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About hantoo

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  • Location
    Washington, DC
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    Sociocultural Anthropology
  1. Moving out of state

    @BeachySpeechy Oh I am definitely aware it requires more than just living here for a year----there were a lot of other steps involved in the process that I already did/am doing now. I'm sure it's not the same for every school/program and everyone's situation is different of course, but for my program, it says right on the department page that it is "expected"/"highly recommended" that grad students establish residency if they are moving here from a different state. It just makes the most sense for me anyway because I'll be living here for a long time. A lot of grad students I know are doing the same thing. For my program, so long as students hold an assistantship they get a tuition waiver no matter what, but in case something happens it's good to know that we won't suddenly be slammed with out-of-state tuition which, for my school, is SIGNIFICANTLY more than in-state tuition.
  2. I agree with @TakeruK that you should (if possible) apply to all of these programs you're interested in, and if you plan to apply to U.S. programs again, apply to more than four. I certainly don't think it would be a waste of time to apply to an additional program that might turn out to be a great fit for you! I don't know what your exact area of research is within anthro, but so long as this other program is at least related to your interests and experience and not something completely different, I think it would be fine. I'm pretty sure I remember you from the Fall 2017 application thread in anthropology as well, so maybe I can give some feedback on what I found helpful and what worked for me, and what I would do differently if I had to apply again! (Sorry if this goes way beyond your original question, but I thought this info might be helpful/relevant to you) I actually think it's great that you have a very specific research topic in mind. Depending on the schools you apply to, some programs request a very specific statement of purpose that outlines your proposed research. That was true of a few schools I applied to. For other programs, their guidelines requested that applicants gave at least their subfield, geographic area of interest, and a few broad questions on the topic they hoped to study. I think that for anthropology PhD programs in general, it's better to be specific. Of course it's always possible for your research interests to change, but I think anthro adcoms like to see right away that you're a serious researcher and student and can explain your interests in a succinct way. If you haven't done so already, I would also recommend contacting faculty members you hope to work with in the programs you're applying to. I did communicate with several faculty members during the application process, but I honestly regret not doing so for every program. Unless a department page specifically says it's not necessary to get in touch with faculty members (one program's website did say this for a school I applied to) I would just try to email at least one person from each program. Even if they don't respond to you, I think it's absolutely worth a try. For the program I'm attending this fall, I was in contact with two faculty members, both of them helped me specify some of my research questions in my SOP, and I was able to Skype with one of them before I submitted my application. When the time came to commit to a program, it made my decision easier because I had had so much communication with them and felt very sure of my choice. I'm pretty sure there's a bunch of field-specific threads on here already about what to include in a strong SOP, how to write those emails to faculty members, etc. so I won't ramble on here. Best of luck in the application process and it seems like you're already improving your chances of getting in by casting a wide net and applying to a lot of different programs!
  3. How do YOU prefer to take course/lecture notes?

    I've never taken online courses or completed an online program, so I'm not totally sure if this will fit well with the format of your online Masters, BUT here are a few ways I like to take notes: 1) For the majority of classes I've ever taken, professors usually use some sort of slide show to display main points, charts and tables, and images during lectures. In many of these classes, my professors would upload the slides to the class website prior to the lecture. I always found it helpful to print out the slides (like ~6 to a page) and then take it to class with me and write additional notes/things to remember during the lecture. This helped me pay better attention to the lecture and take more comprehensive notes. Nowadays I like to just type my additional notes right on my computer to save paper! I've also found it much easier to review for exams later on using these notes. 2) Of course not all professors use lecture slideshows. When I have a professor who just likes to talk, I make sure I do a pretty thorough reading of whatever course material or articles we're discussing in class that day, and I come to class with my notes on that material that I can just add to during the lecture. 3) Similar to the second option, sometimes I like to bring either a paper copy of the readings we're discussing and add notes to them during class, or I pull them up on my computer and make notes there. In reference to your school supply question, I agree that you probably won't need tons of stuff. But I like spiral ring notebooks for taking handwritten notes. And I pretty much only take notes in pen, so I always return to school with tons of pen packs Most importantly, I would just make sure you have a reliable computer to take your courses and do your work on. Also if you don't have one already, I would recommend getting an external hard drive to back up your work. I have one and it once saved me from losing literally years of work when my last computer crashed. Hope this is at least a little helpful! Good luck!
  4. I agree with everything listed above. I'm not sure how it specifically works in your department, but at my school the online academic profiles can be updated pretty frequently. Also, the webmaster for the department site is another student, so when changes need to be made we can just contact that person. If your interests change, just change the profile!
  5. A little worried...

    I wouldn't stress too much over your GRE scores. If you want to take it again, focus more heavily on the verbal section. That is the portion that people in the humanities care about the most. Your GRE scores are definitely not the first thing the adcom will look for in your application materials. Your SOP is by far the most important part, so I would instead focus on strengthening that as much as you can. Quality>quantity. A longer SOP doesn't mean a better SOP, and the same goes for the writing sample. I got into my top-choice program with a statement that was under 500 words. Be very specific about what you hope to focus on in your graduate research, why that research matters, and how your goals can best be achieved in the program to which you are applying. I don't think any part of your grad school applications will require you to share how long your previous papers have been. Most of the time there is a limit to how many pages you include in your writing sample as well, so I strongly doubt that any school will require some sort of 20 page example of your work. If you don't mind me asking, is your undergraduate major in history? I only ask because in any history/art history classes I took in undergrad we had to write some lengthy papers, most with something like a 10-15 page minimum, so it surprises me you haven't had the opportunity to write something longer. If you're still in school and taking history courses, could you maybe honors option a course or extend one of your projects so you can write something longer? Again, I don't think it will be important in your applications, but if you have the chance to gain some advanced writing experience to better prepare you for the more intensive writing you'll do in grad school, it might be useful!
  6. Background Before PhD Program

    I'm going into my program without a Masters. I took one year after undergrad to do an internship and gain some more intensive research experience in my field. To be honest, applying to any grad programs during my Senior year of college would have been tough because I was working on so many other projects/a thesis/etc. at the time. I agree with some of the other posters that it sometimes depends on your field of study, but overall I think that if you have a pretty clear idea of what you want the focus of your graduate research to be, getting a Masters degree before pursuing a PhD maybe isn't as necessary.
  7. How did you discover your research interests?

    I totally agree with what the other posters said about familiarizing yourself with the literature and connecting ideas that interest you to form your own unique research. I would also suggest considering how your previous research and work experience might inform what you choose to study. For me (in cultural anthropology) I knew my geographic area of interest, and I knew that I wanted to combine the experience I gained from working abroad with indigenous groups/non-profits and studying some aspect of material culture production from a modern perspective, something I became interested in through my thesis research. I found two or three specific places in which I could apply these research ideas, and then read as much existing literature as I could. I stumbled across a few articles on a place/people that completely aligned with my interests. The anthropologist who wrote those articles is a professor at the school I ultimately applied to and will be attending this fall, and she will be my main adviser. IMO, the great thing about the social sciences is that there are always more ideas to be explored and new directions to take with research. If you take the time to read through the existing literature, find the ideas that most interest you, and determine how you could expand on those ideas and explore them in new ways, you may be able to develop multiple multiple research questions to pursue.
  8. Gainesville, FL

    @lms202 Wow thanks so much for the awesome info! I'll definitely explore some of these places when I move down!
  9. Grad. School Supplies?

    I'm one of those people that only uses Apple products when it comes to tech stuff, and last fall I got a Macbook Air--I used to have a Macbook Pro, which was fine, but I've found I really prefer the Air. First, it is WAY more lightweight--I took my computer with me everywhere during undergrad and will likely lug it around for all of grad school too, and when you're already carrying multiple books/notebooks/etc. in your bag, having a more lightweight device is definitely more convenient. When I bought it, the people in the store told me that if I was pretty much using it for writing/research type work, it would be perfect. They said if I was going to be doing heavy math work and downloading and using a lot of intense data/computation programs then they would suggest another Pro, but I'm in the social sciences and haven't really needed anything like that yet It has a USB port, there's also a port to hook up an HDMI chord. It has about a 12 hour battery life (though obviously you shouldn't try to work on it until it dies every time), it comes with the basic apps you'll probably need, like Photos, iMovie, Keynote, Pages, etc.---you can buy Word/Powerpoint/Excel to download to your computer, but once you start school you should be able to get that for free through the university. When you set up your computer, you can also connect your account to your phone (if you have an iPhone) so you receive text notifications, etc. on your computer. I have my Macbook synced with all of my other accounts too (Gmail, social media, etc.) and I get little pop-up reminders and notifications that I find really convenient, and it automatically updates my calendar app to include events I need to attend, birthdays, doctors appointments, etc. which I also really like. One thing it doesn't have is a disc drive, but personally I haven't ever desperately needed to have that in the time i've owned this computer. I bought a separate hard drive to back up all of my work, just in case something ever happens, which I do periodically every few months, but I would recommend pretty much everyone get something like that anyway regardless of the computer they use. I've had 0 problems with this computer, it works fast, and has everything I need. My roommate recently switched from a PC to a Macbook Air, and she says she wishes she had done it sooner!
  10. how old are you?

    I just turned 23--I finished undergrad almost exactly 1 year ago and will start a PhD program this fall. Grad school rocks because you can start at pretty much any age, and personally I think it's never too late to pursue something you love. Awesome to see people of many ages continuing to learn
  11. Summer reading for the social sciences

    I have some things I have to read this summer (but mostly just scholarly articles) because I'm working on a project with a former adviser, but I also plan to do a lot of fun reading, which I almost never get to do. I tend to try and read too many things at once, but right now I'm working on The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston, which is about the fairly recent discovery of an archaeological site in the rainforest of La Mosquitia, Honduras. It's kind of over the top but I love when anthropology findings are published in a way that is exciting and interesting for all audiences (not just people in academia). I'm also reading Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America's Culture by Chip Colwell--just a topic that's important and interesting to me. During my internship over the past year, my supervisor (a cultural and visual anthropologist) has let me borrow quite a few books that I skimmed through as quickly as I could in my free time--I really enjoyed reading one particular ethnography by Karen Nakamura called A Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Japan. It's written in a manner that seemed really unique compared to other ethnographies I've read, and Nakamura's personal connection to the topic of study gives it a really interesting feel. I'm also taking time to watch more documentaries/ethnographic films, because visual anthro is one of my central interests.
  12. George Washington U focuses on sociocultural anthro and "anthropology of public life." I think it's also worth it to consider what your specific interests are and look for cultural programs that fit with them--for example, there are some programs that heavily focus on specific areas of cultural anthro, like socioenvironmental anthropology, social movements, etc. There are also departments that might have a more specific geographic focus. A lot of programs do use the "four field approach," but I doubt that any required classes outside your subfield would take up more than a semester or two? The program I'm starting this Fall requires first year students to take one seminar in biological and archaeological anthro first semester, and one in cultural anthro and linguistics the second semester. The rest I'll be able to choose on my own, so realistically that's just one class during one semester where I'm taking anything besides cultural coursework. It varies for different programs, but I don't think any school will require you to take more than a year of those types of courses. I think you're going to have to do a solid amount of coursework in the beginning of any PhD program, so a class or two outside cultural anthro wouldn't be too bad, IMO.
  13. Indoor Gardens? House Plants?

    I've lived in 2 dorms, 2 apartments (will be 3 this fall) over the past ~4ish years, and have taken my plants with me everywhere. And they're still alive and well! But I stick to dry plants--I have a cactus garden, aloe plants, and succulents. I'd love to have more plants but I feel like they don't do well in certain living spaces, and since I tend to be in and out of my apartment, traveling, etc. fairly frequently, those types of plants can be watered just 1-2 times per week and be happy. And, IMO cactus gardens are the prettiest gardens
  14. Moving out of state

    My lease begins August 7th so that's the earliest date I can get there--I'm planning on starting the process ASAP when I get down there. I'll have a full week before I have any obligations for my program, so I'll likely spend that time going to the DMV, etc. to get things moving!
  15. Moving out of state

    I'll be moving out of state this fall too, and I will not have a chance to go and check out the apartment I'll be living in. I chose to sign a lease at graduate student apartments close to campus. I know not every school has this option, but many do, so it might be worth looking into graduate housing, apartments, etc. at your university. I don't think I'll live there for more than a year because it is slightly more expensive than I wanted, but I need to establish residency in my new home state in the first year of my program so I can qualify for in-state tuition, which means I need to have my own name on a lease rather than renting or subletting an apartment or room in a house. Graduate living options seemed to make the most sense to me since I won't have a chance to really check anything else out before I move--it's also usually safe to assume that graduate/professional housing will be more quiet and less rowdy than an apartment complex with a lot of undergrads living there. Also, as a general rule, if you're looking at apartment options, typically the farther away from campus you are, the nicer/more quiet the apartment. Did you check out the City Guide thread on here yet? People tend to give really good advice about living options on there as well, so definitely take a look if you haven't yet.