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cowgirlsdontcry

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About cowgirlsdontcry

  • Rank
    Caffeinated

Profile Information

  • Location
    Louisiana
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    English-American Literature
  1. I have seen one university's English Ph.D. program that allowed the foreign language requirements to be fulfilled by ASL. Most want French, Spanish or German (sometimes Italian) as those are the languages where most foreign language essays and criticism are found according to a French professor at my school. I have a two foreign language requirement and have fully met the requirements on one and half of the second. I have decided to audit an intensive review of Intro to Spanish (2-semesters in 1) to get me up to speed before taking the necessary intermediate Spanish. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do whatever it takes. Don't wait too long to begin foreign language requirements as most schools require that to be completed before comps.
  2. I went back to school in 2011 for a change of careers. As I had done a paralegal program in the early days of such programs, it was done in a continuing ed classroom at Lamar University in Beaumont and I had to begin my degree from the beginning. Because I live in such a rural area, there really was not much chance for work during my BA so depended on both grants and loans to make it. I worked throughout my M.A. as a grad assistant in the English Dept. but still needed loans to make it. I have been fully funded with stipend, waivers of tuition, and health insurance at my Ph.D. program. As far as loans are concerned, I will be taking them out the first year in order to pay for the move, but that is it. I have additional income now that I didn't have in the past and my tuition is covered. Apartments are pretty pricey in the area of Houston where UH is located. I looked earlier as I applied to Rice and really wanted to move back to Houston. My daughter lives in far NW Harris County and I even looked out there--somewhat less costly. Depending on what your funding from UH is like, you may need loans throughout your degree. You don't say whether you are going for a Master's or Ph.D. and the length of time you are in grad school could influence your decision to get loans or not. Good luck!
  3. I have lived a 45 minute drive for both my undergrad and MA, plus parking and getting to the English building. Trust me when I say it gets old. I don't stay long at evening events because it's very rural all of the way and pitch black driving on a curvy, hilly 2-lane road. I don't want to live on top of campus for my Ph.D. but have found an apartment about 3 miles away, which according to Google Maps is a 10 minute drive in traffic, plus another 10-15 minutes getting around campus. be sure to add in the parking and travel time on campus. I had to be at an 8:00 a.m. class with my professor last semester and it was a nightmare having to get up by 5:30 and drive in.
  4. Nothing on the department site of my school said anything about an assistantship, but I had spoken with Grad Assistants in the Writing Center because I would do assignments in there as an undergrad. I had to sift through the various links on the grad school site before I found the link and application form to be awarded an assistantship. I received an assistantship for my entire MA and while there has been no waiver of tuition, I have received a 9-month stipend and performed all kinds of interesting assignments for the professors I was assigned to. I am teaching a section of comp & rhet this semester. I believe the whole experience improved my overall CV and was somewhat instrumental in my receiving a fully funded offer from a Ph.D. program. Having rambled all over the place with that comment, what it boils down to, is that sometimes assistantships for Master's students are not out there for everyone to see. You have to look for them, but departments depend on both GAs and undergrad student workers, so keep looking. My school is a Tier 1 South Regional School with 10,000 students, so not large at all. I own a home here that is mortgage free and did both undergrad and MA at the same school because of not having to pay rent or a mortgage. I will be moving this summer for a Ph.D. program.
  5. I have always been an English major; however, in my MA program, one of my classmates had an MA in history and was getting one in English to improve his writing skills. He seemed to have no problem that I could see. The fields you mention mesh very well with English. I have had thoughts of getting an MA in history after I finish the Ph.D. in English (literature) in order to teach context.
  6. This semester is the last of my M.A. as I will graduate. I teach one class this semester, have one class, and have written an entire thesis this semester. Defended it last week. I had to manage time and did ok. Am a little behind in grading, but will catch up soon. I am one of the ones who will have a 2/2 schedule plus 9 hours both semesters, for the first year, as I still have some foreign language requirements to fulfill. I am taking loans out this first year and that also requires a minimum of 9 hours for fulltime.
  7. I have full funding at the University of Alabama for my Ph.D. studies. I'm just saying, I'm not getting a Ph.D. in English for the money. It's more about me and teaching. As I said, "I doubt anyone gets a Ph.D. for monetary gain." There are many ways to make a pile of money and that's what Concordia was talking about--not the funding for the Ph.D. itself. This is a second career for me, I was in law the first time and decided to do something that's not quite as stressful for the rest of my life. I have outside income and am not concerned about a tenure track job. Just want to teach others what I love best and do research/writing.
  8. This is my thought, but I don't believe it's unique. I doubt anyone gets a Ph.D. for monetary gain. In many ways, it's a very personal degree, as we set our minds in competition against the subject. In some fields, such as English (my field), a Ph.D. is designed to solely produce an academic and scholar. Scholarship and philosophical thinking are part of every civilization, necessary to keep the barbarians at bay. In the sciences, the additional knowledge is needed in research. One can't teach upper levels of higher ed. without a Ph.D. Just my thoughts, but not unique.
  9. I will be at UA Tuscaloosa--just down the road on the main campus.
  10. I would add this thought--what is your TOEFL score? Your ability to understand abstract thoughts in English and express them is very important. I teach Comp/Rhetoric (freshman English) and have several international students. It is a constant struggle for them.
  11. This semester, I am teaching one class for 10 hours (office hours/grading added) and work 5 hours for a professor and 5 hours in the English department office for a total of 20 hours per week. I have one class and thesis hours this semester. It's been very busy. Would you be working 20 or 30 hours per week? A lot of people work fulltime and take grad classes, so I suppose it can be done. It just seems like a lot. Best to look at your RA contract. Some contracts won't allow any other work on campus without special permission.
  12. I am finishing up my MA in literature this semester. I have worked as a GA throughout the 4 semesters, attending class with my professor and working with his students on papers. I took the pedagogy class that leads to teaching last fall and now teach my own section of Rhet/Comp II this semester. As a result, I will have a 2 class teaching load in the fall at the Ph.D. program I am entering. It is my understanding that students in the program who have no teaching experience will work pretty much as I did throughout my MA or in the writing center for one year. During summer, I will attend an orientation and teaching survey week, prior to the beginning of class. At the new program I will be entering it's a 2/2 structure with nothing in the summer.
  13. I just looked at ABF and I'm not sure this will work. I live in a teeny little town in the middle of nowhere. I drive 45 minutes one-way to get to school. ABF couldn't even give me a choice of someone to load the trailer (just an unload) and an estimate of 1 hour to unload with just two men, which I don't believe for an instant. It was either ABF or someone like them that I used the last time and they way under-estimated both the amount of space I needed and the time to load/unload. It's going to take someone who knows what they're doing. The armoire weighs about 250 lbs and is 6' tall. It's not the moving itself that worries me, it's the lack of experience in the people loading/unloading. I have to think about this some more later as I'm prepping for my thesis defense on Wednesday.
  14. I have nice things, including a top of the line Maytag front loader W/D. I could not begin to replace even the smaller amount I'm taking with the costs saved by not moving anything. I'm having separation anxiety about getting rid of so much in the first place and need to have some familiar things around as I start a new life, because everything else will be totally different.
  15. When I moved from Denver to Louisiana, I used one of the U-Pack companies. The men they provided to load the ABF trailer were awful (had insufficient tools and were inexperienced-dropped armoire and broke leg). It cost me almost $5,000, as I had to also pay those bad loaders. That was in 2010. I won't be moving as much furniture, so the cost may be less in that way, although with increase in costs generally over the last seven years, it could still be a lot. My divorce was also nasty and my ex legally left me with many thousands in credit card debt, which I defaulted on because I was a student and simply could not pay, so I have had some concerns about what may be required up front. I spoke with a management company this morning and it seems likely that because the defaults were six years ago I may have no problem as they don't pull a credit score and only look at the last two years of credit, and as a result, I won't have to pay more than the deposit, pet deposits and first month's rent, plus whatever admin fees they charge.