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drivingthoughts

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drivingthoughts last won the day on May 12 2016

drivingthoughts had the most liked content!

About drivingthoughts

  • Rank
    Espresso Shot
  • Birthday January 12

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    midwest
  • Interests
    Neologizing. Applied ethics / moral theology : religion in the public sphere & Christian responsibility towards a pluralistic post-secular society.
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    PhD - Political Theology

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  1. Update: Resolution Well, things have gone about as well as they could. I took out my frustration cooking a complicated dinner (cooking is often my therapy), calmed my nerves, had a good sip of wine, and maybe cried a little. The next day I dove in to the problem. I contacted my advisor, the director of my department, folk I know in the overarching Graduate School. I explained to them my situation, the level of contrition that things had come to this, and solicited advice for how to proceed. Email and face-to-face meetings proceeded, though nothing as formal as a hearing; today all is resolved and I now have a NC for the course, meaning that it shows up on my transcript, but doesn't count towards my credits or GPA. Whew. What happened - folk I know, advisor included, went to bat for me. They pressured Dr. Doom to reconsider ending my career over our spat, and he apparently assented to changing the grade to no-credit. What I learned: Social capital is more important than I thought. I work hard and am a friendly person doing my best to maintain good relationships; as such, I have a very good rapport with my professors and colleagues. I massively screwed it up with Dr. Doom, and that bridge is nothing but ashes floating downstream - he won't even respond if I say "hi" in the hallway. But because of my investment of social capital everywhere else, I was able to cash it in to my salvation. Had I been the anonymous graduate student, I'm not sure if folk would have risked their own political capital to rescue me. Clearly, I spent of lot of what I banked earlier. Say NO. This whole situation arose from me trying to please Dr. Doom and agreeing to help with his personal project and allowing it be tied to our course, even though it was against my better judgement. The time commitment soon spiraled out of control and I realized there was no way I could finish any of this in a reasonable timeframe. All could have been avoided. The principle is true - grad life is busy enough, if X doesn't help you to graduate sooner or get a job, don't do it. Know your resources. Where are the rules? Who are the gatekeepers? Are processes mechanistic or fluid? I now know these things - had I known them before, I might have freaked out less. Backup. I'm sure this seems like a no-brainer to everyone and their cat - but seriously, don't be like me. Get an automatic online backup system like Backblaze, or whatever, and keep your stuff backed up. I basically lost a whole semester's worth of work because the last time I plugged in my backup drive was at the beginning of the semester. Things got busy and I just forgot to do it. Online file backup costs money, but it's a lot cheaper than the cash I'll have to spend to replace my NC course in the Spring. Peace, y'all.
  2. Here's a doozy for me and my life, just looking to vent at this point. I'm a phd student in my second year of coursework. Due to some crazy life circumstance (including losing my hard drive in the last week of this past spring semester), I had an extension given on a class. Long story short, I didn't finish re-writing my paper by the deadline and asked for a second extension (which is allowed), instead of taking the options of letting me have an extension or just having the grade slide into a "permanent incomplete" which would just leave me with no credit for the course, the professor decided to give me an F. I'm a bit miffed. This is obviously at least half my fault, but seriously, an F after I did all this work (and a ton of extra work for a book project sorta tied with the class)? Where my anger burns the most is that I think he gave me an F, not because of my academics, but because I refused to work on his book project that he wanted me to contribute to. Well, depending on what happens from here, I might be finding a new career... until then, I'm a bit angsty.
  3. I took 8 years off between my undergrad and my master's. I started at 32, and now that I'm 37, I'm happily enjoying life as a PhD candidate. My take-away on having been in school for a while: (note, I'm also in a different field like @mdivgirl above) Perspective - I didn't quit my good job in another field, sell my house, and move across the country just for kicks. This is a degree that I wanted with a solid end-goal in mind. I took some classes and read a lot about my current field while not officially in school. This essentially gave me several homework-free classes. I didn't really get any negativity with age - from my observations, age discrimination doesn't really start in the academy until you're older, like 50+ (some of my colleagues had a hard time relating to professors significantly younger than them & the reverse is also true). I also found that, as the oldest person in my cohort, I was able to learn a ton from the younger students - like educational technologies I didn't have in undergrad, books and authors I've never heard of, new music, and cultural perspectives; they also had a good ear to critique me when I wasn't being "relevant." I also had the opportunity to serve as a bit of a cultural resource too, since unlike others in my cohort, I've lived and worked abroad, I'm married and have children, I used to own my house, etc. What I'm saying is that you'll be fine. Go for it and best wishes on your endeavors.
  4. Congratulations @Kaede, @expandyourmind! Good job and best wishes in your future! Sadly, I didn't make it in this year. My hunt for additional funding continues... "Over 1,700 predoctoral applications were reviewed by panels composed of highly qualified scientists, engineers, and humanities scholars from across the nation. Since only 65 predoctoral awards are available, many deserving candidates could not be selected."
  5. Just say "NO!" I suck at this. But really: a) do I need to go to this to advance my career? b ) is the work that I will have to put off more or less important than the opportunity? For example: I was invited to participate in several events this semester in my field; I picked two, one that is actually required of me, and one that was a prime opportunity to network with folk who I hope to be my bosses in a couple of years.
  6. Hey @kit2138, First, congratulations! Just a thought - I'm an older student (37!) with kids in school and a spouse who works full time, and let me say, I'm often jealous of some of my younger colleagues' discretionary time. In seriousness though, despite coming into this game late, I have the utmost respect for my fellow students, old or young. Everyone has something to offer, and some of my best friends from my masters cohort were in their early 20s when we started. Just be honest with who you are, don't downplay your ideas or overly self-deprecate, and don't put up with people who refuse to respect you. And stand up to us older students who can be asshats sometimes because of our "experience." Second, find yourself a mentor. This is important for everyone. I think it would be really cool if it's someone who is right now doing what you want to do. They can be inside or outside of your school. They don't even necessarily have to be in your field, but do find someone who is a mature and wise person (as much as you can tell). I'd avoid picking a more advanced student because they might be gone before you graduate. I know a lot of people (myself included) who lay a lot of their success at the feet of their mentor.
  7. Just and FYI from my experience - I went to WTS' fully-funded ThM. Had a great time and learned a lot, but be advised: It's a ton of work to get a ThM done in 1 year. The schools that let me in for my PhD (I'm in a legit & fully funded program now) told me that my ThM didn't matter, it was my completed M.Div. that got me in. Worth a thought --> you might be just as well off lecturing somewhere for a year and saving money, making connections, frequently visiting the schools you want to go to (helped in my case), and getting your name out there. Just my 2 cents, YMMV.
  8. I also applied; PhD in ethics with a focus on interreligious cooperation and political responsibility. I'm in the first year of my program, but still have a few left. Also, first-time applicant too. Curious to see what shot I really have at this - guess we'll all find out soon!
  9. Wow, back on here after a year off the café. PhD world is fun folks, but as I'm learning, lots of work.

  10. @Gvh It's quite true. I have seen the actual reports that ETS sends to schools (as of 2015 & 2016) - as I said, they only send the score(s) that you submit, but they also tell how many times you took it and on what dates. That aside, I do agree - if you're an overall great candidate and you're scoring over 90%, it probably doesn't matter how many times you took it.
  11. @kaydaybug Sorry that this is a while in getting back to you, I've been kinda busy. You will see your verbal and quantitative scores immediately after you take the test, you then have the option of sending them to schools if you want to. If you don't, you still get to see your scores and you can send them later. The analytical score takes a couple of weeks to show up. In either case, you can check all of your scores using your ETS/GRE login that you create to schedule a test.
  12. I know a couple of people who were accepted in PhD programs after taking a few doctoral seminars as non-degree students and doing very well in them (specifically Poly Sci and Philosophy). But I also think it's kinda rare. The skeptic in me sees this is a way for universities to make some money - as a non-degree student you are likely ineligible for school funding and the FAFSA, so you have to pay cash up front or get a private loan. Is there a way that you can reach out to the current students to see if any of them took this track? Will your POI at American tell you if the department has accepted anyone through this route?
  13. @katys Honestly, I'm from the world of humanities, so I can't speak directly to audiology or SLP; but your post struck a chord with me, and I thought I'd share a little of my own experience. My first two years of college were terrible, even with really good grades in my junior and senior years, I still came out with a 2.55 overall. When application season came around, I put my best spin on it, but got nowhere. So, on to plan B. What does one do with a major in philosophy? Get a job in the cell-tower industry, obviously. I tried out a few career options along the way, but settled into the rope-access world and kind of gave up on academia. Fast forward a few years and I eventually made my way back into academia, I'm now in a fantastic phd program - but a recurrent theme for me in this whole process has been having a Plan B (and C, and D, and E, and...) When you are applying to schools, you have to be 100% confident that you want to go there and that you're going to be great in your field - but behind that you have to realize that a> you may never get in, and b> you might never get a job in your field after you graduate. When I hear, "I've never wanted anything more in my life and I'm certain I don't stand a chance," I hear myself. And that's why I encourage you to take some time to think about what else you would like to do with your degree, or maybe even find some other routes to the eventual goal that you have in mind. I just know too many folk who have worn themselves (and their families) out pursuing a dream that is never going to happen - at a certain point, you have to mourn its death and move on. So, at each stage of my process, I've laid very intentional stopping points and alternative paths. Things like, OK, I'll apply this year, and if I don't get in, I'll apply next year - but that's it, time to move on. I'll try to find a good teaching job when I graduate, but if I can't, I'm not going to waste years trying as an adjunct while barely scraping by, I'll find something different. If all else fails, I can always go back to the world of EH&S. Now, with that somber stuff out of the way - good luck in your apps! I don't know exactly what path you are planning, but a lot of terminal master's programs are a bit more forgiving of undergrad GPAs and you can use these as stepping stones into a PhD (that's what I did). At least in many institutions, solid letters of recommendation carry a lot more weight than transcripts, so use your faculty resources!. Further, do your best to get to know the faculty and students at the schools you're trying to apply to - can you visit or Skype with them? Making a good personal impression can overcome a host of paper-based defects and give you a good handle on the school - I wrote off two programs after I visited and talked with the students! (again, you're nowhere near my field, so ymmv here).
  14. @Songbird222 @jujubea Absolutely! Kids are like the strongest motivation to get your work done 'cause a) I want to see them and spend time with them, I want to make them proud of me. Also, my kids are why I study what I study - I want make positive change for the future they will inherit. Besides, at least in fields like theology, philosophy, education - it really helps to be living a life where your studies hit reality. I deal in ethics - I can't imagine not having my busy, socially engaged life to inform my research and ideas.
  15. @marjorie_emc2 Definitely include your resume, though you might want to format it as a CV; that way you don't have to list lots of "I did x, y, and z" so that you have room to talk about other stuff in your statement of purpose. I.e. you can just say "while working in the healthcare industry..." instead of listing where and in what capacities. Another thing that you might consider - find one of the professors whose class you want to take, and meet with them. If you hit it off, having their word behind you will help your chances of being allowed in. When I was first considering entering graduate school, I talked to my local university, registered as a non-matriculated student, got permission of the professors, and took a few doctoral seminars.
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