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Kilos last won the day on June 25 2018

Kilos had the most liked content!

About Kilos

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    Double Shot

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    English, Rhet/Comp Ph.D.

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  1. I think @FreakyFoucault sticks the landing on a number of thoughtfully argued points. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own perspective and experience that the broader picture begins to blur around the edges. I suppose what I should have said is that in my personal situation, it would have been absurd for me to apply to 10-15 different schools. Though the PhD has always been my end goal, I determined that there were only a few schools/programs that I'd have been willing to drop everything, quit a lucrative career, sell a house, and drag my wife/neurotic cat states away to attend. While it wa
  2. Absolutely true. If nothing else, do a bit of half-hearted apartment/room shopping in your desired locale. I was blown away by how expensive it is to live in a few of these places. Seriously, shocked.
  3. +1 for good info! And, although I think the University of Oregon is a bit lower at around top 50~ish in the rankings, they don't guarantee first year funding either. It's a weird situation where they don't give classroom teaching appointments to PhD students straight out of a B.A. program if they don't have college teaching experience... and then, because you can't teach the first year, you have to compete for a "limited number" of "non-classroom" graduate teaching fellowships (essentially working as a writing tutor). This was why I ended up not applying though it was one of my top-choice
  4. I think that's a solid approach. As you well know, the whole point is to (succinctly) say "Hey, I'm convinced that this program/school/department is really good at XXX; furthermore, I'm convinced that some of the faculty in this program/school/department are particularly good at/interested in XXX niche/subfield/area of interest and I would love to work with them; additionally, I'm really good at/interested in/engaged in XXX--here's how I can prove that I know what I'm talking about." None of this requires any name-dropping. Then again, as I said above, if you've already talked to a POI/contact
  5. This is an excellent question, and it's one that I wish I had an answer to when I was writing my SoPs. Even now I wish I had a better grasp on what I did right and wrong. I'm unsure about which parts of my statement stood out in a positive light, and, to be candid, the fact that I didn't mention anybody by name may very well have been a negative. I have no way of knowing. The lack of initial direction and/or post-mortem feedback with personal statements/SoPs is one thing I despise about this whole process--it feels impossible to properly tailor an application without knowing exactly what they
  6. @CatBowl Yeah, if you know your GRE is a weak spot (indicated by the provisional acceptance you pointed out) I think you're on the right track trying to better your score. What helped me was finding a few pirated study guides floating around the interwebs. If you dig deep enough you can find them. Just live with one attached to your side for a month or two. Make enormous lists of vocab, practice the different types of questions. You'll do great! I wish I could definitively answer your question about whether it's wise or unwise to reference specific scholars and works. I think there's
  7. Seconded. Unless you've been in contact with them and they've agreed to work with you, it's highly unlikely that they'd be around enough to take on any kind of advisory role. I'd shy away from even mentioning them in passing, like "I really enjoy Professor XXXX's work" because you never know how that professor was viewed within the department, or whether the department is moving in a different direction, so on and so forth. Others may feel differently, but I've always heard that you should avoid name-dropping any faculty members, period, unless you've been in contact with them and they've
  8. Hi hi hi! +1 for the username "CatBowl." Not sure why. Reading through your post, it's clear that you're doing everything you can to maximize your chances heading into a PhD application. Having a 4.0 MA and 3.8 undergrad GPA is fantastic, having strong letter-writers will be a huge boon, a great writing sample is key, and your full-time teaching experience will likely seal the deal if the program fit is right. The GRE, in my opinion, is probably not that important in your situation; with all of your experience and the fact that you've already completed a graduate program with a 4.0, I'm
  9. Yep. +1 to this. Many universities use their MA programs as cash-cows to fund their departments/Ph.D. programs. I know (from experience) that Carnegie Mellon's Rhetoric program takes the top few percent of applicants that didn't get into their Ph.D. program and offers them unfunded or half-funded 1-year M.A. spots, but that they don't have fully funded M.A. spots. I've been offered one of their 50-60% tuition waivers twice, but with that insane private tuition it's still prohibitively expensive. I've made a few friends within their department over the last few years and they've told me that th
  10. I always feel compelled to address people's impostor syndrome fears before anything else: Everybody feels this way. If they claim they don't they're lying. Academia is an enormous, nebulous, vague, intimidating, initially uncertain place, and it's absolutely normal to feel this way. I'm getting ready start a Ph.D. program this fall after sinking 10 years into two divergent careers and another half-dozen into two undergraduate programs. I'm now in my early thirties and I've felt like an impostor in every career position I've held and every program I've attended. In some cases the feelings taper
  11. Most schools I've encountered offer funded English MA programs, though that funding is rarely guaranteed (i.e. they don't fund all of their incoming MA students). In these cases, you're typically either competing against all English applicants for a few funded spots, or you're tossed into a larger, even more competitive pool for university-wide funding. What's rare is finding the school that funds its entire incoming English MA cohort. Those are typically the more prestigious or widely respected schools, and they're more competitive still. Everybody who's posted here has provided great fe
  12. Mostly tangential, but my grandfather was born in Aberdeen and moved to Edinburgh when he was very young. He attended the University of Edinburgh and loved it. He later moved to the U.S. and always talked about how much he missed Scotland, Edinburgh in particular. It's been one of my life's dreams to visit and wander around the city (particularly Old Town and the university campus). It's gorgeous, it's ancient, and it's plenty prestigious.
  13. I feel that it's worth reiterating what @Dogfish Head brings up just to emphasize that there's no defined, recommended path to a PhD program (or graduate school in general), and most admissions committees are cognizant of this throughout the process. Even in PSU's own response, while they admit they have a preference, they state that they take people from all walks. I've heard similar things from other programs, and the program I'm joining said that they try to bring in a mix to maintain a diversity of perspectives. Some people go directly from high school to undergraduate and then apply to MA
  14. No, it doesn't necessarily mean you've been rejected, but I think it's safe to say that a majority of decisions have already been made. I've heard of people getting in off the waitlist in May, June, July, and even early August, but those are rare, isolated instances. Have you been in contact with your program at some point this month? If not, I strongly recommend sending a polite, concise email asking for a status update. The waitlist may well be active and you might be at the top of it--who knows. It's equally plausible that the process is over and they just didn't make a formal notifica
  15. Thanks very much, and I'm looking forward to it!
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