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rachelann1991

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About rachelann1991

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    Caffeinated

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Manchester, NH
  • Application Season
    2014 Fall
  • Program
    English Literature

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  1. Thanks, Wyatt's Torch and qwer7890! And I think you're absolutely right, quer7890. I didn't use exact quotes, despite the quotation marks - I more paraphrased - and I figured since it was six or so students pretty much saying the same thing, it would be okay, THIS TIME and in THIS CONTEXT, to write about, in a general way, the sentiments of the class as a whole. Plus, I pretty much told the entire class the same things I wrote in the blog when I gave the class a mini-pep talk on Thursday. However, I couldn't agree more with you about respecting student confidentiality. Had it been only one stu
  2. Hi, all! First semester Ph.D. in English student here! I recently started a blog to share my experiences / difficulties / funny stories / good times in graduate school! Here's a link if anyone wants to check it out! http://englishphdreamer.wordpress.com Anyone else start a blog? I'd love to read it! Also, my dear 2015 applicants, feel free to ask me questions / solicit advice!
  3. First, I'm sorry you've been through a difficult time, but I'm glad you're getting yourself healthy - that's the number one priority! I'm starting graduate school next year, so I'm by no means an experienced voice, but I will say that my professors all said I should never attend a school unfunded. They all said Ph.D applications are a crapshoot, so they made it clear that I should prepare myself psychologically for being shut out or getting into a school's MA program instead but getting no funding (which actually happened with a few schools for me). Taking a year off is hardly a bad thing
  4. I agree a definite distinction needs to be made: sending a professor a CV or, what I did for my favorite professor, a list of every paper I produced for her for each of the three classes I took with her, helps a faculty member have everything at their fingertips. I suppose a very loose draft of a letter could produce the same affect as the documents I gave to my recommender. However, let's distinguish between a professor using a draft as a springboard for his or her OWN letter versus, as the above poster mentioned, changing a sentence or two and sending it off as written by the student.
  5. For me, this DOES NOT SIT WELL. I think about myself as a future professor: I would NEVER ask my student to write a letter for me, under ANY circumstances. Maybe this is because I came from a small liberal arts college, where my professors care deeply about teaching and their students (one of them is actually my best friend, and I mean that in the sincerest form), but I deeply appreciated the time and care my professors put into my recommendation letters; in fact, one program actually told me my letters got me in. My three letter writers took the time and care to write a letter based on what T
  6. I scored a 167 on my verbal section (97%) and a 6 on the AW, and I completely echo what the OP mentioned: MEMORIZE. THE. VOCABULARY for the verbal!!! I used Princeton Review and found them super helpful, and then I also snuck into Barnes and Noble and just sat with the ETS book and used scrap paper in their cafe (with a free coffee from the supermarket next door ) instead of purchasing two books! I gave myself eight weeks over the summer, when I didn't do much else minus working a few shifts at Old Navy! As far as the writing: one of the biggest pitfalls is injecting one's own opinion int
  7. I scored a 167 (97%) on verbal doing a combination of things: 1) I went through the Princeton Review book and did the practice tests in there; I also made flashcards for vocabulary words using their "hit list," which I found INCREDIBLY HELPFUL! In fact, that was the driving force behind my score, I think. 2) Whenever I came across a word in a practice test or in general reading that I didn't know, I wrote it down, looked it up, and made a flashcard for it 3) I did the two online practice tests that the Princeton Review provided with their book 4) I did the ETS practice tests (o
  8. I'm 22, a baby just coming out of undergrad, and I'm starting to get INCREDIBLY nervous about jumping straight into a Ph.D. program! I keep wondering whether I should have done a M.A. first or, even more, whether I should have done a gap-year like the advice in the above forum posts very smartly suggested, but I've made my decision and I have to deal with it, so now I'll try to justify it to myself and to you 2015ers who bravely want to do the same thing I'm embarking on! My professors all advised me with some words of wisdom and comfort about going straight on, so, 2015ers, I'll tell you why
  9. You could always do research at your local public library? Not the most convenient if you want to look up electronic articles from home, but your local library might just have these subscription services. Also, your local public university might let you use their library!
  10. This is really helpful! I'll just add my own two cents on situation 3: declining admissions. Before reading this, I sent not super-short emails to the programs I declined, briefly and very politely explaining what went into my decision (a good fellowship and a particular faculty member I wanted to work with at the school that I chose). All of the DGS replied with kind, encouraging emails to the effect that they completely understood my decision and wished me the best at the program I chose. It actually seemed like they were grateful to know my thought process and I'm wondering if explainin
  11. You're very welcome I definitely think polite, honest communication is always the best option, even in this cutthroat world of academia ;-)
  12. I know Northeastern, in their offer letter, said that if I had a problem with making a decision before April 15th, to let them know; I'm wondering if it would be best to contact your other offer and ask for an extension? From these forums, it does indeed seem in bad form to say you'll enroll and back out, unless you have accepted an unfunded offer and suddenly get funding elsewhere (then they can release you), but I'm not sure what the ethics on that is . . . Congrats on the waiting list at Brandeis, and I wish you good luck getting in
  13. I'm pursuing an English Ph.D., and my professors all tell me this is COMPLETELY normal; it's called "imposter syndrome," and a good chunk of students feel this way. Because we can put a name on it, it makes me feel a lot better, like maybe they picked me AND YOU!!!! for a reason and everyone feels unworthy to some extent! Be proud of getting in and realize how normal these feelings are, as difficult as they are to deal with for both of us
  14. Hi, Kermit! I turned down an M.A. with a half T.A.ship; I applied for their Ph.D. but was offered a partially funded master's instead. I wish you luck with UMD!!!! It's an amazing program, and I hope you get in! Also: I'm in Victorian/Early Modernism
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