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FeetInTheSky last won the day on August 17 2016

FeetInTheSky had the most liked content!

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    2017 Fall

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  1. Hey all -- I'm in my first year of my program and I was thinking today about this time last year and my worries about my apps and my chances and all that. So I just wanted to drop a note saying to breathe. You'll be okay. Just work systematically and carefully. Focus on the sentence in front of you. You can spend a lot of emotional energy freaking out about your chances, but that actually won't help at all. The only thing that'll help is keeping yourself sane and working on the things that you can actually control. Spend time with your friends and family and know that this'll all be over soon. You can do it!!
  2. This is great advice! Just to add on: 1. Get organized! I had a spreadsheet for all of my programs, color-coded by how good of a fit they seemed to be. This spreadsheet had my list of faculty of interest, special program notes (for my own interest and for mentioning in my SOP), journal articles by faculty of interest that I wanted to read, and then deadlines, app fees, special requirements, etc. You should design a system that works best for you. 2. Develop a plan for your recommendations as early as possible. Ideally, you should reach out to recommenders when you start researching programs. Update them on your progress and on your list of schools. Check in after the summer is over to make sure that everything is on the up-and-up. Remember that many online application systems do not send requests to your recommenders until -after- you've submitted your application, meaning that you should submit your materials in advance of the deadline so that your recommender can get their letter in on time. 3. (This is based on my experience as an undergraduate admission counselor). When reaching out to graduate students, which I 100% encourage you to do -- always ask open-ended, non-leading questions. So if you want a really collaborative culture, don't ask "is the culture really collaborative?" Instead, just ask how the student would describe the culture -- if they say "collaborative" unprompted, then it's much more likely that that is a defining feature of the program, rather than someone telling you what you want to hear. Also, just to add to @Old Bill's last point. The corollary to there being no safety schools is that some brilliant and energetic people get shut out. This whole thing can be a crapshoot. It's very easy to read a deny letter as a personal attack on your ability as a scholar, but for all you know, they only had space for one person in your subfield this year and they just happened to pick someone else. Don't go into the cycle assuming that you're going to come out of it with an admit letter -- you might not -- and so you should prepare for the worst without letting it destroy you emotionally. Which is of course easier said than done... Good luck
  3. Welcome! I agree with @ExponentialDecay -- it's brilliant that you want to combine English and epistemology; I think that there are some really groovy intersections to explore there. Still, I'd say that you should try to get a little narrower. I'd encourage you to consider a period of literature (Victorian, Early Modern, Twentieth century, as examples) and/or a theoretical lens -- critical race theory, feminism, queer theory, etc, then track down some of the people in those fields whose work speaks to you and see if they work at schools that match your other interests (like your desire for a program that encourages interdisciplinary work). Even though some English programs are generally excellent, many are somewhat uneven in that they excel in a couple of subfields. Once you know your subfields, picking a school becomes much easier. (Also, based on your MA in English education and interest in epistemology, I'm going to make one quick plug for the field of rhetoric and composition.) Also, don't worry about the math on the GRE. It's essentially unimportant. Answer the questions you can answer without much trouble so that you get a somewhat respectable score, but remember that the GRE is an endurance test. If you burn a lot of mental energy on the math, you'll do worse on the English, which is what actually matters.
  4. After a great visit with students and faculty yesterday, and a funding offer last week, I've officially accepted an MA/PhD spot at UMass Amherst! I'm so excited -- the rhet/comp community is just the kind of thing that I'm looking for, the faculty are really nice, and they just moved out of a crappy old building into a snazzy new one. Now to actually be a graduate student! Thanks so much, everyone, for your help through this whole hulabaloo. It's been a long, strange trip, but the reassurance and the advice I found here was invaluable.
  5. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is wonderful. You must feel so good!
  6. @otobus, I wouldn't feel bad about calling the department at this point if they said "a few weeks," but maybe she wants to wait just a little bit longer. At this point I think it's fair game. **** In other news, I got the email today that says that I'm no longer on the waitlist for UMass Amherst!! I have an interview for a TAship soon, but I just got a lot closer to going to my #1 choice
  7. I too wanted to mention this but didn't quite know where. The venting thread is certainly an appropriate place. Just all very icky.
  8. I mean, it's also telling that US News doesn't even bother including either of those disciplines in their subfields drop-down... it's almost like those organizing the ratings have a vested interest in keeping established structures the way they are!
  9. I was in a very similar situation recently; I emailed the second choice program and asked to have until April 15, and they agreed. I find it unlikely, though, that any program will give you until after April 15 to make a decision, so you might have to set the line there. Maybe someone else has more experience with this, but April 15 is kind of it for programs if you're not on their waitlist. At least, as far as I know.
  10. I'm so sorry for the agony that this must have caused you, but it really did make me laugh out loud. Also, happy birthday!
  11. I took two years off and it was the best choice I could have possibly made. I've peddled this advice elsewhere, but I'd recommend getting a job at a university, especially the one at which you're currently studying. You have access to the academic community, which is invaluable. I got lunch with a dean (met him through my job in admissions) just to pick his brain on grad school, and he was the one who told me about rhet/comp. You also have access to guest lectures and special sessions and classes at a reduced tuition rate, probably. Some of this might be helpful toward you actually working on your application, but being part of the culture of a university is something I found important in keeping my brain limber. You also also have access to a library and all of its online resources, which was so key to me when polishing up my SOP and Writing Sample. (If you work at a school, you can also turn that into a professionalized angle on an SOP -- that you're used to the way that universities function, insight which is invaluable to a budding scholar... or some such talk.) Lots of jobs (especially ones at large universities) can be easily done by a recent undergraduate; I'm not sure what you've been involved with on-campus, but maybe some offices related to whatever that may be is hiring (again, that's how I got my job). If you want to chat about this more, feel free to snootz a PM in my direction. Yes, "snootz."
  12. For those who were looking for an update to my recent kerfuffle, Nebraska has agreed to give me until April 15 to make a decision! The saga continues...
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