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  1. Like
    strawberryfrap reacted to merry night wanderer in 2020 Acceptances   
    I just want to say - meghan_sparkle, though I totally appreciate all of your disclaimers and humility, it does definitely say something that you got into these schools. That "something" may not mean "I am objectively better by all metrics," but lottery or no, best friends keeping you honest or no, you did seem to work very hard for it and I hope you're celebrating like a monster. What you wrote hit a serious chord! And it bodes well for your career.
    I had a rough damn week, but what you said did remind me - I am actually very proud of my writing sample, and it's genuinely reflective of my interests. I worked hard to say something about a poem people have spilled books of ink over, and I think it's a relatively original take that is still firmly rooted in scholarly conversations past and present, and close reading. If schools aren't into that, we likely just weren't a good fit - though of course I'm going to take the opportunity to look at it again and see how it can be improved. Thank you for your honest thoughts and best of luck on what is probably going to be a really rough decision, lol
  2. Like
    strawberryfrap reacted to hajjibaba in A space to grieve (don't read if taking mental health break from COVID-19 news)   
    The biggest hurt for me is the possibility of not having commencement. I come from a marginalized community and made it into a top-tier program at a school that many dream of. Since day one I daydreamed of my parents coming to see me cross the finish line at this prestigious dream school. I just wanted them to see me do that. I know its dumb, but I work hard in large part to make them feel proud of me because I love them and want to succeed beyond what is normal in our community. I have been agonizing about this being cancelled. I hope this whole thing just gets under control soon. 
    Thank you for this thread, I am glad I'm not the only one. 
  3. Like
    strawberryfrap reacted to surplus_value in 2020 Applicants   
    hey! I know the process of waiting is really tough (as we're almost all in this at the moment)—and that this is a forum as much for celebrating success as commiserating about disappointment—but as someone whose struggles with mental health do not afford me the luxury of enjoying a comedic distance to prospect of being killed or injured in some way or another by this process, these kind of comments are pretty tough to read...
    you've had an incredible season, and your success seems wholly deserved! in fact i'm very jealous of you! some of us haven't been admitted anywhere, however, so please just be mindful of the different situations people on this forum are in. the stakes are different for everyone.
    all that said, I have hopes for (and confidence in, in light of your already incredible achievements to date) a continuation of your success! and please continue to add to the forum with your light and grace. 
    solidarity to everyone facing a shutout!
  4. Like
    strawberryfrap reacted to Nothingtown in Favorite Rejection Quotes from the Results Page   
    Absolutely brilliant

  5. Like
    strawberryfrap reacted to KvV in Anyone else get shut out this year?   
    I feel like a huge fool. Looking back, there are so many things that I would have done differently. I unfortunately have an interest in Existentialism, which is apparently a non-existent area of study, so my first change would have been to pick something (ANYTHING) else that is more mainstream. I mentioned in my SOP that I was interested in narrative theory within 20th century literature, but I probably should have been more specific. I probably shouldn't have even brought up Existentialism at all. I also feel like I dropped the ball by not getting into direct contact with the professors that I was interested in working with. NO ONE in my family even has a bachelor's, so I was effectively going into this with an idealistic conception of the process. Needless to say, my idealism has now been strangled, dismembered, and buried out in the woods somewhere. Has anyone had this experience, or am I alone here? Anyone get in their second time around? I'd appreciate all the advice that I can get.
  6. Like
    strawberryfrap reacted to wordstew in Rutgers English   
    "I would say that 10 percent is certainly too low in describing their placement, but I also think wordstew is right to say that 87 percent is a gross exaggeration."
    On the basis of what knowledge do you think 10% is too low? Notice that last year's "placements" are missing altogether. We agree that the only fair and accurate way to do this is for a program to list every conferred doctorate and then indicate the placement (academic or otherwise for that person). But if that were to be done, it would be very grim. I can tell you with 100% certainty that not even 50% of graduates get tenure-track jobs three years out. 
    This is my last post here because I'm not going to keep going back and forth about nihilism, trolling,  etc. I understand the difficulty of applying to these programs and how competitive and stressful that work can be. I did it. I also understand the mentality--and the need--to rationalize participating in this with some modicum of hope that it will work out. I did it. I also understand the love for the work and the importance of it. I've done a lot of it. 
    In my experience, most graduate students have not come to terms with what has happened to our profession, and again, it's probably because to confront the reality would make continuing this difficult work nearly impossible. I don't have to tell you about how challenging it can be. But I have more clarity now that I've seen this mess from a variety of angles. And what I have seen is that young scholars have been left out in the cold. It does not matter how good, capable, or promising we are as teachers and scholars. It simply does not matter to the tenured or the administrators that we will never have financial security, job security, or support for our work. That takes an extreme toll on a professional person who cares about their work. It has taken an extreme toll on me to be reminded again and again that my labor is nearly invisible and that it doesn't really matter to the people who financially benefit from it (students are a different story). I could give numerous personal anecdotes that would shock and appall, but it's all been documented by others in numerous monographs and Chronicle articles. Take Rutgers, for example, where the faculty make totally obscene salaries; you can look them up online. These people simply do not understand--they do not want to understand--what has happened to their profession. And many of their students do not really want to understand either because they desperately hope that they will be the exception--that they will get the job. Most of them will not, but one or two will. And what they'll discover is that they are still part of a system that grossly exploits adjunct colleagues and tries to rationalize that exploitation by 1) Denying the full extent of the devastation and 2) Assuming that they're better or more deserving in some way. To do otherwise would be to admit that your salary is made possible by an entire underclass of workers who are just as qualified but have no hope of economic or professional security. That's the reality I'm talking about, and I have a difficult time understanding why someone would choose to participate in that at this point knowing the full extent of how deeply the exploitation runs in academia and how little has been done to address it. Because of how these institutions work, there is simply nothing you will be able to do to advance your career. You will be stuck making peanuts with little to no benefits until you decide not to continue. Each year you will get older and each year your escape from being taken advantage of by your peers will become more and more insurmountable until 20 years have passed and you're left with no choice but to continue. Think I'm exaggerating? Instead of attending catered open houses and distinguished lecturer series, go find several humanities PhD adjuncts on your campus and have a frank conversation with them. 
    To answer the other question about how a PhD proved to be a liability: The most important thing I've run into is the need for experience in whatever career track you want to enter. The people who did best when they graduated already had professional experience in the worlds they re-entered. I had told myself (and was told by others) that a PhD would be great for consulting, marketing, etc., but that's just nonsense talk by people who do not know. Maybe a PhD in economics is desirable for a consulting firm. I think that the doctorate does show your capacity for working hard and critical thinking, so it can be a good supplement to experience, but it does not make up for experience. And it can be awkward for bosses and supervisors who don't have a graduate degree and don't even understand what it means. This also depends a lot on the sector and the geographic market. In my experience, "versatile" is the last thing that comes to mind to describe this highly specialized credential. And the problem is that if you are really working toward a tenure-track job almost every ounce of your time and energy goes into your research and teaching. Looking back, I have no idea how someone is supposed to do a PhD and prepare for an alternate career at the same time unless they come from one that they can fall back on, which was the case for a number of my peers.
    Finally, I'll say that it breaks my heart to write all this. I think that this work is incredibly important, and I want to celebrate people who continue to demonstrate their interest and enthusiasm for it. But I think that it's unconscionable that the prestige and veneer of these programs continue to seduce people into thinking that there is a profession for them to join. My basic point--and others have made it better--is that the very idea a profession has become a falsehood. What that means is that most people who give years of their life to this pursuit will be left in very challenging circumstances. Many people delay families, children, home purchases, retirement savings, and other major things so that they can commit to this work. Would they make those sacrifices if there was a complete and full disclosure in detail of their real prospects? The fact that Rutgers (among other programs) seems to go out of its way to avoid providing that disclosure speaks volumes. 
  7. Upvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to RunnerGrad in What are your 4 dream jobs? Are you qualified for any of them?   
    You could do #4 if you really wanted to.  You just need to have a passion for fitness and dance, get your group fitness certification, and then your Zumba B1 license.  I'm a Zumba instructor and a certified group fitness instructor, and I'm far from the best dancer out there, and I certainly don't look like the models for Zumba wear.  But I deliver a fun, safe, effective class, and that's all that matters!
  8. Upvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to Coffeenwhiskey in What are your 4 dream jobs? Are you qualified for any of them?   
    1. Pilates instructor
    2. University researcher
    3. Diplomat
    3. Whiskey bar owner
    4. Vintage jewelry store owner
  9. Upvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to Fishbucket in Wet or Dry Food?   
    Which food should I feed my cat? I hear good things about both programs.
  10. Upvote
    strawberryfrap got a reaction from diehtc0ke in Waiting for Guffman (the waitlist thread)   
    Hi! I just declined offers to UCONN and CUNY. Both offers were fully funded--UCONN's came with the OSP award, and CUNY's with the Graduate Center Fellowship (25,000/yr teaching one class a semester for years 2-4). Hope this helps someone with their waitlist! 
  11. Downvote
    strawberryfrap got a reaction from thestage in Waiting for Guffman (the waitlist thread)   
    Hi! I just declined offers to UCONN and CUNY. Both offers were fully funded--UCONN's came with the OSP award, and CUNY's with the Graduate Center Fellowship (25,000/yr teaching one class a semester for years 2-4). Hope this helps someone with their waitlist! 
  12. Upvote
  13. Upvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to Marie-Luise in Comparative Literature, 2013   
    I never approached professors with the questions "is this good enough". I approached with the question of whether they are generally opposed to the second PhD and they said no. So I applied. I never expected their encouragement to be a guarantor of success either. I am not that naive.
    No, I don't need a second PhD do learn how to work comparatively, but I need it for the theory and the approaches of faculty members of the department and outside. As for my compelling reason (at least it is one for me), I wanted to work with one particular professor, who is in Classics actually, but I also wanted to do the programme because it taught theoretical approaches which are difficult to wrap your head around if you come from a background with purely philological training. I also felt that my (comparatively short) PhD programme had not taught me all the tools I needed to be a medieval European literary scholar, which is what I want to be and which said professor can help me with since his own approach is close to what I intend to do. I also want to get a research degree from a more mainstream field ( I am in Celtic now), not only because it is economically more viable, but also because I can contribute both to medieval European literary studies and to my first field like very few can if I do Comp Lit.
    So no, I am unfortunate in that my degree spells PhD and not MPhil which is a step down but only a year less than the PhD whereas the discrepancy between the masters and the doctoral level in the States is much greater. So to sum up:
    1. I want to work with a specific faculty member
    2. my first PhD was not a satisfying experience in terms of academic skills due to its short duration and lack of formal coursework/organisation
    3. I dont have a masters (this relates to point 2)
    4. The programme at Harvard can give me what I need/want + I get to work with the professor
    5. I get to employ skills and gain others which a Celtic postdoc would not enable me to do and you can't do a postdoc in another field even if you have the skills; no one would hire me for a Classics postdoc even if I had demonstrated that I had superb Latin skills in editing or whatnot.
    6. No one hires you in the US unless you have a PhD from a US university or from Oxford or Cambridge. Let's be honest, exceptions to that rule are very rare. If I want to be on the US market, I need a US PhD. Might as well get one where the programme and the prof are a perfect fit and which has an excellent reputation.
    Are these reasons compelling enough? Tell me if they are not and I'll stop trying so hard. I don't know how outspoken I can be in an actual personal statement. It would be interesting if you could tell me that.
  14. Upvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to Incitatus in my chance in Comparative Literature PhD?   
    I find it funny that anyone who tries to read Theory would find the original poster's messages difficult to read.

    1. Someone pointed out that there were 3 grammar mistakes--any 1 of which would keep the applicant out of a PhD program. Well, I imagine everyone on this forum puts more time into their statements of purpose than they do on posts, right?

    2. Language. Your English is excellent, probably a 4 if you use State Department standards. Certainly better than most comparativists speak the primary language they work in. Since Turkish isn't even Indo-European, this is even more impressive.

    3. Grades. As someone mentioned, American grades are inflated. A 3.0 from your school is probably very good.

    4. If you're interested in Turkish and German literature, why don't you do the MA in Turkey and then apply to US Near Eastern departments or German departments and work with both literatures? Most national lit. departments will welcome comparative work, and you'll have a much better chance of getting a job when you get out.
  15. Upvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to yoon7724 in Advice from an actual PhD   
    Answering the list of questions realist put up above, hope the following truths may be of some help.

    1) Men are selfish (or, self-loving).
    2) Modern Ph.D.s from the States, which is a liberal capitalistic society, have to "compete" for jobs that are "scarce" to begin with and getting scarcer year after year.
    3) 'More than often' good teachers/scholars, if you want to make that distinction, produce good students.

    Now let us all do the math. Just one last thing:

    4) As everything is in life, there are many encouragning exceptions to the established fiat. However, most of them rise to the top by knowing exactly where they are and then improving (and proving) their worth in their game, not by claiming their desert for recognition this early on. As the cliche goes, life is a marathon; don't get all grumpy now. You might as well save the energy because it is going to be a long one.
  16. Upvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to bdon19 in Human rights literature   
    One of my favorite human rights related texts is Human Rights, Inc.:  The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law by Joseph Slaughter (oh, the irony in that name).  
  17. Downvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to practical cat in CUNY or Re-apply?   
    Owning it. I see and have experienced donthate as much more than just a discursive bomb thrower. It goes so far beyond mere nuisance and I'm increasingly bothered by the insistence that this is in any way ok.
  18. Upvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to planesandtrains in Accepted Students Poll: Do you have an MA?   
    your poll is screwed up. if you try to answer "no" on the first question and leave the second blank, it gives you an error message and doesn't count the vote. that's why it's so skewed to "yes" - the people who would've answered "no" prob gave up. also why you have the same # of votes in the first poll as the second, which doesn't make sense - people answering no just picked a random answer for the second, which doesn't apply to them.

    also i came in with a BA but i definitely didn't come "straight from undergrad."
  19. Upvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to ZacharyBinks in Grad school and long-term romantic relationships   
    I know this is a bit off topic from the rest of the threads, but I was wondering how many people are in a similar situation as I am. I'm applying for literature PhD programs and my partner is applying for MA programs in I/O psychology. We've been dating for about 2.5 years and our relationship has made the application process even more stressful. We both applied to upwards of ten schools and we tried to apply to schools in the same area (since it's hard to find schools that have both a good psych and lit program) which limited some great options. Now that we're starting to hear back from places it's even more stressful because we have to start making decisions about where we want to go: if we don't get into schools near each other do we risk going long-distance? Should one person compromise if the other gets into a really great program? Should one of us take time off and try applying once the other is finished? The questions keep compounding and I was wondering if anyone is dealing with similar issues. I've noticed from some peoples' comments that many applicants also are in long-term relationships, so I figured this might be a common issue.
  20. Upvote
    strawberryfrap got a reaction from cicada123 in Acceptance Freakout Thread   
    They're still notifying today--I'm rooting for you!
  21. Downvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to asleepawake in 0% Confidence of Acceptance   
    I still don't have enough information. Is this your cat?

  22. Downvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to bluecheese in 0% Confidence of Acceptance   
    I have at least twice as many rejections as you (fyi). Anyway, I'm tired of people who didn't apply to that many places being angry at (and condescending toward) people who did.
    (sorry!--I was quickly trying to explain why the thread got off gear... there was someone basically trolling in it yesterday... I didn't mean for this post to have any sort of tone... best of luck to everyone!).
    Also! You got into Penn State! So all is well!
  23. Upvote
    strawberryfrap reacted to DontHate in 0% Confidence of Acceptance   
    "it is the most wonderful place I've been" "you are headed (so far!) to an INCREDIBLE program in a truly incredible place. Rejoice!" "here's a small-town kindness in State College exuded by many of the townies that make it feel very welcoming" "I am really excited about the idea of PSU next year. The more I think about it, the more I realize that it really should have been my first choice" "State College has one of the lowest crime rates in the country and is at the top of many "best places to live" lists."
    Sure sounds like worship to me.
    In a small town environment like that, you have to take the crime rate with a grain of salt. Sure, they probably don't have tons of street crime. But as the Sandusky scandal proves, there's probably a lot of crime that goes unreported.
  24. Upvote
    strawberryfrap got a reaction from kaykitty19 in 0% Confidence of Acceptance   
    Hi everyone! I usually only lurk about and don't post anything, but my boyfriend found this picture over on the law school forums and it was so sad and cute that it sort of cheered me up about my recent rejections. Just wanted to share it:
  25. Upvote
    strawberryfrap got a reaction from yellow.wallpaper in 0% Confidence of Acceptance   
    Hi everyone! I usually only lurk about and don't post anything, but my boyfriend found this picture over on the law school forums and it was so sad and cute that it sort of cheered me up about my recent rejections. Just wanted to share it:
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