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About anxiousgrad

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    Double Shot

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    PhD English Literature

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  1. Hi Jose, At Duquesne, I think you might enjoy working with Emad Mirmotahari, Greg Barnhisel, and Linda Kinnahan. Emad is a Postcolonial scholar, and the latter two profs are modernists. It sounds like you’re a very competitive applicant. Funding is guaranteed for 4 years for all PhD students, and virtually guaranteed for a 5th year (the first 4 years are a teaching fellowship, while the 5th year could be a different sort of fellowship). Some students secure funding through the department or university for their 6th year, although it is rarely necessary for a student to spend more than 5 years on their PhD here. Please feel free to message me for more info about Duquesne! -Courtney
  2. Hi, I did my MA at Wake Forest and I’m in the PhD program at Duquesne. I was partially funded at Wake (ended up paying about $20,000 when all was said and done), but at least 2 students per semester get full funding, including a Writing Center assistantship and a stipend. Duquesne has similar funding for MAs, but the fellowship is for teaching and the stipend is higher, as far as I know. All students are at least partially funded and there are additional assistantships available. There should be 2-3 teaching fellowships, a fellowship with Women’s and Gender Studies, and a position as admin/office assistant available next year. Wake has a perfectly good program, but if I had known about Duquesne’s MA program at the time, I definitely would have rather been at Duquesne. Its really an amazing department.
  3. I'm not sure what other schools offer, but a student in my MA program was able to get housing on campus and funding by working as a Residential Director. It seemed like a fairly time-consuming gig, but it might be a good way to save money.
  4. anxiousgrad

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Hello all, I'm moving to Pittsburgh in a month (!!!) and I found an apartment I really like with Mozart Management (http://www.mozartrents.com/). I had the opportunity to visit and tour 2 buildings and 4 apartments before choosing my favorite, but they also allow you to do an "Instarent" online if you won't be able to visit before renting. The application and leasing process are very thorough--and frankly kind of a pain in the ass--but it made me feel like everything had been thought of and handled. Most of their apartments (maybe even all of them, I'm not sure) include utilities, so there's one less thing to worry about each month. They also allow pets in many of their buildings, but charge a pet rent ($35 for me, possibly different for other buildings). They did require my parents to co-sign, and it seemed like this might be their general policy for students, but they easily accepted my parents' middle-class income. They have an 'apartment search' tool on their website, so you can see what is available for your move-in date, in your budget, in your preferred neighborhood. Good luck to anyone still searching for a place to live!
  5. I tend to agree with this, but much like @fuzzylogician I'm not sure what options I have for dealing with this when I'm in a position of little to no power. With students, I like fuzzy's firm-yet-accommodating approach, but I've been at a loss as to how to deal with this from faculty in the past. I absolutely think they're wrong/disrespectful/unprofessional to blow off meetings or consistently arrive late, but I never feel like I can say that to them. @MaytheSchwartzBeWithYou, one of my favorite professors during my MA was like this. She was amazing to talk with about lit and theory, and I learned so much when was a TA for her. However, she rarely responded to emails at all, let alone in a timely manner. We did an independent study together, and she often rescheduled our weekly meetings because she had forgotten to do the reading. Sometimes when I really needed her, I could count on her. She met with me multiple times to workshop my Writing Sample. She was a great second reader for my thesis. Other times, she really dropped the ball. She turned in nearly all of my LORs past the deadlines, and I can't help but wonder if that hurt my chances of admission at some PhD programs. Based on my experience, I would say that you should be wary of working with an 'unreliable' professor (if you discover that this is in fact his style and not a summer thing or a fluke) on major, time-sensitive projects, but that he may be someone wonderful to learn from and build a more informal relationship with.
  6. I completed my undergrad in a department that was not at all rigorous. I was generally able to get away with doing my work last minute, skipping some or all of the reading, and not paying much attention in class. I still made almost all 'A's. There were a few courses (literary theory, gender and sexuality in lit) which challenged me, and I would not have been at all prepared for grad school without them. Other than my undergrad honors thesis, which was roughly 25 pages, I had never written a paper longer than 10 pages. I got really lucky that I managed to become self-motivated during my last two years of undergrad, because I could have easily gone all four years without becoming much of a scholar. My MA program was the first time I ever really had to work at school. My first year, I read an average of 1,000 pages a week. I wrote papers three times as long as what I wrote in undergrad. I was unprepared for the work-as-you-go expectation of grad school, so I wrote most of my final papers in the span of four days during the first semester. They (mostly) turned out pretty good, but after that semester I learned to start working on papers much earlier. After the first semester, I was used to the rigor of graduate school and it's been pretty smooth sailing since then. What I'm getting at here is that if your undergrad was anything like mine, your first semester might be rough. You may also be best to start at an MA program instead of going direct to PhD, so your transition isn't as difficult. But ultimately, if you did well in undergrad and are prepared to work a lot harder, then you will be absolutely fine in grad school. Also, so far most of my graduate courses have been discussion-based, but it's been a lot more interesting and rewarding in grad school when you can assume everyone did the reading and has something useful to contribute.
  7. Look into which MA programs are funded. Although they are relatively rare, there are some MA programs which offer partial or full funding. There may also be Graduate Assistantships available outside of your department. For example, and acquaintance of mine worked as a Residential Director to earn her tuition and a stipend during the MA. If you are unable to get the majority of your MA funded, however, then I think going straight to the PhD would be the better option.
  8. My best friend from my MA program is nearly 8 years older than me! We meshed better than I did with students who are only a few months or a few years older than me. My point is, age really doesn't matter because you and the other members of your cohort are likely to be at a similar place in your lives. I can see there being a greater divide between married and unmarried students, but even that isn't necessarily the case. I agree with the other posters, just be yourself! You wouldn't have been accepted into the program if you didn't come across as mature to the admissions committee!
  9. A good friend of mine met her language requirement for the MA at Boston College using ASL.
  10. I did not teach at all in my MA (except for electing to TA undergrad lit courses for no compensation). I will be teaching 1:1 in my PhD at Duquesne. The first semester, I'll co-teach a course with a student with more advanced standing in the program. After that, I'll be on my own. I will teach first-year writing every fall and an introductory lit course every spring, and they will try to arrange for me to co-teach an upper-level course with a faculty member in my fourth year.
  11. I GOT INTO DUQUESNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  12. Thank you! So far, wine has been the only effective way to forget the anxiety
  13. I just got an email from the DGS at Duquesne: "I just wanted to update you on your waitlist status. The deadline for replying to offers for the PhD program is this Saturday. I have one candidate who I have contacted multiple times and who has never responded; I am assuming that she does not intend to accept the offer. If, by the end of the weekend, we have not heard from her, I will instruct the graduate office to extend an offer to you." I'm freaking out. I think I might actually get in.
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