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NoirFemme

Fall 2017 applicants

1,253 posts in this topic

10 hours ago, MikeTheFronterizo said:

How common is it that universities do not offer tuition remission? I really want to go to my top choice but they take tuition out of my stipend. My stipend is $19500 a year and after tuition it will be $14500. The standard of living is pretty low: rent will be about $500 with utilities included leaving about 950$ for other necessaties. 

I have tried to negotiate with the department and they where only able to give a few thousand dollars extra as a one time award during my fist year. 

Has anyone ever encountered this? 

@MikeTheFronterizo I think that you would greatly benefit from rephrasing your question. How common is it that aspiring graduate students get offered a stipend to attend their top choice?

IRT programming your budget, I think you should divide $14,5k by 12, not 10.

$500/month for rent will go farther if you find a roommate/house mate. $708/month for everything else will be enough if you buy a rice cooker, a good fry pan, a coffee machine, and familiarize yourself with all the benefits you get as a graduate student.

Also, I again recommend that you start working on how you phrase things. Most of the communicating you will do as a graduate student will through the written word.  I believe you meant to say that the cost of living is low, not that the standard of living is low.

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33 minutes ago, Sigaba said:

@MikeTheFronterizo I think that you would greatly benefit from rephrasing your question. How common is it that aspiring graduate students get offered a stipend to attend their top choice?

IRT programming your budget, I think you should divide $14,5k by 12, not 10.

$500/month for rent will go farther if you find a roommate/house mate. $708/month for everything else will be enough if you buy a rice cooker, a good fry pan, a coffee machine, and familiarize yourself with all the benefits you get as a graduate student.

Also, I again recommend that you start working on how you phrase things. Most of the communicating you will do as a graduate student will through the written word.  I believe you meant to say that the cost of living is low, not that the standard of living is low.

Thank you. I apologize for my wording. It is definitely something I have to continue to work on as others on this forum have pointed out. I did mean the cost of living.

I am only asking about this question because it seems as if most recently accepted grads have recieved remission. I forgot to mention that my top choice offered me a TAship. So I will be technically paying for tuition. My second choice offered remission and a combination of mostly TAing with two fellowship years. 

I am trying to weigh both of my options.

 

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35 minutes ago, MikeTheFronterizo said:

Thank you. I apologize for my wording. It is definitely something I have to continue to work on as others on this forum have pointed out. I did mean the cost of living.

I am only asking about this question because it seems as if most recently accepted grads have recieved remission. I forgot to mention that my top choice offered me a TAship. So I will be technically paying for tuition. My second choice offered remission and a combination of mostly TAing with two fellowship years. 

I am trying to weigh both of my options.

 

I'd recommend to go where you think you would be happy. I know everyone argues that you should never take on debt through graduate school and i completely understand that rationale — there is funding out there at schools that will help you out. But if your top choice only offers a stipend and not tuition, i'd still say go for it. My personal anecdote is that i would rather be happy and in debt than miserable and rich. I had to take and loans for my undergrad and one year of my MA and i will undoubtedly be in debt for the rest of my life because of it, but I am happy with where i'm at right now and as i continue on my career path i'm happy knowing that i'm doing what i love to do regardless of the cost. 

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Posted (edited)

38 minutes ago, sreagin1 said:

I'd recommend to go where you think you would be happy. I know everyone argues that you should never take on debt through graduate school and i completely understand that rationale — there is funding out there at schools that will help you out. But if your top choice only offers a stipend and not tuition, i'd still say go for it. My personal anecdote is that i would rather be happy and in debt than miserable and rich. I had to take and loans for my undergrad and one year of my MA and i will undoubtedly be in debt for the rest of my life because of it, but I am happy with where i'm at right now and as i continue on my career path i'm happy knowing that i'm doing what i love to do regardless of the cost. 

This is, quite frankly, shit advice, given by someone who has obviously not begun to experience the consequences of their decisions.

As I have said at length elsewhere, a poor funding package is not simply a temporary inconvenience without future repercussions. Nor are these repercussions "merely" financial; a poor funding package will adversely affect your scholarship. If you're instructor of record for a course every semester, and your colleague at an Ivy* has to simply TA for 3 years, which of you do you think will have a better dissertation? When you have to scramble, beg, and borrow to get to your regional conference, your Ivy colleague has a $3k pot of money they can simply ask for every year, is spending every summer at their archives, and is also at that conference. Because they make a livable stipend, they can afford to drop $50 on the conference dinner for your specialist subfield, and thus schmooze with all the senior professors in that field. If you do not have the same benefits, you are at a massive structural disadvantage. 

If you are not offered (1) a livable stipend for 5 years, with health care and a clear means of obtaining 6th year funding, (2) reliable, regular, and easily identified internal avenues for research, conference, and travel funding, and (3) a package with a moderate to light teaching load, like TA-ships with a sabbatical year, do not attend that program, even if it means not going to grad school.

 

*NB: "Ivy" here is shorthand for "highly regarded and well funded program". I recognize there are many of these that are not technically Ivies.

Edited by telkanuru

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2 hours ago, telkanuru said:

This is, quite frankly, shit advice, given by someone who has obviously not begun to experience the consequences of their decisions.

As I have said at length elsewhere, a poor funding package is not simply a temporary inconvenience without future repercussions. Nor are these repercussions "merely" financial; a poor funding package will adversely affect your scholarship. If you're instructor of record for a course every semester, and your colleague at an Ivy* has to simply TA for 3 years, which of you do you think will have a better dissertation? When you have to scramble, beg, and borrow to get to your regional conference, your Ivy colleague has a $3k pot of money they can simply ask for every year, is spending every summer at their archives, and is also at that conference. Because they make a livable stipend, they can afford to drop $50 on the conference dinner for your specialist subfield, and thus schmooze with all the senior professors in that field. If you do not have the same benefits, you are at a massive structural disadvantage. 

If you are not offered (1) a livable stipend for 5 years, with health care and a clear means of obtaining 6th year funding, (2) reliable, regular, and easily identified internal avenues for research, conference, and travel funding, and (3) a package with a moderate to light teaching load, like TA-ships with a sabbatical year, do not attend that program, even if it means not going to grad school.

 

*NB: "Ivy" here is shorthand for "highly regarded and well funded program". I recognize there are many of these that are not technically Ivies.

This is, quite frankly, elitist bs, given by someone who has obviously let the ivory tower influence their mind-frame. If you ever get down off your high horse and want to tell me what's so consequential about my 5 years of full funding at the school i chose let me know.

Not all of us got into an Ivy with a $3k pot of money that we can simply ask for every year. Yeah, it would be great. I know full well the consequences of my decisions even though my situation is so "obvious" to you. No shit life would be easier with more money and opportunities for limitless research/ writing time. I'm sure you worked very hard for where you're at right now, but not everybody is as well off as you. The people you look down your nose at who didn't get the same opportunity or whatever else you want to throw in my face still have to make decisions. Yeah, i'd probably be happier and better off at Brown with that funding than the situation that i'm in, but that's not this reality i'm faced with. 

Also, it's not your choice. I offered advice — you called it shit, so be it, but that's all it was was my opinion. I think it's important to be happy for the next 5 or 6 years. You really don't have to talk down to me and tell me what to do. You made clear that you know everything about me (you called it "obvious"), which is so smug I almost got cancer. I've seen a lot of your posts recently and you always smack of arrogance. You really remind me of that South Park episode where they fart it wine glasses and sniff it. Let me and anyone else make our own mistakes and be happy or miserable on our own account. If you think i'm wrong, cool, tell me in a professional and friendly manner, don't talk down to me like you're the second coming. God damn bro, get over yourself.

 

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3 minutes ago, Reaglejuice89 said:

This is, quite frankly, elitist bs, given by someone who has obviously let the ivory tower influence their mind-frame. If you ever get down off your high horse and want to tell me what's so consequential about my 5 years of full funding at the school i chose let me know.

Not all of us got into an Ivy with a $3k pot of money that we can simply ask for every year. Yeah, it would be great. I know full well the consequences of my decisions even though my situation is so "obvious" to you. No shit life would be easier with more money and opportunities for limitless research/ writing time. I'm sure you worked very hard for where you're at right now, but not everybody is as well off as you. The people you look down your nose at who didn't get the same opportunity or whatever else you want to throw in my face still have to make decisions. Yeah, i'd probably be happier and better off at Brown with that funding than the situation that i'm in, but that's not this reality i'm faced with. 

Also, it's not your choice. I offered advice — you called it shit, so be it, but that's all it was was my opinion. I think it's important to be happy for the next 5 or 6 years. You really don't have to talk down to me and tell me what to do. You made clear that you know everything about me (you called it "obvious"), which is so smug I almost got cancer. I've seen a lot of your posts recently and you always smack of arrogance. You really remind me of that South Park episode where they fart it wine glasses and sniff it. Let me and anyone else make our own mistakes and be happy or miserable on our own account. If you think i'm wrong, cool, tell me in a professional and friendly manner, don't talk down to me like you're the second coming. God damn bro, get over yourself.

 

You have obviously failed to do your due diligence by doing background research on @telkanuru .

And you can't tell someone to be professional while attempting to insult a person offering a POV .

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Posted (edited)

57 minutes ago, Reaglejuice89 said:

I offered advice — you called it shit, so be it, but that's all it was was my opinion.

No. It stopped being just your opinion (as if that were to ever make anything immune from criticism) when you offered it as information which another should use to guide their decision-making. 

57 minutes ago, Reaglejuice89 said:

I know full well the consequences of my decisions even though my situation is so "obvious" to you

Sure you do. How long have you been paying off those loans for? Have you lived for five years, paycheck to paycheck, stocking grocery store shelves with that loan bill eating half your salary? Because I have. Have you put off starting a family because paying $1100 every month in loans simply makes that impossible? I have. 

You have, as I said, not yet experienced the consequences of your decisions.

57 minutes ago, Reaglejuice89 said:

Not all of us got into an Ivy with a $3k pot of money that we can simply ask for every year. 

Yes. That's exactly my point. 

Edited by telkanuru

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1 hour ago, Sigaba said:

You have obviously failed to do your due diligence by doing background research on @telkanuru .

And you can't tell someone to be professional while attempting to insult a person offering a POV .

What background research? Dude is arrogant in a lot of his posts.

Yes I can. 

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17 minutes ago, telkanuru said:

No. It stopped being just your opinion (as if that were to ever make anything immune from criticism) when you offered it as information which another should use to guide their decision-making. 

Sure you do. How long have you been paying off those loans for? Have you lived for five years, paycheck to paycheck, stocking grocery store shelves with that loan bill eating half your salary? Because I have. Have you put off starting a family because paying $1100 every month in loans simply makes that impossible? I have. 

You have, as I said, not yet experienced the consequences of your decisions.

Yes. That's exactly my point. 

I said: "I recommend." That is an opinion. You looked down your nose at me. No one is immune to criticism, but there's a way to do it. Do not tell me how i've lived my life. You're experience with me is a couple of posts, but you're somehow psychic because of that? Can I get the lottery numbers for next week while you're dissecting everything about someone you don't know? I judge your character based on the evidence that I've seen enough of your posts to make an educated guess. You smack of arrogance, talk down to people not as well off as you, and sniff your own farts out of a wine glass.

Yes, i have experienced it. I've lived paycheck to paycheck eating ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I've done my time (many years) at a grocery store stocking shelves. I'm putting off starting a family because of my financial situation.

Holy shit man. Get the hell over yourself. 

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7 minutes ago, Reaglejuice89 said:

What background research? Dude is arrogant in a lot of his posts.

Yes I can. 

If you were to step outside of your anger (which calls into question your claim that you're happy) and use the search button you'd find that @telkanuru is, in fact, quite humble given the ground he's covered to get to where he is.

If you think that you're being professional, how about you print out the post and put it on your advisor's desk and ask for that person's opinion? And while you're at it, send it to the DGS of Georgia State.

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3 minutes ago, Reaglejuice89 said:

I said: "I recommend." That is an opinion. You looked down your nose at me. No one is immune to criticism, but there's a way to do it. Do not tell me how i've lived my life. You're experience with me is a couple of posts, but you're somehow psychic because of that? Can I get the lottery numbers for next week while you're dissecting everything about someone you don't know? I judge your character based on the evidence that I've seen enough of your posts to make an educated guess. You smack of arrogance, talk down to people not as well off as you, and sniff your own farts out of a wine glass.

Yes, i have experienced it. I've lived paycheck to paycheck eating ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I've done my time (many years) at a grocery store stocking shelves. I'm putting off starting a family because of my financial situation.

Holy shit man. Get the hell over yourself. 

You need to stop digging yourself into this hole you've foxed. I know you're angry. But you need to stop digging.

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@Reaglejuice89

I'd like to suggest something.  You had applied to Duke.  While I don't know if you've been offered decision or not... Nonetheless, Duke offers the best financial package anywhere in this country for History, next to Michigan.  5 years of solid stipend, tuition remission, access to pool of money for summer funding.  Many, many programs do not have such a package.  Would you take up this opportunity over another program that only offers livable stipend and tuition remission for 5 years but summer funding is offered on a competitive basis (not guaranteed).  That's all other things being equal and you can be happy at both places.  Which would you choose?

Another thing to really think about but you can choose to learn this the hard way when you are in the PhD program in the fall.  Do not one-up another graduate student, especially if you don't know the particular details of his/her budget.  Ever.  You can make assumptions but keep them to yourself.  If you think your peer is doing "just fine," and you want to go out for a fancy birthday dinner, don't assume that you peer can afford it.  Your peer may actually be paying off loans or has a different financial goal (i.e. going on a nice spring break trip).  Each person-- grad student or not-- has financial goals and we must respect one another's choices whether getting a Starbucks latte daily or paying auto insurance just to have a car.

Yet there are definitely certain limitations when it comes to making decisions about which funding package to get when all things are equal, which @telkanuru is trying to get at. What I mentioned above are day-to-day items but @telkanuru is focused on enormous financial commitment that affects your future standing with the financial industry.  Banks, private lenders, and credit card companies generally want to lend money but leave to you to deal with how you're going to repay.  They can place high interest rate to get you to repay quickly (or, if you can't, they profit) or knock down your credit score (which is important for getting big-ticket items like a house or immediate approval for rent).  People who are aware of these repercussions may choose a path that may make them miserable because they just don't want to take the risk.  If you want to be willing to deal with these costly repercussions in order to be happy, be my guest.

FWIW.

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16 minutes ago, TMP said:

@Reaglejuice89

I'd like to suggest something.  You had applied to Duke.  While I don't know if you've been offered decision or not... Nonetheless, Duke offers the best financial package anywhere in this country for History, next to Michigan.  5 years of solid stipend, tuition remission, access to pool of money for summer funding.  Many, many programs do not have such a package.  Would you take up this opportunity over another program that only offers livable stipend and tuition remission for 5 years but summer funding is offered on a competitive basis (not guaranteed).  That's all other things being equal and you can be happy at both places.  Which would you choose?

Another thing to really think about but you can choose to learn this the hard way when you are in the PhD program in the fall.  Do not one-up another graduate student, especially if you don't know the particular details of his/her budget.  Ever.  You can make assumptions but keep them to yourself.  If you think your peer is doing "just fine," and you want to go out for a fancy birthday dinner, don't assume that you peer can afford it.  Your peer may actually be paying off loans or has a different financial goal (i.e. going on a nice spring break trip).  Each person-- grad student or not-- has financial goals and we must respect one another's choices whether getting a Starbucks latte daily or paying auto insurance just to have a car.

Yet there are definitely certain limitations when it comes to making decisions about which funding package to get when all things are equal, which @telkanuru is trying to get at. What I mentioned above are day-to-day items but @telkanuru is focused on enormous financial commitment that affects your future standing with the financial industry.  Banks, private lenders, and credit card companies generally want to lend money but leave to you to deal with how you're going to repay.  They can place high interest rate to get you to repay quickly (or, if you can't, they profit) or knock down your credit score (which is important for getting big-ticket items like a house or immediate approval for rent).  People who are aware of these repercussions may choose a path that may make them miserable because they just don't want to take the risk.  If you want to be willing to deal with these costly repercussions in order to be happy, be my guest.

FWIW.

I understand all the arguments about funding and Duke is certainly one of the best in North America when it comes to history. I was rejected from there. Obviously if I was accepted, I would probably be going to Duke in the fall. I was lucky, however, and offered a very generous stipend as well as tuition at another university. So it's hard for me to complain. I think I would've been equally as happy at either place. What i was getting at was that original poster was talking about 1st vs 2nd choices — in my mind, more than just money goes into that personal ranking — funding, fit, location, opportunities for research travel, etc. I was trying to emphasize that happiness should go near the top of their internal list when deciding.

To your second point - I was not trying to "one up" anyone. I was offering my advice to the original poster my opinion that I think they should choose where they would be happiest. I understand completely your meaning though. However, I've been creeping on this website for years and only recently started to post. The main thing I've noticed is their are elitist assholes on here like telkanru and i'm sick of them talking down to people from their ivory tower. I believe that they believe in their heart of hearts that they're doing the right thing by giving honest/ no bs advice, but I'm sick of people like them. I know someone is going to say I need to get over it because academia has a lot of elitist members, my response to that is: someone has to call them on their shitty attitudes - if it has to be me, so be it. Normally, I'm intensely friendly and get along with almost everyone. I've cultivated great relationships with most everyone I've met in grad school so far (professors and grad students alike). I'm just sick and tired of ivory tower elitists preaching from the pulpit to paupers like me, assuming they know everything there is to know about me. As you say, everyone has different financial goals, so too does everyone have different personal experiences. Homedawg acted like I came from money and tried to preach that I don't know what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck, etc. And no, it's not going down like that. I'm calling his bullshit on my own life.

To your other point in the second paragraph, I completely get that too. What someone does with their money is none of my business whatsoever unless they specifically ask me. telkan was making assumptions about me (if you go back and reread what he said to me) and that is what i took exception too. I'm sick of people like him. Each person has financial goals different from each other, you say I should accept it (even though i totally understand your meaning), I would amend that, however, to i have to acknowledge that everyone has other financial goals. 

To your last point, I understand what everyone is trying to get at from the financial stand point. Yes, in a perfect world a livable stipend, full tuition, and summer funding for research is ideal. But that's not the reality. I was driving the point that not everyone got those package offers from Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton, etc. Not everyone has their pick between the Ivies. But as I said in my other post. I'd rather be in debt and happy than rich and miserable. All I was saying was happiness should count a lot when making decisions... then telkan laid into my "shit advice" and the rest of my life as if he knows what's best for everyone. I bet he votes republican up and own the ticket, too.

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@Reaglejuice89, the only one calling anyone names here is you.

Point blank, @telkanuru has worked hard to get where he is. He offers solid guidance, especially when one doesn't like what he has to say.  He doesn't have to be here.

Each season, fewer experienced graduate students return to share what they've learned through hard won experience. Each season, there are more newer members like you who treat disagreement as an invitation to show their asses. If your belligerence convinces him that this place isn't worth it, are you going to pick up the slack next season? Is the guidance that you'd offer better than his?

You have made it quite clear your POV that happiness in the near term is worth what ever the economic consequences may be in the future. What is your other points?

  • That anyone who disagrees with you is an elitist Republican asshole?
  • That you're an otherwise even tempered, nice guy who has been unjustly provoked?
  • That you're so happy with the choices that you've made that you keep returning to tell strangers about it?
  • That you can accept an opposing viewpoint gracefully and give a measured, thoughtful response?

If those are your points, I do not agree. (Well...there is a Republican elitist in this thread, but it isn't @telkanuru.)

And if you still think you're being "professional" then let everyone know when you've sent screenshots of your posts to your advisor at your present school, and the DGS at Georgia State with your name signed to the email. 

Put down the shovel.

 

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Posted (edited)

I love the term "elitist" being thrown around as a pejorative in academia. As if entering graduate school in the humanities was within the realm of possibility for anyone who wasn't already among the global elite.

It's even more useless when deployed against the sort of structural argument I have made here. If I had said you shouldn't go to graduate school at a non-Ivy because if you're not smart enough to get into an Ivy, you won't get a job, then one could indeed level a charge of "elitism" against me. Of course, that's exactly not what I said. Those who graduate from Ivies will get jobs over you despite the fact that you are smarter or a better historian precisely because they have structural advantages you do not. These structural advantages are by no means justified on meritocratic grounds.

They still exist. You still have to deal with them. Pretending like they don't, like you don't, or that five years of relative happiness is worth fifty years of poverty, is shortsighted. Actually, let's not mince words: it's stupid and immature. But you're entitled to your own stupidity. Trying to convince others to follow you down that path, though, which is precisely what you're doing when you offer your "opinion" in this public forum, is morally reprehensible. 

 

Two years ago, I was given a choice between Brown and OSU. OSU's offer was a 4 year TA-ship which required me to be IOR after my second semester at half the annual funding as Brown's. If Brown hadn't made me an offer, I would have gone to OSU. I liked the professor there so much, I almost did anyway. That would have been a stupid decision. 

Edited by telkanuru

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9 hours ago, Reaglejuice89 said:

My personal anecdote is that i would rather be happy and in debt than miserable and rich. 

2 hours ago, Reaglejuice89 said:

I'd rather be in debt and happy than rich and miserable. 

As a future historian, I'm sure you are aware that the world does not work in binaries such as happy/poor and miserable/rich. And they are not mutually exclusive.

 

 

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On 3/11/2017 at 0:09 AM, OHSP said:

I'm not sure of your specific situation but I attended the NYU admitted students visit last weekend -- I received my acceptance by phone in early Feb and then an email followed shortly after, so the email you received seems a bit strange :/ Hopefully there's a waitlist!

 

Well . . . this is a little disheartening. I would have just preferred that they told me that was the situation. The email specifically said that they don't discuss admissions decisions by email or by phone, too. I doubt I'm on a waitlist, if it does exist, based off of my application record, but I would really appreciate not getting the runaround like this.

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53 minutes ago, russianblue said:

Well . . . this is a little disheartening. I would have just preferred that they told me that was the situation. The email specifically said that they don't discuss admissions decisions by email or by phone, too. I doubt I'm on a waitlist, if it does exist, based off of my application record, but I would really appreciate not getting the runaround like this.

Keep your chin up!

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1 hour ago, russianblue said:

Well . . . this is a little disheartening. I would have just preferred that they told me that was the situation. The email specifically said that they don't discuss admissions decisions by email or by phone, too. I doubt I'm on a waitlist, if it does exist, based off of my application record, but I would really appreciate not getting the runaround like this.

NYU is notorious for doing this. They seem to do it every year.

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1 hour ago, russianblue said:

Well . . . this is a little disheartening. I would have just preferred that they told me that was the situation. The email specifically said that they don't discuss admissions decisions by email or by phone, too. I doubt I'm on a waitlist, if it does exist, based off of my application record, but I would really appreciate not getting the runaround like this.

I actually received a rejection via email from NYU just the other day. In regards to unofficial waitlist status, perhaps this is a good sign for you. Best of luck! 

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3 hours ago, russianblue said:

Well . . . this is a little disheartening. I would have just preferred that they told me that was the situation. The email specifically said that they don't discuss admissions decisions by email or by phone, too. I doubt I'm on a waitlist, if it does exist, based off of my application record, but I would really appreciate not getting the runaround like this.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news - I was in a similar situation with a different school and it was frustrating. 

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On 3/11/2017 at 7:47 PM, Sigaba said:

@Reaglejuice89, the only one calling anyone names here is you.

Point blank, @telkanuru has worked hard to get where he is. He offers solid guidance, especially when one doesn't like what he has to say.  He doesn't have to be here.

Each season, fewer experienced graduate students return to share what they've learned through hard won experience. Each season, there are more newer members like you who treat disagreement as an invitation to show their asses. If your belligerence convinces him that this place isn't worth it, are you going to pick up the slack next season? Is the guidance that you'd offer better than his?

 

I don't really agree with calling telkanuru a republican elitist but I went back and read some of the stuff he has said and in regard to this argument they are having, I'm on reaglejuice's side. No, telkanuru doesn't have to offer advice here and it may be some kind of altruism that's making him do it but there's no reason to call reaglejuice's advice shit.

I have been coming here for a little over 3 years now (I post mostly from my phone as a different name because I don't have my account saved) and I try to offer advice where I can. My advice is usually to do what make you happy. Pick the place with 4 years instead of 5 if you would rather work with a specific prof. If you need to take a loan out, do it. I know it sucks to pay them back but I, like juice, would rather be happy and have some debt out. 

I still have loans from my undergrad that I'll pay off sometime in the future and I was lucky enough that I didn't have to take on any extra debt in grad school so far.

It irked me that telkanuru said something about another person offering "shit advice" so I felt compelled to give some input. Calling someone else's opinion "shit" is rude and while juice seemed to get angry, I get it because telkuru does get under one's skin and not everyone can get 5 years + summers + tuition. So if someone has to take 4 years at a less prestigious place (like I did) - go for it. Otherwise you'll end up being an assistant manager at that grocery store that both of them worked at.

So, if you the choices are to go into a little debt and put off starting a family until you are in your early thirties before getting an academic job or start a family in your mid twenties and work the noon to close shift as a manager at the local grocery store five nights a week, I'll go with the path that gets me a job that doesn't make me hate life. I also will catch some flak for saying this but: you will get a job even if you don't go to an ivy. You might have to wait and definitely will have to go wherever the hell it is, if we love teaching and researching that's the path to take. 

Remember what Stranz Van Waldenburg once said: "Oh my God, I can't get a real job; it'll kill me!" I feel that way too.

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2 hours ago, DCguy said:

So, if you the choices are to go into a little debt and put off starting a family until you are in your early thirties before getting an academic job or start a family in your mid twenties and work the noon to close shift as a manager at the local grocery store five nights a week, I'll go with the path that gets me a job that doesn't make me hate life. I also will catch some flak for saying this but: you will get a job even if you don't go to an ivy. You might have to wait and definitely will have to go wherever the hell it is, if we love teaching and researching that's the path to take. 

This seems irresponsible to me, because it sounds like you're painting the worst-case-scenario as a TT job with "a little debt" (which I assume means different amounts to different people) to pay off down the road. Anybody who enters academia these days MUST be aware that TT jobs are the best-case-scenario, even if they're at Western State U in the middle of nowhere. The majority of PhDs who want to stay in academia are forced into the miserable and unstable world of adjunct-hood. @telkanuru is right to say that people should consider the long term implications of their opportunities when making decisions.

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2 hours ago, DCguy said:

I also will catch some flak for saying this but: you will get a job even if you don't go to an ivy. You might have to wait and definitely will have to go wherever the hell it is, if we love teaching and researching that's the path to take. 

Somebody tell Slate

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1 hour ago, Calgacus said:

This seems irresponsible to me, because it sounds like you're painting the worst-case-scenario as a TT job with "a little debt" (which I assume means different amounts to different people) to pay off down the road. Anybody who enters academia these days MUST be aware that TT jobs are the best-case-scenario, even if they're at Western State U in the middle of nowhere. The majority of PhDs who want to stay in academia are forced into the miserable and unstable world of adjunct-hood.

Yes a "little debt" means different things: the price of a car or house maybe - it's all a little debt though, isn't it? I should've been clearer I guess. Not everyone is going to get a tenure track. I expect someday that most of us here will end up with tenure at Western State U because we're dedicated enough (we came to the grad cafe after all) to keep searching until we find it. Circumstances will dictate how many of us are stuck as adjuncts forever, of course. I'm more optimistic and my challenge to anyone who doesn't like my optimism: why are you doing it if you are so sure that you won't get a tenure track job? Based on the negative advice and outlook that a lot of people on this forum have, why are you even bothering?

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