Welcome to the GradCafe

Hello!  Welcome to The GradCafe Forums.You're welcome to look around the forums and view posts.  However, like most online communities you must register before you can create your own posts.  This is a simple, free process that requires minimal information. Benefits of membership:

  • Participate in discussions
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Search forums
  • Removes some advertisements (including this one!)


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


cowgirlsdontcry last won the day on June 10

cowgirlsdontcry had the most liked content!

1 Follower

About cowgirlsdontcry

  • Rank
  • Birthday June 19

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Application Season
  • Program
    English PhD in American Lit
  1. I worked 20 hrs per week as a GA during my MA. Now as a first year PhD student, I'm working 20 hrs per week teaching two classes. However, my school likes for the PhD students to take only two classes per semester, which is good considering I teach two classes.
  2. Your foreign languages won't have any effect on getting into a program, as far as I know. I agree with Bumblebea, that's it's a formality for most grad students. You could need it, like Ole Bill does. While I have a foreign language requirement, I have already met it through a foreign language undergrad minor, and there is almost no scholarship (none that I have seen) on the author I'm researching. However, my field is contemporary American literature and while there is scholarship in foreign languages (French, Spanish, German), I don't need anything special.
  3. Eviltoaster is looking at English programs and had general questions about foreign language requirements of PhD programs. I discussed it from that POV. I do no research in foreign languages because there is little scholarship on Cormac McCarthy in other languages. What little there is, has no impact on what I'm working on. Yet, I still needed a foreign language, because English Departments require it. Sometimes, it is as simple as fulfilling a requirement. Eviltoaster is trying to ascertain if he meets certain requirements. What you write of, cannot be predicted prior to admission to a particular program. All that can be done in anticipation of applications is to look at program requirements to see whether it may take additional work after one is in a program. In your particular case, the additional requirement does not appear to be a set-in-stone requirement from the program, but rather one your advisor deems necessary now for you to succeed. Obviously, you could not have anticipated that prior to applying, as you state it will only have a moderate impact on what you are studying. That is a completely different set of things that often become necessary once a person is admitted to a program.
  4. There are some bike paths, but I don't know if you would consider it bikeable. One does see the Mormon missionaries biking around town, but not others really. I spent the school year 14-15 at UMass in Amherst. It was the coldest winter on record and I nearly froze. Utah is a much drier climate than the northeast, so in that respect the weather isn't as bad. But, it's still pretty miserable in the winter. I dislike having no sunshine.
  5. Every university's foreign language requirement is different. Somewhere on the website of every program is a description of how to satisfy the foreign language requirement. If you have 4-6 semesters of college level foreign language acquired in the last five years, that will usually satisfy the requirement for one language. If you don't have the required academic background, you will have to take some sort of translation test. Some programs will supply you with copies similar translation tests. You can use a dictionary and will be given a couple of hours to complete. Unless you are going to study Old English lit, Latin won't help you much. There is a good bit of scholarship in German. The other languages that are useful in the English field are French and Spanish.
  6. Utah State is in Logan. I have been there many times. It is located in the Cache Valley and the mountains to the east are pretty all the way to Bear Lake. The valley itself is OK, not gorgeous, but not ugly either. Lots of farms. Gets very hot for a couple of weeks in the summer (over 100 degrees) and there is an inversion in the winter that creates a very cold, grey area. As you are from WA state, you know how the western part of the state is prone to that. It seems that the snow does not melt, and stays on the ground until it begins to warm up in the spring. It is not like the Denver area at all, where the snow melts after a couple of days. I'm not Mormon, but the area has a high percentage of Mormons or former Mormons. Many things are closed on Sundays, or they were a few years ago. I never noticed or felt there was a problem. I really know nothing about Utah State. If you are a party person, this is not the town to be in. I don't believe I ever saw a bar there, and to buy beer, wine or alcohol in Utah, you used to have to go to the state liquor store. Don't know if Logan has one. The whole valley's population is about 100,000. Logan itself is about 30,000.
  7. You are correct Cultural. I am middle of the road and feel quite comfortable there (have friends I visit), but I can see how one might not like it. We need to be where we are most comfortable.
  8. Do you have other publications? At my MA school, if it got serious, they asked for additional materials. Although I'm only a PhD student, my thought is that you should submit the dissertation chapter as it directly relates to the position. They can then see if your research and thoughts align with the current thought in the department on the topic. While the other WS is more prestigious, it is less relevant and by the time they actually get around to interviewing you, it may be published and you can refer them to the journal for a read. The wheels of department search committees move slowly. One other question--did the ad state that ABD was acceptable?
  9. My master's thesis advisor said this happened to her. Her PhD dissertation advisor decided to retire. She said you just have to deal with it. She told me to be very careful in choosing my advisor, but how does one anticipate such a difficult and sad thing happening? I'm very sorry this happened to you.
  10. Just remember that you need 3 weeks in between the tests. When I took the test, the good spots filled up months in advance. I had to drive over 100 miles to take the test. You need to start looking at what's available now, because seats fill up very quickly.
  11. I understand that you want to do this on your own, but at this point in the game, perhaps you need a copy-editor. It would be a long and tedious task for a person to sit with you, going over how to clarify sentences. If you can't see or hear how sentences are "weird" (your emphasis), then it's likely you won't catch the slight variances simply because English is a second language. A copy-editor will only change the structure of sentences, not the meaning they convey. This person will still need to go over your thesis with you so that you understand what they are changing and to make sure context hasn't changed. In that regard, you will be involved every step of the way. This is going to cost you though. You need at least a master's student, and more likely, an English PhD student to help you with this. Personally, I would charge from $5 up per page to do copy editing for a thesis or dissertation, because of the close work and time that is involved. If there were more rounds of editing needed, the price would go up. Professional transcribers charge approximately $2 per page to transcribe exactly, either hand-written or dictated material. There is no analysis of material for grammatical correctness, simply a typing. You are paying for several things: the education of the person making the edits, the level of editing necessary, and the amount of time an editor needs to spend with you after edits are complete in order to ensure context remains the same. Since this is pricey, I would suggest you struggle as best you can through revisions, only giving a final draft to the copy editor. Remember also, that this is going to take some time, so be sure to leave sufficient time for an editor to work.
  12. I know that Rice University in Houston has a strong early American position in their English department. I applied there and while I do significant research in American writings up through the 19th C, I am a 20th C Americanist and my WS revealed that. My application was rejected, which did not surprise me. Rice is a small prestigious university in the central part of Houston near the medical center. Lovely neighborhoods surround it (pricey). Unless you want to live in the burbs and drive in traffic, you will pay the price of rent in central Houston, which runs from about $1,100-$1,500 for a 1-bedroom, but Rice does pay a reasonable stipend. I like American Studies also, but decided to go for the English PhD in American lit. UMass has an American Studies program within the English Department. I spent a year of my undergrad there on an exchange. Nice town and the university is good. English department was varied and had good variety.
  13. American students with funding and a stipend who work 20 hours per week cannot work additional hours on campus either without permission from their department. Honestly, by the time, I figure out my office hours, and add in teaching schedule plus my own class time, I don't know when I would be able to work any additional jobs unless it was in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping because when I get home, I still have to do close reading for classes and grade papers (I will be teaching English Composition 101 and there's lots of writing).
  14. I did address the fact that I'm a non-traditional student by talking about having a previous career and how "life and professional experiences have given me an ability to completely focus indicating a continued commitment to a superior academic journey and the skills necessary to excel and be an asset" to the particular university. This works only if a program is interested in the diversity that an older student can bring. If they want a young student, nothing you say will change their minds. We never know what a committee wants exactly, and in that regard, it is better to be honest and pursue our own interests within the parameters of a university's program. What may be one committee's cup of tea, could be thrown out by the next program. My daughter lives in Houston and I did apply to Rice. However, their program is directed toward early American lit, and while I do research in those periods, I am not an early Americanist and they could see it in my paper. It was no surprise then, when my application was rejected, except it would have been nice to be close to my daughter. I am going to the University of Alabama and believe it is a good fit for me and for them. They have a general American program that covers the full spectrum of American periods and genres, with some Southern lit also. I am now in Tuscaloosa and begin a teaching orientation next week. UA is Alabama's flagship university and a huge university with 37,000 students.
  15. During my MA, I TA'd for a professor who was also director of the Folklife Center at my school. I attended class with him and worked with students to get their papers into shape prior to final submission and grading. Several students told me over the course of those 4 semesters that I was the reason they passed the course. It was a good introduction into getting to know students and help them. I think it will make me a better teacher in the long run. This is a good decision you have made Global. Learning to be a good teacher takes many different paths. Your decision is just one more.