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About stringgenius

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    Comparative Literature
  1. I worked as a bank teller for a year between undergrad and grad school. It was pretty mind-numbing, but there's nothing like a bland 9-5 job to reassure you that grad school is the right choice.
  2. I don't know much about Oregon's program, but I was accepted to comp lit at Rutgers and got a very good impression of the program. One of my professors where I did my undergrad said that the DGS at Rutgers is very well-respected and has been working hard to improve the quality of the department in recent years. They also seem to have a lot of resources, financial and otherwise, for grad students. As I said, I don't know enough about Oregon to make a true comparison, but even though I didn't end up choosing Rutgers, I still think I would have been perfectly happy there.
  3. I don't know how typical this is, but I got into several PhD programs in comp lit with just a BA (I graduated from a good, but not great, program - probably top 30. I also didn't take any graduate classes). One of the programs I got into was a top 10, and they didn't seem at all concerned that I didn't have an MA. As someone else mentioned, it's more about the quality of the writing sample and evidence of previous scholarship, even at the undergraduate level, that matters.
  4. I did my undergrad at IU, and the cost of living is very reasonable. Right now, I pay $490/month for a HUGE one-bedroom apartment within walking distance of campus. If you have roommates or are willing to live a little further away (which isn't a problem, since the bus system is great), you can live for much, much cheaper. As far as things to do, there are lots of bars, music venues, art galleries, theaters, etc. The restaurant variety is great - there are three Indian restaurants, a couple of Thai restaurants, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Ethiopian, Greek, Turkish - everything you can imagine. And the prices are pretty reasonable, particularly for lunch (the Indian restaurants do a great lunch buffet). Groceries are really reasonable, too - you can either go with the big chain stores like Marsh or Kroger, or you can shop at the local places, which are a little pricier, but also offer more organic/locally grown products. I know a lot of people are nervous about the prospect of living in Indiana, but Bloomington really is completely different than the rest of the state. I'm going on my fifth year here and I've had a great experience. Sorry I can't offer too many specific recommendations regarding housing - I lived in the dorms for the first three years, but there isn't really a "bad" part of Bloomington. The trade-off of living close to campus is that 1) it's more expensive and 2) there are more noisy undergrads. However, I live pretty close to the stadium, and my apartment complex is surprisingly quiet (they cater to grad students and enforce a pretty strict noise policy, so that helps). I would talk to current grad students in your department if possible for more specific recommendations, but there are some really cute/affordable houses in pretty much every part of town.
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