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JerryLandis last won the day on February 21 2010

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  1. I don't know if it would be worth it if you already have a Masters degree. The impression that I got was that MAPSS is for people whose interests aren't yet narrowed enough, and who need to pursue some more advanced courses in their chosen topic in order to strengthen their background knowledge. It seems like a great program, but quite foundational and not necessarily suited to everyone. I suggest emailing the program director and asking to be put into contact with current students. Keep in mind, of course, that they will probably encourage you to attend and will be deceptively positive about the program. Still, they'll give you some very helpful information and, in my experience, are very friendly and accommodating to individual concerns and questions. If I were you though, I'd probably take some time out and work in order to pay off some of my debts before going back in to another expensive program. Depending on where you live and what you study, you could take evening/not for credit classes at a nearby university to improve certain parts of your application.
  2. Sorry if this question is kind of vague, but I was wondering what other people have been asking current students in emails/calls/recruitment meetings with them. I suppose I'm interested to see what other people's important issues are, and if I am neglecting to ask any important questions. I've been in contact via phone/email with a couple of current students. In working on my decision between 2 MA programs, and I was kind of hoping that someone would respond to me saying "don't attend this program; your other choice sounds way better." Of course I'm sure the graduate coordinators purposefully choose representatives who would NOT say that to prospective students, but it was the least I could do to hope. Mostly I have asked about the positives/negatives of the teaching approach, be it interdisciplinary or more specific, the social atmosphere of the university especially for those not living in university accommodation, the general success rate of those applying from the program to PhD programs, and what their impressions were of certain classes I would be interested in taking. Anything else?
  3. I am facing a choice between two MA programs, one in an area where I have quite a number of family members I have not lived near for some time, and another in an area where I know no one, and, to make it worse, my significant other would have more difficulty moving along with me. I change my mind ever 5 minutes about where I think I should go. The second program is perfect for me, but the first one is good enough (excellent program, just not great for my specific interests) and I think that I would be much happier in the familiar location. I know that I'm young and shouldn't be so worried about this sort of thing, but I know that once I apply to PhD programs after doing one of these MAs, I will have to choose between very random locations and, who knows, I may never get lucky enough to move somewhere based on location instead of institution. Any advice would be appreciated.
  4. JerryLandis

    Toronto, ON

    Everything I've read about Toronto life seems to come with a warning about pests, especially roaches.. whats the deal with that?? Since I'd only be living in Toronto for a year, I would quite honestly just prefer to live in student accommodation and not bother with an apartment. However, I do have a pet bird so I'm sure that makes me ineligible for student housing. Are there any university-managed apartments that allow pets, and/or is it difficult to find apartments that do allow pet birds? I'm sure it's possible since it's a big city, but I've never had to deal with the landlord+pet issue.
  5. Heard back from three programs today... now choosing between two great MA programs!

  6. If I were you I'd tell him that he can go to Chicago, but he will have to come see you on all his breaks, not the other way around. It sounds to me like you're not really comfortable with just breaking it off - if that's what you think would be best, obviously do it, but I don't think it's my place to advise something like that. In any case, it's not acceptable for him to drop the ball and just up and decide to go to Chicago. He at least should have mentioned it to you when he applied, so that you could have applied there as well. So, if he wants to go there, then you should make it clear that you will not be the one suffering the burden. I've been in a long distance relationship where the guy graduated, moved back home (another country) and expected me to visit him all the time despite only once visiting me! Be straight with him and let him know that if he goes, any problems that arise will likely be his doing and it will be his responsibility to straighten them out. Hate to be sexist here, but in my experience when it comes to stuff like this boys need to be told things very simply, many times over, e.g. "If you do not do this for me, I am going to break up with you." Whether or not you actually want to break up with the man in question, sometimes things just need to be phrased that way in order for the other person to understand how important a certain situation is to you. PS... where the hell did you hear that about a laid back atmosphere at Chicago? All I've ever heard about Chicago is how competitive and soul-crushing the student environment is there - they even sell t-shirts joking about it!
  7. After waiting this long for these silly emails, I definitely don't dawdle before opening them! I click the link right away. Today, though, I got an email from a program that I've known would reject me since early February, when they notified their admits. Since visiting the campus, I don't even have any interest in ever going there, so I don't really care that they don't want me. By now, I was assuming they just weren't even going to bother notifying the reject pool. But to my surprise, they emailed me today and advised me to click on a link heading to the application page. I wondered to myself, "Maybe I should just not check it. I know they aren't accepting me, so if I don't check it, then I've never really received the rejection and I don't have to feel so insulted..." I ended up just reading the rejection letter in case it said anything informative about the decision, which it didn't. Ah well. Telling people about rejections is quite annoying because you just know you're going to get that "aw, I'm so sorry" reaction which only makes you feel worse. I've gotten over my rejections very quickly, within seconds (since I knew to expect them), but people's pity when they hear about it makes me feel worse than receiving the actual letter!
  8. I'm half hoping I get rejected at my remaining few MA programs so that the decision will be made for me, and I can just go to the one I've been accepted at without hesitation or second thoughts. But, if you feel like acceptances are wasted just because you don't take them, just keep in mind how much of a compliment it is to be given one. If you were accepted by your top choice but rejected everywhere else, that would be much more depressing, as rejections are a big blow to the ego. So, those unused acceptances still have SOME purpose - stoking the ego.
  9. Seadub, your decision to make a post on this website about where I live verifies my reason for being "paranoid."
  10. Jerry Landis is not my real name. It bears no resemblance at all to my real name.
  11. PS the fact that you got waitlisted at two places shows your potential for future success. With a resume that's even only slightly improved, and perhaps with better economic luck in the future, I'm sure you'll be capable of nudging yourself up that little extra bit to full acceptance.
  12. I'd suggest improving your GRE, whatever your score is, simply because it's a more tangible part of your application that you can improve. But, as others have said, definitely work on your SOP. My personal plan of action for the next round of PhD apps is to formulate a less specific idea of what I'd like to study, then look for programs with that more general idea in my head (say, Civil War history instead of Alabama Civil War history... not my actual subject but just an example). Once I've found a large number of potential advisers at schools of varying rank, I'll check out their books and articles so I can get a better idea of who these people are and where their interests and opinions lie. Then I'll formulate research proposals specific to each one. This year, I think I was a bit too sure of myself, in that I applied to places with my own independent research ideas, assuming someone would appreciate their intersections with their own work. I was looking for people who could fit my specific interests. Next time, I'll alter my presentation of my interests to fit THEIR specialties. Maybe it's not the most honest way to go, but it sure should beat giving up altogether, or stubbornly clutching to my own ideas no one seems to be interested in supervising. Anyways, I hope this helps you. I still don't know if it's the best advice because I haven't put it to use yet, but it's what I'd do if I were in your position (and I kind of am). Good luck! Stay positive.
  13. When I encounter smug people like seadub in real life, I never make direct comments about their attitudes but sometimes I'll make subtle snide comments if I get too impatient. Arrogant people who attempt to make others look stupid do so as a means of getting attention, so I figure that denying them that attention is the best way to proceed when possible. However, things get a bit different on the internet (or when I get a few drinks in me). I don't have to deal with the consequences of my actions (except when, for example, seadub stalks me on Google and broadcasts personal information like where I live to everyone reading this board) when making anonymous posts. I don't have to deal with the awkwardness of having to see someone I argued with on a regular basis, and of everyone around me witnessing it. I get to express all the frustration that comes from dealing with smug people in real life, as well as that is generated by this application process, by being slightly bitchy towards seadub. Thankfully he is a truly worthy vessel for me to fill with this bitchiness, otherwise I would feel pretty guilty. Perhaps seadub is a complete gentleman in real life, just as I consider myself to be much nicer in real life than I am being at this moment in time. However, I think it's safer to assume he's not. Just because he has been accepted at institutions he has applied to does not convince me that he is particularly intelligent, not least mature. If anything, it highlights the sorry state of the admissions process in its dependence on statistics. Obviously we are in different fields, but I can safely say that in the arts, admissions committees do indeed have much more important and decisive information than GRE scores with which to judge candidates. These are writing samples, letters of recommendation, and statements of purpose. To discourage people from applying to competitive programs simply because their statistics are not ideal is disgraceful. GRE scores can be an obstacle for some applicants, and we should all certainly be warned about this. However, that does not necessitate telling people that they are hopeless idiots who will never be accepted anywhere. It's not simply your "harsh delivery," seadub, it's the underlying message of condescension and discouragement.
  14. As others have said, it sounds like you have already made your decision and are leaning towards the second program. I'll probably be facing a similar choice, except with MA programs. I'm leaning towards the better fit program in the less desirable location, but I think that that's a decision more appropriate for deciding on MA programs, as they are so much shorter. You're going to be living in this place for a long time, so if you can't see yourself living there I'd be wary of attending the university. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where you're wishing away your youth, waiting for the years to pass so you can finish up and move somewhere better! Like you, I have also moved around quite a bit and look forward to my future PhD experience as a chance to finally settle down in an environment I like.
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