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ToomuchLes

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  1. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from dragontime in Fall 2017 applicants   
    Hello, hello! 
    I am also looking at the US South of the 19th century, though I am focusing on the history of slave families and enslaved youth. Still in my early stages of putting together my apps, so I am still searching for programs/POIs. If anyone has suggestions, feel free to post/PM. As always the app season is both exciting and scary, but hopefully it goes well for all of us. 
  2. Upvote
    ToomuchLes reacted to intextrovert in SOP mistakes: what to avoid   
    Medievalmaniac, I really don't think that the SoP is the right place to explain your coursework, unless it has direct relevance to the narrative you're writing about your development. I just attached a sheet with all my applications called "Undergraduate Coursework in Literature" or "Relevant Coursework," and then divide it up into "English" and "French." Under each category, I had the course number, the actual full title, the prof, and my grade in it. That way they can cross-reference with my transcript if they want, but they have the important info that they'll really be mining my transcript for isolated for them already. And I didn't have to take up precious space in my SoP explaining them.

    As for what I did in my SoP that I think worked, I have some perspective on that, having been roundly rejected two years ago and pretty decent success this round (though UVa and U Washington, what is UP?! Still waiting on them). I really think the difference between my two SoPs is the big thing that made the difference, as my numbers and other qualifications (and even most of my writing sample, though I edited it) are the same. So here's what I think made the difference, in three alliterative categories:

    1. Focus. Like it or not, they want to be able to categorize you. You can have secondary interests, but they have to be clearly secondary and bear some relation to your main focus. Last time I tried to tell too many stories of my development, and there were too many directions I could go in. This was partially a reflection of where I was at the time, and honestly I think they were right to reject me straight out of undergrad - I needed some time to reflect, to think about what I actually wanted to do in the field. Now that I have, my SoP reflects that clearer sense of direction and purpose.

    2. Fit. Everyone tells you this, but it's true. I spent a lot more time really researching profs on the websites, then looking up and scanning through a few key articles, and skimming through the courses they taught. It really gives you a better idea of whether their interests and methodologies ACTUALLY fit yours, or whether it just looks like that on paper. I then tailored my fit paragraph to show how multiple faculty members could support my research interests (this may be English-specific, as in other non-humanitites disciplines you are applying to work with one advisor). Also, if the department has a pet methodology, it's helpful to know that - they'll look for students who fit that bill. Interdisciplinary programs that faculty are involved in and subfield/methodologically-specific colloquia, etc. are also things to look for.

    3. Future. This could vary, depending on how much of an academic past you have, but for me what helped was focusing discussing even my past towards showing how it formed a trajectory for the future. I've said in other places around here that the best advice I got for my SoP was that you should think about demonstrating that you are capable of conceiving of a larger project; whether or not you end up doing that project is irrelevant, as you probably won't and the adcomm is well aware of that - the point is that you are CAPABLE of conceiving of a future direction for yourself. I focused on telling a story (i.e. "I'm interested in the relationship to place in Modernist literature") and cutting all details of my past that didn't mesh with that. So by the end I was able to say look! What I discussed doing in paragraphs x (gloss of relevant coursework/advisors, focus), y (challenges and triumphs of writing my thesis and learning theory), and z (teaching, living different places) all feed into the project I'm proposing in this last paragraph (though the project was sufficiently broad so as not to pigeonhole me). I said that I wanted to go in certain different directions, but it was clear that it would be a continuation of my development, not starting anew. They want to see that you are capable of functioning independently as an academic (should be demonstrated by your past and by the fact that you can independently come up with good future directions), but that they have something to offer in terms of guiding you.

    Hope that helps!
  3. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from PhDinPublicHealthHopeful in So.... We're moving to Bloomington? Indiana University- Fall 2016   
    The city takes good care of the roads during the winter season. Snowplows clear the streets as early as 5:30am, however if you're coming from Cali make sure you trade in your low-profile tires for all-season. Even with clear roads, your car will encounter ice and when it does you need friction to stop safely. All you have to do is look at the writing on your tires to know what type they are. Also, you will need an ice scrapper, which you can buy for less than $10 in town. 
    I have two suggestions regarding the winter. First, make sure you have warm clothing by early November because you will wake up one morning with two inches of snow and no warning. You can find places to buy clothes in town. I shopped at Kohls because I have a card+purchase points. Theres also Target, thrift stores, and little momma-papa shops all over the town. Second, buy a portable $15-30 room heater
    Finally, if you're near the beach make sure you enjoy while you can. I was a huge Venice beach bum, and oh, do I miss it.
  4. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from KLZ in Where will you be going this Fall?   
    Sounds awesome! I am very jealous. 
  5. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from Danger_Zone in Whatcha reading?   
    Its crazy how much we have to read in grad school. Im handling the reading load well, but looking back after a week... sometimes I surprise myself that I can keep up. 
    I read South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration by Marcia Chatelain. Finally! An assigned book on the History of Childhood. Although I've already read it, I very much enjoyed reading it again. 
    Also read From the Bullet to the Ballot: The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party and Racial Coalition Politics in Chicago by Jakobi Williams; Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Davis by Carole Davies; and, as a fun read, Havana Storm by Clive Cussler. 
     
  6. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from archersline in Where will you be going this Fall?   
    Welcome! I too came from SoCAL and it definitely is a change of scenery. 
  7. Upvote
    ToomuchLes reacted to stillalivetui in Fall 2016 Applicants   
    A couple months ago a couple of POIs and other faculty at schools I'm applying to showed up as suggested friends on Facebook. It was really strange.
  8. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from Gambaosaka1 in Fall 2015 Applicants   
    Survived my first week of classes and assignments, and now I'm in my second ^.^ I even managed to get a grader position for an undergrad course; nothing too glamorous but Im satisfied as a first yr MA haha. 
    I feel the same way, wacyeah and ashiepoo72! My adviser, and grad mentor have been SO helpful and welcoming. In fact, the entire dept is great. I am very happy to be here, and I know I made the right choice by coming to IU.
  9. Upvote
    ToomuchLes reacted to telkanuru in Fall 2015 Applicants   
    My marriage survived choosing paint colors for our apartment! For now, anyway.
  10. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from catsandscarves in Fall 2015 Applicants   
    Survived my first week of classes and assignments, and now I'm in my second ^.^ I even managed to get a grader position for an undergrad course; nothing too glamorous but Im satisfied as a first yr MA haha. 
    I feel the same way, wacyeah and ashiepoo72! My adviser, and grad mentor have been SO helpful and welcoming. In fact, the entire dept is great. I am very happy to be here, and I know I made the right choice by coming to IU.
  11. Upvote
    ToomuchLes reacted to wacyeah in Fall 2015 Applicants   
    Started my program from this Monday and I'm really glad I picked UHM as all my cohorts and profs are fantastic!!!!
  12. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from Heimat Historian in Fall 2015 Applicants   
    Wooo! Made it to Bloomington! I love how green the environment is and the architecture is so pretty. I wasn't expecting the humidity though but it's not too bad. Orientation is next week =D

    Drive carefully in Davis. Why did the turkey cross the road?
  13. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from wacyeah in Decisions 2015   
    Sounds exciting!! I only wish I could take a peek at the course's reading list, but that would be cheating
  14. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from historian234 in Fall 2015 Applicants   
    Im moving on the last week of July, and I thought that was rather late, since orientation is on Aug 17th.
    I already found a place, and I'm SO amazed with the cost of living in IN. I knew it would be cheaper than CA, but holymoley.. my rent (with all utilities included, except internet) is $450; almost half my rent in Davis which was $850. Also, my rental is in a very spacious family home 0.8 miles away from campus. Now, all I need is heavy snow-weather clothing and learn how to ride a bike in the snow/ice 
  15. Downvote
    ToomuchLes reacted to LittleDarlings in Finding a husband in graduate school.   
    Well this is going to be a long one.
     
    I haven't discounted the advice I got on here I said I got some good advice and some that hasn't been and I think that is true. Like I said this thread was meant as a way to get ideas on how to meet someone, programs, places to go things like that. It started off with people saying "oh well you don't need to be in a relationship" maybe to you that is good advice, that isn't what I want to hear.  I want to know HOW TO GET INTO A RELATIONSHIP that was the point.  I am thankful for all the advice I got from helpful people and I even talked privately to a few people who were amazing and had great advice and were encouraging.  I don't discount the advice but I take what I need and I can leave the rest.  Telling me to not look isn't helping me because like I said I don't know what not looking feels like. I don't know how that is possible. I obviously am going to have to figure it out but it just wasn't what I was looking for.
     
    As far as the anti-depressants maybe had you actually read the post I made about it instead of just attacking it or discounting it to "oh that's another husband thread" you would know that I am actually pretty against taking an antidepressant.  I don't deny that I got great advice from people.  Like I said in my POST (that you failed to read obviously) I am afraid of getting on a medication for the wrong reasons.  If I could figure out all this on my own just by doing therapy it would be figured out don't you think? If my therapist suggested it twice then obviously there is something more there and maybe I should think about it.  So no I am not just shopping for pills like Forever 21. I'm sorry but you definitely got that wrong.  
     
    Next point, I know that I did well and I am lucky and grateful for the opportunities I have but at the same time don't you think that it is a problem that I can't connect that happiness that I should be feeling for all these "awesome" stuff? Maybe that is your answer, obviously something is not right. I'm sure most people on here would be forever content and happy with what I accomplished and I'm not.  Not even saying I'm not but my academic success and my personal life failure doesn't balance out.  Maybe you should be a little less quick to play head doctor? I have sympathy for people and I'm sorry that they may not have gotten into a program but in the least they have a relationship (some).  Like I said it isn't logical and I can't explain it so I won't try but relationships mean a lot to me, having one means a lot to me.  Not saying I would trade situations but still.  
     
    I can totally admit I am obsessive, and neurotic, immature, maybe even a little bit ignorant.  I do care about looks, a lot actually I am a decently attractive person I want someone else who is and that isn't wrong of me.  You obviously missed the part of the thread where I even said my ranking system kind of contradicts everything.  It does and it makes no sense and it is probably just me being a jealous bitch.  I don't have a bad personality, you don't even know me. You know what you saw on a forum from someone going through a rough time (despite how you discount it).  You know nothing about me.  
  16. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from WhatAmIDoingNow in Long distance moving, and funding it.   
    Don't pay U-haul to do it!! They're very expensive and charge you extra to install lights for your trailer. Find a local shop, or check with your dealership (they also might be expensive, but check anyways)
  17. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from beefgallo in Going about becoming an RA   
    ^ I had similar concerns when I was offered admission into Indiana University's MA History program. I contacted the DGS, and he provided some information (not alot) to ease my mind. He said additional information will be given after April 15th and if I have further questions/concerns to contact him directly. 
  18. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from poliorkein in Whatcha reading?   
    Did you read works by those authors before you made the decision to study history as a profession?
     
    I have never met a layperson that read books by those authors because its fun and/or interesting. I read Gordon Wood's "Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History" in a lower division undergrad class (we assigned certain chapters for class, so not the whole book), and I remember alot of students, taking that class to fulfill gen. ed. requirements, hated it. 
     
    The authors that you listed are readable for us. We actually need to test it out to see if it is, indeed, readable (and this means, the reader enjoys and understands the text) for the layperson. Neither one of us, on this site (or more specifically in the history section), can say for sure that the works by these authors are readable. We can definitely say that Zinn and Diamond are readable for the layperson because of the number of sales and how widely these scholars are known. And because the high number of sales, we can most definitely say that People's History and Guns, Germs & Steel are not at all arduous to read. 
  19. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from Crucial BBQ in Tabletop games   
    I guess Im old school; I like scrabble and monopoly 
  20. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from herstorian728 in Fall 2015 Applicants   
    Its been awhile since I posted on here.
     
    I officially accepted my MA offer from Indiana University today, and quite frankly, I couldn't be happier =D! I will be working with a fantastic professor, whose work and attitude I truly admire. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few months back, and we hit it off very nicely, so Im confident our work together will be well spent. IU is providing some, but not full funding. However this is the price I pay for slacking in my undergrad studies; lesson learned. Now is the time to excel, and in 1-2 years, I will have the confidence, credentials, and the opportunity to apply to much better programs than I did this season (not to say, all the programs I applied to were lacking; in fact, a majority were leading research programs).
     
    Thank you all for the awesome community, and assistance this season! It means a lot having such an awesome support group. I know I couldn't have done it without you. 
     
    Although this is a small step in a long journey, I am overjoyed to know that I am walking down the path my heart so eagerly wants. For those heading to IU, send me a PM so we can eventually meet up for a drink! To those heading to all corners of the continent for grad school, I wish you the best of luck and true happiness! Im sure, eventually, we'll run into each other at a conference unknowingly. And finally to those that have to take a year off, cheer up. Life goes on. Theres always another application season, and Im sure youll get it in the next one. Take the moment to reminisce on all of your accomplishments, enjoy the small things in life (cliche sure, but very uplifting), and go try new things in life (eat exotic foods that you never tried before, that always makes me happy xD). 
     
    From CA -> IN, lets see how I handle the weather 
  21. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from jayray11 in Fall 2015 Applicants   
    Its been awhile since I posted on here.
     
    I officially accepted my MA offer from Indiana University today, and quite frankly, I couldn't be happier =D! I will be working with a fantastic professor, whose work and attitude I truly admire. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few months back, and we hit it off very nicely, so Im confident our work together will be well spent. IU is providing some, but not full funding. However this is the price I pay for slacking in my undergrad studies; lesson learned. Now is the time to excel, and in 1-2 years, I will have the confidence, credentials, and the opportunity to apply to much better programs than I did this season (not to say, all the programs I applied to were lacking; in fact, a majority were leading research programs).
     
    Thank you all for the awesome community, and assistance this season! It means a lot having such an awesome support group. I know I couldn't have done it without you. 
     
    Although this is a small step in a long journey, I am overjoyed to know that I am walking down the path my heart so eagerly wants. For those heading to IU, send me a PM so we can eventually meet up for a drink! To those heading to all corners of the continent for grad school, I wish you the best of luck and true happiness! Im sure, eventually, we'll run into each other at a conference unknowingly. And finally to those that have to take a year off, cheer up. Life goes on. Theres always another application season, and Im sure youll get it in the next one. Take the moment to reminisce on all of your accomplishments, enjoy the small things in life (cliche sure, but very uplifting), and go try new things in life (eat exotic foods that you never tried before, that always makes me happy xD). 
     
    From CA -> IN, lets see how I handle the weather 
  22. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from Kleio_77 in Fall 2015 Applicants   
    Its been awhile since I posted on here.
     
    I officially accepted my MA offer from Indiana University today, and quite frankly, I couldn't be happier =D! I will be working with a fantastic professor, whose work and attitude I truly admire. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few months back, and we hit it off very nicely, so Im confident our work together will be well spent. IU is providing some, but not full funding. However this is the price I pay for slacking in my undergrad studies; lesson learned. Now is the time to excel, and in 1-2 years, I will have the confidence, credentials, and the opportunity to apply to much better programs than I did this season (not to say, all the programs I applied to were lacking; in fact, a majority were leading research programs).
     
    Thank you all for the awesome community, and assistance this season! It means a lot having such an awesome support group. I know I couldn't have done it without you. 
     
    Although this is a small step in a long journey, I am overjoyed to know that I am walking down the path my heart so eagerly wants. For those heading to IU, send me a PM so we can eventually meet up for a drink! To those heading to all corners of the continent for grad school, I wish you the best of luck and true happiness! Im sure, eventually, we'll run into each other at a conference unknowingly. And finally to those that have to take a year off, cheer up. Life goes on. Theres always another application season, and Im sure youll get it in the next one. Take the moment to reminisce on all of your accomplishments, enjoy the small things in life (cliche sure, but very uplifting), and go try new things in life (eat exotic foods that you never tried before, that always makes me happy xD). 
     
    From CA -> IN, lets see how I handle the weather 
  23. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from JTE in Fall 2015 Applicants   
    Hopefully, some news will arrive sooner than later 
  24. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from Aubstopper in Fall 2015 Applicants   
    I think contacting POI should be part of the application process. On top of what you said, its important to know where your POI's scholarly interests reside nowadays. I noticed alot of my POIs do not (or maybe the administration) update their department online profiles. I believe its important to see if your research interests align with your POIs current ones. Likewise, they might recommend a better POI at a different school, or in the same department.
     
    In addition, I think its polite to introduce yourself via a personalized email. I feel like it makes a big difference when they examine your application, and it establishes a potential work relationship down the road. I was rejected from UCI, but my POI still told me to keep in contact with her, cause down the road, we'll eventually bump into each other.
  25. Upvote
    ToomuchLes got a reaction from ashiepoo72 in Fall 2015 Applicants   
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