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About seroteamavi

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    Espresso Shot

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    Bible and early Christianity
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  1. My apologies if this has already been addressed in another thread here. I'm interested in creative ways to help reduce student loan debt. I ended up taking about $20K to $25K more in loans than I expected due to several factors, a) the university dramatically increased student housing costs from the time of my admission to the time of my defense (up 48% in four years); b.) my family's health needs during my studies prevented me from taking a substantial part time job; and c.) there was no real economy where I attended anyway (e.g., only entry-level minimum wage jobs). Now, I'm looking at my own student debt and my wife's from her education and trying to figure out how to raise a family and pay off my loans on a single "humanities" income.
  2. Greetings, all. I am interested in learning Byzantine paleography so that I can better figure out some manuscripts I'm going to be working with. Can anyone recommend some resources for Greek paleography that covers writings around the 7th through the 11th centuries?
  3. The news of Anatolios leaving Boston College for Notre Dame got me thinking. Just out of curiosity, let's say disaster strikes: one's POI gets a job at another institution, or let's say the program cancels stipends or foists excessively burdensome expenses upon its students, and one is early into a program, has anyone ever heard of Ph.D. students transferring institutions altogether?
  4. I am somewhat worried about the debt, as I do not want my family to be burdened, but not worried about the placement. I'm getting my Ph.D. at Ave Maria University. When I had to make my decision, I was surprised that this university is having such fine success with regard to placement data. I compared ours with that of some of the second-tier schools that seem to be on everyone's list, but the placement here has been better. Now that I've been here, I can see why. The university is still pretty young, but it's the real deal. The studies are quite rigorous, the faculty is erudite but not hyper-specialized to the point where one cannot pursue one's own interests, the learning environment is healthy, and my peers are true scholars. Many of the students have families, and the children are happy to have other children to play with. There are many areas where this place has room for growth, of course. At first, I wasn't sure if the fit was right, but now I am glad that I wasn't accepted to some of the colleges that were "higher" on my list. To answer your question, when looking at the finances sometimes I toy with the idea of pursuing something else. Since, however, the life of a theologian is a vocation, I do not expect to get rich by my work, but that's the standard for this field and the humanities in general. Teaching university students or Catholic seminarians is my goal and I trust that I'll reach that. Plus, when else am I going to be thus at my leisure, reading the fathers in their original languages or discussing Nouvelle Théologie over scotch and cigars with classmates? I'm sure similar communities exist at various colleges around the nation, but I really like it here. The end is important, but one ought to be pleased to will the means along the way. Best wishes to you as you discern your path.
  5. For those who do not mind sharing, has anyone gathered data about the costs of graduate housing options at some of the top-tier and second-tier programs? If programs offer graduate housing, how much do they charge students for 2- or 3-bedroom apartments? If not, what are some of the tricks to getting by in the various communities?
  6. Good luck to you. Just a word of encouragement: I was successful the second time around. Where are you looking, if you don't mind my asking?
  7. We also use the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia in my Hebrew class. Once you figure out how to read the apparatus, it is very useful. From my independent studies, I have a personal copy of the JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh, which is useful but does not have the apparatus. If you are looking for Hebrew and English side-by-side, it has this feature.
  8. In our field, there tends to be a natural gravitation from all walks of life. Mine was from pursuits in psychology and journalism, for instance. At no point do I think that cost me; therefore, I do not think that you have to worry about your math degree at all. That lack of language studies is to be expected for someone pursuing a master's. That said, you should pick up some grammar texts for the languages you want to study in and spend some time plunging in if you are able, that way you will be able to say on your statement of purpose that you have begun independent studies in Greek, Latin, German, or whatever. That will benefit you in the long run, because you will inevitably have classes or competencies to deal with down the road. The most important matters to consider for programs of interest is your fit. Find the right one, and then make the case for your fit in your statement of purpose, that is, what you intend to study and why you want to study it. Strength of letter writers is important too. Find professors who can recommend you strongly, even if it is not in the field of religion-theology. Finally, make sure your GRE scores are competitive. Have you taken the test yet? You will probably do well in math. Of most interest to religion-theology programs is going to be verbal and writing. I have heard about GRE scores that they cannot get you in somewhere, but they can keep you out. Finally, consider how wide a net you want to cast. Is it important to you to begin your studies next year? If so, you may want to cast a wide net, as master's programs are becoming increasingly competitive. It's a lot of work to manage multiple applications, but it will be most rewarding if you find yourself in the classroom next year. Anyhow, just some thoughts in response to your questions. I hope you find it helpful, and I wish you all the best in your applications.
  9. Sometimes, letter writers may send a copy to their recommendation to the student afterwards. Though I did not request it of them, a couple of my letter writers sent theirs to me (whether for transparency or for safekeeping ... a lot of times, older professors are distrustful of the uploading process involved in online applications).
  10. You really ought to waive your right to view the letter. It would only hurt you if you did not. The appearance is that the letter writer was not given the freedom to speak openly about you or that there may be some distrust. Others may disagree and say that it does not matter, but that seems to be the consensus I have seen on these boards as well. The best ways to assure that you'll have a good letter of recommendation is 1.) to make sure that your letter writer has gotten a chance to get to know you; and 2.) to ask your letter writer if he or she will be able to recommend you strongly. Many professors will write a letter for anybody at all, but will only write a strong recommendation for a few. At the beginning of the process, stress the competitiveness of the application process and ask whether the professor would strongly recommend you. You have to do this, of course, in a highly respectful and non-presumptuous way, but that goes without saying. Remind your professor of the grade you received in the class and give a writing sample (recent or from the class) to help the professor's memory. Good luck!
  11. Paraclete, I wanted to share two more with you for your list: we've been using Allen Ross's Introducing Biblical Hebrew book in my class, and I didn't see it on the list. The site Animated Hebrew also has a lot of resources that go specifically with this text, so I have found it more useful than Pratico and Van Pelt's. Also, Wheelock's Latin has a very helpful reader that could go on the list as well. Thanks again for taking the time to make the list. I made sure to refer my Greek students to it last semester.
  12. Ah, yes! I think someone posted on that thread last year and bumped it to the top, which must be why I stumbled upon it in the 2014 posts. Another reminder to me to double-check anything one puts in print. Thanks for the correct and even more useful link.
  13. It's mid-September, so folks must be in the thick of things--filling out apps, mulling a GRE retake, scouting potential dissertation advisers, carving out that perfect SOP. Good luck to all this year. (As a useful reference, last year's can be found here: )
  14. Didn't seem that anyone had started these threads up yet. Good luck to everyone on your M.T.S./M.A./M.Div./Th.M. applications. Where are you applying this year?
  15. seroteamavi

    GRE for MA

    Those scores are solid for many (probably most) M.A. programs. One thing you can do is go through the results search and see how your scores match up with those who were accepted or rejected at your program of choice. The only thing that might be deceptive is that GRE is only one aspect of an application. Sounds like you have a well-rounded application you could produce. But then again, if your program rejected applicants who posted 166-165-5.0, you may wish to take that into consideration. That 145 may not hurt you with regard to your theology/religion program, but the university itself may find that score undesirable for funding purposes.
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