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About madamoiselle

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  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    French Literature Ph.D.

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  1. @ayay CONGRATS ON THE BERKELEY OFFER! Hope to see you (and all you other potential Berkeleyans) in March!
  2. @Beeba @cafesociety @coucoumilou @trotskor (YAY BERKELEY APPS!) I just got an email from the grad head about participating in visiting days, so the ball should be rolling - our semester started super late this year, so that may be why they're a bit behind. If you get admitted, please reach out to me with any questions you might have! Good luck, go bears!!
  3. @krikrileigh I got my acceptance to Cornell in early February, I want to say around the 15th! NYU has two visiting weekends that you should be hearing about soon (they get a ton of applicants, and have to split the interviews into two weekends in February). Harvard should be contacting for phone interviews around this time As for Boston and Brown, I want to say that they also accept rather early, within the first weeks of February; I didn't apply, but I met people at NYU who were accepted to both and were discussing it during our visiting weekend in late February. Best of luck to you all!! It's stressful, but so ridiculously exciting once visits start. Enjoy yourselves! (Also, I'm very jealous of you TAPIF people, I did TAPIF during my gap year and miss it immensely. Profitez!!)
  4. Also willing to give advice if any of you all are thinking of coming to sunny CA I'm in final paper mode, but after this Monday, I'll be free to discuss anything in general. @Carly Rae Jepsen, @HomewardBound @awhiterussian happy to see y'all around here again, hope you all are doing well! Best of luck to everybody ❤️
  5. My cohort is 3, and 5 were admitted. In total, I think we have around 30!
  6. Typically monthly -- ask your department student advisor and they should give you the date of your first paycheck. Most people I know (myself included) get it around August 15th, or within the first week of classes!
  7. I'm a low-GPA success story of sorts. My GPA was between 3.0 and 3.3, and I got into 4 of 7 programs, fully funded (^^funny enough, also including Berkeley, where I am very excitedly going!) For my GRE, I scored in the 95th, 75th (yikes math), and 99th percentiles, which I do think helped me out. I had a thesis and good research, as well as very close professors who wrote good letters. The 3 schools I got rejected to are notorious for slashing below 3.5 (two ivies and one school that had a pretty bad fit, looking back), so I knew they were a stretch to begin with. Applying to two public schools, in my humanities/SS experience, is a great choice you're making; they seem to be a little more lax on numbers, and much more focused on hard factors, such as writing and fit. UChicago, I've heard, also takes a pretty holistic approach compared to many private schools, but don't quote me on that. Granted, my field is a bit less competitive than yours, but success stories such as the one @láadan stated definitely do happen! GRE and GPA are soft factors, so one could very well balance out the other. A good GRE, coupled with very strong writing samples and a perfect SoP, can definitely help you out. If your Major GPA is higher than your cGPA, this is crucial and you should definitely highlight that as well. Additionally, some schools will ask for the GPA from your last 4 semesters; if there was growth, that will be a boon. Lastly, I also recommend speaking to professors throughout the process, as they can be an amazing help during deliberation. Best of luck! ETA: **I also had personal family issues that impacted my GPA. If there is a section on your applications that allows for you to note extenuating circumstances (and there most likely will be), then make sure you state the hardships you went through and how you grew from them. Take your past hardships and make them work for you in your application!
  8. I CANNOT DEAL WITH FINDING HOUSING IN THE BAY AREA. My froomie and I have submitted tens of applications and were so close to getting one, but it just fell through yesterday. I've successfully dealt with some rough housing markets, and everybody talks about how difficult the bay is, but I feel like I've grossly underestimated it. I'm only 23 and have very "young" credit (it's even considered rather good for my age), but I've seen some apartments in the Berkeley SUBURBS require a 680+ before a guarantor. Ughhhhhh
  9. I'm also here to boost The Professor is In! I've been doing some pre-advising advising with my department head, and she gave me some outline examples from the blog. I've been recommended the book multiple times, and I'm about to start reading it.
  10. @Carly Rae Jepsen that's a fantastic idea! For future applicants I would say: 1. RESEARCH your programs. Do not listen to NRC rankings because French is too small and they don't make a whole lot of sense. Get a feel for humanities departments as a whole, and speak to your advisors about certain program fits -- they will know the field the best! Looking back, I applied to some programs where I had super weak fit, just because they were "good." Save your money, don't fall for it! 2. On a whole, undergrad and grad school admissions are two completely separate beasts. One of the best pieces of advice I got from a professor is that grad school admissions are more like a job application than a college application. Think about the education, of course, but also think about the professional you will become. Think about the TAship opportunities and the academic/professor you want to be (or industry, if you're going into industry/translation/IR). 3. ^ When you're picking schools, do not get opinions from non-academics, especially those who have no insight in your field. This sounds kind of snobby, but trust me; they will have a very undergraduate way of looking at it. 4. This sounds so much easier said than done, but enjoy it! You are going to be putting yourself out there and asking for 5+ years of funding and knowledge (albeit accompanied by really hard work) in a field you love and have a passion for. Get excited! Keep the spark going as much as you can. The process is exhausting, but even in the event that grad school doesn't work out, you have so many options in the U.S., in France, in academia, in industry... I can't tell you how many people I met during this process that did TAPIF/had some really amazing jobs abroad/worked in think tanks, etc. Relish it! I 5. This is something I don't tell people much, but I had a sub-3.4 coming out of undergrad, and was certain I wouldn't get anywhere. I almost didn't apply this cycle because I felt so dumb, but I got 4 funded offers out of 7, including my dream program (where I am going :)). Strengthen as much of your application as you can, and NEVER sell yourself short. 6. On a sadder note, rejection. It is more than likely going to happen, and you do not 100% know what other programs are looking for. They don't publish (a) exactly which researchers they're seeking, (b) if certain advisors are leaving or (c) if they have any funding issues, all of which are huge steps in the decision-making process on their end. If you don't get in, it is likely that one of these reasons is a catalyst, and you have no control over that. Don't take it too personally, and enjoy the options you have! I knew people who only ended up with 1 option, and it was a reciprocal appreciation that ended up being the best possible situation in the end. 7. Once you get invited to visit days, ask questions, be confident and have fun! Meet the other people matriculating with you; even if they don't pick your school, they will be your camarades, and they will be indispensable networks (and friends) in the future! 8. Always remember that French is very special. It's small, intimate and a very strong community where everybody just about knows everybody. You may not realize this specialness just yet, but you will if you speak to bigger departments like English, History, or the sciences. People who study French love French, and being in that environment for 5+ years should be exciting. Although the market is rough, French is also one of the more stable job market prospects. Finally, you are also in one of the few fields that funds and encourages their students to frequently leave, travel, research in multiple countries and do fellowships/teach abroad. Wild! Of course, I'm not trying to sugar coat everything; naturally, this is a stressful process. If you are reading this for the 2019 app cycle, you may be having a nervous breakdown, and that's ok. Breathe. You know yourself, your French capacities, and your intelligence better than anybody else. Put it all on paper, and SELL yourself and your abilities to those programs. Hope for the best, and the universe will work out as it should. You will learn a lot of important truths about yourself through this cycle, so don't buy into sunk cost fallacies or negativities. No matter the outcome, the amount of work you put in will lead to great intrapersonal growth and reflection. Profitez!!!!
  11. I will throw hands for the honor of the Retractable Pilot G2, .7 mm, in black.
  12. @frenchlover THATS AMAZING! Huge congrats, the program there is great, I'm so excited for you!!
  13. @Frenchlady sounds like you have two very, diverse options that would be a great fit either way! This is a good place to be; you really can't go wrong either way. The one thing that's a drawback for Berkeley is that it is more similar to my home. I went to a huge, public institution. But to be honest, it doesn't bother me too much-- if you like the environment at Miami and feel like it wouldn't be too redundant or limiting, you can do fine, especially if there are a ton of research opportunities! As for LSU, I'm from the south and have been to Louisiana a number of times. It's cool! New Orleans isn't too far and there is some nice nature down by the bayous! Also consider-- do you wanna speak more French? Between my final two, I picked the program that spoke more French since I still have to practice and don't want to lose it or get rusty. Since you are French, maybe consider if you would prefer a program that's mostly in your home language (which tends to be more comfortable), or a program that lets you practice English. You'll more than likely be speaking English either way with undergraduates during office hours and such, but that may also be a consideration when it comes to comfort and the likes! Also, on innovation: think critically about what you study (I'm not sure if you've mentioned it before on the board!) Certain fields, especially more modern ones, thrive in innovation since the work is newer, but require a little more academic traditionalism to round it out. If you're in a field that's more traditional (early modern, etc.), then more conservative thought and departmental practice may be more appealing, but innovation is important to add fresh perspective! It's all a balancing act. In terms of required courses, do you want to study the canon in depth, or would you rather stay in your time period and be more fluid with your other classes? I've read a nice amount of French lit, but was only in undergrad for 7 semesters and have shaky footing (I don't understand some of my colleagues conversations and references because I never ever read certain movements), so I really wanted a denser core! Just some more food for thought
  14. @Frenchlady Here is my mega essay on how I ended up with my final decision! It was a super difficult decision, and I'm about to type a lot, but bear with me. ALSO, the things I found important may not be important to you. Everybody is different and everybody has different needs. I am single, female, and just turned 23 after a gap year; I would have different needs from somebody with a family, somebody with a boyfriend, someone who is 21, somebody fresh out of undergrad, or somebody who is 40. I'm lucky in that the schools I was accepted to all had pretty similar funding in the end (even though the cost of the bay area is gross, I'm trying to make it work!) So with that said, funding was pretty moot at the beginning, but is typically a large consideration for people. Always consider the cost of living where you are looking, as well. 20k will be ok in Bloomington, but scrape the barely survivable level at, say, Berkeley or CUNY. From me, personally, here was my ranking process: 1) Intellectual/Academic Fit: This was CRUCIAL. All of the programs had, no doubt, brilliant students and fantastic professors that I enjoyed talking to. But I paid a lot of attention to how fluid and energized my research topics were supported. If I felt myself having to really bend my interests, lose confidence in my pitch (cause nobody seemed too interested) or silently nod in unenthusiastic agreement (lol), then that was more of a red flag. I also plan to sway my research a little more towards modern postcolonial/banlieue studies. Berkeley had a fantastic foundation in what I already studied (feminism, philosophies, critical theory), but they also have people in Urban Studies and multiple people in MODERN Francophonie studies. I could have talked for days at Berkeley, and am still continuing conversations with professors that I had on visiting days a few weeks back. The classes excited me so much, and I cannot wait to start. Also, look at resources the university provides humanities grad students! Townsend was one of the big reasons I chose Cal. Are there reading groups? Working groups? Affiliate centers or minors/designated courses you can add to your CV and help you round out your dissertation? 2 Tie) Personality: I am an extrovert. Cal was a school that I could tell had a pretty nice balance of extroverts, but it wasn't wild/messy. Just very energetic!! There's a lot of hugging, very casual dress, and a lot of exclamation points/smiley faces in emails (which I heard was characteristic of West Coast schools, haha). Some people might dislike this, and prefer a more traditional/conservative environment, and that's absolutely okay! I love discussing theory, and I could talk to the students about way "out there" ideas. Some people, especially in linguistics, prefer empiricism. I went through a really negative interaction in undergrad with a potential advising professor because our personalities were on totally different pages. I try to avoid that as much as possible. These people are your colleagues for years, you might as well like them. If you prefer to be more isolated or away from people, this may be less of a consideration and that may also be a factor when choosing. 2 Tie) School Location: Grad students have a startling rate of depression. I'm very pro-therapy, pro-self care, and know what environments I thrive best in. It came down to the fact that I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder very badly, and I know this about myself (I almost dropped out of TAPIF because I was so miserable and depressed in the Parisian winter). For my health and wellness, I looked around at the surrounding communities and tried to see what was best for my self care and which environment had the most opportunities for my hobbies and side-activities. Grad school is going to be hectic and I don't expect to be hiking the wine country every weekend, but I did want an environment where I could go on long walks/walk to campus, unwind near water, and read outside -- all activities that make me happy and keep me sane. 3) Time to completion/Length of Funding: I was told to steer clear of programs that get ya in and push you out within 4/5 years. When asking about applying to Post-Docs, I was told that students in for 6/7 years or even more tend to do better. You teach more classes and have a more concise dissertation. Given the state of academia, you will be on the market for a while, and being stranded without funding or a job is a nightmare. I would personally prefer longer financial aid packages, or a package that is renewable. Graduate school is a marathon, not a race! On prestige: When evaluating my offers, "prestige" of the program was closer to the bottom of my list. DO NOT LISTEN TO UNDERGRADUATE OPINIONS, and do not ask every Peter, Paul and Mary for their opinion. If you're concerned with prestige and reputation, ask advisors. The school I chose is a prestigious public school, but it was recommended to me as a great program with a great strength in my interests. In the realm of French Departmental prestige, there is no clear measure. The 2010 NRC rankings don't make any sense, in my opinion, and my advisors all told me to steer clear of it since it's rather outdated and ridiculously subjective. Therefore, I personally feel like prestige shouldn't be as important in French, since it's such a small and idiosyncratic field where every school has it's own ~flavor~. Certain departments may carry more prestige in a certain subfield, but it's hard to even standardize that measure. It's going to come down to the people you want to work with amongst all of the factors listed above. If anything, look into placement and retention. These things are definitely important considerations. Hope this wall of text somewhat helps! If it comes down to it, widdle it down to two schools and flip a coin. You may find yourself wishing for a certain outcome
  15. @Monsieur Vénus You're so welcome! Fantastic news about the Fulbright. Do you happen to know which Académie you'll be in?
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