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AP last won the day on August 21

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About AP

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    (graduated!) History

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  1. Maybe you want to post this question in the Mathematics thread.
  2. 1) Do not by any means ask him to write a letter. He has no reason to explain anything to no one and you requesting that after rejecting his (very bad) terms will not help you. 2) do not waste your time with this experience. I am not sure why you think you need to talk to about this. You had a bad experience about funding that has nothing to do with your research or your potential. If you want to account for the time you “lost”, you can say something like “in the past application cycle I received offers from several programs. After much consideration, I committed to a programs whose funding did not follow through. This taught me that our academic endeavors sometimes depend on external factors. As far as I am concerned, I do follow through”. That’s it, own your decision and not shed any spotlight on anyone other than yourself. The SoP is about YOU.
  3. I have a non-field-specific piece of advice: Drop the undergrad in your applications. Grad school is not about "chances", it's about having a strong application that evidences potential (which is ironic, right?). So, it's not about ticking things off a list, although sometimes it might feel like that. You should demonstrate ability to read your sources (so @telkanuru correct me if I'm wrong), so Latin should be a priority. Doing a secondary project besides your thesis could be useful, but I'd connect it to your thesis (either as a chapter or a section of a chapter). But my point is, do not think that more things is better. Graduate school is about the questions you have and how you try to answer them.
  4. I'm sorry you are feeling isolated and alone. I was older than my cohort, so I was "organically" left out. That pushed me to make friends in upper years and other departments. I worked on campus a couple of hours a week and took some regular workshops (on teaching, GIS, etc etc). Encountering people outside my department (and seeing some regular faces over and over again) helped me create friendships that I wouldn't have if I remained in my department. Is there a possibility for you to do something like this? Two other things that worked for me were church groups and meet ups (www.meetup.com). I was a bridesmaid to a friend I meet in a white water meet up! But if you are worried about your cohort, maybe you need to accept the fact that they are just your colleagues, and that's ok.
  5. For me, it was the determining factor. Not only in the offer, but also how much money might be available down the line.
  6. What are you asking, exactly?
  7. AP

    Comp prep question

    Just to be clear, ASK what those expectations are. Comps are (in theory) a learning opportunity so you are more than entitled to ask what the expectations are. This will help you discern how each faculty will evaluate your work.
  8. Now this was so many years ago (four!) that I can't make any promises! One of the best things I learned about exams is how much they depended on me. Comps are not your typical exam, in the sense that they don't test just knowledge but expertise. What makes you an expert, then? Well, I was very vocal about having this conversations with my committees which helped steer exams into something that was useful for me. I am teaching this semester out of that third field that I mentioned above. Second, I learned more about my own interests that I had not anticipated. It helped me better position my dissertation within the literature outside of my field. I think that this perspective, training to be an expert in, my case, Latin American History but being aware of similar conversations going on for other places (especially the Global South) enabled me better "sell" my project (I think) for completion fellowships, postdocs, and jobs. As I mentioned, my exams were three fields examined in a 24-hour window each (written) and an oral 2-hour 'defense'. For fields I and II, the list was pretty much given, but not set in stone. Particularly, we did not have extensive literature on our dissertation focus. I focus on Central America so most of my geographical focus from the exam lists was from the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America. For the third field, I combined GIS, Environmental History, and Border Studies. Thus, exams were an opportunity to examine scholarly conversations beyond my tiny field and, eventually, was able to incorporate this into my dissertation. Needless to say, this type of training also facilitated my Q&A section of job talks!
  9. AP

    2020 application thread

    Hello new applicants! I used TGC when applying for graduate school back in the day and now I hold a TT position. I'm not serving in committees yet, but I am working "on the other side". I hope you find my insight useful. In addition to the sound advice you've already receive, I'd recommend planning your field with a global perspective. Even if you focus on 19th century US, what would your research bring to the discipline as a whole? You don't need to answer this, but the fact that you are asking these questions might entice the AdComm (conformed not only of US historians) to make you an offer. In addition, more and more US history courses are being taught in relation to global issues. I often sit back and listen to what @telkanuru says in these cases as the semi-official resident medievalist. In addition to the language comment, which is not minor, I'd steer away of lists like this. Admission to history programs goes beyond the numbers you provide, it's about the questions you ask, the insight that you offer, and your potential to develop those questions and those insights professionally.
  10. Following up on @Sigaba's post, I was an outsider so I was (maybe?) mentally prepared to being left out, which doesn't mean it didn't suck. As it turned out, I made friends in older cohorts so I was very quickly invited to "the" parties and events. I also agree with @Boolakanaka's advice: give. it. time. Coming in, I thought I was going to be friends with the other international student (who also was native in my native language). In the end, we ended up not getting along at all. Further, I became great friends with someone from the midwest, so there! My advice, in addition to give it time, would be not to force yourself into making friends with your cohort. Expand you horizon to other cohorts or other first-years in other departments. I've said this many times, I think your cohort is first and mostly a professional grouping, if you make friends, that's great. But if you don't, you can always make it elsewhere, where people see you, share your interests, and enjoy your company. Good luck!
  11. I think you are right in wanting to include your history into the SoP, so long it relates to your research and not about your personal narrative of those experiences. Unlike college applications, doctoral program applications are more professional-oriented. For example, in my initial SoP I told the story of how a faculty member was unfair in his comments on my thesis. I remember being so bitter! A friend of mine read the draft and basically told me to f*ck off. I was even madder! I mean, come on! Despite that professor being a jerk, I triumphantly passed! That's gotta count! Nope. In the end, my SOP was something like "after graduating, I transformed the final feedback from the examining board into conference papers, which I presented in A, B, and C". I strongly suspect that your personal experiences are by far more profound than my little tantrum, and you should show exactly how they shaped how you see the world and how this unique way of looking at the world is what AdComms want. Good luck!
  12. For the school-wide orientations, casual is fine. For the department one, it doesn't hurt to look a little more professional (i.e. jeans and nice top in lieu of ripped jeans). I wore a summer dress for the SoCal heat! Take notes wherever you prefer. Chances are that in the big you won't take much notes anyway!
  13. I doubt you'll find them, they are private documents that not even applicants see. I'm sure there are sample letters around the internet. As you probably noticed, they vary in length, tone, type, etc.
  14. I think only one of the schools I applied for offered graduate housing (dorms), which was furnished.
  15. I moved across hemispheres. I packed two suitcases. Friends of mine that moved to California from Michigan, Texas, Florida, and Georgia all had help. Some were married, so their spouses kind of earned enough money to hired some service. Others packed everything themselves and drove. In one case, they moved in sections (first they moved a part and then, say when coming back from Fall break, they drove the rest). Others just did it in one trip, their parents driving their cars. A couple of these folks sold their cars before coming. Regarding furniture, I think it depends on what you own and how you are willing to live. I first moved to a furnished place owned by the university, then I had roommates who brought in their furniture, and then I moved in with my SO (who had their own furniture). So I only recently bought furniture and only because I can afford the more expensive IKEA stuff (and only a little bit). I did the bulk of my writing in Georgia and I drove from California. My new position gave me a moving allowance that covered the shipping of the car. Unfortunately, moving is expensive and as from 2018 it is not deductible from taxes. I'd try to keep moving expenses to a minimum. Remember that in addition to the "moving" per se expenses, settling in involves getting all sorts of new stuff at the same time such as cleaning supplies, some cooking ingredients, and the like. Also, remember that you'll have other non-moving expenses at the beginning of the semester such as books and fees. I think it is very wise to weigh in the location of your programs as you apply (though do not allow it to limit you). I did apply to places that offered a good stipend because, as you mentioned, moving is expensive.
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