, their having boyfriends is irrelevant - although at this age and stage of life, I'd like to think people weren't so jealous/worried that a man and woman can't be platonic friends. I am sorry to hear things aren't going well - it doesn't sound like you're at fault for any of this. A part of me wants to say just cut your losses, because why should you keep putting effort into hanging out with them when they give you nothing in return. But on the other hand, I've also had coursemates who I was never close to - when I was in a similar situation to you -, yet they eventually became my best friends. Friendships can often blossom in the strangest and rarest of ways, without either person ever thinking they would be friends with the other. So maybe compromise, pull your foot off the gas for a bit and see who else is around. Keep putting yourself out there and getting into new situations where you can meet new people. I don't know if it helps, but if you speak a another language then that's an easy way to meet people - native speakers or otherwise. You can always try mobile apps or social websites as well - I've met quite a few friends that way over the past few years.
  15. Tuition plus $10,000? Does that mean proof you can pay the tuition and then that you will receive/have $10,000 on top of that? My funding (TAship) covers my tuition, but doesn't stretch to $10,000 after that. The above linked site (cheers @TakeruK) says 'In other words, a single student entering a four-year degree program with an annual tuition fee of $15,000 must demonstrate funds of $15,000 to satisfy the requirements'. Not sure where this extra $10,000 is coming from. Thanks for starting this thread. I really should look into this and sort out my own permit soon...