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Everything posted by Sigaba

  1. "Terrible advice" because it worked for you once at one institution. And since then how successful has your approach to applying to graduate school been?
  2. Sigaba

    420 Friendly in Graduate School

    Is Harvard investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in your education so you can be an activist (for any cause) or so you can learn the craft of professional academic history? Also, IRT your working class background. I recommend that your pride in your achievement against incalculable odds not get in the way of the fact that you're attempting to join a profession that has rules situated in a different constellation of social and cultural assumptions and values. While the constellation has shifted over the last half century, certain values remain fixed. While it is unlikely that any one or two professors are going to sit you down and walk you through the "rules of the road," you are expected to adhere to those rules--even if BTDTs appear not to themselves. (Or maybe because they don't.)
  3. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    The point that I'm trying to communicate is that historians may interpret the kinds of comments you're making much differently than you intend. They may double check their interpretations with each other; it's less likely that they're going to get to the heart of what you're saying or advise you that you're stepping on your crank in a way that resonates immediately.
  4. Sigaba

    420 Friendly in Graduate School

    Ultimately, the questions are: Does a graduate school/parent institution have policies that provide guidance on matters centering around recreational drug use? https://www.hupd.harvard.edu/drug-and-alcohol-policy https://handbook.fas.harvard.edu/book/drugs-and-alcohol Will members of a department, regardless of their past or present practices and habits, look fondly upon graduate students who get buzzed, drunk, or high if such activity becomes a distraction when it comes to year-end evaluations? Will future employment opportunities include a background check that includes questions about recreational drug use? Are your intellectual skills such that you can afford the "time off" from getting lit and then getting your head back together? A consideration. Those not in the circle of knowledge may never know if a department has had a hard time with a faculty or staff member or graduate student over drugs and booze. There can be an unspoken agreement to take steps in the future to cut ties sooner rather than later with such individuals in the near future.
  5. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Congratulations on being admitted to Yale. I recommend that you dial down your apparent contempt for Harvard unless you're absolutely sure you're not going to be interacting with academics who went there or were taught or mentored or supported by those who did. The Ivory Tower is a much smaller place with much thinner walls than one would think.
  6. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    This is the kind of question that gets a graduate student on the outside looking in when sensitive conversations are taking place in a department. If job talks are by invitation, it's also the kind of question that sees a graduate student not knowing they're taking place.
  7. I would say nothing about your spouse applying to other departments or for jobs if you're applying to universities in the United States.
  8. Making such a recommendation would be extraordinarily bad form.
  9. Sigaba

    How many times to apply?

    Based upon the information in your posts on this BB, it's hard to assess how invested you are in history. IME, the ability to communicate commitment to the craft goes a long way. Keep in mind that no decision you make in the near term is etched in stone one. If you decide to focus on other pursuits for a spell, you can always apply to a graduate program down the line.
  10. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Of the eight programs, how many offered degrees in history?
  11. Sigaba

    Second "Under Review Email?"

    Consider carefully the sources of the guidance you're receiving before taking action.
  12. LoR's help to answer a question "Can the applicant do the work at the graduate level?" An LoR from a professor one knows as a graduate student is arguably more beneficial to an applicant than a reference letter from a professor one knew as an undergraduate.
  13. Sigaba

    Advice for Fall 2020 Applicants

    I would recommend that one not under any circumstances "use" advisors, professors. Accept their support, follow their guidance, make use of their experience and expertise, but don't "use" them. They will see through it right away and adjust accordingly. Do you understand why he may have suggested that you manage your expectations?
  14. Sigaba

    Second "Under Review Email?"

    @Nilandia , it's easier said than done, but be patient.
  15. Not having a LOR from your advisor will raise at least as many flags as having a LOR from a professor you had as an undergraduate.
  16. @historygeek you're getting exceptional guidance in this thread. You might benefit if you were to take a couple of days to read and reread and think and rethink about what you're being told before commenting further.
  17. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    One of the things you learn at Cal--my UG institution-- is to ask every question at least twice. However, how you ask is vitally important. "I am calling/emailing to confirm the information I've seen at source 1, source 2, and source 3..." is better than "Is it true that..." or any question that gives a hint that you are going to be that grad student.
  18. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    plus = in addition to. https://grad.berkeley.edu/admissions/apply/fellowships-entering/ Before you divide $28.5k by what ever number, don't forget to do your due diligence to see how the taxes are going to hit you. A moderator of this BB may be able to provide additional information. I recommend that you look her up.
  19. Sigaba

    Post Your Backup Plan

    If events don't go as planned this application season and you're considering reapplying, do not deprive yourself of opportunities to speak to POI and ask how might you improve your application the next time around. The way you phrase the inquiry will be important. You should not ask questions that sound like "What could I have done better?" Qestions like "What might I do better the next time?" may serve your better. (The difference between the two types of questions are night and day.) Of the handful answers you receive, many will be non-responsive, some will be cryptic, few, if any, will be clear. If you get guidance that confuses or upsets you or makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, you've received information that is as good as gold.
  20. HEADER: Student Evaluation of [Class Name] for [Date of Class] What aspects of the discussion interested you today? [A third of a page for free response] What would you change about this class in the immediate future to make it a more enjoyable or satisfying experience for you? Please be as specific as possible. [A third of the page for free response.] Three questions with a five-point scale. 1 = Poor, 2 =below average, 3 = average 4= above average 5= excellent. [The numbers are repeated after each question so a respondent can circle her answer.] Overall how would you rate the teaching assistant this morning (compared to other instructors)? Overall, how would you rate the content of the discussion (compared to other classes)? How would you rate the organization and presentation of information in this morning's discussion (compared to other classes)? If you rate any of the three items above as either average, below average, or poor, would you please make specific suggestions for changes? The form is one page.
  21. Sigaba

    Too Old for History Phd?

    Good research is part of the job. Other, arguably, more important parts include using the findings of one's research to develop arguments that advance historiographical debates. MOO/IME the constellation of motivation factors that drive one towards the study of history as a graduate student shift over time. If viewing the craft as a hobby works for one person, then it works. (How one talks about history is a different issue.) FWIW, one of the most acclaimed naval historians is a self-trained independent scholar. Had the Cold War not ended when it did, his first book might have impacted everyday life in America and changed the trajectory of America's relations with the Soviet Union. FWIW pt 2, I was sandbagged by an elderly woman who had recently been hired as a professor at a major department. Why would anyone want to study naval history, she sneered more than once. I later found out that her husband was a nautical engineer for General Dynamics Electric Boat. Much much later, I figured out what articles in William and Mary Quarterly she could have pointed me towards, but chose not to. Not bitter, though. Not bitter. No, right. The point is that isms exist in the Ivory Tower but don't let your preconceived notions or even your bad experiences keep you from going after what you want. If you can contribute to the craft, someone will make room for you at the table. (Getting a job remains a different topic.)
  22. I got a polite glaring smile. The AVP to whom I was speaking let me know that Adventists have dietary restrictions and don't drink coffee.

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