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Everything posted by a_sort_of_fractious_angel

  1. Congrats to everyone who has been accepted so far, and especially to the CMU admit - I'm currently in the program and happy to chat! To everyone still waiting, there is - as they say - a lotta football left in the game, so seriously - don't panic.
  2. No problem - no matter when you send it in, if you can organize in groups and send before/after emails, I think that'll help them with organization and you with keeping your sanity.
  3. Hi - I think Interfolio is an absolute scam. I had to use it during my second application season. In theory, it makes it easier to submit your letters since you have control over the letter submission. The problems are (1) the cost, (2) the fact that you still have to upload every other document via the websites, and (3) a fair number of schools won't accept letters sent by Interfolio. When I applied to 14 schools this past season, I did not use Interfolio. The portals should be open by this point, and you should be able to submit your LW info between now and the actual due da
  4. Thank you, @Warelin - this is awesome. I appreciate you bringing in COL as a factor for some % of Ph.D. students. It is important, as apps start in earnest, to remember that it is OK and normal to be concerned about COL and living quality as a Ph.D. student.
  5. I would strongly suggest you look at Carnegie Mellon's Literary and Cultural Studies program. I believe Minnesota is a known cultural studies place as well, although I don't know much at all about the program.
  6. @LittleShakespeare90 - if you want any general (very general) advice on the SOP, holler!
  7. Hi! I agree with a lot of @jrockford27's advice. You should be OK to take the GRE again in time - ETS was pretty speedy with getting my scores officially reported and sent out last year. I wouldn't stress about the Quant - I've seen a few schools that require 140 or higher and have heard from faculty that it's not really considered on its own. I've heard that 90% percentile or higher (165 or higher, I think) is recommended for the Verbal. That being said, I know people who have scored lower and who have been fine. I think the biggest thing is making sure that both scores combined m
  8. Hey, all - I'd be happy to share how I approached the SOP (my various versions got me into 5 Ph.D. programs last season). The SOP is an individual kind of document (and I'm NOT taking into consideration the various department regulations, like word count or prompt questions when I say that), so there's really no single "right way" to do it. That being said, I'm happy to share how I approached writing 14 of them in a way that didn't make me pull out all of my hair. If you'd like my 2 cents, shoot me a PM. And good luck!!!
  9. Not silly at all - if you mean "do you need to bank with them prior," nope. I went to sign up for a checking & savings account that is linked to my university for direct deposit. After I opened that account, I was offered the credit card options. If you are asking if one can get just the credit card - I don't know, but I do think you have to have a checking account with them so you can pay the card off. Hope this helps!
  10. Hi - Citizen's Bank has two different credit cards you might want to look into. One has points that equal cash-back and one is a travel card. Off the top of my head, both have 0 foreign transaction fees and no annual fees. Also, their banking hours are longer than most other places and their customer service/online interface is good. I might suggest looking into the cash-back card as opposed to a travel card - when I did my MA in English, I went to (at most) 2 conferences per academic year, as did most of my peers. Also, as I understood it while talking to a CB rep, the travel card is id
  11. Hi - I might possibly suggest adding, to the great suggestions listed above, the University at Buffalo. Buffalo and Carnegie Mellon were two of my top choices this past season. I study Caribbean and Caribbean American literature and do a lot of work with critical race theory, postcolonial studies, and slave narratives. I'd say that both programs exist in the same broad wheelhouse but do, of course, differ in details and particular strengths. Buffalo may not have what you're looking for, but there are some great scholars doing excellent poco and critical race studies work there, so --- I
  12. You're welcome, @kgras13! And that's the approach I took, haha - I did the GRE as many times as I could justify financially/emotionally, took the best score I had, and then went back to pouring my energy into the WS & SOP.
  13. I have heard a range of perspectives on the GRE. Some told me that the Q score doesn't matter but that a 163+ V was an implicit requirement for admission. Some said it was the percentile that mattered and not the number. Others said "just don't raise eyebrows," and others suggested getting both scores as high as possible. This past application season, I saw some programs that had a minimum Q requirement in the low 140s, and at least one program that I applied to had a requirement for a combined Q/V score (i.e. 311 or something like that). Other programs didn't post any GRE information at all (
  14. Hi, @orange turtle - I'm glad you're OK. I'm not a man or a professor and I haven't had to negotiate that kind of relationship & power dynamic, but I have been someone who found another someone who I did not know well at all passed out in a shower. I had the kind of experience @E-P describes - the only thought I had was "THIS PERSON NEEDS HELP AND I HAVE TO HELP THEM." Even now, the thing I remember is feeling very scared because I didn't know what was going on and being very focused because it was on me to get help to them ASAP. I don't recall the naked bits because someone's l
  15. Hi, @Adelaide9216 I’m in the process of moving into and totally furnishing an apartment for the first time. Before I get into the details of my experience & advice, the most important thing I’ve learned is that this process is very personal and depends entirely on your particular financial, geographic, & time constraints. That being said, there are lots of ways to get it done well and crowdsourcing advice is a great idea. For context: after I had committed to a program (March) but prior to deciding how I wanted to live (studio/1B/2B with a roommate) and in what neighborhoods,
  16. As it was explained to me, PhDs and MAs are required to know at least one foreign language so that they may engage with critical texts and analyses published by scholars in journals that are written in a language other than English. One might argue that it is a bit of an "old school hold-over from the European-American academy" (not my words, haha), in that there are many ways to translate articles today that (I guess?) don't require you to actually be reading-fluent in another language. Nevertheless, it remains a requirement as it is obviously necessary that one can keep up with at leas
  17. Haha, I understand, and it is good to get this all sorted now! One thing occurred to me this morning re: phrasing (apologies if someone else has already mentioned it). The academic merit/other vague turns of phrase about academic stuff is sometimes code for "you need to pass." I.e., the university will not be funding you if you're flunking out or failing to meet milestones in an acceptable amount of time. Seems obvious that all that is required for remaining funded, but I can understand why they need to gesture toward that (however vaguely) on the web pages.
  18. No problem - it's likely legal or technical language that is beyond my ability to explain (and it's definitely hard to parse) but, rest assured, it is a fully funded program.
  19. I was admitted to Buffalo this past season. It is not competitive or merit-based funding - everyone gets a livable stipend for 5 years, although there are "top offs" offered by the university at-large. And, IIRC, there are actually 6 years of funding - like other programs, of course, the 6th year is discussed in vague language due to technicalities, but as it has been noted, that's not unusual for universities to do. If Buffalo is of interest to you, feel free to PM me and I can go look at my offer and tell you the details I received. Alternatively, you could email the DGS - Buffalo's we
  20. I completely agree with @Warelin on this point - I loved my MA program but it wasn't in the greatest location (for me ) as it had a very rural/college-town feel which was kind of a bummer always and a real bummer in the summer. That "vibe" influenced me and my work, and it taught me that location mattered for my PhD apps. Granted, I have some friends who could care less about where they are physically, but I (now) identify as sensitive to geography and if you think you might as well - that's totally cool and doesn't have to be a problem when you apply to PhDs. One additional thought I'd
  21. Hi - it shouldn't be a problem at all. I never stayed the full length of any of the 5 conferences I attended. Conferences are very much "get out what you put in," in that no one is taking attendance and you're not required to do anything but give your paper. Although, if there are panels that could be relevant to your work, it would behoove you to attend them (it's also nice to have an audience as a presenter - I've seen some morning panels with 1-2 people aside from the participants which can be a bit of a bummer.) It is also nice to network if you're able (there's usually a
  22. @jrockford27 and @indecisivepoet are right - lean hard on the Princeton Review and it'll get you where you need to be. Also, I didn't get a perfect score but I had success with apps. I've heard (from profs who sit on adcoms, profs who don't, and others tuned into application life) that the verbal score - out of all 3 - matters the most. You may be required to have a baseline Quant score (part of a cumulative score of 311 or whatever they want), but the AS score is, like, whatevs. A kick-ass SOP and WS outweigh all 3 by leagues, so don't fret if you've a decent AW score (my $0.
  23. For sure! Just shoot me a PM and we can swap emails or whatever you'd like.
  24. This is the right advice. Widen your scope beyond what you think "makes sense" (within reason - don't apply to places where absolutely none of your interests are pursued.) Anecdata: the PhD I'm entering in the fall & and the 3 faculty members I'll likely work the most closely with -- One has a similar transnational/historical methodology to mine but works in a related but very different region. One has a similar interest in diasporic literature but focuses on another related but largely different region and looks at media I don't currently consider. One has a hemispheri
  25. An addition to my previous post - if your friends, @CulturalCriminal, want more teaching experience, they can likely get that through volunteer work. While working my non-ac job, I volunteered with two programs that emphasized teaching. One program focused on adult ESL learners - I was fully responsible for creating a "syllabus" for my student by using the program's materials to help her reach her goals. The time commitment was 3 hours a week, split between two days. The other program focused on college prep for inner-city, low-income students - I was responsible for helping my student wi
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