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MetaphysicalDrama last won the day on February 26 2019

MetaphysicalDrama had the most liked content!

About MetaphysicalDrama

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    2019 Fall
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  1. My prospective adviser offered to look over my writing sample (he wasn't on the committee) and offer comments for revision, so that's in his queue. It's really nice of him to offer to do that before I've even moved up there. Outside of that, I'm trying to read some scholarly texts that fell through the cracks on my thesis and work on my Italian. Speaking of Italian, I'm heading to Italy for ten days at the end of May. That'll be the highlight of my summer.
  2. I declined an offer from a New York school because of the cost of living in NYC. That school wasn't NYU, and my wife and I may have arrived at a different decision if it were. The only way we would have been able to make it work would have been to live in a surrounding area like Stamford or Newark and commute. My wife works as well, so that would solve the roommate scenario. From all I've heard about healthcare in the Northeast, it can be hard to take advantage of your healthcare package. That's not because it provides insufficient coverage, but because doctor's refuse to take it. NYC has a lot to offer, but there's a reason why they say, "if you can make it here, then you can make it anywhere." If you really want to make NYU work, then its doable. I certainly wouldn't decline an NYU offer to go to a much lesser school or a "rural" city. However, there are some good metro=area universities that can give NYU a run for their money with a considerably lower cost of living. Also worth considering: it's way easier to go to NYU if you're already rooted in the Northeast. Making a move their from another region is considerably more difficult.
  3. I would take the money. That's a credential in itself.
  4. When I applied to Hopkins' philosophy PhD like six years ago, I got my rejection by snail mail on paper.
  5. Looking forward to it. Happy to have the 2018 Grad Cafe contributor of the year in my cohort!
  6. Decided on SMU in Dallas. Way too good of an offer to pass up.
  7. I would prefer to think of it as $160 for a better chance at a generous fellowship.
  8. I hate the GRE as much as anyone, and while anything can happen, a verbal score at or above 160 would look much better. Most schools that post average scores tend to show verbal around 164. I'm not saying committees like the GRE, but they do get to be picky. You should assume that most good candidates will have good letters, a good sample, and a good statement. What if they have a good verbal score too? Is it worth a lot of studying? If I were you, I would probably crack the practice manual every few weeks and schedule another test in early October just to see if you could pull that 160. You can always decide what scores to send later.
  9. I have a real problem with the whole, " a PhD in literature isn't a real doctor," gag because it might actually be harder to enter a PhD program in literature than medicine. Nothing against the work doctors do, but last I heard the numbers check out.
  10. The real kick is saying that you're studying to be a doctor and seeing the heads that turn when you clarify it's a doctorate in literature.
  11. Could be either. However, I tend to look at it as a positive. It's a way of showing that the faculty at that school support that area of research.
  12. @Warelin I was raised on philosophy, so I selected the username acutely aware of its implications. It's almost criminal that so few responses produced rankings that students need to consult. Yes, there is a lot of uncertainty in placement. I guess the only certainty we can have is that working at a top 20 school is only likely if you study at a top 20 school. They'll trickle down to other schools even if they have no need for a "top 20 product." However, some top 20 graduates just don't fit at schools with more focus on teaching. I've heard of some job talks where they just outright make demands from the institution during the interview. It's not really their fault, but it shows they could be out-of-touch with life at a teaching campus. Overall, I think that the rankings might be right about the top 20 because their such givens. I'm less confident of how they rank "middle-tier" and "lower-tier" schools. The nature of schools having success in certain subfields has a big impact here too. I'm more attuned to literature than creative writing and rhet/comp. I do know that University of Houston is one such example of a great school for creative writing (somehow they've placed students at Rice), but their literature students don't have nearly the same opportunities. On University of Denver, I do love the "school," but the support they offer graduate students is really disappointing (three years). I'm a firm believer that the package has to be right. I think schools can vary on assistantship money versus fellowship money, but cutting support before students are expected to complete the degree is definitely a big negative for me. You've already pointed out to us how placement stats are very misleading. For example, Rutgers publishes stats from a favorable market, but they delete the last three years, which has been a much more challenging market. I think more so than stats, a prospective student should look at graduate profiles and see options. Do you have students in TT jobs, lecturer positions, teaching colleges, and alt-ac placements? Ideally, for programs outside the top 20, I would argue their ought to be a mix.
  13. Aside from the fact that the rankings are really misleading, I don't think that school is really thought of as a #108 ranked school anymore. It's been two years since US News and World Report offered those rankings, and things have changed quite a bit in that department over the last five years. Ultimately, schools ranked in the top 20 have the distinction of placing people at R1 schools. Schools outside the top 20, whether they are 40 or 80 seem to place at roughly the same rate at the same types of schools. As Warelin pointed out, a ton of schools who are hiring are not R1 schools. All those things they said about being fit for the job in PhD applications apply even more so at the hiring stage. Will a top 20 program really make you more fit to work at a school that focuses on teaching? A lot of hiring committees would say no. I would say go to the place that would make you happier unless there is some huge distinction in the value of their support. Having said that, I agree with Kendall, I like private schools. Life is just easier there. Life happens much faster at a private school too.
  14. They haven't mentioned anything of the sort. When I visited, I got the feeling that they are a kind of school that only sends out a select number of acceptances a year. Fellowship support and summer support weighs heavily on their admissions decisions.
  15. I want to respond a little to @Warelin , @punctilious, and others. I'm not talking about 100 students in English, for example. I'm saying the fields of English, History, Art History, Philosophy, Theology, and etc. that feeds into MAPH produces a total of about 100 students. MAPH has a reputation for accepting more in English, but that wasn't the case in Philosophy. Of course, a gap year isn't universally harmful. Sure, someone may be able to make the most of it. However, showing how that gap year contributed to one's own intellectual development could be a challenge. Sure, everyone says publish and present at conferences. How do you know that's going to happen? Publishing an article or getting an abstract accepted isn't a sure thing. I think this is especially noteworthy in the case of an undergraduate applicant who has little experience with these dimensions of academic life. Many students may relocate after completing their degree, and that will make connecting with faculty a little more difficult. I'm sure they can get some feedback through emails and etc., but I would still argue that its not the same as being a student at that institution. Obviously, I don't see UChicago as the only institution that can get someone an adjunct job. However, it is worth pointing out that someone can adjunct after MAPH and get college credit teaching experience after one year. The reason why I keep bringing this up is because I am skeptical of all of these other opportunities outside the academy that people seem to think are so plentiful. They certainly weren't there for me back in 2012, and I think that as much as employers say that they like humanities degrees, what they really mean is that they like humanities degrees combined with other experience. Maybe they want to see internships and etc., and as easy as those things are to come by, they can be a challenge to fit into a working schedule if you need to survive in that way. Some of the advice I'm offering here is for students who have it ingrained in their minds that what they want is a teaching gig in the academy at the end of the road, and they have prepared themselves to do not much of anything else. I don't mean to say that they don't have wide-ranging interests as people, but more so that they used their undergraduate education for nothing other than preparation for a PhD. PhD admissions are ultimately a crap shoot. I'm lucky to have received three offers this year, but not everyone is going to be as lucky as Punctilious's husband at Harvard. For everyone one of him there's another 200 some odd applicants who are denied admission their every year, and I'm sure a sizable number of them are shut-out. That's a really depressing reality, and it speaks to just how fickle and picky the academy is right now in humanities.
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