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scarvesandcardigans

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scarvesandcardigans last won the day on July 16 2015

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About scarvesandcardigans

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  1. scarvesandcardigans

    State College, PA

    The bus system is fairly reliable. I use the local app and if you track where the bus actually is and use the bus regularly enough, you can adapt to the routine (I only say this because you might just hear that the bus system is terrible). The free shuttles from the commuter parking, I have heard, tend to be very packed, which has resulted in some of my classmates being late to seminars because many people are trying to get to campus. If you live far enough from campus, as a student or employee, you can get a discounted all-route bus pass ($15/mo.), which I have, and it has been great. I personally don't think that State College is the most drivable place in the world, but it's not bad. The "downtown" grid has many one-way streets, so you'd have to learn those pretty quickly. If you live close enough, I recommend taking the bus or walking. There are downtown parking decks that you can pay for per day that are closer to campus (or per month, but this can be pricy), but if you plan to commute or drive to campus, you will likely have to park near the Bryce Jordan Center and take the free shuttle in. If you're a postdoc or staff or faculty member, you might be able to get an on-campus pass, BUT I have heard that it's very expensive. If you are going to get groceries or run errands, I have never had a major issue with driving. I prefer Wegmans and all of the stores in that area for major grocery/home shopping, so once you are out that way, the traffic clears up a lot. If you live in a town like Boalsburg or Bellefonte, there are buses that will take you into State College that, for the most part, seem pretty reliable. The only time I would say that State College is NOT good for driving around is home football game weekends. Downtown fills up very quickly, and really in general, for a small town, it gets very congested, especially when the weather is still really good. I've heard that during the football game is the best time to go grocery shopping, though... There are many construction projects going on near Atherton close to campus, which can be difficult to navigate, and I say this because the same projects will probably be there after the summer and into the fall, too. Construction projects seem to never end here. Really, if you can avoid Atherton St. close to campus at ALL, I suggest it. The road is not in great shape and work on it has been going since I arrived (2 years ago). I like the downtown area for its local places, like Webster's (used books, good food, records), Appalachian Outdoors, and various restaurants. There are some chain staples like Starbucks, Panera, and even a new Amazon pickup location, but the local places are usually really good to at least try out. There are many options for groceries (Wegmans, multiple Weis locations, Giant, McLanahan's), there are major stores like Walmart, Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, etc. I personally like that there are a lot of local outdoor activities that you can do. Rothrock State Forest is close, and it has a lot of trails and places to check out. The surrounding towns like Bellefonte, Boalsburg and Lemont are nice for half-day or day explorations (Café Lemont all the way!). There are a few gyms, yoga studios, music shops, and other (not food) locations downtown. My favorite day to go into downtown is Sunday, when the downtown parking is free. It seems to be the least crowded day of the week (depending on the university events). It's a nice place to live overall, as long as you are aware when there might be high traffic times or how to avoid certain congested areas. If you venture out of town you will find the more interesting local spots. There are buses that can take you to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, NYC, DC, that don't usually cost that much, which makes State College a very centrally-located place to live. Also, gorgeous in the fall!
  2. scarvesandcardigans

    Spanish/Hispanic Studies Fall 2019 Applications

    Hi friend! I think @Ciboney said pretty much everything (GREAT information). One thing that I would add is that if you're planning conference travel, this has to be factored in (along with the taxes, potential university fees, etc.). I only add it because if you're going to 1-2 conferences per academic year, if you're doing research, it can be an important financial factor to take into account regularly, since you'll have to set the money aside to be able to afford travel. Many universities offer reimbursement, though it might not always be 100%, and is usually paid back to you after you've already paid for your travel. I simply felt this was important to add because conference costs have taken me from feeling like my stipend is "really great for where I live" to "really not enough" very quickly. I know it has no direct bearing upon the relationship between teaching load and stipend, though the weekly flexibility you have for conference travel just might... Just my $.02. Good luck to everyone in this application cycle!
  3. scarvesandcardigans

    State College, PA

    Executive House is nice. Someone in my program lives there, and I've visited a number of times. The living space is pretty large and well laid-out. The person that I know has a deluxe (larger) 1BR and he has a large couch, chair, large television and coffee table in one part, and his L-shaped desk and bookshelf in another. The kitchen space is enough room for a dining table. The kitchen in his unit is somewhat outdated, as is the bathroom. Old tiling, older cabinets, etc, but the appliances seem new and they work well. There is a balcony and sliding door which is also a bonus. The hallways can be a little confusing to navigate and some of the stairwells are narrow, so keep that in mind when moving furniture in. There are elevators as well. It seems to be pretty quiet and is mostly rented by graduate and professionals, and all of the apartments on Waupelani are similar, so it's not a high-noise area. The CATA bus comes often and seems to be reliable. You can get a RidePass for $15/mo for unlimited rides based on the distance that Executive House is located from campus. It's a nice place for sure, electric is reasonable since it's only plugins (~$25 average/mo). You should be more than able to live comfortably with your lease and $30k.
  4. scarvesandcardigans

    TA income monthly after taxes?

    I found this when I was looking into Rutgers' stipend info last year: https://uhr.rutgers.edu/policies-resources/salary-schedules/aaup-aft-faculty-salary-schedules/full-time-ta-and-ga-starting It's a bit outdated, but my offer was something close to $26,000 before taxes with annual increase across four years. I had the academic year appointment which was 9 months, I believe. When I asked the current students they said that they were earning something around $2,500 per month after taxes.
  5. scarvesandcardigans

    State College, PA

    I looked a little bit on craigslist, but (at least in my experience) a lot of it was people looking to sublet. I know that the State College website has its own listing service with a lot of apartment info from around town. If you want, PM me and I'll see if there's anything that I've looked into that might fit what you're looking for! (Note: I worked in real estate and just went through a search for my next apartment in State College so all of the information is pretty fresh ) About the buses, if you live outside of a 3/4 mile radius from one of the downtown bus stops, then you can get a discount pass from the university for $15/mo. The PSU ridepass webpage has a widget that determines if any address qualifies for the discount. Otherwise it's pretty expensive, like $80/mo. or $2 per ride (one way) if you don't have a pass. There are two campus shuttle services (Loop and Link) that are free for students to use to get around campus, but they don't go much outside of the campus area. Most times that I've ridden on the CATA, it has been fairly empty. There is an app that you can use to track its whereabouts, and the few times that I used it, it was fairly reliable. Hope that helps!
  6. scarvesandcardigans

    Spanish Fall 2018

    A friend of mine is in this situation in her PhD, she took out a loan to cover some fees and then asked the department about applying for funding in the second year. Until then she is doing work outside of the degree program. It's totally doable, if that sheds a small bit of light on that scenario! Sending good thoughts your way.
  7. scarvesandcardigans

    Raleigh, NC

    It's the free bus system that can carry you around campus and around Raleigh! Very convenient, sometimes very full, and there's a mobile app that they have which in my experience was pretty reliable.
  8. scarvesandcardigans

    What piece(s) of advice would you give to new TAs?

    Agreed. The instructor on record will usually have a developed schedule of due dates and tasks for you. But for the most part, I did not hear from the students unless I contacted them first. My $0.02: I TA'd an online language learning course during my second year in my MA. My experience was mostly giving feedback to online submissions, including multiple choice, fill in the blank, and some open-ended writing. It was difficult at first to translate feedback language into an online setting (since you don't have body language, things like that), especially if you have to grade, because the students will usually not go to you if something is unclear, but rather the instructor on record. My line of communication about feedback with my instructor on record was always very much open. They also had two in-person assignments that I would make sure to attend if possible so that I could have face-to-face interaction with those students. I also made sure to log the hours when I did my grading and wrote down what I had graded so that I would know what parts of the semester (ex. right before/after an exam) were taking up most of my time so I could plan accordingly - though this is something that can be done for in-person instruction as well, it was particularly useful in the online setting.
  9. scarvesandcardigans

    Raleigh, NC

    I think that this is a good amount to be able to live with in Raleigh. For more info on saving, I would be sure to ask if your program pays your university fees for you. They were around $1,100 per semester and I was required to pay them myself when I was there. These fees are used to pay for facilities that you can use for free (and incentive to use those things) such as the gym, Wolfline, etc.
  10. scarvesandcardigans

    Raleigh, NC

    Agreed with all of these. My favorites were Cup a Joe and Global Village - though to be honest Global can get kind of packed sometimes and they have limited seating for their popularity. They are busiest in the late morning (in my experience) but if I went in the afternoon, it was usually less crowded. The Cup a Joe in the Mission Valley shopping center was always less crowded for me as well. Sometimes, the Bruegger's Bagels on Hillsborough street can be good too. There is also one located in Mission Valley for an alternate location. If you don't mind walking a little bit, only a few minutes away in Cameron Village is Benelux Coffee. They have amazing coffee (and waffles) and they aren't too busy most weekdays.
  11. scarvesandcardigans

    Decision Methodology

    I heavily considered the current research and labs that were available within the department, as well as affiliated departments that would benefit my research. This meant doing a little digging into recent publications from researchers in the departments that I would be working with, looking at conferences in the field as well, since this is where the up-and-coming research from the department can be found. I also made sure that there would be more than one professor who had multiple research interests in common with me. In my MA there were only two that had research interests that aligned with my own, and only one was willing to entertain my research ideas. I considered summer opportunities, research and travel grant availability (general funding and support options, really). I also weighed the town or city where the universities are located (though I did this before the application process even began), when the options became real choices that I had to weigh, then learning as much as I could about the cities, transportation, cost of living, and things to do were important. The funding packages were important, but when it came down to making a decision between my two top choices, it was the visits. If you are offered a visit, by all means, take it! How I felt when I was interacting with the professors, actually in the town or city, and amongst the other graduate students was the deciding factor. Though both programs that I had to choose from were incredible and similar on paper, the visits solidified my decision. Much of what others have said about family, cost of living, and coursework is also quite valuable. Best of luck!
  12. scarvesandcardigans

    Fall 2018 French

    Congratulations on IUB! It's a gorgeous area and it really is affordable to live there. (And hello from the Spanish side of the Languages section!) My $0.02 on IUB is to be sure if you will be required to pay fees out of pocket. My offer last year required that I pay the ~$1,000. It might be a good point of negotiation if you are really interested in their program! And to everyone else - congratulations on admits, and if you are still waiting, hang in there! Sending good thoughts.
  13. scarvesandcardigans

    popular things you hate

    I agree with all of these except Maluma, but only because I haven't listened enough to have a good opinion, but like, everything else is spot on for me
  14. scarvesandcardigans

    Spanish Fall 2018

    Lots of good programs here! I did my MA in Hispanic Linguistics at NC State. And the program at Indiana is really great as well! And a quick word of encouragement for everyone - keep hanging in there! Sending good thoughts to everyone applying!
  15. scarvesandcardigans

    "What other schools are you applying to"...

    It's usually optional. Most schools use this info as a tool to size up what other programs they are competing against, and it's by no means required for you to report that information.
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