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punctilious

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punctilious last won the day on February 10

punctilious had the most liked content!

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About punctilious

  • Rank
    Macchiato

Profile Information

  • Location
    Cambridge, MA
  • Interests
    Postmodern/Contemporary U.S. Literature | Material Culture | Thing Theory | Pynchon, Wallace, Franzen, Barth, DeLillo, Nabokov, Egan
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    English PhD, Harvard University

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  1. I don't know that it exists here. The folks in my husband's cohort live all over: Harvard Square, North Cambridge, Inman Square, Allston, Somerville, etc. We are right between Inman, Kendall, East Cambridge, and Central--I believe this area is known as The Port. It seems like there are a lot of young people/graduate students in this area, since we are also decently close to MIT. But I don't think there is one place for Harvard graduate students like there may be in other cities.
  2. Husband is grieving the loss of library access while writing his final papers for his classes. There have been multiple rare books that we’ve had to go through rather odd processes to try to get scans of or information on (including finding initial quotes or references in online literary magazines, blog posts, or other books available on Google Books, then messaging users on Bookogs who may own the books and even messaging the authors themselves in order to get an accurate citation...). As a self-proclaimed expert at Googling, I’ve gotten to help out a lot with his research, which has been a fun challenge for me as someone who is VERY MUCH not a student of literature.
  3. Quoting Personal Finance for PhDs: “I’ll clarify right up front that you do need to incorporate your fellowship income into the gross income you report on your tax return, and you almost certainly will end up paying tax on it (unless your total income is very low or you have lots of other deductions/credits).” (http://pfforphds.com/weird-tax-situations-fellowship-recipients/)
  4. I think people have a tendency to be dramatic when it comes to crime. When I was heading to study in Russia, everyone was going on about terrorism. When I was moving to DC, everyone was going on about crime. I say perhaps talk to real people who live there. I have an aunt, uncle, and three cousins who have lived in Toledo forever, and a good friend from college from Toledo. They're all fine. I went a few times as a kid and I lived, haha. I hear Toledo has a great art museum.
  5. If you purchased with a credit card, can you dispute the charge? That's what my husband and I have been doing for hotel and airline costs that the travel companies are being difficult about refunding. It's a public health crisis, a national emergency, these companies need to refund people, and my bank (hopefully) has more sway and can get the job done.
  6. I would imagine that, since there are so few jobs, there may not even be enough data to determine the success of some schools over others. I'm not sure that being strategic about where you go is super effective in this climate because it's a total crapshoot and the economy isn't getting any better. We're holding out hope that Harvard's name recognition and elite status will help him get a job in Europe, since I'm an EU citizen and we want to live over there when he's done. It's probably likely that, if EU university hiring committees know any US institutions, likely they know (and hopefully respect) Harvard. Otherwise, I think you should go where you want to go.
  7. I think it's a tough situation. I do think it's wrong of Harvard to kick people out of the dorms so quickly, though I hope they will be lenient in allowing those folks who have nowhere to go to stay, but at the same time, Massachusetts is seeing a pretty rapid outbreak, and what better place for the virus to spread than at a university where people are in close proximity all the time (in lecture halls, dining halls, dorms, etc)? It could be a real danger to the immunocompromised and older folks (hello professors) if we allowed this virus to spread through campus. We have a duty to protect each other, especially since our government will not protect us by providing medicare for all, required paid time off, etc. The United States is in a precarious situation--most other wealthy countries are substantially more prepared than we are for this kind of outbreak. It sucks--my husband is not excited about all of his classes going online,not getting to present at conferences and colloquiums, potentially having limited to no access to the library or other resources, but I understand why they made this decision.
  8. If any Harvard admits have any questions, feel free to message me, considering the coronavirus-fueled cancellation of official visit days.
  9. @surplus_value - My husband and I were in this process two years ago, so I get how incredibly hard and stressful this can be. But you have to recognize in yourself what you can handle when it comes to seeing other folks' success. Listen to yourself and see whether being in this community is helpful or hurtful to your mental health. You do not have to be here. For some people, the camaraderie is joyful, for others it is stressful. I think it is unfair to expect other people to cater to you, and not express their frustration at this process. This should be a safe space to vent about the process, not a place to tear down one another. @meghan_sparkle and every person here should feel comfortable engaging in this community, whether their applications have been accepted or not.
  10. It is very confusing, but no, as far as I am aware you just need to count your stipend as income, not the tuition remission. That measure did not pass. Unfortunately even tax professionals often do not understand how this works.
  11. I completely agree with you. Which is why it's also essential that everyone here goes out to vote in this primary to support students and our unions.
  12. Correct, teaching fellowships and such will make you an employee of the institution, so you will presumably have taxes taken out, but for stipends (where you aren't working, often the first year or two of your program), they will more than likely not take any taxes and may not even provide you any sort of tax document. The stipends without "employment" are what I am referring to, as people often think they don't need to pay taxes on those, but they do!
  13. Yes, everyone should hear this loud and clear: your stipends are taxable income (not just teaching fellowships!). You have to report them as such and pay taxes on them, which is why it's a really good idea to pay quarterly estimated taxes so you don't die when you see what you owe in taxes at the end of the year. Cost of living as absolutely an important consideration. Many top universities are in super expensive cities (especially the Bay Area, followed by New York and Boston, those are probably the worst cost of living in the US) so make sure to factor that in when making your decisions. I believe @Warelin's spreadsheet has a cost of living column.
  14. So that was a whole debacle around proposed changes that would not only tax graduate students on their stipends/fellowships, but also on tuition remission. The proposal would have meant that your income wouldn't just be the $35,000 stipend you're getting from Harvard, but also the $47,000 in Harvard tuition. These together would be considered your income, so you'd be taxed on the $82,000 rather than the $35,000. Thank goodness that didn't get through because it's absolutely insane/ridiculous.
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