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About TheMagicMoment

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  1. I agree with the advice @GreenEyedTrombonist gave you. I got my MA at a university where all grad students were required to take courses in all of the subdisciplines of anthropology (and encouraged to take courses in other departments on campus), and one result was that interdisciplinary theses were quite common. I would definitely reach out to/investigate your favorite departments and see if they foster that kind of environment. I know a cultural anthropology PhD who got their BA and MA in archaeology. It could happen.
  2. Although I got a MA in anthropology, my PhD is in a different discipline. I wanted to say that up front before you read my advice. I think you've got a good idea with "beefing up" your extracurricular activities. First thing first though, I think a successful graduate school application is often about having a "narrative" that ties all of your experiences together and that can relate to what you want to do in graduate school. I suggest thinking about what it is you want to study with a graduate degree in anthropology and how extracurricular activities can connect you to that goal. Try reaching out to local museums about volunteering. I know, for example, that the archaeology museum in the city where I got my MA in anthro would take any volunteer that was willing to be briefly trained on how to sort dirt and gravel looking for rough artifacts. That kind of experience might be useful if you want to pursue terrestrial archaeology. @museum_geek pointed out in another thread that the AAA has a site for field school opportunities. So stemming from that you could 1) apply to a AAA field school, 2) become a member of the AAA and put that on your CV in your application and stay informed about future opportunities, and 3) reach out to departments listed by the AAA in your area about volunteering. If possible, it also wouldn't hurt to start building relationships with any of the schools you've identified as places you want to submit an application. Follow their social media accounts, get on their email lists if you can, and respond to opportunities that they advertise. If you can, find or request the CVs of current students at schools you're interested in and see what kind of extracurricular activities they describe. But even if you can't do an anthropology field school or volunteer in an anthropology museum, pursuing related opportunities would also be beneficial. Let's say you're interested in local knowledge of environmental history in the deserts of the Western United States. Even if you don't live in the deserts of the Western U.S., finding organizations with a focus on environmental issues or saving local history in the area where you are could be beneficial if you can tell a convincing narrative in your essays and supporting documents about how your experiences in those contexts prepare you to do work in graduate school. Another piece of advice, which comes through a little in everything else I just said, is to network. Reach out to people (faculty and graduate students) who are doing interesting work, going to school where you want to go, or have a background similar to yours. Ask them how they got to where they are and if they have any advice. Join the AAA and/or a smaller affiliate and meet people that way. Attending meetings, or even conferences if you can manage it, would be very helpful to you. Overall, it's better for your application if someone who may read your application, or be asked to endorse it, has a sense of who are you. I hope any of this is helpful to you. It's mostly advice based on my own experiences, mixed in with a bit of what I wished I had done. Ultimately, I made the decision to get a degree in something else that allows me to work as an anthropologist but do other things, too. But I tried to make my advice more general/applicable to an anthro degree.
  3. I love UCI, because my department has given me a ton of support in a variety of ways, and I've made some great connections in other departments at UCI and in SoCal. I grew up in a rural environment and I'm sometimes amazed how easily I've adapted to a suburban place like Irvine. Mostly I don't mind it, because there is a lot of interesting stuff in easy distance (by car at any rate).
  4. I'm a digital ethnographer! My master's thesis was based on digital ethnographic methods, as well as my current project, and very likely my PhD dissertation, too!
  5. Thanks for posting this information! I just moved to California. On the East Coast I was a member of the Southern Anthropological Society and I hadn't tracked down the equivalent out here yet (probably because I kind of switched disciplines.)
  6. First time applicant. I'm currently a first year PhD student in Informatics.
  7. This wasn't answered, but I'm still curious about the answer. I've just been accepted to UCI and I'm coming out this weekend to visit the campus and the area around Irvine. Any new information about on-campus housing for graduate students and things to do in the area would be appreciated. I'm particularly interested in the best Vietnamese restaurant, consignment shops, comic book and vinyl record stores, scenic areas, etc. Thanks!
  8. I know the PeaceCorps probably makes the most sense for an anthropologist, but have you also considered AmeriCorps? Depending on your research interests that might be an excellent way to gain some valuable experience and there may even be opportunities already available close to where you live.
  9. Thanks! Congrats to you too! I got accepted to OSU's anthropology MA program back in 2011. I ended up going to a different program and sometimes I regret that. It's a great school and everyone else in my family has gone to OSU. Go Buckeyes!
  10. I got a rejection email from them this morning. It was a generic email explaining that there were a large number of qualified applicants. I'm not too upset because I've been accepted to the UCI Informatics PhD program. Wishing you luck ecopolitiq!
  11. I totally understand your dilemma. When I got my Master's degree I chose to stay at my undergrad institution instead of going somewhere else and I still wonder what kind of opportunities I missed out on because I didn't take a risk and go to a different university. That being said, I don't think I was being a coward either and I had plenty of success with my MA. I had a good relationship with the faculty at my undergrad institution, an advisor in my areas of interest willing to work with me, an established network, and all the benefits of being in a small department. I found your post because I've also been accepted to the UCI Informatics program, which was/is my first choice for the PhD. From my POV this is not a bad option for you because 1) you're familiar with the department and presumably already have relationships with the faculty, 2) the faculty there share your areas of interest, and 3) they fully fund their students. But you might find something incredible at GaTech that you want to pursue. It sounds like you and your partner have a plan for either situation, so my advice to you is this. The deadline to accept the offer at UCI is April 15th and I assume that GaTech has a similar timeline. Go to the campus visit at GaTech and go to the one at UCI. Find out what both programs have to offer you in terms of potential projects and see if you "click" with any of the faculty. Sure you know the faculty at UCI, but from my experience faculty members interact with their graduate students differently than they do their undergraduate students so you may see them in a new light. I'd also make sure that GaTech fully funds their PhD students. From my POV, taking on something like a PhD that isn't funded for the duration seems like a bad idea. And if you have the time I suggest exploring Atlanta a little bit and see if you might like living there. Not only would you be committing to GaTech for 5+ years, you'd be committing to living in the ATL. I hope any of this is helpful to you.
  12. Hey bioarch_fan! I was chatting you up a while back on this thread and I mentioned that I have a Master's from the UWF anthropology program. Yesterday I was talking to one of the bio professors there (she was one of my LOR on my PhD applications) and she mentioned that the department had already made their recommendations, so you are just waiting for the graduate school there to notify you and that should be soon. I don't know about your situation specifically, but based on that conversation I have a good feeling for you!
  13. You're very welcome! I enjoy Little Rock except in the winter. I'm from Florida and I was not prepared for freezing temperatures and snow. The biggest issue I have with living in Little Rock is sales tax. The state of Arkansas has a 6.5% sales tax, the city of Little Rock levies a sales tax of 1.5%, and Pulaski County has a 1% sales tax. So really you're paying 8.5% sales tax on most things. My other complaints about Little Rock are that there aren't more used book stores and Vietnamese restaurants. If you can get used to those things, and make friends easy, Little Rock is not a bad place to live. There are lots of outdoorsy things to do in the Little Rock area. Arkansas is known as "The Natural State" and it has plenty of parks and recreation areas, several of which are not far from Little Rock. There also seems to be a decent sized cycling community here, but I'm not involved with it.
  14. I'm sorry I saw this so late! I am currently attending a graduate program in Little Rock. I live in North Little Rock, but I'm going to talk about them as if they are the same place. I would say that you need a car to live here. This is especially true if you plan to live off campus in places where rent is cheapest and if you want to avoid having to walk places when it gets cold in the winter. (It does snow here sometimes.) There are no places I can think of that have a convenient walking distance to everything you would need (campus, grocery stores) and want to do (shopping, bars, theaters). Downtown Little Rock or downtown North Little Rock might be your best option for walking, but those are nowhere near UALR (which is where I assume you've applied). There is a public transportation system and Uber if you don't have a car yet. What is there to do? I mentioned shopping, bars, and theaters. There are three malls, an outlet mall that just opened, plenty of bars in downtown LR and NLR, a few museums, and several movie theaters and entertainment venues. There is a civic center that brings decent sized acts to the city (Slipknot, Fleetwood Mac, Carrie Underwood, Mumford & Sons). The city also has a regular series of events such as the cheese dip festival, the egg-nog off, the whole hog roast competition, craft shows, local music concerts, charity walk/runs, fundraisers, etc. Little Rock has half the population and is half the size of Pittsburgh (where your profile says you're currently living). Little Rock is definitely a southern city, accent included. The locals are generally polite and friendly. Everyone cheers for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks (no matter the sport or which Arkansas university they actually attended). Little Rock is also like a small town as opposed to a mid-size city. I've found that many of the locals have some kind of connection to many other locals that you may meet. Networking is the best way to get anything done around here. Feel free to send me a message if I can answer any other questions for you!
  15. I hope that's true. I already have an MA (in anthropology) and I'll have another one (in public service) by the time I start a potential PhD program. It took me awhile to realize how bad I wanted an anthropology PhD and I've had some great experiences along the way, but I worry that it looks like I'm not committed to anything or that I want to be a professional student. I have a similar issue. I've only identified 4 programs I'm interested in applying to (due to time and money constraints), but two of those programs are at the same university. Has anyone else dealt with this issue and/or have any advice on how to proceed? I did a little research on the "etiquette" of this situation but couldn't find anything decisive or related to anthropology. I've emailed my POI in one of those programs about the situation, but no response yet.
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