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Everything posted by rogue

  1. rogue

    Philadelphia, PA

    Hi, everyone. It's been a while since I've posted here, but I wanted to offer my congrats to everyone on their acceptances, and welcome to those of you who are going to be coming to Philly. Also wanted to throw out there that I'm looking for a roommate to share my two-bedroom house in the Bella Vista/Italian Market area. I've lived in this neighborhood for almost seven years and love it. It's the south part of Center City, so it's convenient to lots of good restaurants, shops, bars, etc. but quieter at night. The house is close to public transportation (1 block to bus, 10 minute walk to subway); I commute to Penn and find it an easy trip (I even walk some days); it's basically the same to Drexel and even easier to get to Temple, and Jefferson is just a short walk away. Rent would be $800 plus half utilities; the bedroom available is the larger one, 14'x15' and on its own floor. DM me if you're interested and I can tell you more. And good luck to everyone with your grad school adventures!
  2. I'm a total gym rat: I'm usually there 2-3 hours a day, 6-7 days per week. I do a lot of strength training and an hour or so of cardio daily. This is what keeps me sane, and I'm counting on it continuing to do so when classes start in a few weeks, so I'm determined to keep time open in my schedule for it.
  3. I think that's a good idea, especially if you register your own domain, so it'll be the first thing that comes up when people search for you. It's good to cultivate the right kind of online presence, because sooner or later, people will look for you. Since I've done a lot of freelance work, I've had a site (my name dot com) for a while with my CV and a portfolio. I think I'll probably switch it over to something more appropriate for academia soon, though I haven't yet had any brilliant ideas about the aesthetic part of the redesign. Also, I'd put an invisible tracker on it, so you know where your hits are coming from (your campus, other schools, orgs hosting conferences to which you've submitted work, etc.). StatCounter has a good (free) one. I like being able to see which pages of my site clients/potential clients have looked at (and yeah, also the occasional stalkery ex).
  4. Just to follow up, in case anyone else is reading this later and has a similar situation/question, I got a letter from the financial aid office yesterday, and am approved for $8,500 in subsidized Direct loans and $12,000 in unsubsidized. Hopefully I won't need either, but it's a relief to have this available as a backup plan. Thanks to everyone for the info/advice.
  5. Thanks, everyone. I did hear from someone in my program that some of the students do occasionally take out Stafford loans (which I guess have been replaced with Direct loans) for living expenses. Since we all get the same tuition waiver and stipend, that bodes well for me. Now to sort things out with the university financial aid office.
  6. Do it! I uploaded mine to the online system and just barely managed to talk myself out of calling to see if I could pick up the ID now. I'm sort of ridiculous, huh?
  7. Keep in mind that this was just one event, and probably a lot of your cohort mates were nervous about meeting everyone. I can't speak to whether the socially awkward librarian stereotype is true of all your classmates, but maybe cut them some slack and see how things go once classes start and people are a little more relaxed. I felt sort of the same way when I first met my MBA cohort years ago, and there was a TON of group work in that program. I dreaded it. But once we all got into the swing of things, people talked, beers were consumed, friendships were forged and group PowerPoint presentations were done. (I think I hate PowerPoint even more than group work. Sigh.)
  8. Oh, ignore that question. I see on the school site that PLUS loans are up to the amount of the COA, less any other aid. Here's hoping my school has a high COA, which I've yet to find on their site.
  9. That would be lovely. Are PLUS loans not based on the COA?
  10. That's sort of what I was afraid of. Thanks for the clarification.
  11. So, I've been digging through some old threads here and found similar questions to what I'm about to ask, but nothing that seems to answer it definitively. What I'm trying to figure out is, if I have a full fellowship where the program pays all my tuition and fees and gives me a stipend as well ($27K), is there any way I can take out a Direct or PLUS loan (or really, any non-private loan) on top of that? Or am I considered not eligible because what the school provides should cover all my expenses? I'm trying to find this out from the school, but in the meantime, any advice would be welcome. (In case anyone is wondering why I'd want to saddle myself with debt when I'm already being funded by the program, I'm presently stuck with a rather high mortgage. Though I'm trying to sell my house, there's obviously no guarantee that'll happen before classes start this fall. So, I just need a backup plan for what I hope would be no more than a few months of making ends meet.)
  12. Coursework -- as I see it, anyway -- includes the papers and other assignments you do throughout the term. The final exam is simply a test of your (presumably cumulative) knowledge that you built by doing said coursework, reading the books/article necessary to complete it, and participating in class. So, a final exam is part of your grade, but I wouldn't call it coursework. The prof's logic is probably that if you did all of the coursework, you've accumulated the knowledge necessary to perform well on the final, and thus don't need to actually take the final (thus saving him the time he'd have to spend grading it). You make a good point about turning in a blank assignment for the one critique. Point that out to your prof. Maybe he'll be lenient. But I still wouldn't pursue it any further than that. Edited to add: on review, it seems like maybe you're being graded on a curve? That might add a level of complexity to determining whether it's "fair" or not. Maybe a more math-oriented person could speak to that.
  13. I think my advisor, the assistant dean and the librarians at my school think I'm crazy, because I've already registered for classes, applied for my student ID, copied half the reading for one course and gotten research assignments lined up for the school year and next summer. I swear I'm not normally all type A like this; I'm just excited.
  14. But you didn't complete 100% of the coursework. You failed to turn in one paper. And your classmates did complete 100% of the coursework. A final exam isn't coursework. They were rewarded for doing all the assignments, which you did not do. I agree that it sucks that this opportunity for a waiver came up unexpectedly at the end of the term, but you failed to qualify for that waiver by your own action (or inaction, as the case may be). I might approach the professor and ask if there's anything he is willing to do as far as a grade compromise for you, but I don't think I'd pursue it any higher up the chain of command than that, since you A.) didn't turn in an assignment and B.) apparently bombed the final, both of which are on you, not the prof. Just my two cents. Good luck if you do pursue it, and sorry not to be more positive.
  15. You could just ask the professors at the school you're going to attend for their syllabi. I already have the syllabus for one of my classes and have started on the reading (I bought the textbook and I'm going to the school's library this week to get PDFs of the articles I need; the librarian there has been very helpful). The prof for another of my classes suggested some things to read as well when I talked to him at the admitted students day. I was a little hesitant to ask, but they seemed impressed that I wanted to get an early start. If you don't want to contact individual profs, the DGS or even current students would probably be willing to send you a few syllabi or point you to where you can find them online.
  16. I got this too, and it sort of (perhaps irrationally) pissed me off. Like, I'm not good enough for your Ph.D. program, but good enough to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a useless interdisciplinary master's? Eff that. What would you even do with that degree, other than try -- who knows how successfully? -- to use it as a springboard to a Ph.D.? (Sorry. I'm grouchy today and this email hit my inbox at exactly the wrong time.)
  17. rogue

    U Penn

    Philly is really easy to get around without a car; in fact, I'm thinking of selling mine (insurance here is insanely high, and I only drive it a couple of times a month). I suggest trying to live near one of the subway lines, which will get you to campus quickly and easily. You could also live within a short walk but still be off campus in West Philly/University City.
  18. rogue

    Philadelphia, PA

    I have two dogs and find the city to be very dog-friendly. There are official dog parks (like with fencing, pooper scoopers, water, benches, etc.) and unofficial ones (where people just tend to congregate with their dogs) all over town. I like to take my pups over to Fairmount Park in the Boathouse Row area; it's not really a dog park but there are lots of people there after work with their furry friends. Actual, fenced dog parks that I've frequented at different points during my tenure in Philly: Orianna Hill (Northern Liberties; http://www.oriannahill.org/), Seger Park (behind Superfresh, between 10th & 11th on Rodman; http://www.segerdogrun.org/), Schuylkill River dog park (25th between Pine & Locust; http://phillyfido.net/), and one at Front & Chestnut (not sure what it's called). There are tons of parks all over the city, too, so even if you don't end up near an actual dog park, there are lots of green places to walk your pooch. Also, many restaurants here that have outdoor seating let you bring your dogs and will keep dog bowls and treats around.
  19. rogue

    U Penn

    Totally fine to call it Philly. In fact, in my almost 10 years here, I don't think I've heard any locals refer to the city by its full name.
  20. It wasn't meant to be callous; it was meant to be encouraging. As someone who's looking at a Philly-NYC relationship for potentially the next four to five years, assuming we stay together, I'd rather be in your shoes, distance-wise. Edited to add: I also commuted about that amount of time every day for work for over four years. So yeah, people's experiences are different, but my point was that if you care about this guy -- which you really seem to -- it's doable. Chin up.
  21. New Brunswick and NYC are not that far apart. Yeah, it's nice to live in the same city, but that distance barely even qualifies as long distance. You can make it work.
  22. There are grad student organizations, too -- maybe not as many as undergrad, but it's still a chance to meet people. And on many campuses, clubs are open to students at any level. Get involved in the community, too; you don't just have to meet other students. Find somewhere to volunteer, join a rec league if you play sports, or look on Craigslist in the community section for other clubs/orgs/events. I only took a year off between undergrad and my master's, and I ended up going to a school where my brother was an undergrad. Most of the people in my MBA program were older, married and had busy lives outside school, so I hung out with my brother and his friends a lot. They turned out to be a nice counterbalance to my classmates and program.
  23. Personally, I hate that emails have become formal enough to require a salutation. Reading or writing "Dear" in one creeps me out. I don't particularly like signing them, either. I guess I'm in the minority, though.
  24. I just got another one in the mail from Amazon: The Chicago Guide to Your Academic Career: A Portable Mentor for Scholars from Graduate School Through Tenure. I haven't delved into it yet, but from just leafing through, it looks good. (Though, oddly, it seems to be written as a conversation between the three authors.)
  25. I just picked up The Academic's Handbook. I'm not very far into it, but so far it's great. It's a collection of essays by profs and administrators on all sorts of relevant topics: different kinds of institutions, the tenure system, technology in higher ed, securing research funds, the job market, university presses, etc. It's really probably more for folks emerging with shiny new Ph.D.s than those of us just getting started, but I'm finding it helpful nonetheless. It's giving me a good idea of what's in store, which is always a good thing. I like to be prepared.
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