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Everything posted by EndlessAshley

  1. Thank you both so much for your very thoughtful responses! I love the idea of rubrics and have done well with them before. This is something I can bring up with the lead instructor and fellow TAs so that we're on the same page, and something that I'll definitely implement when I'm teaching my own courses. I do feel assured that the professors have got my back. I'm in the habit of forwarding these complaints to them, even after I've responded to them myself, just to keep them informed in case the student decides to appeal it up. I usually get commiseration or assurance that I've res
  2. I'm an advanced PhD student and have had several semesters of TAing under my belt. I'm one of the lucky ones in that I've only been assigned to teach courses in my general wheelhouse with content about which I feel confident and can speak with authority. As more time passes, however, I'm becoming less secure and way more hyper-aware of my authority in the classroom. It doesn't help that I'm female, five feet tall, and still get carded on a regular basis. I've begun to notice in particular that students challenge my grading exponentially more than the other male TAs teaching the class. I'
  3. My little piece of advice, silly as it may seem, is to use a binder and carry it with you to every class. Preferably a binder with tabs. During my first semester as a TA, I made PowerPoints and uploaded them to the course website after each class, I always handed back graded assignments by the next class meeting, I developed lesson plans, and I brought print-outs with all answers to the preassigned study questions. Basically, I did my job. Nevertheless, some of my student evaluations were "neutral" about whether I was prepared and organized, and some even disagreed. I couldn't help but wo
  4. I've known UVa to be open to this, but I don't know if they initiate it. I had a friend a few years back who was not accepted to the PhD program but asked to pursue an MA instead. It worked!
  5. I use Growly Notes to organize everything by class/topic/article (but Mendeley sounds very interesting!) and synthesize as I go. I don't just hit the high points, but note questions, work out the logic of the argument, recognizing its underlying assumptions/what it does well/what it fails to answer. At the end, I feel I've engaged the text pretty well and retain more of the information as a result, and I imagine my Growly Notes strategy is going to serve me well come comps time.
  6. I may be biased, as I am currently attending the University of Virginia, but it could be a department you'd like to check into! Larry Bouchard is in the field of religion and literature, not Bible per se, but modern fiction, listed as both faculty in the Theology, Ethics, and Culture program and the Scripture, Interpretation, and Practice program. (He held a class last semester called "Narrative Ethics," which, although you didn't mention ethics explicitly, strikes me as perhaps relevant to your queer studies interests - but correct me if I'm wrong!). SIP is an interesting, somewhat experimen
  7. Not a bad idea! Though, go figure, it is the same school.
  8. My advisor has been beyond awesome, and I would really like to give hime a small token of my appreciation upon finishing my masters. Of course I've considered the gift card route, but I would much rather come up with something more thoughtful than that. He is a professor of Jewish philosophy and has also pioneered a type of interfaith dialogue (although he would probably kill me for using that term!). It would be great if I could get him something that speaks to either of these, but any more general ideas are also welcomed! So what do you say? Any suggestions?
  9. I third Zotero. I have also tried RefWorks but found Zotero to be much more user friendly
  10. At least in my experience, it's possible to be added to a full class by permission of the instructor. You might want to check with the registrar for the procedure on this just in case. If its doable, and if the class is already full by the time you register, ask the instructor if he would be willing to take you in.
  11. I haven't gotten a physical envelope, either, but I think that may have something to do with the fact that I'm already here finishing my MA. In my full offer letter, though, they listed the MA courses they are prepared to count toward my PhD (all incoming PhDs with prior M*s can petition for advanced standing, so this isn't just me), more detailed information about the sources of my funding and my TA requirements, and a breakdown of when they expect me to clear the various hurdles (completing coursework, taking comps and language exams, finishing the dissertation). I had some questions about
  12. I also would have double majored in Classics/Religious Studies rather than Religious Studies/English! I do feel like I've been able to leverage my English degree in a lot of ways, but I also think I could pull off my current research without having written a bunch of papers about Jane Austen first. And the languages. Oh the languages. My undergrad institution didn't even offer Hebrew, but I wish I at least had the time in my schedule to take what Greek they did offer. The curriculum there was also a bit weird. All of the courses were super specialized and topical, and there was no pr
  13. UVa - JCA concentration. How about you? Have you decided where you'll end up?
  14. I was told time and time again that I had to hit that 700/166 mark (96th percentile) to be a truly competitive candidate. I only weighed in with a 164 (93rd percentile), and while my application season was not wildly successful, I made my way onto two wait lists. I was first on one list (I'm still on the other and have no idea where I stand) and was subsequently accepted with a fully funded offer. I feel like I totally lucked out. I think that my overall application was strong, but I knew that there was nothing exactly stellar about it, either. But if I remember correctly, you will have t
  15. I was on a train from Philadelphia, where I was visiting my parents over spring break, heading to New York City. I was going to be taking minutes at several meetings for my MA advisor's non-profit project. He was graciously trying to provide me with work after a string of upsetting rejections. My phone was on vibrate so that I wouldn't disturb the other passengers, and when I saw that he called, I assumed that he was just confirming my hotel reservations. His voicemail, though, had some much better news than that!
  16. I can't speak for Italian universities, but I know that all of the U.S. PhD programs I've looked into require both French and German - so ultimately, all of your bases will be covered. There are also summer language institutes in German and French if you can work it out financially. You may actually be able to secure funding to attend one of these programs from your university. I know that, at my school, semester-long reading knowledge courses are taught for both French and German after which most students are able to pass proficiency tests. It's a good start, if your school offers
  17. My verbal and writing percentiles were in the mid 90s. The upper 90s is the place to be, though, and I'm planning on retaking if this application season doesn't pan out. My best piece of advice would be to use the writing scorer on the ETS website. When you take the actual test, it is scored once electronically and once by a human being. These scores almost always concur, so having practice essays electronically scored is a great option. I had a lot of trouble figuring out what kind of writing was considered "good" by the GRE. I am still somewhat baffled!
  18. I already extended my masters by a year before I even applied for a PhD, so that option is out, but my generous, wonderful, can't-possibly-be-thanked-enough parents have offered to pay for me to continue to take Hebrew as a community student in whatever town I end up in. So I'll probably be working some completely irrelevant job to pay the bills and student loans, studying Hebrew, and equal parts re-preparing for the GRE and complaining about what a worthless indicator of academic ability it is. And then I try again. The thing about student loans is that they can be such excellent motivators.
  19. How possible would you say it is to publish/present when you're not enrolled? I'm graduating in May, but I hope there's something I can do to change my application before I inevitably reapply.
  20. Does anyone have any insights into Emory's notification process? Why are rejections trickling out so very, very slowly?
  21. My advisor offered some excellent advice the other day (this is his patented dissertation advice, so it may still be helpful if y'all are past this point in your thesis.) After you've done some reading and have ideally been mulling over your topic for quite a while, spend a few weeks writing a 'draft' without any sources or compunction about style. Just get all those ideas that have been swirling around in your head out onto the screen (we're talking, like, a significant number of pages in which you're actually working out the logic and not just free associating). Once you've finished and
  22. Couldn't hurt! The religious studies graduate coordinator would be the person to call.
  23. I haven't officially received my UVa letter yet, either, but I do know I have also been wait listed for Historical Studies (JCA).
  24. Thanks for the advice, guys. Calling a moratorium on research and starting in today, assuming that the areas that need more development will become clearer as I actually work out the argument. And this way, when I panic about how far I have to go, I can console myself with the knowledge that at least I've got X pages down!
  25. Hi everyone, I know that we are all neck-deep in the mire that is waiting (which somehow manages to be a full time job), so I hope this topic is a welcome, if meager, distraction. I am about a month into researching my thesis. It's an expansion of an old seminar paper, so I think (hope, pray) that my ideas are hardy enough to proceed. As I get into the nitty-gritty, however, I'm noticing that every new book I read spawns another mile-long list of other sources to look into, and I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed. I've got lots of questions, and I would be really grateful if
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