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Everything posted by Neist

  1. Contact your school's disability resource center (or whatever the like organization is called where you go to school). Obviously, we don't know the entirety of the situation, and intentions could potentially be misconstrued, but it's at least possible that if what she said was targeted at you, then she could be breaking the ADA (at least if you live in the United States, though I'm sure other countries have similar laws). I was recently diagnosed with Panic Disorder while in graduate school, and I don't think I would have survived without my school's DRC. In fact, it's escalated to a poi
  2. I've probably listened to more podcasts than a human being ever should, and by far, my favorite is the Memory Palace. Great podcast if you love history.
  3. You should be fine if you have limited experience in the subject as long as you demonstrate in your application materials precisely why you want to study it. Also, knowing and referencing active scholars in the your specialty is a big plus in your application materials. Very few universities have undergraduate programs in the history of science, and only a slightly larger pool of universities employ faculty members who teach courses in the history of science, let alone any particular facet in the history of science. In the contingent of students entering into my program when I did,
  4. Just to stick a nail in that coffin. I'm in a double degree program which requires a profoundly long period of time to degree. I won't take comps until, roughly, Spring 2021. So, yeah.
  5. Sure, I guess? You've been very congenial, but not everyone has. Why would I willingly engage a hostile situation? Willing disengagement is a choice, and I don't consider that choice the same as surrender, though I won't fault you for thinking otherwise. Your first point makes perfect sense, but again, I can assure you, I'm definitely not looking for advice. I was looking for fellowship. Perhaps a poorly worded seeking of it, but that's what it was. I have plenty of failings, and an inability to communicate effectively is definitely one of them. Further, people repeatedly trying to conv
  6. As I stated previously, I wasn't really looking for answers, but I admit, this is likely the best comment I've yet received in this thread. Thanks a bunch. I've actually already attended some Rare Book School courses. They are great experiences, but I'm somewhat conflicted about attending more given how expensive they are. I received a more than a generous scholarship for the last class I attended, but it was still rather pricey. I might consider applying for the fellowship program once I'm a doctoral candidate; it allows one to take the courses free of tuition.
  7. Well, I'm not surrendering? Sure, I don't feel the need to receive the approval of every scholar I meet, but I'm pretty certain that's par the course in the humanities. We don't agree. Frequently. Sure, there's a certain decorum where two might mutually disagree amicably, but I know I'm not the only person who's witnessed very intense professional feuds, even within the same department (I've been in some very uncomfortable meetings....). Academics aren't hired because they get along. They're hired because they know a lot about something and, hopefully, have the skills required to teach others
  8. Certainly, the latter. But for whom isn't that an issue? There is as much of a struggle articulating my thoughts as another person will have interpreting those thoughts. Communication is hell, and written communication is routinely inadequate. Case in point, the previous post by @Sigaba. You really pulled all of that from a few hundred words and vague comments on a message board post that was casually written? I think you're reading a bit deep there, buddy. As someone who suffers from quite a bit of mental health issues myself, I think you should talk to someone if your vitriol ru
  9. To be frank, my response was a struggled and diplomatic attempt to respond to replies which I consider ranging from slightly patronizing to entirely off-base. Indeed, some of the comments are so wholly off-base that I'm uncertain how politely to respond. But then again, I feel obliged to answer as I believe it impolite not to regard comments which were written in good nature, even if possibly unintentionally off-point. How should one respond to comments which imply increasingly codified assumptions about one's intentions? How am I supposed to politely say, "Actually, I'm not talking abou
  10. Thanks for the responses, everyone. I apologize for being deliberately vague, but considering a rather large of my research is a methodological defense of my work, one can't honestly expect me to work expend the effort typing it out here. Though, I'll briefly state that some of your advice, while worthwhile, is not relevant to my particular case. First, I don't consider myself a historian. I consider myself a bibliographer who works historically. There is somewhat of a distinction, and the distinction is a larger discussion than what I, unfortunately, have the time to discuss here.
  11. True, but I, unfortunately, suffer from interests in highly studied areas. If I had to generalize, I'd state that I study the history of books, evolutionary theory, and progressive era United States. The latter two are somewhat saturated fields.
  12. Eh, well, the most general issue I encounter as I perceive it is that I'm a book historian who is more interested in the "message" than the "messenger". I consider books as cultural artifacts and believe they can be and should at least be considered important materially distinct from those who have created them, just in the same way that a magazine advertisement of a woman in the 1950s smoking a cigarette while cooking a meal is historically interesting beyond as to who created that advertisement. I see books as potentials of what could be known, not as evidence of what a person conceived as b
  13. That is precisely the sort of situation I'm faced with regularly. Professor A: "What do you want to write about for your final paper in the course?" Me: "I want to write about X, Y, and Z." Professor A: "But that's useless, and it doesn't tell us anything." Me: "Yes it does, let me try to explain it..." Then I'm forced to both explain it in person and spend a significant portion of my paper defending my work, to which I'll likely be criticized for spending far too long describing my work. I think I'm just going to have to sort of adopt a benign apathy to the criticisms an
  14. Now that I'm into my third year, I'm increasingly confident that the framework in which I view historical narratives is sound and worthwhile. However, I've simultaneously realized that the framework that I value is not a framework that I find others tend to value. Has anyone else encountered a similar situation? I feel as if I'm constantly required to defend my methodological approaches to my work. It's somewhat tiresome.
  15. I have, but I you have to remember that for a lot of people graduate school is likely the most stressful time of their life up to this point. Understandably, some people have probably put social graces aside and have entirely focused on surviving. It's possible that your peers are indeed simply catty and unfriendly, but try to contextualize their behavior against the extremity of the experience of graduate school. Admittedly, such thinking might not help a lot, but it might help you sympathize with others or perhaps build bridges with them. Suffering sort of loves company.
  16. I have not, but Medieval Robots: Mechanism, Magic, Nature, and Art looks fascinating. This course is a required survey in my program, but it's far from what I usually study. I mainly study biological sciences in the progressive era United States; anything pre-early modern is pretty outside of my wheelhouse. As an undergraduate, I took a few religious history courses and a dedicated science in medieval Islam course, but I've managed to dodge pretty much any scholarly histories of medieval Europe. I was actually quite afraid of this course due to my lack of experience with the period
  17. Graduate school is a soul-crushing experience. I mean, I love it, and there's no reason why I believe you won't either, but you really need to be prepared to adapt and change. You will not be the same person going in that you will be going out. Understand that and embrace it. I could easily imagine graduate school as a PTSD inducing experience if one tries to grind through it with the wrong mentality. Graduate students tend to be gritty, high achieving individuals, but the strategies that made you successful in the past will not necessarily work in graduate school. It's too strenuous. And
  18. During a medieval science seminar, I recently discovered Magic in the Middle Ages by Kieckhefer. My mind was blown. "Magic" during the period is fascinating. I could see myself easily burying in the topic. Now I'm digging into Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer’s Manual of the Fifteenth Century by Kieckhefer and Grimoires: A History of Magic Books by Davies.
  19. I study something as equally esoteric, and I'd like to comment that if you do manage to find a location to study your interests, you might consider career paths outside of the traditional, academic. Indeed, it might be the wisest course of action. I'm planning to work in libraries. No department would ever want someone who specializes in what I do. Well, it's highly unlikely, at least. Job prospects are generally based on departmental needs which are in turn based on archetypal historians.
  20. Neist

    Applications 2019

    Great advice. For the sake of complete disclosure, I imagine every single department will have its share of politics and drama. And it's likely that you'll be pulled, or at least circumstances will attempt to pull you, into them. Academia is a bitter, bitter world. I love it, but nurturing environments are rarer than they should be, in my experience.
  21. Had to start digging into course reading, despite all of my best attempts to avoid it. Currently reading Ramon Llull: A Contemporary Life, edited by Anthony Bonner. These medieval autobiographies are so much fun. Fluffed, yes, but fun.
  22. Yeah, so, well, I've given up trying to update every read I've undertaken on here because my reading pace has become a bit supercharged. That said, I'm currently reading The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps by Michael Blanding. Haven't gotten too deep into the semester yet, so I'm just reading popcorn titles. For the better part of the last month and a half, I've been enduring a painfully close read of the primary sources for my thesis. I need a break.
  23. I regret not seeing this earlier, but I agree to register with the disability office. That said, as to reporting conditions, it... well... depends. And to be honest, you'll likely get completely different answers from different people. I've completely and openly reported my mental health issues to my professors, or at least when necessary (i.e., when I work with them more closely, be it as an advisee or course student). The way I perceive it, I'd rather disclose before issues potentially arise, even if they never arise, because I see it as bad form if I bring it up after a potential, futu
  24. If I'm briefly given a moment to reminisce, it seems only yesterday that I was in everyone's situation. I just thought I'd chime in and say that no matter where you end up, I want to assure everyone that if you don't get the acceptance that you hoped for, it's not necessarily because you're inadequate for graduate school. To be honest, as I sit here writing a book review for a course tomorrow, I've concluded, now after several years in graduate school, that everyone is both inadequate and adequate. This graduate school thing is rough. Lots of reading. Lots of writing. Nowhere near enoug
  25. Neist

    Good deal?

    I'm sort of late to this discussion, but I wanted to say, as others have commented upon, you really need to consider the cost of living. I only make slightly above $18.5k, and I have a competitively awarded GA-ship. Granted, I'm still going slightly into debt every year, but I'm also supporting a family of three on that. What you were offered, at least here, would be quite livable for a single person.
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