Jump to content

johndiligent

Members
  • Content Count

    515
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    5

Reputation Activity

  1. Downvote
    johndiligent reacted to Eigen in Friends don't let friends get a PhD   
    Maybe you should modify your premise a bit to "Friends don't let friends get degrees there is no market for"- something that's true at the undergraduate and the postgraduate level.

    That's not to say that there aren't some degrees that you find personal worth in getting, regardless of the job prospects, but it seems like there are an astounding number of people that don't do any research into the marketability of a degree before they get it.
  2. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to Safferz in I absolutely bombed the GRE :(   
    You did not bomb or flunk the GRE.
  3. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from Cici Beanz in Friends don't let friends get a PhD   
    I suggest a longer T-shirt:

    Friends Don't Let Friends Develop Unreasonable Expectations About the Job Market, No Matter How Much Easier It Is to Pretend That You and Your Friend Are the Exceptions to the Rule and You'll Both Get Jobs Because You're Both Brilliant and The Unemployed People are Just People Who Aren't as Academically-Gifted As You Are. Instead Friends Acknowledge to Each Other the Exceptional Difficulty of Getting an Academic Job, Call Bullshit on Each Other When Appropriate, and Help Each Other to Professionalize Early and Often. Further, Friends Will Also Remind Each Other that While Getting a Funded PhD, You are Actually Getting Paid to Live Your Dream, If Only for a Short While, So While Academic Jobs May Be Few, It Was Still Worth It For the Opportunity You Did Get to Engage With Academic Discourse on a Daily Basis.That Said, Friends Certainly Don't Let Friends Get Unfunded PhD's. Nor Should Enemies For That Matter.
  4. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from aberrant in I absolutely bombed the GRE :(   
    You have a hilarious definition of flunking. You did OK if not stellar on the least important part of your application. If you're worried, work on your SOP.
  5. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from misterc in Friends don't let friends get a PhD   
    I suggest a longer T-shirt:

    Friends Don't Let Friends Develop Unreasonable Expectations About the Job Market, No Matter How Much Easier It Is to Pretend That You and Your Friend Are the Exceptions to the Rule and You'll Both Get Jobs Because You're Both Brilliant and The Unemployed People are Just People Who Aren't as Academically-Gifted As You Are. Instead Friends Acknowledge to Each Other the Exceptional Difficulty of Getting an Academic Job, Call Bullshit on Each Other When Appropriate, and Help Each Other to Professionalize Early and Often. Further, Friends Will Also Remind Each Other that While Getting a Funded PhD, You are Actually Getting Paid to Live Your Dream, If Only for a Short While, So While Academic Jobs May Be Few, It Was Still Worth It For the Opportunity You Did Get to Engage With Academic Discourse on a Daily Basis.That Said, Friends Certainly Don't Let Friends Get Unfunded PhD's. Nor Should Enemies For That Matter.
  6. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from crazygirl2012 in Friends don't let friends get a PhD   
    I suggest a longer T-shirt:

    Friends Don't Let Friends Develop Unreasonable Expectations About the Job Market, No Matter How Much Easier It Is to Pretend That You and Your Friend Are the Exceptions to the Rule and You'll Both Get Jobs Because You're Both Brilliant and The Unemployed People are Just People Who Aren't as Academically-Gifted As You Are. Instead Friends Acknowledge to Each Other the Exceptional Difficulty of Getting an Academic Job, Call Bullshit on Each Other When Appropriate, and Help Each Other to Professionalize Early and Often. Further, Friends Will Also Remind Each Other that While Getting a Funded PhD, You are Actually Getting Paid to Live Your Dream, If Only for a Short While, So While Academic Jobs May Be Few, It Was Still Worth It For the Opportunity You Did Get to Engage With Academic Discourse on a Daily Basis.That Said, Friends Certainly Don't Let Friends Get Unfunded PhD's. Nor Should Enemies For That Matter.
  7. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to fuzzylogician in GRE Scores - Pathetic?   
    If I may answer this, I have to disagree with Sigaba's warning. I don't think that a well-written writing sample and SOP would raise a red flag if your verbal score is low. I think it's much likelier that the essays are taken as the true indication of an applicant's writing abilities, and not the GRE scores. The GPA and GRE scores are more often used for cutoffs so that your low score puts your application at the risk of being tossed without being thoroughly read, in which case your well-written essays will not save you. But once your application is given serious consideration, the essays and recommendations are the most important part of the application. I think in your case you should seriously consider improving your studying strategies and retaking the exam. In addition, if you have a close enough relationship with your recommenders I would suggest asking at least one of them to address your verbal/writing abilities directly. That should remove all doubt about what your skills really are.
  8. Downvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from TheHymenAnnihilator in Do you have a Plan B?   
    Forgive me. When you said, "I will almost certainly get a TT offer... Yes, I know this is arrogant and naive and probably wrong, but if I didn't believe it then I wouldn't be applying to grad school at all" I assumed you were serious. Internet forum comprehension, alas.

    Regardless, I hope what I posted will be useful for somebody, if not for you, since I certainly know many, many students who espouse the views I thought you held, and not as a joke.
  9. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from Gvh in so how much did you spend?   
    For the six schools I've done so far...

    Application fees: $634
    Postal fees (Tracked and guaranteed applications, stamps for recs): $92
    Transcript fees: $99 (Curse the schools that want two sets!)
    Paper, envelopes and ink cartridges: $62
    Case file to keep it all organised: $7
    Countless hours of effort and worry: my sanity

    Getting an acceptance letter in the mail: (hopefully) priceless. Or $894. Depending on how you slice it.
  10. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from raise cain in Canadian PhD programs?   
    I disagree with this. I think if Concordia had a very, very strong programme in a given field (with all of the things that count toward a very strong programme including well-known, well-connected faculty, a programme that is known for preparing students well, etc.) then I think that one would be better served by attending Concordia's programme than one with a comparatively poor reputation at McGill.

    While someone only remotely connected to the world of academia would think McGill more prestigious, the people who matter in your discipline would know the difference. "Oh, so you studied under so-and-so?! What's he really like?" goes further than "Oh, McGill. I guess I did hear that they were trying to resurrect that programme."
  11. Downvote
    johndiligent reacted to qbtacoma in Do you have a Plan B?   
    Yep. Grad school is the first step to be a history professor at a sweet college somewhere nice. Goodness, if my only option turns out to be working at a for-profit college or struggling as a community college adjunct for the rest of my life, my Plan Bs are going to kick in hard. But no! I have decided it won't happen to me! I am worthy! Lalalalala!
  12. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to johndiligent in Do you have a Plan B?   
    While the 'wishful thinking' approach is undoubtedly common among graduate students, this strikes me as a very wrong-headed approach. Many grad students are like you: they hear about the extremely bad job market in a certain field but then dismiss it as nonsense because they know X person who wound up with an adjunct position, which means it can't be that bad, right?

    The problem is the reality. The last estimate in my field was that less than 20% of PhD's end up getting positions at a university - and that's positions at all, not just tenure-track positions, but even adjunct positions. That means that 4 out of 5 of the PhD's who finish the degree won't even be lucky enough to work as adjuncts. And I'm in a field where opportunities outside the academy don't really exist.

    When this is discussed among grad students in my field, they become dismissive, calling it pessimism, and talk about how professors will retire en masse and there will be more jobs opening up and so on and so forth. But the reason they say this is because they all assume that they will be the exception, not the rule; they expect to be in the 1 in 5, instead of in the 4.

    Which I suppose is a natural expectation if you've matured as most graduate students have: they've been the stars of their particular undergraduate programmes, understand themselves as the cream of the crop, and are used to excelling where others fail. But everyone else in the room has had the same experience and they all want to be the 1 in 5. The person who winds up with a tenure-track position isn't better than all the other hopefuls. There are hundreds of excellent candidates and a lot of it comes down to luck or largely uncontrollable factors.

    My point is not to dissuade you. But I think everybody who is in a field with bad job prospects should enter into it with eyes wide open, not shut tight for fear of being discouraged. Wishful thinking may strike you as a powerful motivator, but a more powerful motivator, I find, is the recognition that your odds of getting a position are terrible so you must do everything within your power to make yourself an attractive candidate. Never ever miss an opportunity to build your CV, enhance your professional credentials, excel in everything you do in graduate school. Further to that, those who are aware of the importance of early professionalization and the difficulties of the job market tend to get more respect from professors, while those who hope for the best with a cheery grin are often considered naive, arrogant or ignorant.

    Clearly, the bad prospects in my field did not prevent me from going to graduate school and I don't think that they should prevent anyone else. But I think applicants need to ask themselves not "Are 5-7 years of grad school worth becoming a professor?" but "Are 5-7 years of grad school worth a slim chance at becoming a professor?" If this is what you really want to do with your life, you'll still be willing to roll the dice and give it a shot.
  13. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from waddle in Do you have a Plan B?   
    While the 'wishful thinking' approach is undoubtedly common among graduate students, this strikes me as a very wrong-headed approach. Many grad students are like you: they hear about the extremely bad job market in a certain field but then dismiss it as nonsense because they know X person who wound up with an adjunct position, which means it can't be that bad, right?

    The problem is the reality. The last estimate in my field was that less than 20% of PhD's end up getting positions at a university - and that's positions at all, not just tenure-track positions, but even adjunct positions. That means that 4 out of 5 of the PhD's who finish the degree won't even be lucky enough to work as adjuncts. And I'm in a field where opportunities outside the academy don't really exist.

    When this is discussed among grad students in my field, they become dismissive, calling it pessimism, and talk about how professors will retire en masse and there will be more jobs opening up and so on and so forth. But the reason they say this is because they all assume that they will be the exception, not the rule; they expect to be in the 1 in 5, instead of in the 4.

    Which I suppose is a natural expectation if you've matured as most graduate students have: they've been the stars of their particular undergraduate programmes, understand themselves as the cream of the crop, and are used to excelling where others fail. But everyone else in the room has had the same experience and they all want to be the 1 in 5. The person who winds up with a tenure-track position isn't better than all the other hopefuls. There are hundreds of excellent candidates and a lot of it comes down to luck or largely uncontrollable factors.

    My point is not to dissuade you. But I think everybody who is in a field with bad job prospects should enter into it with eyes wide open, not shut tight for fear of being discouraged. Wishful thinking may strike you as a powerful motivator, but a more powerful motivator, I find, is the recognition that your odds of getting a position are terrible so you must do everything within your power to make yourself an attractive candidate. Never ever miss an opportunity to build your CV, enhance your professional credentials, excel in everything you do in graduate school. Further to that, those who are aware of the importance of early professionalization and the difficulties of the job market tend to get more respect from professors, while those who hope for the best with a cheery grin are often considered naive, arrogant or ignorant.

    Clearly, the bad prospects in my field did not prevent me from going to graduate school and I don't think that they should prevent anyone else. But I think applicants need to ask themselves not "Are 5-7 years of grad school worth becoming a professor?" but "Are 5-7 years of grad school worth a slim chance at becoming a professor?" If this is what you really want to do with your life, you'll still be willing to roll the dice and give it a shot.
  14. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to fuzzylogician in writing bio for dept. website   
    I just looked at other students' websites that were already online and followed their lead.
    Mostly we just talk about our interests and give a link to a personal website where we have our full CV and publications. But, I'm sure that changes from department to department.
  15. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to StrangeLight in writing bio for dept. website   
    if you don't have a masters topic yet, just list your past education and your current research fields.
  16. Downvote
    johndiligent reacted to eklavya in writing bio for dept. website   
    just make something up and throw it in there. this (what you put on the site) isn't going to be the golden ruler to measure your future leaps and progress. but make sure you throw in some big words to scare the undergrad folks.. hehe
  17. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from psycholinguist in What's unique about you?   
    The problem with this post is we're all going to say something that we *think* is unique about us, only to have other people comment and say, "Me too!"
  18. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from Strangefox in Stay or go???   
    I agree with the above. I think you should have a frank talk with a trusted advisor at your current school, ask him/her about academic incest, and ask if he/she honestly feels such a move would be detrimental to your career. Then make your decision from there. Depending on which school you're attending, it might not be the worst thing in the world, but you need someone with experience to help you gauge what it'll mean for you down the road.
  19. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from Strangefox in What applications look like   
    Haha, that's horrifying. Maybe The Grad Cafe is secretly operated by graduate schools as a means of acquiring further information about candidates and observing them when they don't know that they're being observed....

    ZOMG! CONSPIRACY!
  20. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from Jae B. in To Those Who Didn't Get In: A Different Perspective   
    When I was in high school, I thought I wanted to a high school teacher. One of my teachers at that time told me and many others with similar ambitions NOT to do so if we could stomach doing anything else. His rationale was this: that we wanted to be high school teachers simply because it was one of the only jobs we'd ever seen "close-up." We thought we should be teachers because we'd spent the majority of the last twelve years of our lives watching teachers do their jobs and it was a system and a routine that we understood. It was a safe choice.

    In many ways, academia lures a lot of success-driven, structure-oriented people because it's a path that seems very friendly to us. We've spent so much of our lives in an educational setting, jumping from one institution to the next, and it's what we understand. And the sheer amount of "I'm applying to grad school because what else can you do with a BA in English?"-type comments we see around here illustrate the fact that without the structure of academia, many of these great students have no idea what to do with themselves.

    I'm really glad you posted this because I think it will be useful for a lot of those applying now and in the future. But also because I think that it's a good idea for applicants to reflect on whether they're applying to grad school just because it seems like the thing to do next. Especially since spending a life in academia nowadays - while perhaps a choice with structure - is not by any means a safe choice. A lot of us will never get a TT position, ever. So, if you're going to piss away the next seven odd years of your life on a PhD, it really should be because you'd rather do that and wind up with absolutely nothing than have everything but.
  21. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from repatriate in To Those Who Didn't Get In: A Different Perspective   
    When I was in high school, I thought I wanted to a high school teacher. One of my teachers at that time told me and many others with similar ambitions NOT to do so if we could stomach doing anything else. His rationale was this: that we wanted to be high school teachers simply because it was one of the only jobs we'd ever seen "close-up." We thought we should be teachers because we'd spent the majority of the last twelve years of our lives watching teachers do their jobs and it was a system and a routine that we understood. It was a safe choice.

    In many ways, academia lures a lot of success-driven, structure-oriented people because it's a path that seems very friendly to us. We've spent so much of our lives in an educational setting, jumping from one institution to the next, and it's what we understand. And the sheer amount of "I'm applying to grad school because what else can you do with a BA in English?"-type comments we see around here illustrate the fact that without the structure of academia, many of these great students have no idea what to do with themselves.

    I'm really glad you posted this because I think it will be useful for a lot of those applying now and in the future. But also because I think that it's a good idea for applicants to reflect on whether they're applying to grad school just because it seems like the thing to do next. Especially since spending a life in academia nowadays - while perhaps a choice with structure - is not by any means a safe choice. A lot of us will never get a TT position, ever. So, if you're going to piss away the next seven odd years of your life on a PhD, it really should be because you'd rather do that and wind up with absolutely nothing than have everything but.
  22. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from rogue in Facebook grad school education information   
    Why would you have Facebook friends who are so out of touch with your life that they wouldn't have the slightest clue whether you already have a PhD or not? And if they're that out of touch - as in you're never ever going to speak to them directly so they'd have no idea what's really going on with you and could only deduce it, albeit errantly, from your profile - does it really if they get it wrong?
  23. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from eucalyptus in Facebook grad school education information   
    Why would you have Facebook friends who are so out of touch with your life that they wouldn't have the slightest clue whether you already have a PhD or not? And if they're that out of touch - as in you're never ever going to speak to them directly so they'd have no idea what's really going on with you and could only deduce it, albeit errantly, from your profile - does it really if they get it wrong?
  24. Downvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from tarski in Facebook grad school education information   
    Why would you have Facebook friends who are so out of touch with your life that they wouldn't have the slightest clue whether you already have a PhD or not? And if they're that out of touch - as in you're never ever going to speak to them directly so they'd have no idea what's really going on with you and could only deduce it, albeit errantly, from your profile - does it really if they get it wrong?
  25. Downvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from October in Facebook grad school education information   
    Why would you have Facebook friends who are so out of touch with your life that they wouldn't have the slightest clue whether you already have a PhD or not? And if they're that out of touch - as in you're never ever going to speak to them directly so they'd have no idea what's really going on with you and could only deduce it, albeit errantly, from your profile - does it really if they get it wrong?
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.