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About TomEH!

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Profile Information

  • Gender Not Telling
  • Location Ithaca NY
  • Application Season Already Attending
  • Program Cornell MA HPP

TomEH!'s Activity

  1. TomEH! added a post in a topic Anyone in Historic Preservation/Planning?   

    Cornell notifications will be out any day.   Open House is scheduled for Friday April 5.  If you are anxious, I expect that an email to the head of the program might elicit a response.
  2. TomEH! added a post in a topic Roomate / Neighbor ffrom HELL   

    Yeah, you're right about liability and cops and all: take my advice, "kids don't try this at home.". In my case I was working as a licensed electrician at the time, so the choice was easy. Besides, they were really stoned... I could just say "What? Those stoned guys up there? Man, you should see the blue haze coming out from under their door." It would be all over for them in this town. They didn't stand a chance.


  3. TomEH! added a topic in The Lobby   

    Roomate / Neighbor ffrom HELL
    I had the 4 Freshmen living upstairs who would party all night every night. I talked to the landlord, who, although apologetic, said "call the cops next time, not me."

    I did it one better.

    The next night I warned them twice, very politely.

    When it was time for the third warning, at 2am, I went into the basement and shut the power off to the whole place. Counted to 60. Turned it back on. Walked back upstairs, knocked loudly.

    When they came to the door I said "You know, the landlord said I should call the cops, but I thought we could work this out. Are we going to work this out or is it going to get dark again.?"

    "We'll be good! just don't shut off the lights again!"

    Man were they stoned.

    The next day I started looking for a new apartment... I figured the electricity plan wouldn't work for long, but they were very polite for the next 2 months! I told the landlord, who wished HE had thought of that method before.

    So who was the neighbor from Hell... me or them?
    • 2 replies
  4. TomEH! added a post in a topic Laptops   

    ThinkPad is my choice, but with a twist: WHY would you buy a brand new computer? Sure, I could buy a MAC laptop for $1200 to $1900, or a new Windows laptop from numerous manufacturers for $500 to $1500.

    Think about it. You can get a factory refurbished Thinkpad T41 or 61 running XP Pro SP3 that will do everything I need to do for less than $300, with a dual processor and lots of RAM. For the price of a new MAC laptop, I can get FOUR or FIVE of them. When it gets lost/stolen, I just replace it. You can even get the next model down for $215.

    Of course, as MODERN and tech-savvy folks we all back up our data to an external HDD (left at home) or the "cloud" on a regular, habitual manner, correct? I am not going to be putting all my eggs in one basket, and then carring that fragile thing around in my backpack. One slip, fall or collision (or theft) with a bicycle courier... oops there goes your thesis.

    What is this with the disposable world we live in that everyone needs the cool new laptop to do email, listen to music, surf the web, and writing papers? You don't need processor speed to do this. You don't need the coolest neatest hi-speed stuff to do this. You need something that is built physically tough, but is reliable and replacable (like an old shoe when you wear it out).

    I have a ThinkPad T41 (had it 2 years, still works great). I may pick up a refurb T61 in the next few months for a slight upgrade. Maybe I need to get a big white apple or some skateboard or surfing sticker to put on the cover to make it cool.
  5. TomEH! added a post in a topic Let's compare student debt! How much do you have?   

    2 years MA =
    53,000 tuition
    43,000 living expenses

    I am hoping for an inheritance to pay this off... Thinking of asking my Dad if he wants to go on a holiday to Switzerland with me. (oh, that's sick).
  6. TomEH! added a post in a topic Living in Canada   

    The "Superstore" is called "Loblaws" in various parts of Canada, so they are the same thing.

    The best deal I have found is "Presidents Choice Mobile" which is available at, you guessed it, the "Superstore/Loblaws" You cna buy a $15 or $25 card and you can use it for up to 60 days (then you recharge it with a "pay-as-u-go" card from "L/S"). Anything to avoid signing a contract!

    When you go to turn on your phone they will ask for a name, address and telephone number (landline) you cna be reached at. Just give them a friend's info if you don't have one yet. This is one of those anti-terrorist requirement laws they have.

    Good luck and dress warm!

  7. TomEH! added a post in a topic Aquiring French lieracy while at Grad School- advice from real Grads requested?   

    I have seen that in the course catalogue, but I thought you'd need some knowledge of the language before you had any chance of taking it and succeeding. I will make an inquiry today and see what Cornell replies with- THANX!
  8. TomEH! added a topic in Languages   

    Aquiring French lieracy while at Grad School- advice from real Grads requested?
    Hi Folks,
    I am entering a graduate program at Cornell which, to get into the PhD program in 2 years, will require me to have reading literacy of a second language, and French seems like a natural choice.

    I grew up int he US, moved to Canada after completing my BA, and never took any formal language training at all. I can stumble along in spoken French when visiting Montreal, navigate the cityscape, pick out important phrases while driving so I don't crash in uni-lingual construction zones, etc.

    I am guessing that my best bet is to start at the bottom: taking beginner-level courses at Cornell while working on my Graduate degree... and also hopefully spending several weeks in an intensive summer program next year in a French speaking area (could be Montreal, could be somewhere else).

    Other than finding a native-speaking French girlfriend (which I assume is not likely in Ithaca NY), I'd appreciate it if anyone here on the form could give me any other ideas that might help.

    Thank you very very much!
    • 6 replies
  9. TomEH! added a post in a topic Cornell University   

    Here are a few resources that might be of use for housing at Cornell:

    1.) Send an email to the office administrator at the program you applied to. in some programs they send these requests back out to people in the program (you may have already gotten some of these).

    2). Craigslist for Ithaca can be found at: http://ithaca.craigslist.org/
    A friendly note on the "searching for roomates" section actually works.

    3). A list of rooms and apartments available in the area can be obtained from the Cornell
    Off-Campus Housing Office: http://dos.cornell.edu/ocho/

    4) The daily Ithaca paper is the Ithaca Journal: http://www.theithacajournal.com/

    5) The Weekly Ithaca "free" paper is the Ithaca Times: http://www.ithaca.com/

    6) The Cornell Sun, which is published daily Fall and Summer when classes are in session, is a great source (but unfortunately they don't seem to reproduce the rental ads in the online edition): http://cornellsun.com/

    7) I expect you've all seen the official grad housing site: http://www.campuslife.cornell.edu/campuslife/housing/gradhousing.cfm

    It's really unfortunate that, when making your Grad application, nothing tells you that the on-campus housing application process starts in EARLY January (this year was January 10, I think, the same day Grad applications were due). I discovered this in early February and sent in a housing application, even though I hadn't been accepted to the HPP program yet. They only have enough housing on campus for max. 20% of the Grad students they accept, I am told.

    At the open house (April 1) I asked the current students in my program if any of them had been able to get on-campus housing... None of them had, and none knew anyone who had. One told me not to wait to hear from on-campus housing, because instead of sending you a note saying they don't have a spot, they just won't contact you AT ALL. I was searching early, before I knew if I had been admitted or not.

    If you haven't visited Ithaca in the winter, you have to be particularly aware NOW of the location of the hills that Ithaca is built on, and the distance you will be from campus. Some of the steep streets and hills of the collegetown area are a challenge at times. Make use of Google Maps when doing remote control searching to spot the hills. You DO get a one year local TCAT bus pass as a grad student, and they do have bike racks on the busses so you can get back UP the hill. Car parking spaces are in extremely short supply close to campus. Renting a private space may be an option, but expensive.

    Best wishes!
  10. TomEH! added a post in a topic Urban Planning/Preservation programs- admissions?   

    I would say to give Cornell a good look. The MA and PhD Historic Preservation Planning are very interested in international work, and your background in Cambodia, France, and non-profit work sounds like they might want to chat with you. I understand that their program has near to a 100% employment rate, and their worldwide network to grads of the program is tough to beat. Only 8 to 12 people get in each fall, but as they say in the NY State Lottery, you can't win if you don't play..

    I start there in Fall 2011 for MA HPP, but have many years experience in preservation. Going back after a year or two off should not be a problem, as long as you can show a regular trajectory in your career that supports going there. Go visit them, or at least open a running dialogue with the head of the program now in preparation for that.. That's what they told me, and it worked. They are VERY friendly and the program is not competitive, but cooperative.

    Gotta love those student loans, tho.! Total tuition for 2 years of grad school there will be about $54,000 (minus 12,000 in assistantships, etc, of course), plus all those other expenses like food, housing, books, etc.. ya gotta pay if you wanna play. Owww!

    Best wishes!

  11. TomEH! added a post in a topic MS - Historic Preservation   

    Its VERY quiet on this board- must be everyone knows where they are going!

    I am on my way to Cornell MA HPP starting Fall 2011, and from the research and visiting of folks there I can say it looks like you could call it a "Not Artistic" program, so it might meet your interests better.

    The difference may be between an MA degree and an MS Degree. At Cornell you can take classes ANYWHERE in the university in any subject, and tailor it to your interests as long as you cover the core programs.

    The MA HPP Program at Cornell is one of the longest running in the world, and has a lot of international connections. I am told the employment rate is near 100% upon graduation. The program is not a competitive one but more of a collaborative one... which I am told is quite a contrast some other universities. No grades lower than the B level are accepted for credit toward your degree. The program folks really like to have contact with you during your application process. They only take 8 to 12 new entrants per year, so you need to put in a serious effort if you want to make it happen.

    The questions is, how bad do you want it? Can you taste it? Then you can do it!

    Ithaca is a fantastic place to be, and very culturally stimulating place to be (I've been around there on and off for awhile). You should check it out.

    Best wishes!