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About Revenant

  • Rank
  • Birthday May 1

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    New Jersey
  • Interests
    Early Irish, Viking, and Norman identity
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program

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  1. Hi all, I am beginning a research-only PhD in history at Trinity in Dublin, Ireland this September. My advisor and I have only communicated by email and our last conversation was him giving me a long bibliography for my prospectus, so I've been working on that. I'm thirty years old, which he could probably figure out from my undergraduate dates, and I'm a married mother. I'm moving to a commuter town an hour out of Dublin to live near my friends and their similarly aged child, and my husband is staying in the US. Housing in Dublin is atrociously expensive and hard to find, and childcare is much cheaper outside of the city as well. I plan to only be on campus 1-3 days a week, which I have to imagine as a research doctoral student would be spent in the library. My question Is, how much of this does he need to know? I'd like for our relationship to be such that he'd know I'm essentially a single mother, and therefore not able to make certain conferences or meetings at the drop of a hat. Or to have to miss lectures or other events if my kid gets sick, that sort of thing. But I don't know if that would be detrimental to his nascent impression of me. My plan is to finish this 2-3 page prospectus and submit it, demonstrating my academic prowess, and then tell him about my family situation when we meet in person this May. I've heard from academic friends that my advisor is a genuinely nice person, and I don't want to mislead him, but since I'm somewhat crossing cultural boundaries here I'm not certain what information is appropriate to share.
  2. Well folks...after a total of something like 17 rejections over four application cycles... Not only did I get into my top choice, I was accepted to every program I applied to! This is the first time I've ever gotten to decline an offer. I will be starting a PhD in History at Trinity College, University of Dublin this fall with Seán Duffy as my advisor. Now to wait anxiously for my applied scholarships to come through. Never, ever, ever give up hope!
  3. I picked the wrong month to withdraw from my postpartum antidepressant. :-/

  4. Thank you so much @manseca! I'm private messaging you the personal details so this forum still stays relevant to others, but in short I think taking transit into Dublin is a wise idea.
  5. There have been a few threads here and there mentioning Dublin. Since I will be attending either UCD for a MA (accepted) or UCD or Trinity for a PhD (waiting) I thought I would get the ball rolling on specific city information. I've been poring over Daft.ie and it seems apparent that 1. housing comes quick and gets snapped up just as fast, and 2. it's next to impossible to get affordable campus-side accommodation. I'm moving to Dublin with my two-year-old so I need to find a self-contained flat (studio/one bedroom is fine) rather than shared/student housing. My budget is €1000/month and housing starts at around 2km away from either campus. I don't mind the walk even in the rain (I've lived in Cork so I'm used to the weather) but am I going to be stuck with shiteholes at that price? Is it better to find something on the DART/LUAS many km away? Alternatively, and this is just for the PhD programs since they're research only, I have family with a huge house in Carlow right next to the train station. Would it be wise or crazy to consider commuting? Any information about student living in Dublin would be appreciated.
  6. Eeee! My top choice!

    Course Entry Year Decision Status
    PhD in History - Direct Application 2017 Academic is reviewing application


  7. I'm a first generation college student. I have four parents and step-parents and not a college degree between them. I fell in love with academia as an undergrad, particularly in medieval history, especially studying abroad for a year in Ireland. The first application cycle was a wild shot in the dark. I kept to the northeastern United States, wanting to be close to my family and my then-boyfriend-now-husband, who has a steady but immobile job as a firefighter/EMT in his hometown. I lucked out and got one acceptance to the University of Connecticut for their MA in Medieval Studies. So I went direct from undergrad to graduate school. While at UConn I knew I wanted to go for the doctorate, and I got my first taste of Ivy League splendor at conferences in Yale, Columbia, and UPenn. I aimed high for the second application cycle and utterly struck out, not even being accepted for a PhD by UConn itself. Again, I had kept to the NE US, but thought that if I applied to enough Ivy Leagues that at least someone would accept me. I even had a potential advisor rooting for me at Yale, but it wasn't enough. I was crushed. Not only was it rejection from something like 8 schools (all those fees!) but I hadn't done anything outside of school in my entire life. I picked up my EMT certification (highest in my class!) and worked as both a paid and volunteer first responder for a year. Going to academic conferences with no backing institutions felt awful, but I knew I had to network and get serious about finding someone to advocate for me. I applied to only two schools, both within a few hours of our recently purchased house, and got into one with a fellowship. I thought the way was clear, but it turns out that the school was an awful fit for me. (No details for obvious reasons.) My advisor went from sweet as sugar to completely aloof and unavailable, often working overseas and unreachable by email, and when they returned they declared me incompetent and barely in the program by a thread. The department was obsessed with their alums obtaining tenure, despite putting out as many PhD's as nationally available tenure-track jobs every year, and ridiculed anyone who took an interest in a different career path. It also sounds petty, but everyone in my department was constantly dressed formally, manicures and heavy makeup, and since I biked to school and am a grungy metalhead I always felt an awful fit for my cohort. On top of that (or because of it), I suffered the worst expressions of anxiety and depression that had plagued me since teenage years, and finally realized that my doctorate at the school was untenable. So I left. Man, did it hurt to leave that fellowship on the table, but I worked as hard as I could for a year and a half, and it was apparent that things just weren't going to resolve themselves. I worked for a while at a museum in the same city, but when I got pregnant I had to give up the long commute. I began teaching as an adjunct at two different community colleges, and since my son conveniently came at the end of the spring semester I was able to go back to work without a hiccup in my employment. For years I burned at the PhD I had left behind, while my husband encouraged me to keep thinking of it. History? Art History? Archaeology? Literature? Language? How could I best study my passion of medieval history? I thought it was something I would think about when my son and any other kids were in middle school, not anything close to the present day. Then Trump got elected. Family members, friends, and neighbors revealed their racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, anti-equality ugly sides. My husband and I started talking about emigrating. We're white, but not Christian, and we're terrified of what this country has become - not who's in power, but the millions who have demonstrated their true beliefs. "I still have friends in Ireland," I said. "You could finally get your doctorate in Ireland," my husband said. "Are you okay with me leaving the country for graduate school?" I asked, astonished. "Our son's safety is the most important thing." And thus began my fourth graduate school cycle. Due to my once-bitten-twice-shy fear of landing in the wrong PhD program, I applied to one-year MA programs in history at UCCork (my alma mater) and UCDublin (where some other friends also live - also, duh, Dublin). I only did so after contacting potential advisors through email and getting a positive response. My plan was to get a second MA and then, if the fit was right, continuing into the PhD. I applied to Trinity College as well, but didn't hear from anyone so didn't bother applying. I was astonished to find that my MA advisor at UConn remembered me fondly, as well as two professors at UCC. Awkward as Hel for this American student, both UCC and UCD required ME to upload the LoRs...so I got to read them. I actually cried. My professors were entirely supportive, and specific about my strengths. My former advisor called me one of the top two or three students she'd ever had in her thirty year career! I sent in my applications to UCC and UCD... ...and then got an entirely apologetic, thoroughly interested email from the professor at Trinity who is THE scholar for my sub-sub-subfield (Viking Ireland ethnicity and identity). He had missed my email but found it on a fluke and was completely supportive of my application. However, he suggested I go straight for the PhD rather than waste time on a second Masters. I sent him my thesis proposal, he critiqued it deftly and cleaned up my language, and hoped I would join him as a student! So I sent in my Trinity application, including an application for a hefty fellowship. And then I got an acceptance email to UCC. And five minutes later, an acceptance email to UCD. With a 5000-euro scholarship. This is the first time in four application cycles I actually have a choice! Now I'm waiting on hearing from Trinity...and in the meantime, I've applied for a PhD at UCD, thinking what the Hel is the worst that can happen (yes, you can apply to multiple programs at once). The only potential fly in the ointment is that I've done more research and the only way my son can join me on my visa is if I'm in a PhD program and/or can prove that I'm well supported financially outside of the country. My husband is staying at home to support us, so theoretically that achieves the exemption, but if I get into a PhD right away that will cut the Gordian knot of immigration. So I'm still waiting it out...but thoroughly thankful that this has already turned out to be a better cycle than the three before.
  8. I didn't get in anywhere on my second grad app cycle. I was super despondent and my self esteem crumbled, but it gave me the chance to do something other than school. I became an EMT, earning the highest marks in my course and working full time both for a professional company and my town volunteer squad. Going to academic conferences as an independent researcher was one of the hardest things I'd done up until then, but it helped me to network and have a successful third round. It definitely was a character building experience and helped quell a lot of my anxieties about being useless outside of school. There are worse things than getting rejected.
  9. I went to University College Cork for my undergraduate junior year abroad in '07-'08. My then-boyfriend, now-husband has a fantastic job as a firefighter/EMT in his hometown, and therefore is unable to move - transfer may be possible, but he'd lose his pension, etc., and nothing abroad pays as well for first responders. So for years I've been trying to get a graduate program off the ground in the state of New Jersey or just outside of it, all the while really hoping I could get back to Europe. Friends of mine studied in Iceland, England, Germany, Norway, and Denmark and I admit I was a little sick and jealous of them, even though I now have a family and husband and house and all the other nice things that staying here has wrought. Well, with Trump and his cronies in office - and more importantly, millions of fellow Americans thinking that's a great idea - my husband and I agree on getting our kid out of the country by whatever means necessary. The easiest way, we decided, is for me to finally do my European post-graduate work, and that means, hopefully, returning to UCC or UCD (I still have many friends in Ireland, most of them in Cork but several in the Dublin area). I'll have to apply for a dependent visa for my son but I'm already in touch with INIS, and he's already on three waiting lists for daycare. My husband will stay in the States, sell the house and my car, and support us. It's not ideal but it's right for us. So I welcome any advice about bringing children abroad (he will be 2 in May), getting a derivative visa, accommodation (how am I supposed to have references when I own my own house?), and so on.
  10. Hi there! I'm turning 30 this May. I'm married and have a 2-year-old son, and I've been out of graduate school since 2013 working as a museum educator and adjunct instructor of history. So while this isn't my first grad app go-'round, it's my first as a wife, parent, and full-time worker. I'm thankful for reading all of your stories. I'm pretty young-hearted (read: am a consummate hipster) but intend to move to Ireland with my son alone, so I'll be juggling motherhood and study.
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