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cowgirlsdontcry last won the day on June 10

cowgirlsdontcry had the most liked content!

About cowgirlsdontcry

  • Rank
    Double Shot

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    Accepted into English PhD-American Lit
  1. Although there is quite a lot of difference between History and English, they work together to produce a better understanding of events and cultural positioning, especially from a humanistic POV. I took a Holocaust literature class at UMass as an undergrad senior the year I was there. It was amazing. Dr. James Young is (or was when I was there) the dept head of Judaic Studies at UMass, as well as being an English Professor. He has written several books on both the Holocaust and memorials of the Holocaust. Many of the literary texts are biographical narratives. Some are fictional representations of biographical events. There are also some diaries. Looking at these pieces of literature will give you an introspection into the minds of individuals who experienced the Holocaust. It could add an element or twist to your thesis that is more personal and unique. You might even want to go back and look at pogroms occurring from the beginning of the century, such as the one at Kishinev. The reasoning behind this thought is that Chaim Bialek is considered by many Holocaust literary scholars, to be a Holocaust writer, even though he wrote "City of Slaughter" in the early 20th Century prior to the rise of Nazism. The poem reveals anguish at the Jews' situation, yet, offers a type of condemnation for their passivity. The pogrom and Bialek's subsequent poem show a ripeness in the timeline, that allowed Nazism to rise and to bring the Shoah to fruition. Steven Spielberg's Project Holocaust has been working frantically for over 20 years to record survivor stories for the benefit of the future. You might want to check the literary databases at your university, because there is beginning to be quite a lot of scholarship on the Holocaust and the writers often bring in historical support for their arguments.
  2. It's good that everyone has the same classes so they won't be filled. In English, we are more divided according to track (i.e. literature, linguistics, writing, etc.) and then in literature according to our area of specialty. There are 500 level classes, but those really are for the master's students. The Ph.D. students take 600-700 level classes and by the time I was registering in April, there were only 3 literature classes left. So, a great deal of difference. I do hope you are able to work things out. During my undergrad and MA I had a 45 minute drive each way. It gets very old, especially when you have been on campus all day and need to work more once you get home. The drive drained any energy I had left, leaving me like mush. Good luck!
  3. I agree with MarineBlue on most of their thoughts, especially the one where you and your fiancé rent an apartment together. You will save the cost of gas and wear/tear on both vehicles. You seem to be late 20s/early 30s, unless there is some problem barring living together before marriage and that doesn't seem likely since you were going to live with him if he bought a house, why haven't you two looked at the possibility of renting a place closer? You didn't mention if you were going to receive a stipend, just that partial tuition would be covered. You also mention working as an RA in a lab. Hopefully, you will be getting some sort of stipend for that work. It's getting very late in the season to not have registered for classes as you have indicated. In my case, the DGS shot me an email about a good time to talk over the phone about classes. After we spoke about classes and requirements, I registered for the classes she advised me to take. Even in April, the choice was limited because it was after all of the existing grad students had registered. Anyway, good luck on your decision!
  4. Think your adviser is the most logical to discuss this with, but it doesn't hurt to discuss with other grad students, in addition to your adviser, as to various ideas and how to pursue those ideas. I am actually a literature person. Just finished my M.A. and starting Ph.D. program in the fall. I looked at the guidelines for comps in my department and it states that a student should have about 100 primary texts, plus some secondary texts. It has been my understanding in the past, that comps are designed to test your knowledge in the field you will be teaching in. In my case, that's 20th/21st C contemporary American literature with a subgenre of Southern lit. However, because comps are given as soon as you finish class work and before starting dissertation, it could also refer to and have some basis within your own specialization area in your dissertation. I intend to discuss this with my adviser as soon as I settle on one and meet with them.
  5. Noticed a couple of things about several posters and wish to comment. First, lit_nerd I will be beginning the lit PhD at UA this fall. Are you applying to the Strode Program or regular literature program? I can tell you my experience in applying there and what I know thus far. Second, Keri I just finished a combination in-person/online MA program that is primarily online, but the professors will do a direct study if you are local and serving as a GA. It is smaller state school (10,000 students) that has (or did have) 80 English MA students located all over the world, many of whom are working in the Far East as teachers of English and obtaining a linguistics MA. Twenty of us graduated in May. The English MA is rated 6th nationwide in programs. I can tell you about it and what they look for in applicants, as I went there for both undergrad and MA. I grew up in the area and the cost of living is low here, so I gravitated back here from the big city to get an education.
  6. In some smaller schools with only terminal master's programs, the GA-ships come through the grad school and not the department. My MA school is one such program. It was not advertised and while not hidden, one had to know it was available and where to look because the opportunities were limited. I received a stipend for all four semesters of my MA and worked as RA/TA and eventually had my own section of 1st year rhet comp, although they did not waive tuition. My suggestion is if you are interested in a program, to ask the grad school if there are any assistantships and how they are awarded.
  7. Sometimes that just happens even though everyone tries to make sure it doesn't. If it was more than one program, then you need to really look at what you were thinking and doing and why the fit was so poor. If you don't work out what is causing the issues, then you could potentially make another poor choice of schools and end up with the same poor fit. I believe that everyone feels like a fish out of water when beginning a new program or starting a new job. I'm very nervous about beginning a Ph.D. program. It's a different place and I don't know what the expectations are, but I also know that by the time I'm there for a month, I will fit in.
  8. No has asked what you mean by "cultural fit." Exactly what are you led to think about this? I cannot imagine what type of "culture" would not be acceptable, as I have seen people of all ethnicities and gender on here who have been successful. I'm much older than you and although I was worried about age when I applied, I don't believe that had anything at all to do with the rejections I received--more likely scenarios were my interests weren't in line with their wants/needs. Your undergrad grades, while OK, might not be even reach the minimum for the programs you were looking at. I think the lowest GPA of the programs I applied to were in the 3.7-3.8 realm. My GPAs were 3.82 (BA) and 4.0 (M.A.) and I was rejected at 5 of 9 programs I applied to. Education doesn't guarantee a high starting position or even a job. I made more as a paralegal in a large international firm in Denver (with only a continuing education certificate to my credit & 20+ years experience), than I will ever make as an English Professor, should I be able to actually get a tenured position. One doesn't get a Ph.D. to make a lot of money. The other posts have really good advice in them and you should give some thought to focusing on those things. Good luck!
  9. I'm older also and have been accepted into a Ph.D. program beginning in the fall. I applied to 9 programs: accepted at 2; waitlisted at 2; rejected at 5. I used my age and work experience as a plus of showing how commitment in the workplace can translate into a student who is focused and knows what she wants to accomplish. Understanding the difficulties of what the job market holds for the academic is a risk factor you must calculate. Only 1:7 get a tenure offer job. There are jobs out there though in smaller state universities that many won't even consider. I saw lateral moves by professors, certainly over the age of 40, at my master's institute and know they are available. Good luck!
  10. There are grants and fellowships that are available through various places. I took a grant writing class in order to learn how to find them. Private, non-profit and public corporations may have monies; however, they are usually very specific in their application. For instance, I just learned (too late to apply for this fall) that my honor society annually provides about $1M in fellowships to first year Ph.D. students. Although the deadline has passed for me to apply ahead of time, I can file for next year and it will apply retroactively if I am awarded a fellowship. There are many specific research grants. For instance, I found a grant that provides both money and time in the Kennedy Library for doing research on Ernest Hemingway. I saw other grants on things as vague as the history of books, for which many applications would apply. You have to scour the internet using word searches to find them, but they are there in every field.
  11. Sometimes authors and interviewers make statements in newpaper or magazine articles that are relevant to an argument, especially when writing about the author. I have used magazine articles such as an interview of Cormac McCarthy by Richard Woodward in 1992 where McCarthy makes the statement "books are made of books" to emphasize how every author's work depends on those authors who came before. I have also used a quote from an article by Aaron Latham that appeared in The New York Time Magazine in 1977, after he reviewed the "Hemingway Papers" at the Kennedy Library in order to show how much Hemingway held back that was discoverable after his death. If such articles are from established sources, they are allowable in critical essays in English. I learned of the Latham article from a dissertation I had found through ordinary research on a library database and then went in search of the actual article itself. When writing critical essays in the literary field, it's always better to quote someone like McCarthy or Latham directly than indirectly through something like a dissertation.
  12. I'm in English. I TA'd for 2 years through my MA. I also taught my own section of first year rhet comp in the spring. Hopefully, your department will have some sort of orientation before classes begin about how to teach. But, I'm sure the professors whose lecture class you will be leading discussion for will set forth parameters for all of the TA's so you can keep on the same page. This fall as I enter a Ph.D. program, I will be teaching two sections of first year rhet comp and will every semester thereafter. Stay calm and remember, you know more than these students do. Have fun and try to present the material in ways that are fun. Some ways to be sure they at least skim the reading matter, is to give little quizzes, either verbal or written, where each student has to respond and participate to get the daily grade. I told my class that if they participate each class period, they won't ever need to have those quizzes. Give them a week or so and if participation doesn't improve, come in one day and tell them they haven't been participating, so to take out a pen and they are going to have a quiz that counts as their daily/discussion class grade. You may have to do this every week for a while. Some discussion classes simply design a quiz for every week, and use it as a basis for the students to study for mid-term/final tests. The students keep those quizzes to study by later, but they do have to report their grade to the TA. They are more inclined to stay on top of reading material if they are held accountable in some way.
  13. I looked at Vanderbilt's requirements. They ask for a "maximum length - 25 pages." If you shoot for a WS that is in the 20 page length (paper itself-Works Cited additional pages), you won't have to make modifications for programs that require papers in the 15-20 page category. My WS was 20 pages (plus Works Cited). I used it for every program I applied to. I have heard that Vandy has a great Southern program. Just remember, it's stressful getting everything done and in great shape while you are still a student. Trying to alter the same paper multiple times to fit every scenario's max page length will be difficult on you. Find a happy medium.
  14. Basically what the others have said is true. Applying for the position from the POV of an undergrad, you won't be expected to have settled on the area you will eventually end up in. Find the paper you like best, and talk to one of your professors (perhaps the one you wrote it for originally) about how to rewrite it for your WS. You will probably need several rewrites. Because you have not settled on an area of research, you will need to show some general tendencies towards certain areas of literature in your SOP. They need to know this with regard as to how you will fit into their program. When contacting possible recommenders, include copies of your WS, SOP and CV. If they agree to write a LOR for you, you can figure they may make suggestions about your package. You don't say whether your are applying for MA, Ph.D. or both. I'm writing from the standpoint of being a master's student when I applied to Ph.D. programs. MA requirements may be slightly different. When I applied for my MA school, I only applied as an inside undergrad applicant, so it was much different than applying to Ph.D. programs.
  15. It does and is relevant because I am still paying out most of my stipend on rent and utilities. Sometimes It just can't be helped and you have to figure out what has to be cut back or out. Living on campus, while not cheaper than off-campus does have the benefit of not having to pay deposits for rent and the various utilities. I don't have a TV so only pay for high speed internet. On campus that is all provided, at the least it was on the two campuses I have been on. Living on campus one doesn't have to worry about how high that electric bill is and can run the AC as high as they will allow you to. Same with water/sewer, although that's only a concern in a house most of the time. In the town, where I will be living, I see apartment shares every day on the Grad Student FB account and on the English list-serv where they want $500-$650+ per month (electric in addition) for a single room w/bath. That is not cheap, if you don't have a large stipend.