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madamoiselle

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About madamoiselle

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Paris
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    French Literature

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  1. madamoiselle

    Fall 2018 French

    @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!!!!
  2. madamoiselle

    Pens/Pencils which brands do you prefer?

    I will throw hands for the honor of the Retractable Pilot G2, .7 mm, in black.
  3. madamoiselle

    Fall 2018 French

    @frenchlover THATS AMAZING! Huge congrats, the program there is great, I'm so excited for you!!
  4. madamoiselle

    Fall 2018 French

    @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
  5. madamoiselle

    Fall 2018 French

    @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
  6. madamoiselle

    Fall 2018 French

    @Monsieur Vénus You're so welcome! Fantastic news about the Fulbright. Do you happen to know which Académie you'll be in?
  7. madamoiselle

    Fall 2018 French

    YESSS that's awesome @Monsieur Vénus, huge congrats!!
  8. madamoiselle

    Fall 2018 French

    Any new commits or news??
  9. madamoiselle

    Keep a Word, Drop a Word

    wedding ceremony
  10. madamoiselle

    Italian for Reading (Ph.D. language exams)?

    @SkunkStyle77 thank you so much! Do keep me updated if they recommend anything. In fact, I didn't mention it in my post, but I did study Latin and it is one of my reasons for picking Italian; I've been able to read some Italian before, and the stylistics are incredibly similar. It's very reassuring that you mention that!
  11. madamoiselle

    UC Berkeley 2018

    @waltzforzizi crazy right?! I got to visit because my department had visiting days during my work's break and they reimbursed my trip! Before applications and while doing official visits, I got to visit a few schools; 2 ivies, one very urban campus, a few good private schools. I truly thought Berkeley was the most beautiful! Keep in mind that it's west coast, so it won't be "East Coast Preppy," although the school is definitely well-kept and has magnificent buildings. I love more Spanish/Mediterranean architecture, and the weather was stunning. The campus overlooks San Francisco Bay, and there's tons of green space. I thought the area around campus was pretty nice as well. Tons of little shops, book stores, coffee places, etc. There is a considerable homeless population around campus, but I went to a large, urban state school and I'm used to it, so they didn't bother me (they don't seem to bother most kids at all, they can just be a little loud). To be quite honest, it was prettier than it is in photos. The terrain is varied, and I thought the energy was nice! Very involved students who work their butts off, but were still sunbathing and all of that. Doe library is one of the most beautiful libraries I've seen-- marble, classic, mahogany, the whole 9 yards. I was completely awestruck, even after having seen other campus libraries! I definitely suggest visiting campus if you can. I was honestly pretty set on another school before visiting, but the campus and my department's energy completely won me over.
  12. madamoiselle

    UC Berkeley 2018

    Hey there! Count me in. I'll also be coming to Cal for my Ph.D. this fall! I'm on a 5-year fellowship. Also living abroad at the moment! During visiting days, most of the graduate students told me that they went at the end of July to look at housing, since that's when most leases renew. They all suggested craigslist. I personally applied for graduate housing and am looking at applying to the Co-Op as well, but will definitely be perusing craigslist over the next few months.
  13. Bonjour/Ciao ! I'm an incoming French Ph.D. candidate, and one of the stipulations of my Ph.D. is that I need to demonstrate a basic reading proficiency in two languages other than French. I have chosen German and Italian for a variety of reasons. I'm hoping to take my exams within the first two/three semesters, and have been told that I can either (1) take classes or (2) go the more common route, which is self-study through a guide book. I have a pretty rudimentary knowledge in both languages. I'm hoping to do the equivalent of a "double-minor" in my program, which will take up a ton of my allotted credit allowance, so I'm really not wanting to take a formal class. While I'm having a fairly easy time finding German resources (there are a TON for reading comprehension), I'm having a rather difficult time finding them for Italian; does anybody have experience taking the Italian reading proficiency exam who can recommend a book/study plan? Grazie mille !
  14. madamoiselle

    Fall 2018 French

    YESSS Massive congratulations to you, @Carly Rae Jepsen!!! So exciting, it definitely seems that this was a stand-out for you from the get-go!
  15. madamoiselle

    So... what now?

    I recently committed to my favorite Ph.D. programs (has been one of my favorites for years now) and I'm stoked! Besides continuing your job/the sending transcripts/setting up an email/administrative stuff... what are y'all doing now with your free time? Maybe it just feels strange cause this process has given us such a momentum, and I constantly feel like I should be doing something, but I'm genuinely curious. Are y'all reading articles, sleeping extra, spending more time with family? I'm really having a hard time just relaxing- does anybody have any tips or words of wisdom?
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