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About bdon19

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  • Birthday December 19

Profile Information

  • Gender Female
  • Location IL/WI
  • Interests history of the novel/novel theory
    New formalism
    Mikhail Bakhtin
    Hélène Cixous
    18th-century lit (esp. novels)
    D.H. Lawrence
    Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell Brontë
    Anaïs Nin
    Oxford commas
    Fighting people who love Jane Austen, Harold Bloom, and Ian Watt
  • Program English Lit - M.A./Ph.D.

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bdon19's Activity

  1. bdon19 added a post in a topic Campus Visits   

    I know UNC is one of the schools that does this, but we also invite ~40 students to the visiting weekend each year.  While it doesn't mean exactly that we don't have any money, we don't have infinite money, and it does beat what we used to do (and what I know a number of schools still do), which is putting visiting students up with current grad students (a bigger concern for someone like me, with infinite allergies!).
  2. bdon19 added a post in a topic UNC Chapel Hill Decision?   

    I'm a current PhD student at Chapel Hill and, unfortunately, it seems to me that all acceptances and waitlists have been sent out. Sorry to spread the bad news -- UNC is a great place to be, and I wish all worthy candidates could be accepted here!  
  3. bdon19 added a post in a topic PhD Comprehensive/Qualifying Exam Study Tips   

    Proflorax, thanks for the tips! I'm jealous of your exams -- we choose a major and minor, then have 6 hour written exams for the major, 3 hours for the minor (spaced a week apart) prior to oral exams.  Our department JUST mandated (as of like two weeks ago) that we include no more than 200 texts total on our reading lists, but even that is a bit frightening.  So far I'm trying to manage between trying (and failing) to take notes electronically versus in a small notebook or something of the like.  I just recently got the following tips from a committee member for how to take notes, though, and I thought the advice is worth sharing:  
    1) Begin chronologically, but feel free to switch plans if this doesn’t work for you. It is important not to get bogged down by a text or period – keep moving!
    2) Read the entirety of the text, only marking pages that are interesting/important.
    3) Take notes. Write down 5 main characters, 2 major plot elements, 5 interesting things and a 5-page section for discussion.
    4) Take the 5 interesting things and/or 5-page section and identify your “centers of gravity”. Come up with 10-15 categories or umbrella terms.
    5) Using your 10-15 categories, form your exam questions.
  4. bdon19 added a topic in Literature, and Rhetoric and Composition   

    PhD Comprehensive/Qualifying Exam Study Tips
    Hi all, long time since I've frequented this forum.  I thought I'd reach out to y'all to see if anyone has any groundbreaking tips or techniques they'd like to share when it comes to studying and note-taking for comprehensive/qualifying exams.  I just started my "reading semester" and I'm struggling to find the time to take any sort of exhaustive notes (or any notes at all, really).  Anyone have any advice they'd like to offer?
    • 3 replies
  5. bdon19 added a post in a topic UNC Chapel Hill, anyone?   

    I noticed there were some UNC admits on the results board today!  I'm a second-year in the program now, and I'd be happy to talk to some of the admits for this year if you have any questions about the program!  
  6. bdon19 added a post in a topic Successful PhD applicants: Did you write an honors undergraduate thesis?   

    Nope -- if I had chosen to write an honors thesis, it wouldn't even have been done (and only barely started) by the time I was applying, so I decided to focus all my energies on the apps themselves.  It worked to my advantage having that extra time!
  7. bdon19 added a post in a topic So Who's Attending and/or Presenting at PAMLA Next Week?   

    Well, most of my friends who've presented at similar regional MLAs told me to expect maybe 10 people at the most--I think that's pretty standard--so I was actually happy to see like 15 people show up for my panel!  The last conference I went to (AWP), most panels were similarly attended, with the exception of the ones where bigger names (think Cheryl Strayed and the like) were panelists--those had big turnouts, but really, only like 50-75 people fit in those rooms.  So think our attendance was pretty normal for a conference consisting mostly of grad students.  That being said, I had an awesome time!
  8. bdon19 added a post in a topic So Who's Attending and/or Presenting at PAMLA Next Week?   

    Man, that was a great conference!  Don't think I met any Gradcafe-ers there, but I had a splendid time!
  9. bdon19 added a post in a topic Work during PHD? Is it possible?   

    I feel like work during grad school takes on two different meanings.  Hardly anyone I know takes on outside jobs other than the odd babysitting gig if they can help it.  However, nearly every graduate student in my department takes on some sort of additional work--tutoring, tech support, grading, etc.--within the department to earn some spare cash, which somehow doesn't seem like extra in the same sense.
  10. bdon19 added a post in a topic So Who's Attending and/or Presenting at PAMLA Next Week?   

    Hi lovely GradCafe friends, I'll be making the trek from NC to Cali for my first real (read: not undergraduate) conference!  Yay!
  11. bdon19 added a post in a topic Language proficiency   

    From what I know about languages for medievalists/early modernists (the only fielsd other than comp lit for which languages *really* matter in most programs' eyes), there is absolutely no need to have your languages "match" those of your profs as long as you have the required language for whichever medieval/early modern field you plan on specializing in.  But with that list, I doubt anyone would bat an eye at you not having the other languages, unless the only reason you're applying to that particular program is to work with that professor, in which case you may want to reconsider applying to such a program in the first place.  Remember, it's never a good idea to apply to a program that only has one faculty member who really piques your interest.  Hope this helps!
  12. bdon19 added a post in a topic Fall 2012ers: How are y'all feeling?   

    After a year, I feel SO much better than if I had been checking in 6 months ago.  At that point, I was feeling a lot of "holy crap, what am I doing? WHY am I doing this!?"  But now, it is still summer (even if it doesn't feel like it!), and I'm sitting at Starbucks cranking out a conference proposal just because.  I am super pumped about the upcoming semester's classes and my first foray into the world of teaching!  I got a little "behind" last year (I didn't really do much...or really way of conferences), but as a first year coming straight from undergrad, I kind of feel like I experienced a year of burnout that I am going to follow up with a year of productivity!  In other words, I love my life as a grad student now, and I wouldn't have it any other way!  
    How are the rest of y'all doing?  I kind of miss being on GradCafe every day!
  13. bdon19 added a post in a topic Any program suggestions?   

    I would definitely put in a word for Chapel Hill (though I'm super biased ).  But we have some really strong faculty in the English dept in post-45 lit, one of whom regularly teaches courses in critical race theory that might be of interest to you.