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About MikeTheFronterizo

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  • Location
  • Interests
    Borderlands, Chicana/o
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    History, PhD

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  1. Reading tips for graduate students in history programs

    Thanks a lot! This makes me feel more reassuring. I had a professor too tell us which parts are more "important" in terms of class content and themes. He also proceeded to sum up the same steps on how to skim/read books.
  2. Reading tips for graduate students in history programs

    Hi all, Just wanted to resurface this thread since many of use just started school. I also wanted to ask a question about the amount of time it usually takes you to skim/read a book? I am trying to break the habit of wanting to read a book cover to cover but it is just super hard. I am in my first year so I am trying to adapt to a more efficient way of skimming books that I either do not have to write about or that are not related to my research interest. So far I have followed the steps mentioned in the thread and it has been a great help. I feel like I have a good grasp on the book. It took me about 3 hours of work to feel comfortable with it and I can not shake the feeling that I a missing out of a lot of content and only taking 3 hours feels like a cop out since I technically have a week to read the book. (albeit, I have 2 other books and 3 articles to read this week as well) How long does it usually take you to skim/read a book? Do you feel like you have enough content for class discussion? Should I not be worried of "reading" a book in a day as long as I "feel" that I have a good grasp of it?
  3. Fall 2017 applicants

    That sounds like a very tough decision! I hope that your visit next week clears up any questions or concerns you might have about doing interdisciplinary work.
  4. Ford Foundation Predoctoral fellowship 2017

    Congratulations Ford recipients! I am interested in applying in the future but I am a recently admitted PhD student. When did everyone apply? In your first, second, third years?
  5. Fall 2017 applicants

    I am pretty much in the same exact situation! My second option makes way more financial sense, but my first option offers better archival material and professors that I can work with. This option is also tailored exclusively to my area of study. I would suggest thinking about how integral music is to your research. If you are going to use the strengths of having a music library and an adviser from the music department in your committee then the first option seems to be your best bet. Especially, if the music library holds essential materials for your potential dissertation. Now, if music is just a sub-field that you are going to incorporate into your research then I would suggest looking into the financial strengths of the second option and potential travel to music libraries.
  6. Fall 2017 applicants

    Well after almost a day of silence from everyone, I would like to get back on topic and see how everyone is doing. The deadline of April 15 is fast approaching. Have most of you already committed to a program or still deciding? I am currently waiting to visit before committing. I am going for a two day visit at the beginning of next week, however, I feel like I am already committed to this program and just want to reassure myself before pressing the "accept" button on the portal.
  7. El Paso, TX

    Hi All! Anyone have info on UTEP and El Paso? Housing, recreation, nightlife, best places to eat? Can anyone suggest apartment complexes to check out?
  8. Santa Cruz, CA

    There is a $364 student fee every quarter that includes bus pass, gym, and other student expenses. They frame it like it is an option but you are forced to pay it. It is not included in tuition.
  9. Santa Cruz, CA

    Hi! I just finished my undergrad here. Did you mean $20,668 for three years? If so, 19k a year will be hard but you can make it work. Everything everyone has mentioned is still true but rent is skyrocketing here. I currently have a two bedroom apartment and we pay (among three of us) $1785 a month plus electric and internet. We have had our rent increase twice in three years. I live pretty far for commuting without car: 15min walk to bus stop plus a 20 a minute bus to campus about 10 minutes with car but traffic can take up to 30 minutes. A single in a house could cost you upwards of $700 without utilities. The closer to campus the more expensive it gets. Even if you have roommates, expect to pay at least $600. Other than rent, everything is really the same price as the rest of the US. UCSC students have a bus pass incorporated into there fees. All you have to do is show your id card on any SCmetro bus and they let you one. A huge plus when commuting around town. Let me know if you have any other questions!
  10. Fall 2017 applicants

  11. Fall 2017 applicants

    Many questions and comments became volatile when people did not agree. It was not even in a "constructive" from rather it turned into bullying and condescending replies. Anyways, I still want to encourage everyone to continue asking questions and advice. I would love to go back to reading thoughtful comments and actually discussing grad school.
  12. Fall 2017 applicants

    Honestly, I agree with this. As someone who has had there question highjacked and turned into a flaming debate, I feel like I do not want to ask or contribute anymore. A few pages back on this thread someone had her whole life come out and multiple posters constantly disparaged her. It has become more of a toxic environment rather than a useful forum for grad school.
  13. Fall 2017 applicants

    Thank you. I apologize for my wording. It is definitely something I have to continue to work on as others on this forum have pointed out. I did mean the cost of living. I am only asking about this question because it seems as if most recently accepted grads have recieved remission. I forgot to mention that my top choice offered me a TAship. So I will be technically paying for tuition. My second choice offered remission and a combination of mostly TAing with two fellowship years. I am trying to weigh both of my options.
  14. Fall 2017 applicants

    How common is it that universities do not offer tuition remission? I really want to go to my top choice but they take tuition out of my stipend. My stipend is $19500 a year and after tuition it will be $14500. The standard of living is pretty low: rent will be about $500 with utilities included leaving about 950$ for other necessaties. I have tried to negotiate with the department and they where only able to give a few thousand dollars extra as a one time award during my fist year. Has anyone ever encountered this?
  15. Fall 2017 applicants

    I was further contacted by the program director at UT El Paso about questions I had regarding funding. They stated that during the fifth year many candidates receive guaranteed funding either through internal fellowships, TAships, and competitive awards that many PhD students usually get. They also mentioned about the ability to design and teach classes during the said time at the program. In addition they offered to fly me out for a day to look at the school and the program. I was also told about the TA duties which regard 20 hours a week. Apparently they only require attendance a few hours a week, office hours, email availability, and grading a few times a semester. He essentially alluded to the fact that it doesn't even take 20 hours a week to fulfil these duties. I am really torn between both programs. UTEP has better placement and most grad students look as if they have overwhelming support. Most of them also have publications in journals. UTEP also has a yearly borderlands conference that many scholars in the field attend. UTEP grad students are an integral part in making this conference happen. A potential plus when networking with scholars at multiple universities. In addition I will have a $5,000 award to fund my research and travel during my fourth year. SMU is offering a better package. While both schools aren't super prestigious, SMU is definitely the bigger name. Though, the UTEP program is more respected in terms of my field. One major thing I have noticed is that history grad students at SMU do seem to just be an "afterthought" as someone mentioned before. Their program also seems to be struggling in terms of awarding PhDs and placement. (Did not have any PhD awarded last year or seem to have placements). We all know how the market is right now and UTEP graduates seems to have tenure, adjunct, and lecturer jobs lined up after graduating or a few years after. I am not sure what will be more marketable once I get a PhD. UTEP potentially offers TAship, course teaching, funded research and travel, and networking every year at conferences. As well as a very good POI name recognition in my field. SMU offers course teaching, school recognition, obtainable funds for research and travel, and more "unorganized time" dedicated to my studies. I think I am just going to take the opportunity to visit UTEP and get a good feel of the program as possible.