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About sentientcabbage

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    English Ph.D.
  1. Figured I'd weigh in with a somewhat different perspective here! I got a 720, which is the 97th percentile. I spent too long studying for the test, obviously (the payoff really is too low; I believe the test is functionally pass-fail), though of course am proud of the result. What I want to emphasize, though, is that now I won't be applying to programs for the upcoming season. Poor prioritization of my time and issues arising in other areas of my life made it so that I just can't make a finely-tuned SOP and writing sample before the early deadlines. Even those of you who are disappointed in your scores have A LOT to be proud of, and I hope that you don't let self-recrimination get you too down when you're still persevering over one of the most arduous and demoralizing trials I've ever encountered. So good luck in this application season, everyone! And cut yourselves some slack! Maybe I'll meet you in 2013.
  2. That seems like really sound advice, bdon19 - thanks for the perspective! Heavy editing is a given for any paper I decide to use this year; the sanguinity of the last attempt's been replaced by a rather furious work ethic. On reflection, dropping my area of greatest expertise in favor of greater freshness seems like an unwise exchange, and I imagine that anxiety has overblown fears of my paper's sterility somewhat. Assuming some refinement in the final draft, this concern should be fairly low down on the list haha. Thanks again! I hope your conference (and the coming months in general) treat you well.
  3. I'm preparing for my second round of applications for Literature Ph.D. positions in the field of Modernism. Last time, my writing sample was a lightly edited version of a well-received paper I'd written on Virginia Woolf. This year, I'd been planning to compose a new paper on Woolf: she's far and away the writer I'm most grounded in, but my old papers tended to rely far more heavily on close readings than theoretical framework. I expect (though correct me if I'm wrong!) that a solid theoretical grounding is one of the most important things to demonstrate in the writing sample, so am happy to write a largely fresh paper. Starting to look into the Woolf criticism, though, my ideas seem insufficiently different from a lot of the extant thought, and with such a major author, that seems to be true about any of the really sound ideas I could develop. So would it be better to scrap the Woolf paper, and write on an author who I'm less familiar with, but would be a fresher voice upon? Or should I write the paper that would be well-developed and reflective of my most knowledgeable area, but which represents a rather stale critical voice? I appreciate any opinions offered!
  4. Hmm...the email doesn't directly address the subject, though it's clear that they're done reviewing applications. The site says they aim for classes of about 100 students, though, and gradcafe definitely suggests that few spots have been offered so far! It seems likely that they still have a lot of offers to extend, and as the email made it clear that all aid decisions had also been reached, they'll hopefully be sent out soon. I'd say it's not time to worry yet, but I guess we've all been worrying for a while already. In any case, good luck!
  5. I just got an email from the University of Chicago which said that I was rejected from the literature Ph.D. program, but offered a spot in their one-year Master of Arts Program in the Humanities. As no funding is attached, it doesn't seem like a viable option for me...although it is a nice respite from all the more straightforward rejections I've received so far! Anyone else in the same position? Opinions on the program? As I haven't received a letter from Chicago yet (the email suggested that I ought to have), I'd be interested in knowing if it has further details. I hope everyone's getting through this season well! It certainly hasn't been an easy one.
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