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About mdivgirl

  • Rank
  • Birthday 10/30/1978

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • Interests
    History, religion, music, sewing, knitting, my kids, the world
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Religion - Historical Studies

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354 profile views
  1. How much breadth in History of Christianity?

    My only advice for the earlier times is make sure you have the languages required for the field(s) you wish to pursue. For example, it's hard to get into a good medieval program if you don't already have Latin. (Which is why I switched from Medieval to early modern English history in the long run.)
  2. Does this mean that i have been accepted?

    I am guessing you have figured this out by now, but for future reference, I am assuming that he would not have said anything to you unless he was sure of it. I know my potential advisor was always very cautious to not make any promises until he knew for certain, and I am guessing this is standard procedure.
  3. Which academic discipline should I pursue given my interests?

    Read a lot. See whose work resonates best with you and see what field they are in and what their approach is. Take some courses outside your discipline. If you don't know what you want to do, there's nothing that says you have to go straight into grad school. I ended up teaching ESL in Asia for years before I realized that yes, academics really was where I need to be. Even then, it took a while to narrow down the discipline, but once I did, I know I approached it with considerably more understanding of what I was doing and why than I would have straight out of school, and I know my application reflected this. You can always take extra courses at community colleges or even non-degree-seeking courses at public universities along the way to further explore what might be best for you.
  4. Everyone's road to grad school is different. Some people are set on a course at 10 and never deviate. Then there's the rest of us. My brother and I are in our late 30's and both headed into pretty decent Ph.D. programs in the fall. Both of us ended up in a variety of fields before we settled on what we were really cut out to do, and both of us ended up taking quite a few extra, non-degree courses along the way. These courses are actually a good way of testing the waters without committing. Maybe you'll find out you really hate psych. Better to know so now than halfway through a program. Also, there's a whole new vocab and mindset to learn. I have never taken a psych course. That brother of mine is about to start a Ph.D. in one. He ends up completely talking over my head every conversation I have with him. You would not want to be in a program where you are the only one who doesn't know the lingo and the way of thinking of all your professors and texts. If you write your application right, a meandering path to grad school can show just as much commitment, as fuzzylogician said. Grad school is a much bigger commitment than a few community college courses, so if you have trouble committing to them, maybe it's not really what you want to be doing or you need more time to think about it or your life circumstances aren't right for this anyway. And if you find out this isn't for you and can't get into grad school, it's still a win. Both psych classes and art classes sound pretty fun and useful in and of themselves. You get to learn a few new things and possibly meet a few interesting people. Community college is usually not a huge financial commitment compared to your other options. So enjoy. If you can't enjoy the thought of a few extra courses, grad school may not be for you anyway -- or at least not at this moment. Maybe there are other ways to do some of the things you want to do, like volunteer to teach community art or theater to at-risk kids or in senior citizen homes in addition to your day job. (Although I know nothing of the field, I will hazard a guess that if you do end up applying to grad schools in art therapy, such activities will not hurt your application.)
  5. Babies and PhDs

    I am starting a Ph.D. program in church history in the fall with an almost-4, almost-6, and almost-7 year old (pre-school, kindergarten, and 1st grade). We are also moving internationally and my husband and oldest son may or may not make it through immigration by the time the semester starts, so I am not sure if I am actually going to make it, though I think it will work once we get everyone to the country and find a house and routine. Until then, we are staying with a friend of the family so that will help. But yeah. I am a little overwhelmed with all the life details that I am barely thinking about school yet. A lot of those come from living overseas so long that I just don't have a lot of life in place, plus my husband isn't American and isn't too much help on practical life in the US matters. Thank God for the internet! One thing that helped is that my school opened up registration early. Even though we were not expected to sign up for classes until we met with our advisers at orientation, I managed to do it over the phone and get my schedule more-or-less settled. This gives me a decent idea of what my schedule will be like so I can work the family details out around it. I am very jealous of this. I have looked up day care at my school and other than limited emergency care or a full-out, full-priced daycare, they don't have much to offer. I have two evening seminars, but other than that my class schedule is one hour every morning so something like this would be totally perfect for my youngest. As it is, we're looking into a twice-a-week church program and drop-in daycares near campus -- but this makes me so jealous!
  6. As per my husband, a Brit who has a BA in history from Cambridge: "The honest answer is that traditionally, Cambridge in better at sciences and Oxford at arts, but every year the ranking change and both are excellent." I get the impression that they are pretty equally prestigious over all. You may want to ask people in your individual field which is better known/ has the top scholars in your particular area of study. You can also figure out a lot of that with Google, I'm guessing.
  7. ESL Teaching in Asia or Middle East

    I second the Taiwan recommendation. If you are looking to teach in after school programs (which most people do) all you need is a bachelor's to get a job and a visa. I have no idea what the current job market is like here since I am on the end of a decade at the same school and moving back to the US, but Taiwan rates highly from all accounts as a good place to be an ex-pat.
  8. HDS - Need Advice on housing

    I went to seminary outside of Boston with wonderful on-campus housing, so I have no specific advice to offer, but I did go to church in the city and know my church had an on-line roommate board since students made up a large percentage of the congregants. If you are religiously inclined, you may find other churches/places of worship in the area have similar things with people looking for roommates, etc.
  9. Living away from your spouse for grad school?

    Interesting topic. I live in Asia and plenty of people leave children with grandparents to work in the city, but it is hard on the kids. Right now I am in a somewhat similar situation. I am starting grad school in the summer and though I am American neither my husband or oldest (adopted) child are. I could have timed their immigration paperwork better, but honestly there were so many nit-picking details to worry about that eventually I just put it aside to focus on actually getting into grad school -- which in turn gave me great evidence for my American "domicile" to prove I was really coming back to sponsor them since I have been overseas for more than a decade. Honestly I never saw myself making this decision to break up the family even for a short time, but my husband is very supportive and the kids so far are handling the thought well (though they are only 3 - 6 so I don't know how much they understand.). Unfortunately, immigration is more delayed these days considering the recent international climate. Fortunately we are on the last few steps (I hope) of the process and I think they should be able to come by Thanking or Christmas at the latest, but emotionally and practically this isn't very easy. Still, if I don't do it, we'll never leave so we are doing a lot of planning and contingency planning. I know my oldest will be OK without me because he loves where we are now and gets along great with his dad. My younger two are going to have to come with me because emotionally they would not cope as well even though it would make logistics easier. (Except for the flight. I could not see my husband navigating international travel with three small children unaided!). But all that to say, you know your child the best and not all kids and family dynamics are the same. If it's a long degree, your SO could always start looking for jobs closer especially if your child(ren) aren't handling it well. so just because you say "yes" doesn't necessarily mean you are committing to the entire time apart.
  10. Nashville, TN

    Thanks for the info, @revtheory1126 . The screen name is a relic from time a past. It just sort of stuck. I am going to be studying a Ph.D. in church history in the department of religion so will be be jumping between the history department and the div school from the sound of it. I've mostly been looking around Franklin and Bellevue, since those are the areas I've been recommended, but I am wondering where else to look. Since you live to the West, any thoughts on Pegram or Kingston Springs? Is that getting too far away? The schools look pretty good and there are some reasonable houses with room to breathe. Or Nolansville? We have a friend with two spare bedrooms in Thomson Station willing to put us up for a while and we are having the kids start there, and that looks like a great town, but I'll see how fast the commute gets to me. I am from NJ and had plenty of long commutes growing up, but my husband is from the U.K. And we currently live right in the middle of a major Asian city where my job is about 7 minutes away on scooter, so I have no idea how we're going to feel about US distances and commutes. I am just trying to work out as much as I can before the semester starts because I am going to have plenty to get my head around for classes, etc.
  11. Decision Dilemma

    I, too, would suggest going with the mentor you clicked with if you think you can be interested in what he's doing. I am in a totally different field (religion/history) but I ended up switching time periods in part due to the fact that the mentor who was interested in me was too good to pass up. In fact, I ended up in a different department to work with him because I know he'll teach me a lot and is invested in my success. The first professor may end up working out great, but just from the way you present them both I can tell you feel like the second is a better fit for you personally. If you end up in academia, you can follow your own research passions later. Learning the ropes well and having a guide you can count on seems pretty invaluable at this stage. But again, I'm in a different field, so I don't know how it might be for your area.
  12. PhD Applications Fall '17 Season

    Well done with securing funding. My husband is British and did his undergrad at Cambridge and is always very pessimistic about the funding chances so I didn't even try. (Well, that and the U.K. doesn't acknowledge the adoption of our oldest son so since he came along the plan had to be the US first.) But it's a good gig if you can get it.
  13. Nashville, TN

    On the off chance you still check this (or anyone else who knows the area), how is Murfreesboro working out for you? I am also moving to the area with three young children and trying to figure out what child-friendly, reasonably priced communities might have doable commutes. Most of what I have heard has been people living to the South, which makes sense given the location of Vanderbilt, but do you know anyone who lives to the Northeast (around Hendersonville)? It looks like there are some decent communities there with reasonable calculated commutes, but I am coming from overseas and have no idea how Googlemaps estimates relate to real travel times.
  14. This is a completely different field, but I started an M.Div. at a seminary when I was 20. I am now beginning a Ph.D. program in my late 30's. I am amazed that despite my years out of academia, I seem to be so much more able to think about high level things than I was during my master's (and I was a pretty decent student then). There are a lot of advantages brought by maturity, and I am choosing to focus on those. I haven't entered the program yet, and it may be weird knowing that some of the junior faculty is younger than I am, but the professors I will be working with are older and established and I am looking forward to learning from them all.
  15. MA at Harvard or University of Chicago

    I have spent a lot of time in Boston and minimal time in Chicago, so I am admittedly biased, but although I think University of Chicago sounds like a great school, if all else is equal I would choose New England over the Midwest. If you have family or friends you would be closer to in Chicago, that might swing it the other way, but other than that, Boston's a pretty great place to be a student -- if you can afford it. Also, it does seem like Harvard is in a much better part of town than the University of Chicago is, from what I've read.