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About PaulaHsiuling

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  • Location
    United States
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    History Ph.D.

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  1. While excessive rudeness is never a good look, you should not be submitting your work to a journal while you are "in the middle" of turning your MA thesis into an article, or when you know there remains "quite a bit of work ahead." Rather, that is the time for feedback from your advisor, other mentors/professors, and your peers. The review process does not exist to help you improve your paper. Only submit something that you believe is good enough to be published as it stands. Nearly always you'll need to make additional changes, but submitting a truly mature piece of scholarship will spare you from receiving a condescending, hurtful response. If it doesn't, that would be the time to file a complaint with the editor. Please bear in mind that peer reviewers take the time out of their own busy schedules to read manuscripts, and they are not paid for this service. It's not fair to them, and ultimately not helpful for yourself, to have them read something that just isn't ready. And please don't submit this piece to another journal without making changes unless, of course, you don't mind receiving a similar response.
  2. The job talks were "open" to you as a member of the university community. Information about them was circulated via email, but I doubt very much that it was ever posted on a public-facing website. Bear in mind that many who make it to the short list for a tenure-track position would be leaving another job, and across industries, it's generally unwise to advertise to one's existing employer that you're eager to move elsewhere, especially when actually receiving the offer is by no means guaranteed...
  3. Also, your MA will have much more value for your Ph.D. applications if you can demonstrate that whichever institution you attended believed in your potential as a scholar enough to invest in you, rather than just take your money and give you a seat in the classroom.
  4. I'm curious as to what your advisor recommends. I'm in history, and I can't imagine that my advisor would ever approve a dissertation topic that required me to learn any more than one additional language, especially if I needed to do more than read.
  5. Personal life plans/hopes/dreams in general are way too tangential to discuss in an interview, but if you go on campus visits, either because you have already been accepted or because you are a very promising applicant, please do ask whether the department is family-friendly, how many students have children while in the program, what their experiences have been like, and if you can speak with them. I don't think you (or I, or any woman, or any human) would want to attend a program that would penalize you for asking such questions in 2018.
  6. I began my Ph.D. program with a five-month-old baby and am now pregnant with my second (although in a history program, so no lab work). To answer your questions in order: Yes, motherhood in grad school is totally possible. It's extremely challenging and humbling, to be sure, but there are also advantages. For example, a small human is great for putting school problems into perspective, and parenthood eliminates perfectionist tendencies. I often tell people that doing the kid thing and the Ph.D. thing at the same time has been harder than I thought it would be, but I'm happier than I hoped I would be. The private university that I attend offers two options for maternity leave: either I could take the entire semester off, forgo my stipend, and then tack that semester of funding on to the end of my program, or I could receive my stipend and work for only six weeks of the semester. I believe this is the federally guaranteed minimum in the U.S.; a friend at a public school told me she is entitled to an entire semester off with stipend, so you'd obviously have to check with your individual program. Many universities offer daycare, but since the daycare is subsidized, the waiting lists can be long. Again, you would need to check with your program. I have not experienced any discrimination or backlash in terms of support from faculty. If anything, the parenthood aspect gives us another way to connect, given that most of them are parents as well. That being said, a family-friendly department and especially a supportive advisor are absolutely crucial. In my experience, faculty with kids are far more supportive than those without. Other parents, both moms and dads, tend to approach me with a "hey, it's chaos, but great chaos" attitude, and provide invaluable support and guidance (accommodating the rigors of breastfeeding, helping me limit non-essential tasks, recommending projects where much of the research can be done locally, et cetera). So please talk to your prospective advisors, other faculty, program administrators, and students. Look for warmth and enthusiasm. If people tell you that combining a baby with doctoral study is a bad idea, what they're really telling you is that it's a bad idea to try to do it with them.
  7. I think this advice might have been more applicable back when programs would accept many people and only fund some of them. These days, most reputable programs only accept people they can fund completely for ~5 years, and therefore cohorts are very small. You'd be much better off, in my view, to devote more time and effort to fewer applications, perhaps 5-10.
  8. If you can order a couple weeks in advance, betterworldbooks.com sells old library copies of books for cheap, ships for free (albeit slowly), and donates a book to Books for Africa for each online purchase.
  9. Also, if you guys chose your own topic, the quantity and nature of the scholarship in question can transform a literature review from a manageable task to what feels like a lifelong project.
  10. You and I were born in the same year, and I also have a child. Based on my own experience, I would tell you that you may be able to get by without friends, but you'll make life harder for yourself if you don't have allies among the other students. These are the people who will share their successful fellowship applications with you, pass along their lecture notes when you're sick, cover for you when you have a conflict, etc. Please do your best to be openminded and humble -- just because someone is a decade younger than you doesn't mean you two won't connect, or that he or she does not have a lot to teach you. I wish you luck!
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