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johndiligent

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  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. Downvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from Lit23 in Bouncing off an English Major   
    If you don't know what you want to study in graduate school, you shouldn't go to graduate school.

    Why do you want to go? What do you want to accomplish?
  5. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from repatriate in Bouncing off an English Major   
    If you don't know what you want to study in graduate school, you shouldn't go to graduate school.

    Why do you want to go? What do you want to accomplish?
  6. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from psycholinguist in Forum Stats for Mar '10   
    3rd? I'm so ashamed.

    And martizzle: it's not an honour that really requires an acceptance speech.
  7. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from psycholinguist in Something That Pisses Me Off   
    I've put a lot of stock in how schools have treated me in general. I was in a lucky position of having multiple schools to choose from and I chose the school that treated me the best - the one that answered all of my questions promptly, responded thoughtfully to anything I sent them, took the initiative to call, etc.

    But there were two schools on my list that I rejected straight up pretty much due to their general asshattery. Never answering questions, never talking to me directly, ignoring me once they realised they couldn't match the financial offers I got elsewhere, etc. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. A lot of schools screw themselves out of their accepted applicants.
  8. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to tourist in Facebook grad school education information   
    I can't believe this is even a topic. Seriously?
  9. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to johndiligent in Something That Pisses Me Off   
    I've put a lot of stock in how schools have treated me in general. I was in a lucky position of having multiple schools to choose from and I chose the school that treated me the best - the one that answered all of my questions promptly, responded thoughtfully to anything I sent them, took the initiative to call, etc.

    But there were two schools on my list that I rejected straight up pretty much due to their general asshattery. Never answering questions, never talking to me directly, ignoring me once they realised they couldn't match the financial offers I got elsewhere, etc. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. A lot of schools screw themselves out of their accepted applicants.
  10. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from evieadelaide in Something That Pisses Me Off   
    I've put a lot of stock in how schools have treated me in general. I was in a lucky position of having multiple schools to choose from and I chose the school that treated me the best - the one that answered all of my questions promptly, responded thoughtfully to anything I sent them, took the initiative to call, etc.

    But there were two schools on my list that I rejected straight up pretty much due to their general asshattery. Never answering questions, never talking to me directly, ignoring me once they realised they couldn't match the financial offers I got elsewhere, etc. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. A lot of schools screw themselves out of their accepted applicants.
  11. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from LiteratureMajor in Something That Pisses Me Off   
    I've put a lot of stock in how schools have treated me in general. I was in a lucky position of having multiple schools to choose from and I chose the school that treated me the best - the one that answered all of my questions promptly, responded thoughtfully to anything I sent them, took the initiative to call, etc.

    But there were two schools on my list that I rejected straight up pretty much due to their general asshattery. Never answering questions, never talking to me directly, ignoring me once they realised they couldn't match the financial offers I got elsewhere, etc. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. A lot of schools screw themselves out of their accepted applicants.
  12. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to oldlady in heres the situation   
    Figure this out first.
  13. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to boo in heres the situation   
    Option 1- Don't go back to school and be happy with just my Bachelors(BS). Stay at my current job making good money, good benfits, more time off than anyone could imagine, and best of all its in my field and I love it.

    Option 2- Get my phd in a totally funded program with a nice stipend and once I finish I'll make more than double than I would with just a BS. It would take 6-8 years to get but I would be funded every year.

    I have taken 5 years off. Not sure why I applied but I did. Now I am tring to decide if a phd is something I would want. Any insight or advice would be welcomed.


  14. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to Summit_Bid in Poor form to ask where I stand on waitlist?   
    It doesn't hurt to try. They are likely not going to tell you...but you never know.
  15. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to TMP in The iPad and grad school   
    Risk having an undergraduate steal an Apple product when I step away for 5 minutes? Hell no.
  16. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from Jae B. in Accepting all offers and then backing out of all but one?   
    Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad idea.

    I know it seems like a good, good, good idea but it's a bad, bad, bad idea in disguise. There's a reason response deadlines exist and it's not because adcomms are evil and want you to make a split-second decision that you'll later regret. It's because they want to be able to extend offers to other people. If you wait even a month, the department could effectively lose the opportunity to offer the position and/or funding to another student. Or, by the time you make your decision, a student who badly wanted to attend but actually observed the rules of the game could be committed somewhere else. It's a jerky move.

    But the people who care about that kind of thing are usually people who aren't selfish bastards. If you care more about you and the me-me-me-ness of the process, then don't forget that there are serious consequences for you personally. Academia's a small world and word gets around. People working in your discipline are going to recognise your name and usually there are friendships across departments everywhere. Especially if you're fake-accepting more than one department, word is going to get around and people will find out. You may have to one day apply for a job with one of the departments you're screwing over. A reputation as a douchebag is not going to help you.

    Instead, ask for an extension. Most are amenable.
  17. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from anya11 in reapply or take up the only offer I have?   
    All of the other things (like not wanting to live in a small town) could be dealt with, but the fact that your research interests have changed makes me want to encourage you to apply again. It takes a lot of energy to sustain a thesis, for that matter to sustain a career, and if you're no longer interested in something that that department can really assist you with, it would likely be better to apply elsewhere.

    But either way, don't make this decision lightly. Imagine that you do apply again next year and you get rejected across the board, would you wish you had accepted this offer? If not, then you're making the right choice. But if you think you would regret this, take your time and think it over.
  18. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to johndiligent in competition this year?   
    Ummm... competition every year?
  19. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to fuzzylogician in Backing out of an offer   
    If you change your mind before the deadline, you can just notify school A that you decided not to go there, and accept school B's offer. They're not going to like you for it, but they can't stop you. After April 15 you will have to get permission from school A before you can accept school B's offer. Again, that might be possible, but it's frowned upon and will likely ruin any connections you had at school A.
  20. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to metasyntactic in Where should I go, UBC or JHU   
    As far as the MSc vs. PhD is concerned, in Canada you will usually obtain a Masters prior to working on a PhD anyway so it's not a "lesser" degree like it is sometimes treated at American institutions. At least for some programs, you can smoothly transition from a MSc to the PhD program. Additionally, UBC departments tend to fund masters students competitively. So this shouldn't be a problem for you. As far as the actual programs go, I have no idea how they compare, but if you have any questions about life at UBC, I may be able to answer them.
  21. Upvote
    johndiligent reacted to rising_star in Unsupportive SOs   
    That situation sounds like it sucks. What I would do is not hide my accomplishments from him. Find out if he really wants to be in grad school and, if not, encourage him to pursue what it is he wants. It sounds to me like jealousy, bitterness, or something deeper.
  22. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from Postbib Yeshuist in Accepting all offers and then backing out of all but one?   
    Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad idea.

    I know it seems like a good, good, good idea but it's a bad, bad, bad idea in disguise. There's a reason response deadlines exist and it's not because adcomms are evil and want you to make a split-second decision that you'll later regret. It's because they want to be able to extend offers to other people. If you wait even a month, the department could effectively lose the opportunity to offer the position and/or funding to another student. Or, by the time you make your decision, a student who badly wanted to attend but actually observed the rules of the game could be committed somewhere else. It's a jerky move.

    But the people who care about that kind of thing are usually people who aren't selfish bastards. If you care more about you and the me-me-me-ness of the process, then don't forget that there are serious consequences for you personally. Academia's a small world and word gets around. People working in your discipline are going to recognise your name and usually there are friendships across departments everywhere. Especially if you're fake-accepting more than one department, word is going to get around and people will find out. You may have to one day apply for a job with one of the departments you're screwing over. A reputation as a douchebag is not going to help you.

    Instead, ask for an extension. Most are amenable.
  23. 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."
  24. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from thepoorstockinger in Accepting all offers and then backing out of all but one?   
    Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad idea.

    I know it seems like a good, good, good idea but it's a bad, bad, bad idea in disguise. There's a reason response deadlines exist and it's not because adcomms are evil and want you to make a split-second decision that you'll later regret. It's because they want to be able to extend offers to other people. If you wait even a month, the department could effectively lose the opportunity to offer the position and/or funding to another student. Or, by the time you make your decision, a student who badly wanted to attend but actually observed the rules of the game could be committed somewhere else. It's a jerky move.

    But the people who care about that kind of thing are usually people who aren't selfish bastards. If you care more about you and the me-me-me-ness of the process, then don't forget that there are serious consequences for you personally. Academia's a small world and word gets around. People working in your discipline are going to recognise your name and usually there are friendships across departments everywhere. Especially if you're fake-accepting more than one department, word is going to get around and people will find out. You may have to one day apply for a job with one of the departments you're screwing over. A reputation as a douchebag is not going to help you.

    Instead, ask for an extension. Most are amenable.
  25. Upvote
    johndiligent got a reaction from socnerd in Accepting all offers and then backing out of all but one?   
    Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad idea.

    I know it seems like a good, good, good idea but it's a bad, bad, bad idea in disguise. There's a reason response deadlines exist and it's not because adcomms are evil and want you to make a split-second decision that you'll later regret. It's because they want to be able to extend offers to other people. If you wait even a month, the department could effectively lose the opportunity to offer the position and/or funding to another student. Or, by the time you make your decision, a student who badly wanted to attend but actually observed the rules of the game could be committed somewhere else. It's a jerky move.

    But the people who care about that kind of thing are usually people who aren't selfish bastards. If you care more about you and the me-me-me-ness of the process, then don't forget that there are serious consequences for you personally. Academia's a small world and word gets around. People working in your discipline are going to recognise your name and usually there are friendships across departments everywhere. Especially if you're fake-accepting more than one department, word is going to get around and people will find out. You may have to one day apply for a job with one of the departments you're screwing over. A reputation as a douchebag is not going to help you.

    Instead, ask for an extension. Most are amenable.
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