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About novazembla

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  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
  1. popular things you hate

    Brand names with vowels removed. Apparently people think this is cool? I could deal with it when it was just Flickr and Tumblr. Now I can't stop seeing ads for DSTLD jeans and MVMT watches and BHLDN which I would absolutely never have guessed is supposed to be "beholden" if I wasn't told so. (Also, who wants to be beholden?) Do we think we're writing in Arabic? Make it stop.
  2. Cringe-worthy (again) >_<

    So I misspelled the name of a professor I wanted to work with on the application for one of my top schools. It wasn't in the SOP -- the application asked you to list three professors you were interested in working with and gave you three text fields, and I just switched around two letters in the middle of his last name. I screwed up my GRE score, too -- I had gotten a 151/43rd percentile on the quantitative section, and I entered that I got a 143, which is like the fifteenth percentile. I think I'd spent so much time reading and rereading my SOP and writing sample, making sure that everything was perfect, that I forgot about not effing up the application itself. This school is the only acceptance I've gotten so far.
  3. Keep a Word, Drop a Word

    true colors
  4. Keep a Word, Drop a Word

    Secret agent
  5. Fall 2017 applicants

    I'm just seeing your post now. I also got email from the professor I'm interested in at UNC on probably the same day you did. I talked with him over the weekend, and it went similarly -- he encouraged me to apply for a FLAS fellowship as well. I was pretty nervous, but I figured that a professor wouldn't call me up at 9 AM on Saturday to say, "Ha ha! No chance!"
  6. Fall 2017 applicants

    I found some stuff to cut, and it ended up being under 30 pages, so it's good. OK, another stupid question: While looking through one of my already-submitted applications, I noticed to my horror that I had mistyped the name of one of the professors I'm interested in working with. I didn't misspell it, I switched two letters in the middle of his name. I believe this professor is on the admitting committee. It wasn't on my SOP or anything, it was in a text area on the application. How screwed am I? Should I send him an email apologizing?
  7. Fall 2017 applicants

    This may be a dumb question, but one of the schools I'm applying to has a limit of 30 pages for the writing sample. I have a good excerpt from a longer paper, but it's 32 pages double-spaced. Nowhere does it say that it the writing sample must be double-spaced, so can I send it at 1.5? My professor thinks it's okay, but I'm a little afraid I would look like I'm trying to be clever.
  8. Applying to grad school, terrible GRE, help please!

    I'm the same when it comes to math. I understand it while I'm studying it, but then it all just falls out of my head. What I did that saved my skin on the GRE (I got a totally average score, like exactly 50th percentile) was that I skipped all the questions I didn't immediately know that I could figure out and then went back to the skipped ones after I'd done all the ones I could. I knew I wasn't going to have time to do a fair number of them, and I wanted those to be the ones that I absolutely couldn't do.
  9. Fall 2017 applicants

    Hi everyone! I'm applying to a bunch of PhD programs for fall 2017, focusing on modern East Central Europe. The universities I'm applying to have pretty wildly divergent requirements for the length of the writing sample, ranging from ten pages (!!) to thirty pages to "Just send the whole thing with the understanding that we probably won't read all of it if it's too long". I have a 50-page research paper that I want to use as the basis for the writing samples. I'm wondering if it's okay for me to send an excerpt from this paper to the schools requesting shorter samples that's very obviously an excerpt, or do I have to re-form it into something that would pass as a stand-alone thing? Professors I've talked to have told me that sending an excerpt is okay, but I'd like the input of others, too. I'm also completely at sea about the statement of purpose. Can anyone point me to any sample SOPs for history? I know that's lame, but that sort of thing really helps me. I know what my purpose is, I just am not sure how to go about writing it and it's making me a little crazy.
  10. Weird Quotations

    I recently read a book that was dedicated to a person who saved the author as a six-year-old from drowning in the Niger River.
  11. East/Central Europe programs

    Hi, everyone. I'm about to start one of the kinds of threads that I've seen a lot of on these forums -- one where somebody asks a bunch of questions that are really only relevant to themselves. I apologize in advance. I majored in history at a relatively prestigious small liberal arts college but did not do particularly well -- I did ended up with a 3.0 GPA, mostly because I got very bad grades in a number of required courses. Following college, I taught English abroad, then came back to the US and waited tables and did ESL tutoring before deciding what I ought to do was get an MA in education and teach high school history. I'm currently in the second year of a two-year program, and I'm slowly coming to realize that teaching high school history is probably not my dream career. During the first year, I took some graduate courses in US history and enjoyed them thoroughly -- I learned a lot about what studying and writing history is all about, and I really think that's what I want to do. So I'm thinking about applying to history graduate programs in addition to looking for jobs teaching high school. Despite the American history classes -- which I took because I didn't get a lot of US history in undergrad -- my main interests are in 19th-century and early 20th-century Eastern/Central Europe, particularly Czechoslovakia, particularly Slovakia, specifically with regards to nationalism, language, national minorities, the pan-Slavic movement, and transnational perspectives. I speak and read Czech and Slovak fluently. My GPA in my master's program is 3.894 (so far, at least). And my GRE scores are pretty great, for what it's worth. So, I've got some questions. - Should I apply for MA programs first? I was kind of thinking I ought to do that, but, firstly, I can't really fund it myself, and secondly, I haven't found a lot of programs that are strong in the areas that I'm interested in. Does anyone know of any? - What exactly should I send as a writing sample? I haven't done any writing in the history classes I've taken using primary sources, it's all been historiographical essays. Should I make an effort to take a class next semester where I do write a paper using primary sources? - Is it a problem that I've only been taking US history classes at the graduate level, when I'm interested in applying to programs to study modern Europe? Should I take a class next semester somewhat more directly related to my interests? (The university I'm at now doesn't really have anything in East/Central Europe, though.) - Will I be dramatically more likely to be accepted to history graduate programs once I've been teaching history in high school for a few years? - I have a general idea of departments that have strong East/Central Europe programs, but does anyone have specific recommendations?