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Everything posted by Sigaba

  1. https://www.apa.org/education/undergrad/research-opportunities I recommend that you see what you can do to participate in a summer program that will allow you to develop further your expertise as a researcher as well as relationships with graduate students and professors who may mentor you and/or write you strong letters of recommendation. I also recommend that you take a second pass at the schools you want to attend. Delve deeper into each program's perceived balance between research and practice. Do they generally favor practitioners or academics? (Do current faculty members have substantial experience as clinicians or just enough to do more research? Do programs place graduates in the type of jobs you want?) Additionally, please consider the advantages of cutting "etc." from your intellectual vocabulary for the next decade or two. Look at it this way. You've written a winning piece that has the POI reading it on your side-- until she realizes that her practice falls under the category of "etc." Finally, give some thought to figuring out if words like "love" and "passion" are appropriate for your field. Do words that convey emotion help or hinder aspiring graduate students seeking admission? Are such words appropriate for professional communication? Are there other words that generally convey the same level of drive?
  2. LT-- Welcome to the Grad Cafe. Take a look at Wright State University. (IRT one of your published works on SWJ, I think that you'd benefit from taking a closer look at the historiographical debates centering around Kennan's impact on America's post-World War II national security policy. He himself argued that what the U.S. implemented WRT containment was a far cry from what he intended. And also, I think you may want to develop further your approach to using one's understanding of the past to inform contemporary policy recommendations if you plan an academic career down the line. "Applied history" is frowned upon in some corners of the House of Klio.)
  3. I am sorry that the dynamic is such that you're feeling increasingly isolated from your cohort. As a rule of thumb, trust your instincts. if you feel like you're on the receiving end of inappropriate behavior, people probably are behaving inappropriately towards you. If you're feeling harassed, you're being harassed. Would it be possible for you to focus on your coursework for the balance of the term while you regroup and figure out how you want to educate members of your cohort on how they should treat you? Or do you want to write them off entirely for the present, if not permanently?
  4. Slightly off topic but hopefully useful in the long run. Be mindful of the potential risks having professors with less experience on your committees. They may not have had enough experience to know the appropriate level of intensity to bring to a dissertation committee. Similarly, they may have not developed all of the tools they'll eventually deploy to get the best out of their graduate students.
  5. @crossallmyfingers, depending upon the circumstances of the job before last and its policies on providing recommendations, your best option may be to write briefly in your SoP what you learned at that job and move on. This is to say that I recommend that you not write the history of what did not happen in your SoP. Discerning readers will understand that work relationships can be strained and that companies and employees often part ways under less than ideal terms. Make the SOP about how your previous experiences inform your current choices and what you're going to do as a professional psychologist. The big picture is that if your applications require three letters of recommendation and the letters submitted on your behalf reflect accurately your ability to do work as a doctoral student, you've done the best that you can.
  6. Have you held mandatory office hours for all of your students so you can get a sense of how you can provide better support? Would you hold more office hours so students can have more opportunities for one on one support? (If you do, I would recommend having a sign up sheet, keeping the office door open while having meetings, and documenting everything. Students who don't get the grades they want can get...difficult.)
  7. The first semester of graduate school can be especially hard as it is difficult to sort out if the controversial elements are growing pains or chemistry or a bad fit. I recommend that you do what you can to embrace the here and now--because you could change your mind several times over the next few months. Regardless, if you have the ability to write a thesis or a report, select that option for your master's degree. (You will definitely want to understand the differences between the two options and if either is significantly more reputable than the other.) Working on the thesis will provide opportunities to develop closer relationships with professors on your committee. At least one of them will understand that your priorities have shifted and you will demonstrate "good faith" by busting hump on the thesis itself. Also, the thesis can serve as a writing sample when you are on the job market or if you decide to get your doctorate at another school. (Please do understand that if you "transfer," you will probably have to start from scratch at your new department--and that could include earning another master's. If this does happen, do not decline the second master's.)
  8. Stay home and get well for your benefit as well as those around you. A visit to the student health service may not be a terrible idea if you go during off peak hours. For your classes, find two people who will take great notes for you. Buy coffee or a small treat for them when you're back your feet. If you are teaching a section and you can't find someone to stand in for you, cancel it and make yourself available for a rescheduled session and prepare a learning aid and hold additional office hours when you're back on your feet. As for the side job, assuming that you have the job with the knowledge and approval of your department and school (regardless if there's no fine print prohibiting additional jobs), talk to your manager. The productivity lost by the shop being down a person for a day or two may be preferable to a cold rolling through for the next couple of weeks.
  9. @Izzyb0616, welcome to the Grad Cafe. If you will have ready a very good draft of your thesis ready to go as your writing sample and members of your committee on board to write strong LoRs, I recommend giving serious thought to applying now. ( @TMP and I have been disagreeing on the wait/don't wait debate for a while. If you're inclined not to wait, do yourself a big favor and spend a hour or two figuring out why TMP suggests that you should. My reasons for suggesting that you in particular consider applying now has a lot to do with your areas of interest and the state of contemporary American politics) Americanists studying the twentieth century often define their period of interest by decade, by decades, or interval. I recommend that you define more precisely what you mean by "early twentieth century." Try to develop a provisional view of the relationship among gender, ideology, and culture. Academic historians reading your SoP and your thesis are going to be keenly interested in what you think about how the three fit together. Please work on developing an in depth answer to why you want to earn a doctorate in history. Love and desire are good, a vision of the arc of your professional career is better. Please, as soon as possible, talk to professors in your department who know your work well about writing you LoRs for when you do apply.
  10. I recommend that you include the information. The omission of the event could potentially have a greater impact on your prospects than its inclusion depending upon the fine print of background check you may authorize when you submit the application. Admissions committees may be less willing to cut slack to an adult than to a minor.
  11. If you write your thesis next spring rather than next fall, you'll have a completed work that could serve as your writing sample and the experience could inform your SoP for the better and you may develop a relationship with someone who can write you a strong LoR. $0.02.
  12. Please clarify. At your current institution, what is the deliverable of a "senior capstone thesis"? How would it differ from a traditional undergraduate thesis and a faculty advised research project?
  13. I recommend that you try two exercises. The first centers around a "rational" re-appraisal of the two schools. On a piece of paper (analog or digital) develop a list of criteria that fall into three categories: town, gown, and classroom. Next to the list, make five columns. Label the first two A and B. Leave aside the last three columns. Go down the column for A and assign a numerical value for each criterion. When you perform this scoring, it's important that you evaluate A on its own merits and flaws. Do not compare it to B. When your'e finished with A and B, use the third column to assign a base score that reflects a ranking of the criteria. Use the fourth column to do the math for A and the fifth column to do the math for B. If the two schools have drastically different scores, you have a good answer on which school is better for you. If the score is close, take a look at some of your scores for B. Can you find information that may help you to adjust the score? The second exercise is to reach out to your current school's student health services and see if you can arrange a limited number of low or no cost (to you) sessions with a fully trained psychologist. Start off by talking about your fears and your concerns about your choice and then let the conversation go where it needs. It is my hunch based upon your post that your ambivalence over B has less to do with the apparent advantages of A and more to do with something else. (Or you could just go to the city of A now--or in the winter--and walk around. IME, cold temperatures can help one gain new perspectives on an environment.) In the event you do decide that you want to make a change, consider the advantages of getting a master's degree at your current school. Also, try not to worry about how those around you may or may not feel about your choice. You need to live your life the way you need to life. The people who truly care about you will either understand your choice right away or figure it out later.
  14. If you're as experienced as you say, then you are well aware of how unprofessional it is to form diagnostic interpretations in non clinical situations of individuals who are not your patients. Moreover, given the persistent use of psychology to oppress women, your thumbnail sketch of women you don't like is dehumanizng. I get it. Members of your cohort hurt you badly by excluding you from their activities. But how does lashing out at them anonymously really get you where you want to go or closer to the people who would want to spend time with you?
  15. FWIW, I "transferred" from one school to another. In retrospect, it was a yuge mistake for which I am 100% responsible--I failed to do an adequate amount of due diligence on the POI I wanted to work with.. And I was following my heart. The parts that I did get right were these: I got a master's at my original school with the report option. The report helped me to get the job I now have and serves as a silken cover for the bed of rocks I sleep on every night. I kept my advisers in the loop so there were no surprises. I got lucky. My new department really wanted me to come and nominated me for a generous fellowship. TLDR. Stay where you are long enough to get a master's degree. Do your due diligence on where you want to go. Do an emotional balance check (or three thousand) if your constellation of motivational factors includes relational goals. Did any of that sound bitter? I'm not bitter.
  16. Sigaba

    JD --> MSJ?

    My $0.02. Make as much headway (and money) in your career as you can now. Address your interests in social justice with pro bono work and (if possible) by influencing your firm's choices of interns and new hires. Mentor if you have the temperament. Develop your expertise in your areas of practice so that your knowledge will be immediately marketable. Work on your writing every chance you get -- keep physical and digital copies of your work in multiple places In a few years, revisit your desire to branch out after you've got enough years' experience that you can easily come back if you find that the grass isn't as green as you anticipated. If you do decide to branch out, consider lateral steps in addition to a career change. The next year or two may be especially bad for those without jobs at tippy-top firms that provide a stable source of income, health insurance, and a back breaking workload as a distraction from the suck that (I think) is coming.
  17. A year from now, some new student will say "I have no idea how I got into UCLA given my low GPA and relative lack of experience." Why not you?
  18. To reiterate, does "fit" mean the same thing to applicants as it does to admissions committees?
  19. Sigaba

    Comp prep question

    I did not understand that I could have done a lot more asking than I did.🙁 So please learn from my misunderstanding. Go to your committee members and ask as many well phrased questions as you need. (The secondary emphasis here is on well phrased.) Go and ask especially if you're the "I'm supposed to figure this stuff out on my own" type. If a member of your committee, especially the chair, is disinterested, or, worse, uninterested (I am not bitter, not even a little), in your preparation and won't lean in, have a sit down conversation with yourself to develop your options. The options range from rearranging your committee, to firing your committee chair, to figuring out ways to mitigate your chair's indifference. (If your fields are anywhere near American diplomatic, naval, and military history, drop me a PM.)
  20. IMO, Condoleezza Rice as an academic and governmental official working at the crossroads of multiple empires could be a historiographically sustainable topic.
  21. The professor in question could ding you in the LoR gently ding you or he could destroy you with an elegant turn of a phrase or he could submit it late. Were I in your shoes, I'd consider the merits of having a face to face in which you express your concerns. The key here is to be professional in the conversation: state your concerns, listen to his reply, thank him for his time, make the best decision you can under the circumstances, and move on to the next item on the to do list. A small point. Unless you're applying to programs that are centered around the training of teachers, having undergraduates "rave" about you may not be your most important achievement as an applicant. I urge you to do your due diligence on a case by case basis before highlighting that accomplishment.
  22. I recommend that you consider applying to at least one doctoral program this year if You can define your interest clearly your interests. Are you a historian of American foreign relations who seeks to understand better diplomatic history by studying the African American experience in relation to empires in [define place and time]? Or are you a historian of the African American experience who seeks to understand how black men and women have shaped America's relationship with the world? You understand the language skills you're going to need and you have (at least) a plan to acquire them. IRT using your master's thesis as a writing sample. Please keep in mind that some departments will have page limits that will preclude the submission of the entire work as a writing sample. And some professors sitting on admissions committees will not read a word of your thesis if you also submit something shorter. So you may be better served by polishing a shorter work you're already writing--especially if that piece will inform the production of your thesis.
  23. My experiences were with higher up administration types. I got a glacial glare when I asked where I could get some coffee.
  24. Sigaba

    Comp prep question

    Here are a few tactics that I didn't realize were fair game until very late in the process of preparing for my quals. Arrange check in meetings with members of your committee (in some programs, graduate students are allowed to flounder). Go into these meetings with the intent of listening much more than you talk. knowing how to talk about historiography, and knowing how to ask "is this going to be on the test" without actually asking "Is this going to be on the test?" Some professors will look at you like you're a wounded seal and they're white sharks. Others will offer remarks that can be easily missed because of the stress surrounding the exams These remarks can range from head scratchingly subtle to telling you the questions. Again, because of your stress level, this type of support may hit a wall, so listen carefully and reflect upon what you heard in the following days. Reach out to ABDs who rarely come to campus. The insights they share can be helpful especially since they've had time to recover from the ordeal of the exams. If you've taken classes or worked as a teaching assistant for a professor on your committee, review every exam question you've encounters. Look for themes and patterns. If a professor has put on file her midterm questions for undergraduate classes in a school library, spend time reading through those exams. Other tactics that may help. If you have the opportunity to attend job talks, go. Pay close attention to how faculty members in attendance turn up the heat on the candidate. The better the candidate does, the more fuel will be poured on the flames. If you find yourself taking more and more heat during your oral exam, it may very well be that you're doing GREAT and your examiners are raising the bar just to see how high you can jump. Start conditioning your mind and body for the experience of writing the exams as soon as possible. If you're an insomniac and night and day have switched places, start looking for ways to realign your body clock. Simulate taking an exam by sitting down and writing coherently for several hours. Figure out, practice, and tweak your pre exam ablutions and meals. Get your GI tract synchronized with the stress levels so you won't have any avoidable distractions/disturbances on the nights before and days of. Figure out what you're going to wear each day of the week of and get your outfit "just so". The last thing you need to deal with is laundry day. If you have the option to do so, consider the advantages of scheduling your exams so you can get through them as fast as possible. I had a classmate who wrote his four exams on consecutive days. I somewhat followed his lead and took them over a couple of weeks. For me, the advantage was that my windows for freaking the F out were much smaller. Make peace with the likelihood that you'll never be ready for your qualifying exams, and that you'll likely feel much less ready than you actually are. Please note that acceptance isn't the same as resignation. You will probably feel better about things if you prepare as hard as you can so that when you're waiting for the results after the oral phase that you've done the best that you can. Understand that in addition to being a form of professional development, quals are also a ritual. For some (many) academic historians, a part of the ritual is giving graduate students hard stares, smirks, and remarks about how much standards have slipped and how much harder things were back in the time when graduate students read by candlelight and had nothing for nourishment but their own tears. When you're taking your exams, expect no quarter. Qualifying exams are hard and stressful and ferocious.As a kid, I witnessed my mom try to run my dad over with a car. In college, I had a loaded gun pointed at my head. . Individually, those and other experiences were less stressful than qualifying exams. (Collectively, it's a close call.) Understand that the ordeal may get the better of you and that you may have one or more freak outs. Do what you can so that the freak outs aren't CLMs and/or occur while you're taking your quals. Understand that after you finish your exams that you are going to need time to heal. Do what you can to not schedule anything especially important or stressful in the weeks (if not months) after your exams. Keep your sense of humor at all times. The ability to laugh at your self throughout the process and after will help to counter the feelings of despair, failure, and contempt that may come. One last recommendation that dovetail's with @AP's guidance. Every work of history by a professional academic historian is going to fit into at least three historiographical contexts. The importance of those contexts is going to be in the eye of the committee member reading your exams. Some will be satisfied with the big themes. Others will want to make sure you understand the intermediate themes. And a few will want to make sure you know the details chapter and verse. It is incumbent upon a graduate student to figure out the expectations of the readers and then strive to meet and/or manage those expectations.
  25. I have worked on a number of projects for LLU (I work at a consultancy). Based upon my experiences interacting with staff and time on campus, I would urge you to remove the piercing and obscure the tattoos for any photos that they might see during the application process.
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