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poco_puffs last won the day on October 17 2010

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    PhD English Literature

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  1. I hear you on the boredom thing, and I had thought about this a bit earlier in the year when the open days of summer seemed full of time and possibility. Anyway, I think part of the appeal of eating out is that food made by other people just has that delicious quality that WE did not make it. To get around that, still save some money, and expand our own culinary horizons, I'm thinking about asking people from my cohort to come to my house and teach me to cook something. Ideally, there'd be 4-5 people, and we'd all cook some element of a feast together in the kitchen, so it has the deliciously
  2. As my stipend only covers the school year and not the summer, I try to save as much as I can each month so that I'll have a cushion for rent and food during the summer. This past summer I got a part-time job to manage, since my savings weren't nearly as consistent as they could have been. This year my stipend has been adjusted a little higher and I'm heading in with foreknowledge of the money-crunch in January and towards the end of the school year. Originally I was hoping to save and put some each summer toward paying off the interest accruing on my student loans. That didn't happen.
  3. Besides discussing topics and readings that the students are covering in the main sections of their class, maybe consider mini-lectures and discussions about different elements of pre-writing, writing and revising papers. I'm teaching my own section of comp for the first time this year, and it's been tough to come up with enough stuff to fill out a whole term. This is a list of stuff that I've considered including in the course, although now I'm realizing that I probably won't be able to fit it all in: Intros, conclusions, thesis statements, paragraph structure and topic sentences, eviden
  4. Old school texter, here. Swype and I do NOT get along. Spelling errors happen in both of them, but I think they're more predictable/decipherable in old-school texting.
  5. In my post-work stupor I saw the topic title on this thread and thought it said "Starting Graduate Program without a cat" My thoughts: impossible.
  6. Throwing my hat in the pool for the old-fashioned flip-phone, in part because of the reasons Eigen has just offered-- I check my email enough on computers at home and on campus. I also don't need all the added distractions that apps and games can offer. I survived my first year just fine without a smart phone and all of the little things that supposedly make life easier for everyone else. On the one hand, I do worry that not being up to date with the latest apps and tech might put me at a slight disadvantage when compared to my cohort. On the other hand, I'm banking on being judged on my s
  7. As an aside, I know someone who is applying postcolonial theory to medieval lit. It's legit.
  8. University of Oregon PhD students do two terms of pedagogy training in their first year (including an apprenticeship with a more experienced composition instructor) and then teach one comp class per term until they finish with their dissertation. After you're done with your own coursework and have started on your dissertation I believe you can start teaching Intro to Lit classes, but I'd have to double-check. Either way, UO has a pretty good rep as far as training future teachers. Also, we've got some good medievalists, if you haven't checked.
  9. Normally, if they are gunning for a reaction I try not to give it to them either way. Attention-whores hate it when they don't get paid.
  10. Ditto the wikipedia thing. I google and wikipedia terms and concepts CONSTANTLY when I'm at home. I also look up the definitions for probably 10-12 words a week when I'm doing heavy reading. Sometimes more, depending on the level of vocab. It's just like any language, you start picking it up really quickly once you hear and use it on a regular basis. It always helps to understand the meanings of the words when you start to use them though
  11. This is the shotgun approach to advice, so I'm sorry if it seems disjointed... Don't be ashamed of your age, which is also going to mean avoiding a constant self-deprecating humor that constantly points it out. I know a few people who used to do that, and it's really a fine line between "Hey, I accept the fact that I"m a little younger and it does make me different" and "Hey! Look at me! I'm young! Don't judge me! I'm young! (nervous soliciting laugh)" Just a smile, and a quick explanation that you skipped some years should be enough to explain your age, but there's really no reason that yo
  12. Personal Observations in a Humanities department: We had a big incoming cohort of MAs and PhDs from all over the country. Some of us had significant others move with us, some had SOs in a long-distance thing, and some came single. In this first year, I can't think of anyone whose situation has changed significantly (though there are probably one or two people who I'm just not as familiar with). Anyhow, I think for a lot of people the first year is just so busy that, whether or not they're lonely, the idea of actively dating can be a little daunting in a new city with a new crowd. I imagine
  13. Wellll, the origin of the phrase is still officially murky. Don't discount your mama altogether!
  14. Another explanation: In early typesetting, where the letters were cast in mirror-images to then produce the correct letter on the printed page, the reversal of lowercase Ps and Qs was a big problem since they were already mirror images of each other. Thus, "Minding your 'p's and 'q's" was a practical consideration that turned into advice to be aware of the fine details that might have larger and more lasting consequences. In that light, you could even argue that it's a precursor to "Don't get it twisted."
  15. I can think of more than one grad school situation where I'd have to psych myself up by saying "Kiss. Ass. You can do this, mama. Get to it. Kiss some ass."
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