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About this blog

My Second Experiment in Personal Transformation...

Entries in this blog

 

Breathing Again....

After holding my breath, practically, for the past two weeks scrambling to get everything together for my applications, fighting tooth and nail with ETS about getting my scores mailed out in timely fashion, scanning several old papers and assignments from one of my classes into the computer and combining the documents to send to a LOR writer by request, revising (just a few changes in wording here and there, truly!) my SOP AGAIN, and going through my three writing samples with a fine-tooth comb,

Medievalmaniac

Medievalmaniac

 

Application Hell

Yeah, 'Tis the season, all right. Application season. And we all know what that means.... Yup, here I am, smack-dab in the middle of Application Hell. I spent four months on my statement of purpose. Four months studying for the GRE Subject test. Several weeks revising and revising and revising my writing samples. So far, I have sent out six emails to three graduate departments seeking clarification on their (oh, my God(dess)(e)(s)! Could somebody please streamline and proofread the web

Medievalmaniac

Medievalmaniac

 

Campus Visit and GRE Subject Test

OK, I know those of you who have been reading my blog want to know how the campus visit went the other day - I've been cramming for the GRE Subject test and wallowing in self-pity over Brady's death, so forgive the delay. In a word, it was fabulous. I really enjoyed my conversations with the professors I interviewed with, and I felt like there were a lot of strong affinities between my work and the work they were doing. The department seems to be heavily invested in its graduate students and the

Medievalmaniac

Medievalmaniac

 

Another Emotional Hurdle...

We are not having a very good week at our house. I should preface that by "we" I mean myself, my DH (the managing editor of a paper one hour's drive from here, soon to be regional managing editor of several papers), my DD #1, in first grade, my DD#2, aged 3, our three cats, two (one) goldfish, and three (two) dogs. The last two categories being, of course, the source of our sorrow and angst this week. Monday morning, we woke up to find one of the two goldfish remaining out of the

Medievalmaniac

Medievalmaniac

 

Still Applying.....

I'm still mulling through the applications process. I'm really, really glad that all three of the programs I'm applying to this year have January deadlines. Naturally, I will have my applications done and in by December - but it's nice to know it doesn't HAVE TO BE DONE by November/December 1, I really feel for the folks applying to programs with earlier deadlines. I got clarification on the writing sample requirements from the three schools I'm applying to. Two of the programs are firm in

Medievalmaniac

Medievalmaniac

 

Beowulf and Grendel, 2.0

I feel like Beowulf, grappling with Grendel in the Mead Hall; only one of us can come out of this alive. I'm referring, of course, to my writing sample. I've decided that for one of the programs to which I'm applying, the one that allows two samples, I'm sending a couple of conference papers I've given over the past year, revised and polished, of course. I'm not very worried about this, I know the papers are solid and demonstrate my strengths as a writer-scholar, because of the posit

Medievalmaniac

Medievalmaniac

 

Writing Sample

(This is reposted from my thread on the main forum, but I thought it also belonged here for posterity, since it is part of my application process and this blog is supposed to document that.) So....the writing sample for this go-round. I've been trying to come up with a writing sample that really underscores my work as a scholar and shows what I am capable of producing. I am wondering about the wisdom of using a "writing process, fully realized" as my writing sample. I have a signed article

Medievalmaniac

Medievalmaniac

 

Bit the Bullet....

Well, Reader(s), I did it: I went ahead and did the unthinkable: I scheduled a department visit and interview round. According to some of us, this is the Kiss of Death. According to some of us, you should Never, Ever Do That. It's kissing up, it's practically cheating, it makes you look bad, unprofessional, insecure...But I figure - what the hell do any of us know? We're just hopefuls at this point. I didn't get in last year, and I honestly thought I had a great shot. So clearly, I am no ex

Medievalmaniac

Medievalmaniac

 

Subject Test- UGH.

Well, like so many other literature folks, I'm counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the GRE Subject Test in English, November 13, 8:00 a.m. It's ridiculous for me to be so keyed up over this thing. I have been teaching literature since 1997. I have been studying it since...errr, well, a long time. I took the Praxis II English subject test and scored a perfect 200 out of 200, just last April. So, why am I so obsessed with the GRE subject test? Because I took a practice

Medievalmaniac

Medievalmaniac

 

Securing Letters of Recommendation and the Follow Up

I'm going to try to document the path I have taken during this application season as completely as I possibly can, in order to provide future applicants with as much information good, bad and ugly as possible to support their own journeys towards the PhD. Here, I'm discussing the all-important issue of letters of recommendation. I notice on the board that a lot of people are asking whether or not you need three academic letters of recommendation, or if it would be a good idea to submit one

Medievalmaniac

Medievalmaniac

 

From Whence The Title Of This Blog?

This entry is an explanation of my reasons for entitling this blog "the Alchemist's path". From the end of the Roman Empire through the medieval era, alchemy was developed into a highly specialized practice. Those who studied and practiced alchemy believed that what they were doing was scientific inquiry, and that through the proper manipulation of variables, perfect states of being could be achieved, both in inanimate objects (iron into gold) and in human beings (Imitatio Christi, or immortalit

Medievalmaniac

Medievalmaniac

 

OK, Sportsfans.....

Challenge Successful Application, Version 2.0…Let the Blogging Begin! (Sorry…I’ve been watching a lot of Iron Chef America lately. You’ll probably notice me dropping Iron Chef-esque phrasing here and there, along with my other many peccadilloes! Hopefully, this will prove endearing, and not irritating as crap.) Before I begin with the meat of this blog, which is of course to document the good, the bad, the ugly, and the truly horrifying as regards the application season, I want to take

Medievalmaniac

Medievalmaniac

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