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Sigaba

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  1. Upvote
    Sigaba reacted to AP in 2021 Application Thread   
    Just a reminder to everyone who is applying this year.
    You had a difficult first half of 2020. We, faculty, did too. Grad students did too (many lost summer stipends, many doing international research saw their projects disappear). Staff did too. Admin, believe or not, did too. Our situations are all different, some with kids, some with visas, some with racial justice concerns, some with loneliness, some with illness. 
    This year, you are anxious about applying, but also anxious about applying in the middle of a pandemic. You have many questions for which there are no answers. We have many questions for which there are no answers. I have no idea how I will teach in the Fall. I have no idea how I can re-structure my book project so that I push going to the archive. 
    All this is to say that in the same way the pandemic is making you anxious about the unknown, it is making us worried. This might translate into people taking longer to respond to your emails as some folks are WFH with kids or caring for others, or they are simply just taking some time off. People might not have an answer for all of you questions or that answer being contingent on many variables. People might understand your concerns but might regrettably not be able to do anything about it (I really wish I could unilaterally abolish GREs). 
    In other words, be patient. While the summer is usually a good time to write to faculty because we don't have any meetings or deadlines (we are just out in the field going to archives), this summer is way different. 
    ( @coffeehum this is not to you specifically, but you made me think about how I would react if a student sent me an email this week to discuss admissions. So, thank you for the inspiration!)
  2. Like
    Sigaba got a reaction from coffeehum in 2021 Application Thread   
    ^This guidance is golden. I received a similar note from a professor who was something of a big deal but it didn't really resonate at the time.
    I would not ask a professor about the GRE requirements. IME, the question may come across as the dreaded "Is this going to be on the midterm?" question some undergraduates invariably ask when a historian is leaning into an important point. Also, you never know when you might be dealing with an academic who has the mindset "I took the GRE, so why shouldn't you?"
  3. Upvote
    Sigaba reacted to AP in 2021 Application Thread   
    For the short answer, see @Sigaba's suggestion. 
    I'll address two things that are more long term. [These are things I usually comment on: basically an invitation to leave the undergraduate mentality and transition to that of the graduate student]
    1) One of the things few people tell you about graduate programs in the humanities is the autonomy you are given and are expected to use. This means that it is your responsibility to communicate with the right people in a professional and timely manner. As I always say: your graduate career begins with your application (not when you are admitted). Show that you are a professional scholar and ask for the information that you want. You will probably get better answers that will ease your anxiety (even if the answer is "we don't know") than asking in this forum to speculate. (I completely agree with your take on the home GRE. I think GRE are prohibitive altogether, even without the pandemic. Man, I think all standardized tests should be banned!). 
    2) I understand what you mean by not wanting to be a "problem." Believe me, I have a great relationship with my advisor and still walk on eggshells and write emails like a million times. However, I'd invite you to take a different approach with an example. I'm faculty, and if an applicant sent me an email in the middle of the summer asking about GRE requirements and lashing out their situation and their opinions, you are right. It wouldn't cause a good impression on me. However, if you first email was: "Dear Dr. XXX, I hope this email finds you well [lame, but you have to]. I'm writing because I'm interested in applying to the History Program at Y University. My research interests are [two sentences]. I have experience in../conducted research on.../I would further examine... . I wonder if you have any insights on the application requirements and the process, especially regarding the impact of Covid". That alone will get you a response without venting on someone's inbox. At the same time, check with program administrators and/or DGS because they will have the most updated administrative answers. Remember that GREs are usually (but not always) school-wide requirements so professors often do not have the bits and pieces of these. In short, if you do not want to be a problem, then don't be a problem, which is not the same as don't do anything or don't stand up for yourself. You SHOULD ask questions. 
  4. Upvote
    Sigaba reacted to TMP in 2021 Application Thread   
    it is worth bringing up the issue of the GRE. You won't be the only one figuring out whether to study for it at all when your time could be better spent continuing to revise your SOP and writing sample.  Right now, everyone is very tied up with the fall semester preparations (including the latest drama over international students) that graduate admissions may be sitting on the back burner.  Truthfully, I think you may be best off asking the Graduate School administration about the GRE, it's the one that usually wants it, not the departments (at least not in History).
  5. Upvote
    Sigaba got a reaction from slouching in Classical Archaeology to Curate: MA or PhD?   
    A way to address this question is to use a resource like LinkedIn to identify positions similar to the ones you have in mind as "low level" and to look at the work/education experience of incumbents who have been hired within the last several years.
    A question.  Would you be willing to focus on the administrative and financial aspects of curation if those skills led to more opportunities?
  6. Upvote
    Sigaba got a reaction from ButteredLemon in journals   
    While @jbc568's reply was not convivial, I think it would be a mistake for you not to consider very carefully the guidance it offers. As a graduate student you will be expected to generate answers to your own questions. IME, using the application process to develop that skill is very beneficial.
    Using your OP as an example, providing the names of what one thinks are top journals and then asking for feedback sends an entirely different message than asking for suggestions.
  7. Upvote
    Sigaba reacted to JennyFieldsOriginal in Thesis Format - writing style, pages, chapters?   
    first of all, if you're writing a masters thesis, and you know you're a beginner (as EVERYONE is during graduate school, in my humble opinion) try not to worry too much when you're getting started. pull quotes, entertain messy ideas, generate compelling readings of passages you find interesting...this is all the stuff that will start you on the road to where you need to go. the IDEAS are what you should be concerned about right now if you are starting out. don't impose an idea of what a "finished product" should look like on yourself. before you know it you'll be rooting through texts trying to make the works conform to your notion your project as opposed to really going on a productive expedition through the text. it sounds maybe trite but think of yourself as exploring the works that you have something to say about.

    regarding format: once you write a large chunk you might see if it makes sense to break things into chapters or whether it feels artificial to do so. within university requirements, of course.

    it sounds like your advisor is not much of a mentor. that's really a shame and i feel for you on this point. is there anyone else in the department that you could approach for advice? if not you're going to need a "virtual mentor". that is to say, you need something to aim for. if there are several critics you really love and admire try to jump into their work headfirst. it might be best to look at journal articles or essays because the short form can help you get your head around the thing. depending on your field there might be some obvious choices for you. develop your own thoughts and style to be sure, but keep your eyes at the top and claw your way up there.

    i also second inafuturelife in terms of working in a group. this can be supremely helpful. in fact, that's how they do it in the big leagues...by that i mean that's how your professors work. that's how phd students work too. writing gets put before many trusted sets of eyes before it goes to publication, and i think that's because it's good for your writing and good for the people involved. it can be important for you to explain things to others in conversation to clarify your thoughts to yourself. sometimes a fresh ear can hear what you mean to say. the compelling part of your argument may jump out to a listener even if you are too close to it to quite grasp it.

    you said you had a hard time finding people to show your work to. i don't know if your university has workshops for graduate students, but many do. even if it's mostly phd students it might be productive to sit in and make friends if you can. also, if your university has a writing center you might be able to meet with a "tutor" there for free. that's not to imply that you need tutoring by any means, but often the people who work there are talented undergraduates or graduate students and they might be able to give you some thoughts. along the same lines, see if there is an undergraduate honors thesis program. when i did mine people LOVED to get together in groups and would have descended eagerly on a masters student, thrilled to trade work and get and give advice. also, ask around in your classes if people want to get together. see if there is an email list you can use to get in touch with people and put out feelers.

    good luck!
  8. Like
    Sigaba got a reaction from GradSchoolGrad in How much weight are put on grades in Mid-career programs?   
    I had a classmate who had a JD. He could not get his head around the fact that the graduate school and the department viewed the degree as a professional degree, not even the equivalent of a master's degree (he wanted to transfer law school courses to get credit for M.A. requirements). 
    I think that one of the key intellectual distinctions between a JD and a Ph.D is that the latter requires one to create new knowledge, the former does not.
     
  9. Upvote
    Sigaba got a reaction from psstein in journals   
    While @jbc568's reply was not convivial, I think it would be a mistake for you not to consider very carefully the guidance it offers. As a graduate student you will be expected to generate answers to your own questions. IME, using the application process to develop that skill is very beneficial.
    Using your OP as an example, providing the names of what one thinks are top journals and then asking for feedback sends an entirely different message than asking for suggestions.
  10. Upvote
    Sigaba reacted to GradSchoolGrad in How much weight are put on grades in Mid-career programs?   
    I have been on committees with JDs and for University level programming decisions, and while that is often a point of conversation made by those with JDs, it isn't commonly accepted as the same in the academic community in the United States. I highlight this for the benefit of future JDs who may one day stumble upon this post. 
     
  11. Upvote
    Sigaba reacted to Glasperlenspieler in How necessary is it to have a masters to enter an ivy PhD Program?   
    Many departments provide profiles for their grad students which include their educational background. Yale's Spanish department, for instance, does this: https://span-port.yale.edu/people/graduate-students
    Spend some time looking at departmental webpages and you can get a decide idea of the profile for a typical student.
  12. Upvote
    Sigaba got a reaction from Adelaide9216 in Accomodations Requests - COVID-19/anti-racism protests   
    Please do what you can to monitor yourself during your breaks and free time so that those intervals are truly free. 
  13. Upvote
    Sigaba got a reaction from killerbunny in Programs going online   
    If your program is going to be on line, and especially if you're gong to be teaching, I very strongly recommend that you ask your department in writing for policy on how to use technology. The policy should have enough "how to," "do-s", and "do nots" that allow you as end users to protect your risk. IMO, the policy should answer questions including:
    What are a T.A.'s responsibilities as a T.A. if a student does not have access to Zoom? What may T.A.'s do if a student broadcasts from his or her residence wearing controversial items of clothing, or displaying firearms, or is disruptive? Ideally, the policy will include measures for you to be reimbursed for license fees if not also network access and technology. (It's my position that departments should subsidize fully professional accounts that T.A.'s use and mandate that all section meetings be recorded., and that T.A.s be issued equipment that belongs to the school.)
    I understand and share some of your frustration. I do ask that you understand that many academic institutions are realizing how dependent they are on revenue generated by people being on campus and the revenue generated by taxes on a municipal, county, and state level. In some cases, institutions may be deciding that they simply do not have a choice -- either open campus or start firing people as a broader plan of shutting down entire programs and departments.
  14. Upvote
    Sigaba got a reaction from psstein in Programs going online   
    If your program is going to be on line, and especially if you're gong to be teaching, I very strongly recommend that you ask your department in writing for policy on how to use technology. The policy should have enough "how to," "do-s", and "do nots" that allow you as end users to protect your risk. IMO, the policy should answer questions including:
    What are a T.A.'s responsibilities as a T.A. if a student does not have access to Zoom? What may T.A.'s do if a student broadcasts from his or her residence wearing controversial items of clothing, or displaying firearms, or is disruptive? Ideally, the policy will include measures for you to be reimbursed for license fees if not also network access and technology. (It's my position that departments should subsidize fully professional accounts that T.A.'s use and mandate that all section meetings be recorded., and that T.A.s be issued equipment that belongs to the school.)
    I understand and share some of your frustration. I do ask that you understand that many academic institutions are realizing how dependent they are on revenue generated by people being on campus and the revenue generated by taxes on a municipal, county, and state level. In some cases, institutions may be deciding that they simply do not have a choice -- either open campus or start firing people as a broader plan of shutting down entire programs and departments.
  15. Upvote
    Sigaba got a reaction from psstein in 2021 Application Thread   
    Here's the link to a recording of the discussion.
    There's a "commercial break" about a third of the way through that features a conversation that includes some folks from Deloitte. I would not fast forward through this conversation.  
  16. Upvote
    Sigaba reacted to cowgirlsdontcry in Protect your privacy when selecting a user name.   
    It's not just students and universities. It's universities and faculty as employer/employee. I have never been ugly, mean or sexual on social media, but I have voiced my opinion in the past. No more. I really thought about it all and decided that with all of the time and money spent, I really need to mind my own business because employers can find out about you. So now, I follow the old adage of saying nothing if I can't say something good or kind.
  17. Upvote
    Sigaba reacted to derek245 in HOW IS THE OUTBREAK AFFECTING YOUR GRAD SCHOOL PLANS?   
    Like Crucial BBQ, I am also a bit older and thus I remember 2008 all too well.  In fact, I finished my undergrad degree and was looking to launch my career just as the economic crisis was solidifying.  All I can tell you is, in terms of achieving your goals, EVERYTHING is harder during an economic crisis.  Getting into your preferred graduate program is harder, both because there are less funding spots and because there are way more applicants (that brilliant idea you had to further your education while the job market sucks...it turns out, you're not the only person who has thought of that :).  Getting the job you want is obviously much harder.
    So my advice is, whichever program gives you the best offer, TAKE IT.  Don't assume that same offer, or any other offer, is going to be there if you apply next year. 
    Now that being said, I would guess that we're not at the beginning of a 2nd Great Recession.  The Great Recession, as far as recessions go, was uniquely dreadful especially consider how long it dragged on for (fun fact: the unemployment rate in 2013 was 8 percent, a full six years after the crisis began).  But I would make a sizable wager that many if not most universities -- especially public universities -- will be dealing with budget cuts during the next application cycle, a consideration that will undoubtedly affect how many funding spots are available.
    So get yours while there is something to be got.  Winter is coming.
  18. Upvote
    Sigaba reacted to Crucial BBQ in HOW IS THE OUTBREAK AFFECTING YOUR GRAD SCHOOL PLANS?   
    I am old (well, one of the older members of this forum) and remember 2008 very well. 
     
    In 2008 I had decided to go back to school.  I had already went to school earlier in life for Film, then switching to Screenwriting... only to have dropped out right before my senior year because I felt I had learned enough. And that despite being in a Screenwriting program we still had film some of our projects, which back then was at a cost of about $300/minute.   Yes, film.  The cost did include developing the film and of course sometimes the lab messed up and your footage was ruined, or you didn't get the shot.  The capstone project was to be a 30 minute screenplay and short.  
    In 2008 things were not that bad.  In 2009 things started to get hectic which lasted until around 2013.  Undergraduate institutions received more applications and competition increased, sure, but it was grad schools that had become flooded.  This was also around the time when it became really popular to apply to MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and so on, both for undergrad and grad.  It was mostly with MS programs and in part because graduating undergrads wanted to stave off student loan repayment as they were graduating into a weak economy but it was mostly older adults hoping that an MS would give them job security and/or more earning potential.  Ph.D. programs, too, saw an uptick in applications although I remember acceptances had dropped.  Universities had put a halt on hiring and professors looking to retire stayed around a little bit longer.  Community colleges, on the other hand, were hiring and many it seemed to even expand.   
    Public schools lost a lot of funding but private institutions fared fairly well, iirc. Tuition also started to go up dramatically around this time, I believe.  For academic research I want to say that it was the Humanities hit the hardest.  
    However, there was no world-wide pandemic.  It's still too early to tell how the 2020/2021 admissions cycle, funding, or job outlook will be affected.  
  19. Upvote
    Sigaba got a reaction from telkanuru in Programs going online   
    If your program is going to be on line, and especially if you're gong to be teaching, I very strongly recommend that you ask your department in writing for policy on how to use technology. The policy should have enough "how to," "do-s", and "do nots" that allow you as end users to protect your risk. IMO, the policy should answer questions including:
    What are a T.A.'s responsibilities as a T.A. if a student does not have access to Zoom? What may T.A.'s do if a student broadcasts from his or her residence wearing controversial items of clothing, or displaying firearms, or is disruptive? Ideally, the policy will include measures for you to be reimbursed for license fees if not also network access and technology. (It's my position that departments should subsidize fully professional accounts that T.A.'s use and mandate that all section meetings be recorded., and that T.A.s be issued equipment that belongs to the school.)
    I understand and share some of your frustration. I do ask that you understand that many academic institutions are realizing how dependent they are on revenue generated by people being on campus and the revenue generated by taxes on a municipal, county, and state level. In some cases, institutions may be deciding that they simply do not have a choice -- either open campus or start firing people as a broader plan of shutting down entire programs and departments.
  20. Like
    Sigaba got a reaction from history110 in Programs going online   
    If your program is going to be on line, and especially if you're gong to be teaching, I very strongly recommend that you ask your department in writing for policy on how to use technology. The policy should have enough "how to," "do-s", and "do nots" that allow you as end users to protect your risk. IMO, the policy should answer questions including:
    What are a T.A.'s responsibilities as a T.A. if a student does not have access to Zoom? What may T.A.'s do if a student broadcasts from his or her residence wearing controversial items of clothing, or displaying firearms, or is disruptive? Ideally, the policy will include measures for you to be reimbursed for license fees if not also network access and technology. (It's my position that departments should subsidize fully professional accounts that T.A.'s use and mandate that all section meetings be recorded., and that T.A.s be issued equipment that belongs to the school.)
    I understand and share some of your frustration. I do ask that you understand that many academic institutions are realizing how dependent they are on revenue generated by people being on campus and the revenue generated by taxes on a municipal, county, and state level. In some cases, institutions may be deciding that they simply do not have a choice -- either open campus or start firing people as a broader plan of shutting down entire programs and departments.
  21. Upvote
    Sigaba got a reaction from Phoenix88 in Chain of command   
    Welcome to the GradCafe

    I recommend that you hold still on the reaching out for at least sixty days. COVID-19 has turned the Ivory Tower upside down, especially at public institutions.
    During the interval, see what you can find about the institution's financial position and plans for the coming term. Can you find program guides / schedules of classes / other materials that may allow you to sketch out a plan of action in terms of your course work? Can you identify a handful of "must read" books and start reading them?
    A second recommendation for immediate implementation is that you change your username to something that allows a very high degree of separation between any future posts you may make here and your personal professional self. Changing your username now is easier than having to remember not to vent when it is time to vent in the venting thread. 
  22. Upvote
    Sigaba got a reaction from Phoenix88 in course syllabi content inspiration   
    I would treat syllabi as the intellectual property of the academics that developed them or of the institution they work for.
    I would also, as a sign of respect, ask for permission to use someone else's work product. (And if they work for an institution with a restrictive IP policy, they may not have the legal ability to grant permission.
    https://www.wiley.com/network/latest-content/who-owns-your-syllabus-a-primer-on-intellectual-property-for-faculty
  23. Upvote
    Sigaba got a reaction from schlesinger1 in Programs going online   
    If your program is going to be on line, and especially if you're gong to be teaching, I very strongly recommend that you ask your department in writing for policy on how to use technology. The policy should have enough "how to," "do-s", and "do nots" that allow you as end users to protect your risk. IMO, the policy should answer questions including:
    What are a T.A.'s responsibilities as a T.A. if a student does not have access to Zoom? What may T.A.'s do if a student broadcasts from his or her residence wearing controversial items of clothing, or displaying firearms, or is disruptive? Ideally, the policy will include measures for you to be reimbursed for license fees if not also network access and technology. (It's my position that departments should subsidize fully professional accounts that T.A.'s use and mandate that all section meetings be recorded., and that T.A.s be issued equipment that belongs to the school.)
    I understand and share some of your frustration. I do ask that you understand that many academic institutions are realizing how dependent they are on revenue generated by people being on campus and the revenue generated by taxes on a municipal, county, and state level. In some cases, institutions may be deciding that they simply do not have a choice -- either open campus or start firing people as a broader plan of shutting down entire programs and departments.
  24. Upvote
    Sigaba reacted to TMP in Programs going online   
    I'm jealous that your university has gone online.  Trust me, you do not want to be on campus with thousands of undergrads who will not let COVID19 stop them from socializing and partying. As a friend puts it, campuses are petri dishes.
    There is no harm in emailing grad students and faculty for a Zoom coffee chat  You will also see who else is attending Zoom events in your department and try to build conversations from those points.
  25. Like
    Sigaba got a reaction from AP in 2021 Application Thread   
    Here's the link to a recording of the discussion.
    There's a "commercial break" about a third of the way through that features a conversation that includes some folks from Deloitte. I would not fast forward through this conversation.  
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