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ArcaMajora last won the day on October 4 2019

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About ArcaMajora

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  1. Hello! Just wanted to check in on the new application thread I can't imagine planning applications in such a strange time. It's already strange enough being a grad student in quarantine (aside: I really cannot wait for in-person instruction when it's safe to do so), but to apply during this? I genuinely wish all of you the best of luck. Some of the stories I've seen about funding situations when it comes to graduate offers, etc. have been frightening. I truly have no idea what the admissions landscape will look like for Fall 2021. I'm pleased to see some familiar names as well. @Bopie5 it's been so long! I hope things are going well at Villanova. I'm looking at your sig and I spy a certain UC Irvine in there. Let me know if you want to know more about the program.
  2. Hi all! Checking in to see how folks are doing this in strange, strange time. Never in a million years did I ever expect 2020 years to turn out like this. I'm especially saddened for all of you and the future Fall 2021 cohort, going into grad school with this much tumult is something I cannot imagine. Even in the best of times, the process of applying and deciding whether or not to go accept a program's offer was mentally taxing without the pressures of anything external. I vividly remember experiencing a strong case of cold feet and 'should I or should I not' before I started my first quarter. With COVID at hand? My goodness. I'm happy to keep chatting, offer support, or help proffer advice on decisions. I know that the April 15th deadline is coming up incredibly soon. Always happy to talk.
  3. The overall timeline of when Irvine sends interview notices is one I'm not sure of. There is an implication it seemed to be spread out over a few days (according to last year's timeline: January 30th to Feb 2nd? And this is extrapolating from the results board). Don't lose hope immediately if you don't get an interview notice or any communication from Irvine. They seem to contact in waves, since someone I talked to in recruitment last year was notified a day earlier than me iirc I'd watch your inbox for this week, but if you get no contact from Irvine about anything by next week or late February (esp if they're doing a waitlist, which I'm not sure is happening/how the notifs there works), it might be safe to call it an implied rejection.
  4. Congrats again!!! Looks like the same process as last year was used this year. This goes out to you and to any Irvine admits this year that are lurking the GC boards, I'm happy to answer any questions about the dept/grad student life as a 1st year.
  5. Congrats! Good luck on the interview. Being contacted for this is an extremely good sign. Fingers crossed.
  6. Did this measure actually pass? Edit: in my panic seeing these proposed changes again I blanked on reading the last part lol. I'm doing my taxes right now and I'm getting conflicting information as to whether or not I should count my two quarters' worth of remission as income or if I should just input just the stipends I've gotten. All tax projections I've done (with tuition remission + stipend) do show that my liability shouldn't be too huge (though CA tax is another question). I am eligible for the Lifetime Learning Credit, so that's one tax credit down. I can't help but wonder if the above did pass as there was some IRS online tool that did say that I would have to count remission as income due to the way my fellowship is situated (I'm not teaching and I don't have a research fellowship either. Though a part of me wonders if entering fellowships for first/second years have always had tuition remission as taxable income...) If there's one thing I've learned throughout trying to decode our tax code as grad students, use any and all tax credits to your advantage. Sites like Personal Finance for PhDs can really help demystify the process.
  7. Both. My program's DGS acknowledged out loud that string of tweets from Yale's DGS, and I believe that UCI's seen an increase in applicants as well.
  8. I just want to give everyone encouragement in these times. If you don't have a specific project or a definitive method, that is okay. While yes, strategic specificity is key in things like the SoP, nobody here is expected to produce a dissertation prospectus. It can be incredibly helpful to have a project, but the projects in an SoP are going to be tentative and indicative of a direction than the play-by-play that programs will expect from you after qualifying exams. I came into grad school with some ill-defined notion of a queer archive that, while I have it in the backburner, is a project I'm not currently writing on nor do I plan on writing about queer poetic archives for my MA paper. If you don't feel that your proposal is specific enough, remember that right now, it's not supposed to be a hyper-specific document. What is more key is a strategic specificity that outlines a potential direction that your program can support and shows you're in conversation with current issues in your field, but one that does not foreclose the possibility of you growing within the program. This process is notoriously tough. If anyone's expressing worries, I'm right there with you. I have heard whispers that this particular cycle is a touch more competitive than last year's due to the fact that there's an increase in applications for some programs. Of course, it must be taken with a grain of salt, but the general point I want to make is that this is a hypercompetitive process with almost no feedback except in most cases a decision. Fit is an elusive beast, and you could have an extremely polished SoP and WS, but there may have been circumstances in the department that meant that your app, as strong as it may have been, simply would not have meshed well with the program. If you find yourself staring at a sea of rejections/implied rejections, remember that it's the very likely case that it's not about you nor is it a final judgment on your skills. Fit, to priorities in the department (too many/too little grad students per cohort, too many in one field), funding structures/decisions dictated by admin, etc. and so many factors out of your control can go a very long way into determining the decisions you can get.
  9. @Lblack Congrats!!! UCR English is a wonderful department. I'm an undergrad alumnus, but I maintain contact with my thesis advisor and I visit from time to time. I can't speak much to the department from the grad student perspective but I'm happy to field questions about the department. Best of luck, and I'm also happy to see another SoCal resident
  10. Just got accepted to Disjunctions! If anyone here has applied to that particular graduate conference, I'm happy to talk. I'd be happy to chat and hang out at Riverside. It's surreal to be going back and presenting at my alma mater. Looking forward to seeing faces new and old. I'll be presenting on Reginald Shepherd and his self-portraits. With that, I think that's my 2019-2020 conference plans wrapped up. I originally planned on NeMLA being my last conference for the year, but I lucked out on both Disjunctions and ALA taking place in SoCal.
  11. I can affirm what @thoreaulymodern said and vouch for the DGS. I was contacted for a brief interview by an adcom member. By mid-February, I got the official offer letter. Following last year's timeline, it's still a little bit early for UCI English. I got my interview notification at 1/31, and did a phone chat the next day.
  12. Wonderful idea for a thread! Thanks for starting this @digital_lime I'm also presenting in NeMLA this year! Let me know if you want to plan a meet-up or chat. I'm also planning on going to the ALA this year. An abstract of mine just got accepted this morning. For anyone wanting to meet up in San Diego this coming May, I'm happy to talk.
  13. Had quite the admissions related fever dream a few nights ago that I hope will help distract people, even if for just a bit, from the agonizing wait that is decisions. I was just recovering from a sudden bout of the flu that came on as the Winter quarter was just starting. I got home one night with my head pounding and wanting to sleep. I was expecting to sleep at around 10pm, but an hour before that I wanted to lie down and close my eyes for a second. There was no way I was going to do extra work as I spent most of the day socializing, and talking for hours usually tires out my brain fairly quickly. As soon as I closed my eyes, I basically knocked out. From there I remember finding myself reading a rather informal e-mail that I was accepted into Princeton Comp Lit of all programs. It was an e-mail of a group of fictional POIs and names I didn't recognize. The excitement I felt from that was so strong that during the time I was dreaming, and even for a few moments when I found myself slip back into slight consciousness (or if I was sleeping within the dream and 'waking up' during that dream), I was convinced that I made it to Princeton. The rest of the dream saw me traveling by plane to a facsimile of what I assumed Princeton to be. Even weirder, it was a trip I did on my own and randomly. There was no recruitment event attached to it or anything, nor did I visit any fictional POIs. The second part of the dream involved a going back home snafu that involved me hitchhiking with two other people, getting breakfast, and being late for my flight back to California. As far as I know, this is the most recent dream I vividly remember having. It was quite the trip haha Good luck to everyone as decisions come out! I'm rooting for you all As an addendum, I'm now remembering the other admissions I had while I was applying last year. The first I had for sure was seeing an e-mail of UC Irvine sending me a rejection letter, and this dream happened the very night before I got notified from UCI faculty about wanting a phone chat. Then the next dream was a school that had UW-Madison's school colors publicly posting the names of new admits one by one in some site.
  14. Congratulations to everyone who has received interview offers thus far! This is a very encouraging sign and it could lead to wonderful things down the line. For those that are sitting on silence so far, I want to stress that this is only the beginning. For those applying to UC Irvine or UC Riverside this cycle, I'm happy to field questions about the departments and the cities for both. I'm currently in the midst of wading through seminar coursework and my research so I'm not sure what the admissions committee for UCI is doing sans reading the apps right now. If the schedule and procedure from last year holds, I'm expecting calls to go out to unofficial admits by late January/early February.
  15. Reporting from California here. The stipend is fairly livable. I'm currently on fellowship for $21,000 over a 9-month payment schedule, with a $3,000 summer stipend to come. On a month-to-month basis, that's about $2,300/month during the academic year give or take. I do have to preface that I am both single and my hometown isn't too far from Irvine, so the move-in costs were not nearly as large versus needing to move from someplace else that's much farther. As far as rent... I'm currently paying about $800/month for my 2 bed 1 bath unit in one of the on-campus apartments, with our own rooms as well. There's cheaper units for on-campus housing, but those are the much higher demand units. The unit itself is pretty good. I haven't had any utility costs spring up at me plus internet access is also provided straight from the university. Day to day, I'm doing good so far on needing enough to cover the essentials (rent + groceries), being able to pull off out-of-state conferences with the help of conference grants, and the occasional night out to dinner/social events. I'm currently living on campus without a car, which definitely helps ease how much I use my stipend (a car would invoke not just insurance, but the breathtakingly expensive parking permit). Any money I save now is part-emergency fund and part-money I'll use for summer rent. The drawback though is definitely the summer months. The school year has largely been fine, but the summer months is where we have to produce our own income. After the first year summer stipend, I've seen people either take up summer session teaching for UCI or be exam prep tutors/instructors over the summer. Watch the space for how this one goes. Work on the side is tempting, but the amount of work and the time-intensive nature of grad seminars usually dissuades me from that haha. My first quarter as a grad student was immensely challenging and pushed me a lot harder than undergrad did. It was incredible, but also immensely stressful. And there were parts during that quarter where I couldn't think of anything but 'how am I doing right now as a grad student/am I any good?' For the first quarter at least, I just couldn't see myself taking on part-time work without breaking my personal work/life balance line. Let's see how this quarter goes. For summer months, I would definitely work over the summer unless a research fellowship that takes me far from California happens. In short, it's livable, but it depends on a whole bunch of factors that are context-sensitive to the area, your needs, your financial situation, etc. and how those factors intersect. My stipend is comfortable for me now because my hometown is close to the area, have family nearby, and have an increased safety net that takes pressure off my stipend (plus cohort friends that are willing to drive me around for hangouts/dinners). I have no doubt that if I was writing this from somewhere like Buffalo or Seattle, I'd def be having a much different experience and a double adjustment to grad school plus entirely new states.
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