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Quarex

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About Quarex

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    Double Shot

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    Political Science Ph.D.

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  1. I am not so much "going there" as "returning there for my third year." But I think that is still roughly the same thing. The University of Delaware is a good school, and as it was seemingly one of the few that managed to come through the financial turmoil with sufficient resources to keep hiring (if the comments from job searches in our department were any indication), it is seemingly on an all-around upward trajectory. Hey, sounds good to me!
  2. Obviously our resident experts on pretty much everything already excellently covered the "yeah, you should probably not do that if you want to do well" aspect. But they did not cover another aspect it sounded like you were asking in there, as to whether alcohol in general was inexorably linked to the graduate social life. It is entirely possible that I will go my entire life without drinking (or smoking pot or really doing anything interesting like that), and I have never had difficulty having a good time hanging out with others in my cohort, or getting along with them in general. Now, I also will likely miss out on at least a few good chances to get wasted with my research advisor and make a permanent friendship bond, but the extra money and free time seem worth it. You can make just about anything work in graduate school, it seems. Even if you did drink every night, as long as you spent the whole afternoon researching and writing beforehand, you could likely still make it work. I just do not know that I have met anyone who has successfully balanced extreme drinking with extreme research.
  3. Wow. I have to admit, CoachRJC, I did not expect there would be anything out there that was related to what you were looking for, but this is just another classic case of underestimating the Internet's depth and breadth. Thanks for the response, Opal32496!
  4. I imagine a large number of people have their interests change, at least subtly, as a result of the very applications process where they try to perfectly explain them. I certainly added a few buzzwords to my research interests (and took a few others out) since this whole mess started, both because some areas seemed more important and others seemed less important the more I thought and wrote about them. Now, changing completely might make things a little trickier at the very beginning, but as Rising_Star put it, this is hardly an unusual scenario.
  5. TravelingArtMuse, just in case you were having any second thoughts about taking this acceptance, it might help to get another random outside perspective on this. Basically, unless you did terribly in your master's program and that is why you did not get accepted anywhere, there really does seem to be no reason to accept this offer. The descriptions of the program make it sound like it is specifically geared towards someone who regrets his/her choice of undergraduate major and was subsequently rejected for graduate studies in the field that he/she wants to enter. This is hardly to say that it is a bad thing; indeed, that program might have made more sense for my own situation than the path I ended up following. But as mentioned, you do already have a master's degree, and likely expanding your search and honing what parts of your application you can (Statement? GRE [do you have to take it?]? Recommendations?) will be better in the long run than spending what would surely be an enormous amount of money for two more years of school. That said, the Draper program may well have excellent contacts in your field for all I know. The deadline is not until July 1; might as well take that time to figure out if this is the case!
  6. While this has basically no impact on anything, since you have had contact with the department yourself to know how things are, I have the following to state: Of the ~20 campuses and departments we visited and spoke with, and all the other e-mail and phone inquiries we performed, George Washington's public policy department was the only contact that was unforgivably rude. The advisor was rude to the point that I did not even end up applying there; I did not want to be in the same place as anyone who would speak to me like that during a visit. It takes an awful lot for me to feel like someone is being rude (Boston University's graduate advisor was apparently rude to me, but I ignored it and eventually got her laughing and friendly), but there was no mistaking that the George Washington advisor had no interest in talking to me.
  7. Quarex

    Brandeis?

    I have been trying unsuccessfully to get word of my application status from Brandeis' Politics department since mid-March, and at this point I am forced to conclude that they have admitted me with the most fabulous funding package of all time, but national security concerns prevents them from revealing this to me. So I am forced to go somewhere else instead
  8. Quarex

    Technology

    Between how funny this comment is, and how inexplicably overpriced Mac products are, you really are better off getting a PC. Honestly, look at the Asus EEE (if you are not on the "enormous" side--the keys are too small for my fingers). ~$375 for a tiny, reliable computer ... which granted does not have Windows on it (though you can get one with XP for ~$450?). Honestly, how can you beat that? Is an IBook worth the cost of about three PC laptops?
  9. I think you absolutely should buy that horse! They are good with children, provide an easy way to get to campus ... oh, right. I am with you, LaraAnn. In addition to what Rising_Star pointed out accurately about the fair number of cheap college towns, you might be further surprised about just how hilarious the housing market is right now. My girlfriend and I found several condos in the Washington D.C. area for only about $150k (now, what is wrong with them? Who knows, but the point is some houses are getting dangerously close, even in at least one high-cost area, to "affordable"). That said, my serious-grown-up-adult-since-age-15 friend who has owned a home since he was in his early-mid 20s, and who always ridicules people for renting, has been renting a place in Chicago for approaching a year now, with his lovely home still sitting unsold back home. Now, sure, once he finally sells it, he will recoup much of the money that living in two places is currently draining from him. But do you really want to deal with the risk of potentially paying two enormous monthly housing bills a month when the market collapses like this? Particularly as a graduate student or recent graduate? Certainly seems like it could be a terrible idea waiting to happen.
  10. Glad to see LeavingMyHeartinSF represented the best approach to moving: "put your stuff in your car, and if it will not fit in your car, you do not need it." Assuming you have a car, and want to keep it, the price of getting it and your stuff there in one fell swoop is clearly going to be cheaper than any other method of getting it and your stuff to a new destination (seriously, try pricing a U-Haul for something even three or four states away, let alone across the country; it is about 5 times the cost of stuffing the same amount of crap in your own car for the drive). Now, yes, obviously this approach is infeasible for those of you with families and years of accumulation of valuable furniture and other items, and my heart goes out to you for the nigh-infinite costs involved. But if there is any way you can just toss out all of your stuff other than what you actually need (and maybe a couple of things you really want), you will be much happier. My girlfriend and I moved from Illinois to Virginia using this method and had plenty of space for the stuff we each needed, even with her bringing her upright electric piano in her Scion. Even with both our gas costs, we still saved about $1100 over what the U-Haul would have cost. Generic every-show-on-TLC-probably-says-these-tips: * Give away/throw out anything you have not used or worn in a year. * Have a friend go through your things and tell you what he/she thinks you do not need. Then see if you can justify it to him/her, and then throw it out if you cannot (and maybe even if you can) * Set fire to everything else.
  11. When did you take the GRE? I took it in 2003 (my scores even expired just before I officially accepted an offer; I totally beat the system!) and absolutely do not have any idea what you are talking about. This must be something new, as my scores were higher than Unknownscholar's and I never heard anything from anyone about anything, though I certainly would have filled out a survey if there had been one, since I love surveys so much.
  12. Thank goodness there is always the one guy who comes in to disagree with everyone else! I applied to 27 schools, and got into 8, with decent-to-great funding from three. My situation was likely completely different from yours, however; English Literature bachelor's degree (though I guess we can relate there), Criminal Justice master's degree, applying to Political Science and Public Policy programs. In other words, I, and all of my thesis committee, really had absolutely no way to predict how likely I was to be accepted anywhere at all, let alone to any particular programs. I only had the vaguest idea of what constituted a "reach" or "safety" school, as all schools seemed like a reach to me. That said, I knew I was clearly not going to get into an Ivy League school (which did not stop me from trying!). As for the cost, yeah, I had to ask for my parents to make my Christmas present "helping me finish paying for all these applications." That said, I did get into two pretty well-ranked affairs/policy programs--though ultimately decided that political science was the field for me, and they were not political science programs, so I went with the best program for me. So, to recap: 27 applications --> 8 admissions --> 3 funded offers. 1/9th of my applications came back as something you would define as "good investments." Hey, sounds like those 18 schools might not be too many after all! Really, though, I do think Rising_Star has a good point about application quality declining. That said, I genuinely did nothing else from September to December other than work on my applications, and if you have that kind of time on your hands, it is doable. Also, if you have neither a great nor a terrible application (not sure how yours is), it may actually be a better idea to apply to as many as you can stand, since the application process really is incredibly random. My best funding offer came from a school ranked better than several that did not even admit me.
  13. Yes, that was definitely encouraging. I have a few friends in D.C. as a result of my days working for a couple of political campaigns in Illinois, and they seem to love their government/policy jobs; maybe I will end up going their non-academic route. But even if not, really, I would even be happy being a professor at Jethro's Reliable Community College and B-B-Q. Well, all right, I would admittedly be happier at Jethro's Reliable University and 30-Minute Oil Change. Hmm. I know there was one school that seemed like it should be highly-ranked that was conspicuously absent from the ranking system, and thought it was Brown. We discussed it in one of these other threads, but it would probably be faster to check my notes at home.
  14. As a brief resurrection of this thread, before letting it return to its watery grave: I am officially going to be one of "those" people who goes to a low-ranked school (well, actually unranked, but considering Brown and a couple of other clearly-good-overall-schools are unranked, it did not worry me as much as it might have otherwise). And I turned down four middle-ranked schools to do it. Why? Because I am a contrarian. Well, not really; in fact, despite Delaware's absence from the rankings, there are several faculty there who seem well-regarded and certainly are excellent scholars (Muqtedar Khan alone is everywhere these days), and almost everyone there is him/herself from a top-25 school. But in any case, as I mentioned here earlier, my whole life has been an exercise in specifically not doing what is expected/suggested/etc., and I am the happiest person I know. I have this funny feeling that this is going to work out, too. But if not, I will buy Realist a drink. With my unemployment check Hmm, "Doctor of Unemployment Studies."
  15. Quarex

    Newark, DE

    Hang on, Newark Delaware! I am a-comin'! Not that there is any way this is still a viable point to make, but it seems taking the train to Wilmington and then getting a ride to Newark might be easier, since there are trains through the Wilmington station every half hour, whereas Newark only seems to have one or two a day (though this could be wrong; I do not live there yet, after all, and am just going on what I read). Here is my question for you, EvlComputer: What are you doing that makes staying in Delaware forever so appealing? Haha. No, I understand, I was in Illinois for my first two college degrees other than my year studying abroad. If you find a good thing, hey, stick with it! Plus, oh man, Peace of Pizza, are you kidding me? That pasta alfredo pizza is THE BEST THING EVER. I got lucky with my living situation; an old friend of mine bought a house right by campus there while finishing up her master's degree, and loves it so much that she is staying and wants roommates. Bonus! Now I feel bad for asking her why in the world she was moving to Delaware from Florida when she started her degree.
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