Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Sigaba

  1. FWIW, as it was explained to me by a professor: in some circles, calling professors "doctor" can be taken as an insult because the usage implies that some professors are not qualified for their jobs. Sometimes the logic of the explanation works better for me than at other times (like right now). Still, the takeaway was clear -- one is safer using "professor" than "doctor".
  2. It will depend upon the culture of the department and the preferences of those making admissions decisions. For better and worse, many academics simply do not like teaching and some cast a suspicious eye upon those who do (or appear to). I recommend that you start looking at the departmental websites of doctoral programs. Take a look at the CVs of professors of interest. To what extent do their careers emphasize teaching? Are they earning awards? Is their service to the profession centered around teaching and mentoring? Or are they publish or perish 24/7? FWIW, there are many threads that discuss the ups and downs of teaching while doing course work. The discussions include the benefits of teaching and the potential impact of losing time to focus on one's primary responsibilities.
  3. Sigaba

    Applications 2019

    The purpose of this thread is for those who applied in 2015 to graduate programs in history to do some chalk talk. What would you do differently and why? What parts of the process did you nail? Did you take any risks and how did they pay off? Were you surprised by any hidden fees? What role did campus visits play in making decisions on where to apply or where to go? Did you apply to too many programs, too few, or just the right amount? Because many are still learning where they've been accepted, if you post in this thread, please provide a "snap shot" of your current status. Perhaps the easiest way for many to provide this snap shot is to copy and paste the biographical information from your signature. Or, you could employ a short hand to indicate the number of schools to which you applied, the yesses, the nos, and the wait and sees. Here's the deal. Year after year, many aspiring graduate students come to the history forum of the GradCafe and ask a lot of questions and provide a lot of blow by blow details of the process. Year after year, many aspiring graduate students stop posting soon after getting offers of admission and/or letters of rejection. When they leave, they take a treasure trove of useful information and invaluable experiences. The aim of this thread is to provide an opportunity for a cathartic "exit interview" of sorts so that future members of this BB can use it to build tool kits to use when they apply. For those of you who have not had as much success as you would like, it may be especially difficult to share your experiences. But I say if you did the best that you could under the circumstances, you should be proud of the hard work you've done. Hold your heads high and tell us what you have learned. If this concept has legs, perhaps down the line there will be additional lessons learned threads that will run almost hand in hand with other annual threads. A caveat. Many of you may be emotionally raw right now after years of very hard work, months of highs and lows, and weeks of checking your email every five minutes. Please do what you can to manage those emotions if you post in this thread. Do not betray any confidences. Do not do too much venting. Do not post anything that you would not be willing to say to a DGS or any of the other Powers That Be at any institution you would like to attend as a graduate student. Ideally, among the first respondents to this request for information will be the lurker the highly respectable telkanuru.
  4. Sigaba

    Am I right to be bitter, or just a sore loser?

    I think that you should ask for a refund after you've spent time managing the way you feel about the outcome. I am saying that your core argument should be that you did not receive complete information about the circumstances of the solicitation for more applications. The thought/feeling behind your argument should NOT be that you were cheated or misled. This is to say that you bite your tongue in order to get your refund and then you go on with your life. Down the line, if and when you discuss the process described in your OP, you use the coded language of the Ivory Tower: irregularities, miscommunication, and so on.
  5. Sigaba

    Applications 2019

    FWIW, I think you made the correct decision.
  6. Sigaba

    Applications 2019

    Congratulations on a very successful application season. A slightly different question than @psstein's query about an absentee advisor. Do you know if you work better in a hands off or hands on environment? (Because distance does not automatically entail detachment.) If you attend Penn, you will have two years to get as much guidance as you can from this professor while also developing relationships with other professors (and would they all have to be at Penn?) who can provide the support you need in case he decides "Hey, I'm retired" after he relocates. (It happens, despite the best intentions.)
  7. IME, this approach has earned the respect and eventually friendship of professors. It has also helped me to avoid some departmental drama.
  8. If the UG materials are good and relevant to one's field of study, a review could be profitable. IMO, what other students do or don't do is less important than what works for an individual student.
  9. Please make sure you check and recheck the requirements for all institutions/schools/departments that have the ability to accept or reject the course work you perform to fulfill any and all prerequisites. A department/program may allow a professor to say "you're good to go" while a school has a different set of standards and the parent college/university has yet another. Information available online is not always up to date and that administrative staff and faculty members may not know policies chapter and verse.
  10. Sigaba

    Applications 2019

    If you've not done so already, do what you can to schedule "exit interviews" with those at your current institution who have helped you get to this point. Pick their brains for suggestions on how you can improve as a historian at Villanova. Please consider the advantages of not, repeat, not asking what you could do to become a stronger applicant.
  11. MOO, this thread is not a good idea. For current graduate students, the thread is an opportunity for CLMs. (It is exceedingly unlikely that one can post detailed information about a program or a department without also putting a thumbtack on a map that says "I am here." It would not take much effort for a vindictive member of the faculty or staff to change that thumbtack to a bullseye.) For aspiring graduate students, the thread is an opportunity to mistake rumor for hard, verified information. The thread is also an opportunity to build a bad habit--saying/writing anonymously things that one would not say in person. IMO, better opportunities for sharing information on this BB are available in long-running threads centering around lessons learned, supplies, and logistics. This BB has a significant number of posts in which experienced graduate students share tips on how to get up to date information on a department that is more reliable and with less risk. YMMV.
  12. Sigaba

    Thinking about getting into Harvard...

    Identify graduate students and professors at your university's school of education. Visit them during office hours (or schedule appointments), and ask them what they did to get where they are now. Is there a difference between a master's degree in education from Harvard and the University of Arkansas when it comes to compensation? Both institutions offer data that allow one to assess the validity of that comment.
  13. Sigaba

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Bosses who begin sentences with disclaimers like, "Not to be a control freak..."
  14. Sigaba

    Moving with Books

    Shipping and packing materials of interest may be found here. https://www.uline.com/ FYI. The thread linked below includes additional links to threads dealing with moving.
  15. Sigaba

    UT Austin Review

    Forwarned is forearmed and one can warn others without exposing oneself or others to unnecessary risk.
  16. Sigaba

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    As the saying goes, "That was your first mistake." 😀 It's more likely that for reasons that are largely beyond your control and are unrelated to what you've posted here, other students "rank" ahead of you for funding. The easier said than done challenge for you is to be patient and to disperse the nervous energy in ways that are not bad for you or anyone else.
  17. Sigaba

    Continuing undergrad project as master's thesis?

    This is the kind of question that is best answered by consulting with the professor with whom you will be working and the DGS and the professor who will chair your committee. If you elect to have such conversations, I strongly recommend against using words like "easily," especially if you intend to pursue a doctorate down the line.
  18. To me, the key question is this. Is being in an environment that puts you in the best situation to get you what you need (a positive relationship with an advisor) less or more important than being in an environment that gets you what you want? (To be clear, I'm defining OP's need within a specific context, I'm not making any generalizations about others' needs or wants.) MOO, you haven't presented enough information to indicate that you've done your due diligence on your most important criterion: the need for an advisor with whom you can establish meaningful rapport. I recommend that, in addition to the guidance you've received so far, you reach out to former graduate students of professors you would work with at School A. Pie in the sky, you'd find a mix of former students that have secured the kinds of jobs you want and some who have not. I emphasize former graduate students because, as you may have learned from your unfortunate experience, it can be exceptionally difficult to say to others that a bad situation is actually horrible when one is in the middle of it.
  19. Sigaba

    Grad. School Supplies?

    When it comes to buying backpacks, you live in arguably the greatest country in the western hemisphere. https://arcteryx.com/ca/en/
  20. Sigaba

    Commuting (~95mins, highway) Philosophy PhD Program

    FWIW, in addition to the guidance/feedback you're getting in this thread, the topic of commuting to grad school has been discussed over the years. https://forum.thegradcafe.com/search/?q=commuting The calculation for the cost of driving is approximate $.59/mile, every mile, back of the napkin, that's $112 for you each day you drive to campus and back. This figure does not include parking. https://www.usf.edu/administrative-services/parking/parking/permits.aspx USF Parking [and] Transportation Services has alternative transportation opportunities here https://www.usf.edu/administrative-services/parking/transportation/alternative-transportation.aspx FWIW, part two, I agree with those who are asking about the impact of a long commute on your ability to focus on your graduate school experience. From a social perspective, it's unlikely that you'll get the full measure of a bull session, a quick bite to eat, or anything else because in the back of your mind, the prospect of a long drive home is soaking up bandwidth. I would add that the fact that you already have a master's in hand may not be a mitigating factor. Even if you busted hump as a master's student, doctoral work is significantly more difficult because you are expected to create new knowledge while continuing to master existing knowledge. The kind of thinking that you're expected to do may not play well with operating a vehicle safely, mile after mile, day after day. With respect, the intellectual obstacles and emotional pitfalls that stalk doctoral students are perils one has to experience first hand to understand. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if one is going to get the support one needs until one is in a third or fourth moment of need. I very strongly urge aspiring doctoral students to put aside notions of certainty and absolute self-reliance as soon as possible. Assume that you're going to have moments of profound crisis, especially when you're in the process of preparing for qualifying exams. With this assumption in hand, you can start building up a support system from day one.
  21. Sigaba

    Which languages should I focus the most on?

    @historygeek, you are getting more than "feedback." You are getting excellent support from people who want you to succeed. I think that you would be well served if you were to reread your posts over the last year and a half. Over that interval, your "interests" have arced back and forth without clear statements of how they revolve around any approach to academic history to which you're committed. IMO, the absence of a committed approach is a significant obstacle that should be addressed immediately. If you're going to focus on intersectionality, then (maybe) a place to start is with a very deep dive into the evolution of the concept, then an assessment of its impact on professional academic history in general, and your fields of interest in particular. In regards to intersectionality and the study of history, you probably should prepare answers to questions like "Is this really a new approach to the study of the past?" (If you follow this course of inquiry, you should be able to argue different variations of "yes" and "no" and "sort of.") To circle back to the question you asked in your OP. A way to know the answer is through the close study (not reading) of key periodicals and pivotal monographs in your areas of interest. The footnotes will lead you to the langauge you need to know.
  22. Sigaba

    2019 Applicants

    FWIW/IMO, the note suggests that you would benefit from figuring out the key differences between American studies and English and then chart an efficient path that allows you to bridge the gap. A way to figure out the differences is to look at a topic/subject has arced back and forth between American studies and English to see how the participants have talked to (or past) each other. A potential starting point is the politics and expertise interdisciplinary scholarship. Another tactic is to figure out what the professors you want(ed) to work with at Davis think about American studies. Have any of them sat on dissertation committees in American studies? Have American studies professors sat on dissertation committees that they've chaired? Another avenue of approach may be to contact the American studies department at UC Davis and see if anyone can give you some insight. HTH.
  23. These two generalizations may be overly broad. If a younger scholar is seeking tenure and the primary criterion is a significant publication, that scholar may not be as invested as advising as her students hope. "Personable" is not necessarily the same thing as "collegial" or "professional." If you have a good interpersonal relationship with a younger professor, how is that dynamic going to persist or change when it's time for her to stand on your head and what you need to know is vastly different from what you want to hear? An additional consideration. There's a difference than being an SME in a cutting edge field than being an expert teacher. A person who is the former may be right there with you as you tease out a theory/interpretation. A person who is the latter may be better suited to getting the best out of you so you can express that interpretation in a way that makes sense to others.
  24. Sigaba

    Applications 2019


Important Information

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