Sigaba

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Sigaba last won the day on September 21

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About Sigaba

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    Southern California
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    History, ABD

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  1. Fall 2018 Applicants

    Hi, @VAZ De-emphasizing one's interest in a particular POI in your SOP does not rule out building a relationship with said SOP. Keep in mind always that a department is a black box to outsiders. You may like Professor Xavier. He may think you're the next Jean Grey and want you to be admitted. But Professors Eisenhardt and Richards may have other ideas They may hold a bit of a grudge over something, and have more pull. "We have plenty of X types already, let's be fair and balance things out a bit. Starting now," they say as putting your application in the stack of "no." Your guy may not be up to the trask. He may not be interested in standing sentinel over your application. He might think his colleagues too green with envy as he considers a standing invitation of an endowed chair at the Imperium University. And it is exceedingly unlikely that he'd have told you. It's not like he can read your mind and know how trustworthy you are. In these kinds of scenarios, if your SOP is mostly about working with Xavier, you're exposing yourself to avoidable political risk. If you phrase your SOP in a way that simultaneously highlights what Xavier, Eisenhardt, and Richards have in common, then you're talking more about the craft and about fit than about departmental politics and personality clashes. (Did I stretch things too far in the examples above? Would I have been better served just mentioning the fallout between Genovese and Gutman?) Here's the part you and others may not like. A growing dynamic in the House of Klio is that more and more established professionals don't like teaching. Anyone. Should this dynamic alone deter anyone from applying to a program? Glah. I don't know. Most of what you're going to learn you're going to teach yourself anyways. You're not really going to get a sense of a professor's view of teaching and mentoring until you're actually in a program. And X factors like life changes and interpersonal chemistry can tip the balance one way or another. If you pick your programs carefully, present yourself as a great fit, and acquit yourself well enough when you get there, there will be other professors who will want to work with you. IRT the liking/not liking a professor and vice versa. I'm a big believer in chemistry. Yet which would you rather have--an advisor who snarls "That's Professor Logan to you, bub," doesn't like your jokes but finds ways to help you maximize your potential or a professor who says "Hey, call me Wade. Let's go to dinner," and let's you do what ever you want and doesn't motivate you to expend maximum effort? (That's the last one. For this post anyways.) (You're right, it's not either/or, but the two spectra overlap best for an individual is hard to know until one gets there. And eventually, you're going to want someone in your corner who is going to tell you to STFU from time to time and save you from yourself.)
  2. Fall 2018 Applicants

    ALCON-- September has been turbulent and is racing to a close. October will have surprises of its own. Do what you can to stay focused on the tasks at hand. Keep working to finalize your list of schools. At least institution on your list should be a dream school. Focus on areas of overlapping interest among faculty members. Focus less on POIs--professors move on, retire, decide not to take additional students, end up being disinterested in graduate students, or just end up not liking you. Trust but verify information that you receive from the schools to which you're applying. Keep developing relationships with confirmed and potential LoR writers. Go to office hours if possible. Have intelligent, informed conversations about the craft, your interests, and your goals Make sure the conversation demonstrates that you're genuinely interested in the person to whom you're talking. If you're not, she will absolutely know. Keep your letter writers informed of your deadlines WITHOUT being a nag. Some (many) professors will wait until the last minute to submit your letter. Figure out a way to touch base without being a nuisance. Keep banging away at your SOP. Fine tune versions for specific programs. Edit for clarity and concision. Stay within proscribed page/word limits. Demonstrate that you'd be a good fit in the program. (If you focus too much on how the program fits your needs...yikes.) Express an appropriate level of interest in potential research projects. If you're an undergraduate and you indicate that you know exactly what you want to do a a professor, you're putting the horse in front of the cart. If you're currently a graduate student, you should have a clear idea of your fields, preferred methods, and (somewhat) likely area of focus for a dissertation. Unless you're an Americanist, you should be working on your language skills. Keep working on your writing sample. Stay within the page limits. Make sure that it demonstrates your ability to connect your research interest(s) with the existing historiography. Stay focused on your current classes. If you're currently in a graduate program and working as a TA, remember that undergraduates are counting on you to do a good job. If you're working in the private sector and haven't told your bosses that you're applying to graduate school, start developing your exit plan now. There are many threads on this BB in which different perspectives and tactics are discussed that may be helpful. To the extent possible, put aside the concerns of the external world. Yes, things are going badly in the world, but when has it ever been otherwise? Keep in mind that you're competing against applicants who are so focused on their goals that they have zero idea what's happening outside their fields of vision. have never heard of this BB because they can go to a professor or a graduate student and ask questions directly, and will get into their top choices. It's your mission to kick ass and take names this application season and then in the following years (in a professional not bitter in the least kind of way, of course).
  3. What could I do with my program?

    Although you're disappointed with the response you received, in the long run you may be better off where you are without the credit transfer. Based upon my own experience--I "transferred" from one program to another--it's my guess that your department at A wants to make sure that you're taught to their standards rather than the school where you earned your MA. I recommend that you stay where you are and use the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and to avoid "double dipping" on the work you did at your previous school. Insofar as communicating your sense of disappointment with the timeliness of the decision, I recommend that you think carefully before saying anything. In a perfect world, you should have gotten the information sooner. In the Ivory Tower, your discontent could get you read as someone looking to game the rules.
  4. The POI may not know the correct policy; she may say "Yes" but others with equal (or greater) knowledge of the process may say "FTFSI." Or worse, your revised thesis may fall into a grey area that leads to a scrum among faculty members and your application gets sacrificed to keep the peace. So if you ask, make sure you ask the right people the right questions. (And if you're applying to a public university--like Cal--you may want to ask twice.)
  5. If you're understanding 70%-80% of works that are theoretical or largely informed by theory, you may be doing much better than you realize. See if you can find introductory works geared towards general academic audiences, maybe something in Oxford's VSI series or Handbook of series, or works like these <<LINK>>. Consider going to your professor or maybe a graduate student further along the pipeline to have occasional (and informal and brief) "balance check" chats. A good chat would go like this: Adelaide9216: It's my understanding that Book 1 is saying X=(A+B)*Y Professor One: It's saying X= (A+C)*Y would mean that you're in the ball park and you just need to reread some stuff (or figure out why you're right and she's wrong) A complicated chat would go like this. Adelaide9216: It's my understanding that Book 1 is saying X=(A+B)*Y Professor Two: (Pause) I think it's saying something more like Then it's time to head back to the library.
  6. http://home.uchicago.edu/~icon/teach/guideorals.pdf The way you feel is the way you feel, however, did your professors tell you not to use the guide you were provided during your first semester?
  7. Updating the grammar would be changing the content.
  8. Overwhelmed in the search for the right department

    If you're interested in studying theory and you're worried about your credibility, it may not hurt to start reading, studying, and thinking now. https://www.marxists.org/
  9. Finding Graduate Placements

    https://secure.historians.org/pubs/dissertations/index.cfm #HTH
  10. Need help making sense of correspondence

    In your ill considered OP, you've made it clear that you're shopping for the answers that you want to hear. Now, you've made it clear that you want to be an Arabist who does "not even need a high level of Arabic." You think that this approach is sustainable. Based upon the information you've provided in this thread, I disagree. To echo and to build upon @telkanuru's questions: How is your plan to "not even need a high level of Arabic" going to work when you're competing for fellowships, grants prizes, and jobs against Arabists who, for what ever constellation of reasons, decided to master the language? What happens if crucial works in your field are in Arabic? How do you really know that the professors with whom you've picked cherries are going to be on your committees? What happens if professor is having a bad year and decides to take it out on you by administering your language proficiency test in Arabic? If you learn the language as the professor in your OP recommends, you will never have to worry about it. By the bye, it wasn't just her opinion She wrote "I and my colleagues have decided that each graduate student is a product of such effort that we have to place our bets on those who are best prepared for the rigors of doctoral work." (A serious question. Do you stop reading when you realize that you don't like the answer? In any case it is unfortunate that you've decided that that school isn't for you--it is clear that at least one professor there would give you what you need rather than what you want.) Another question. Are you sure that historians at one institution never communicate with peers at other institutions and these conversations never (ever) lead to wide spread changes to professional standards and practices and raise the bar?
  11. Need help making sense of correspondence

    What was the standard for admission in previous cycles may not be the standard in subsequent cycles. More generally, I think that discounting the guidance that one receives from a professor and holding on to views developed from the outside is not a best practice.
  12. Lost data - who is resposible?

    Based upon the OP, the advisor may be (cynically) thinking that @lightballsdeep didn't collect all or part of the data and is deploying a "digital dog ate my homework" line of defense. Such an interpretation could account for the person's cold response. Before following the guidance provided by @TakeruK, I would do the following. Read the fine print on all agreements you've signed related to the travel grant, your status as a graduate student, and as an end user of school-owned technology. There may be clear cut language indicating what you're on the hook for. (Also, the IT policy fine print may put you on shaky ground if you used the lap top for unapproved purposes.) Find out if your school's IT department has the resources/budget/authority to address the issue as it is school property. The IT department may have a relationship with a vendor that could do the data recovery at a reduced cost to you. Have an additional conversation with the data recovery vendor you already contacted. It seems that $1k is the worst case scenario. What are the other scenarios and how much do they cost? What would you want to do if up to x% of the data could be recovered for, say, $200? Would you be willing to pay the other $800 to get the rest of the data? Get a second opinion on the IT recovery scenarios and price points. Figure out what is the least painful worst case scenario. Is combination of paying $1k and not getting all of the data better or worse for you in the long run than getting into a scrum with your advisor, the grant director, and your department? You could follow TakeruK's guidance and be right back where you are now, minus the time and energy you spent.
  13. If you pursue this option, I do recommend that you talk to a trained professional who holds a PsyD or Ph.D. Such a professional will have gone through experiences similar to yours and may therefore be able to provide a higher level of empathy. (My committee included a professor with Ph.Ds in history and clinical psychoanalysis, and a professor who held a Ph.D. in psychology. Both provided a steadying hand in the most subtle of ways.)
  14. retaking comp exams

    With things where they are, should @serenade use the longer version or the short version of Fasolt's guide?
  15. PhD in the UK: Worth It for Americanists?

    Hi, @JKL I think that the best way to answer this question would be to go to the listing of faculty at history departments you'd like to work as a professor. How many TT professors in your field have doctorates from British schools?