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MaytheSchwartzBeWithYou last won the day on March 17 2016

MaytheSchwartzBeWithYou had the most liked content!

About MaytheSchwartzBeWithYou

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    Double Shot

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    Bay Area, CA
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    Already Attending
  • Program
    Visual Studies PhD

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  1. Hi all! I'm at the end of my first quarter (my finals week is this week), and I'm having a fair amount of trouble balancing the amount of work I have to do before Friday night despite having started researching, etc. weeks ago. I have two final papers due, and have been trying to juggle working on both of them each day. BUT, I still have a fair amount of writing to do and I'm starting to freak out. I'm pushing myself pretty hard, but I still feel like I'm moving too slowly to get it all done. I'm also a perfectionist and am doing my best to accept that this might not be my highest-quality work (but I still think the writing is overall pretty good - what's finished, anyway). To complicate matters, I have a chronic illness that affects how easily I become tired, as well as cognitive functioning, depression/anxiety, etc. I was diagnosed earlier this year and, as I had been functioning fairly well at work before I left my job, I decided to register with the DRC but see how well I did the first quarter before asking any professors for accommodations (I'm thinking now this was a major mistake). I handled everything pretty well overall this quarter, but I am finding that especially with writing assignments it takes me longer to complete them. Because we submit assignments through an online system and I haven't mentioned my disability to my professors, I feel like I need to stick with the original deadlines (Dec. 15th @ 11:59). I'm not sure exactly why I am posting here or what sort of advice/comments I am looking for - but any thoughts would be helpful. I feel like I really should have just talked to my professors at the beginning of the quarter, but after hearing about stigmas in academia and some advice I received from my former committee chair, I was really hesitant to do so. Thank you for the opportunity to get this off my chest! Schwartz
  2. I totally agree with everything that was said so far. This isn't so much an "action" as some of the other suggestions, but I would also recommend taking some time to think about the best way to describe the few years you took off before applying. One of the best pieces of advice I got from my MA committee chair was to consider how the work I did after my MA might be part of a continuum for me in my path toward a PhD, and then to try to frame that trajectory in my SoP. I spent a few years working as a database administrator/evaluation and planning manager outside the art world at a non-profit (though, to be fair, my research is connected culturally to the mission of the organization), and it was actually kind of eye-opening to connect work I originally felt was only tangentially-related in a way that was meaningful. This may not be the case for you (maybe you just needed a job in between! I kind of did, too). BUT, if it's possible, I think it's important to lay out the last several years as a series of conscious choices toward the career you want.
  3. Hi there! I can't be super helpful about Scandinavian art historians without further research, but I did notice George Washington only has BA and MA programs in art history (you mentioned PhD programs in your post, so I assume you're not looking for a master's program). Is it possible the professor you mentioned is Barbara von Barghahn?
  4. First of all, let me say I'm so sorry this happened to you and your husband. To commiserate, my husband was laid off a little less than a month ago, and I'm about to start my program in a few weeks (needless to say, there was some freaking out). We don't know each other, and I certainly can't say what you and your husband have and haven't talked about - but may I ask if you (and/or he) have considered looking for a job that will "get your family by" until you are finished with coursework? I ask because getting your PhD is obviously a really important goal in your life and your career. Your husband's career is also really important, so in situations like these it's difficult to choose whose goal takes precedence. But, if your husband can find a job that may not be exactly what he wants, but will "do" for now, would it be possible for you to wrap up what you need to before potentially moving out of state to fulfill his goal? When my husband got laid off I seriously considered dropping out of my program. But I've spent so many years working toward this goal, and he told me he wasn't going to let me potentially give up what I'd worked so hard for, especially if he might get a new job within a few months. Not sure if this is at all helpful - I just wanted to add my perspective. Best wishes to you!
  5. LOL, I suppose I just have to get used to academia being really different in some ways from the public sector. :-)
  6. @Eigen and @fuzzylogician, I get what you're saying, but I'm surprised there was NO direction whatsoever (even from the Grad. Director). To be fair, I spent hours researching and mapping out my program requirements and the courses I might take to fulfill them, so it's not like I was going in blindly and expecting him to answer all of my questions - especially since the program's materials state certain courses are chosen with your advisor. It's not the end of the world, it's just a clarification issue - if they'd rather students wait until after orientation to choose classes, they should say so.
  7. Thank you all for your responses! (My apologies, I've been off the site for a bit). Yes, thank you, Fuzzy. I feel the same about my time, and I'm sure that's part of why I'm a little stuck on it. Your point about it being summer is a good one - my only note there is that graduate enrollment starts in summer, and my advisor and I had not had any meetings about how to proceed with course selection, curriculum, etc. The forums here recommend not contacting your new program during the Spring semester after you have been accepted, as (understandably) they are still trying to wrap up the current year, so I waited until closer to registration. I thought it was odd that I was told by the Grad. Director we'd be covering curriculum, etc. in the orientation meeting in the Fall, presumably AFTER we had enrolled on courses. @Eigen, I like your suggestions about setting up tiered reminders, as long as it doesn't come across as "managing." I did actually hear from him shortly after posting this, and he was apologetic, so I'm hoping we can establish a routine early on. I'm used to working independently (my MA advisors were often overworked and difficult to get feedback from), so I think I can handle a degree of forgetfulness, as long as I can still get what I need to move forward in the program.
  8. Hi all, Looking for some input, as I'm unsure as to whether this is worth agonizing over. I'll be starting my PhD in September, and the few times thus far that I have set up phone appointments with my advisor he isn't around to take the call. This happened once when I was an applicant, and twice within the past week. In each case, I call and leave a message at the appointed time, call back in ten-fifteen minutes (in case he got stuck in another meeting) without leaving a message, and then follow up a few hours later with an email to ask about rescheduling. I haven't yet heard back from him in the latest instance (we were supposed to speak almost an hour ago), but he has previously told me he forgot to put the appointment on his calendar (twice now) and it slipped his mind. I'm not really in a position to travel to campus on a whim, as I work full-time and it would be an all-day thing to travel to and from the university. I feel it's a bit soon to approach my him about this issue, but I am concerned his flaking on appointments will become a pattern and I really don't appreciate it. I make an effort to be well-prepared for these meetings, to be on time, and to be understanding and flexible when he doesn't "show up" and I hear from him many hours later. My one in-person meeting with him was great, and I'm really looking forward to working with him, but as a Type A personality this is driving me crazy. I have been in the working world for some time, where this would not be acceptable, and this feels disrespectful. It also means I can't do the things I need to do (like enroll) while I try to chase him down. Yet, I'm also trying to keep in mind that academia is different, and perhaps I am expecting too much. Thoughts anyone? Thanks in advance!
  9. Hey Neek, I'm happy to tell you my current treatment, though admittedly there isn't much to tell just yet - I'm supposed to check with my doctor every month and potentially try out new things if what I'm doing isn't working. As of now, I'm on a prescription dose of Meloxicam (Ibuprofen) to "take the edge off," and I'm also supposed to try to build up an exercise/relaxation pattern over time. I'm not on a very rigorous treatment plan, but I don't want to take any serious medication if I don't need it. I may need a sleep aid in the near future (fibro can cause sleep disturbances), but I'm trying to do without that, too. There isn't a TON you can do about fibro as of now, though there are three FDA-approved drugs to treat it. There are also a number of other drugs - especially SSRIs, and things like Gabapentin - that were created for other purposes but also help with nerve pain. Opiates are LAST resorts. Outside of medication, getting a lot of rest, regular exercise, and stress reduction are all really important. It's amazing how interconnected the body's systems are, especially when it comes to hormones and sensory perception. I hope you're doing well!
  10. What sort of conservation are you interested in? Have you taken any art history courses before? How are your science grades? I ask about science because if I remember correctly, conservation programs require knowledge of chemistry/physics. I don't think you'd necessarily need to get another complete undergraduate degree in order to be accepted into a conservation program, but you might need to take additional courses (either before applying or after acceptance) in order to enter grad. school at a similar level of knowledge to other incoming students. It might be really helpful for you to ask the conservation programs you are interested in what additional coursework/experience you might need in order to qualify for admission. As far as other programs, I don't know whether you are in the United States, but the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has a Master of Science in Historic Preservation. The SAIC is an awesome school overall, though I admittedly know very little about this specific degree program. Also, check out NYU IFA's Conservation Program, The Courtauld Institute, London (which I think has both a degree program and certificate in various kinds of conservation), and UCLA/Getty's Interdepartmental Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials. Google is also your friend - I found this article that lists nine conservation programs.
  11. Hey Neek! Sorry for the late response, I've been on and off GradCafe lately. Yes, that does clear things up, thank you - and I'm glad you have a support group at your school. I'm hoping they have something similar where I'm going, or perhaps I'll work to start one myself. Hey frosty, I'm so sorry the last few years have been so rough. Mental illness, like a lot of chronic issues, can so often go unnoticed/ignored because people can't SEE that you're ill (as you know, of course). I'm really glad you were able to work through your period of significant struggle and come out with your degree in hand. Congratulations!! As I also suffer from anxiety/panic disorder, the coping mechanisms you have been learning should be really helpful as you start your PhD. Over the years I've learned some exercises that help keep my anxiety in check when I'm having an attack - I'd be happy to share them if you're interested (though what works for one person doesn't always work for another). @orange turtle, thanks for your input - those are great suggestions! I was actually officially diagnosed two weeks ago, and am really happy to be starting an actual treatment regimen. Here's hoping I find a doc on campus who takes fibromyalgia seriously!
  12. Oh, I TOTALLY get the thing about avoiding sugar. I'm also diabetic, so I'm pretty careful most days about what I eat. I tend to take pieces of bread off my sandwiches, refuse wine and champagne, skip dessert, etc. etc. People who don't know me often look at me funny and tell me to "live a little," but they don't have to deal with the hyperglycemia symptoms afterward!
  13. Faceless, I'm so sorry to hear you are dealing with colitis. I have a cousin with colitis and it was hell for him for a few years. How are you doing now? How did you handle your flares during your master's? Thanks, ejpril. I am ALL OVER Google, especially without an official diagnosis, so I know exactly how you feel! Thanks for the encouragement - I do plan to talk to Disability if I feel it's needed, but I have been counseled to be careful about divulging my health issues to people in my department (as I said, I want to be seen for my work, not the drawbacks of being chronically ill). I'm glad you felt more accepted when you moved to the US! How are you feeling now? Neek, your post is really great - thank you for sharing your story and such great advice. I wonder if, since things like yoga and walking are good for chronic pain (not to mention stress reduction, whether you are sick or not!), you might be able to find some people in your department with whom to engage in those activities, and perhaps form friendships with some of your fellow students if you haven't already? I'm sad to read you feel isolated, and I'm happy to talk further (on the forum or via message) should you (or others!) need a listening "ear." Any differences in physical ability you might have in no way limit your intellectual and social contributions to your department - I hope your peers realize that. I'm incredibly fortunate to have a supportive spouse and a close relationship with my parents, so I have something of a built-in support system. I really appreciate everyone's responses, and your willingness to share information that might be sensitive and/or personal. Chronic illness presents a whole new set of issues and lifestyle changes I have yet to wrap my head around. Part of me just wants to "put it out there" and be like "this is part of my life, I am who I am, I still work hard and I'm awesome, deal with it." But, we know in the professional world it's not that simple...
  14. Hello All, I haven't seen a ton of comments about chronic illness on the forums, so I wanted to post in case any other incoming/current grad students are navigating grad. school with an ongoing health issue. What I'm going through is somewhat new to me, so it's a little difficult to share. I'm trusting all you smarties on here! :-) I'm really excited to start my PhD in the Fall, but I'm pretty nervous about managing my coursework, research, and all of the other physical, emotional, and intellectual demands of the program. I've had symptoms of SOMETHING (possibly autoimmune, possibly fibromyalgia) for about the last year, primarily pain, fatigue, and "fogginess," and am undiagnosed due to inconclusive test results. The past month or so has been fairly difficult, and every time I have a flare-up I worry that it might be the "new normal." The sorts of possible diseases for me can take years to diagnose, so I'm not sure how Disability Services might be able to help. I'm sure some of it is the stress of feeling ill, not knowing why, and worrying about whether it will go away, get worse, etc. Understanding the way academia works, I also would much rather be known for my work and accomplishments than the fact that I have a health problem that impacts my studies. I want to show I am committed to my PhD and my program, that I have what it takes, but I also want to walk the fine line between excelling in my program and taking care of myself. Right now I'm just trying to practice accepting my situation, working through the bad days as much as I can (at my current job), understanding my limits, etc. That being said, I know going back to school will be really different from my day job. Does anyone else here suffer with chronic illness, and how do you plan to/how do you navigate the demands of school with your health constraints? I appreciate your comments, and admit to wanting some comfort that I am not alone!
  15. Just to add a couple of thoughts: Switching from another field into art history isn't impossible, but I think it's really important to have a clear understanding of WHY you want to swap practice for history. You should also have at least some overall ideas of your research interests - specific periods, theories, regions, media, artists, issues (or a combination of the previous). You don't have to have a full THESIS idea at this stage, but the goal is to be able to talk and write about your interests and how you hope to expand upon them in an MA program. I second @modmuse's recommendation of taking art history courses, and I encourage you to choose and use those courses as springboards for finding potential research areas, if you don't already have one. It also can't hurt to do some outside reading on your favorite topics to give you more background - you could even ask your undergrad professors (or better yet, potential MA advisors) for their recommendations of materials you should read. Keeping in mind why you are leaving studio practice and what research fields you might want to specialize in for an MA program could really help you both in selecting and applying to schools (including writing your SoP), as well as steering yourself in a clear direction as you move forward. I suggest, too, looking at the profiles of current students at the schools you are considering to get an idea of their backgrounds. Some universities are more open to "non-traditional" students than others - that is, they may have accepted students with a background in studio practice, like yours, or from other disciplines. It might help, too, to contact a few of these students and ask how they handled switching fields in both applying and choosing where/what to study.
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