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About sheshekabob

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  • Application Season
    2018 Fall

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  1. Fall 2018

    If you feel comfortable asking for feedback on your application from programs that did not grant acceptance this time, I highly recommend it. I asked a POI of a school that rejected me and learned quite a bit. First, he let me know they admitted a huge cohort of students in my interest area last year; so this round they had only two spots and 20+ applicants in the same area. He seemed to think my application was solid but offered to give me some specific feedback on my writing sample. As you say, if I too were to apply again next round, I would revise my SOP even though I felt it was strong. From advice I've encountered over and over again, you want to convey how you've spent the extra year cultivating your qualifications. Over this waiting period, I've been reading dissertations in my area and how-to books for writing a thesis (Umberto Eco has a good one), and I wish I'd done this to help me prepare my applications because I have a much more specific sense of what a dissertation is supposed to achieve. I had only looked at how to apply to grad school and not what you do once you're in.
  2. Fall 2018

    According to a recent result, 11,000 applied to Yale. For real?
  3. Fall 2018

    I kind of wish notifications came through snail mail as in the olden days. It would have to be more sane than this endless email–portal–gradcafe cycle I'm on.
  4. Fall 2018

    Congrats to the UT-Austin phd accepts. I work at UT and take undergrad art history courses; so if you have any questions about the city or school, feel free to ask.
  5. Fall 2018

    The professor of my modern Latin American art class last semester said that the colonial era needs more scholars. FWIW.
  6. Fall 2018

    I'm finally joining the party now that I've come up for air after taking the GRE, writing my SOP, and polishing my writing samples. Some of my answers to the survey: Program: MA in Art History Schools Applying To: Williams College, University of Texas at Austin, Tulane, University of Oregon Interests: Modern and Contemporary Latin America Undergraduate Major: English Age: 42 Experience: Tons of experience, just not in the professional art world; my work background is in scholarly publishing. Concerns: I have them (my age, non art historical background, the popularity of my interests, yada yada), but weirdly for me, I am pretty calm. Just getting to the end of this process of applying feels like I'm summiting the mountain. From the beginning of summer until now, it's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride as far as my confidence levels have gone. Just glad to be out of the darkest of the dark times: studying for the GRE quantitative. This was when I was most questioning the point of everything. (I'd underestimated the 25 years between now and my last math class, and realized that yeah, 12 years of primary school covers a lot of ground math-wise.) Hints and tips: If you're still working on the SOP or your writing samples, try the writing center if your school has one. I took my sample and lucked out with an advisor who happens to be a rhetoric and writing major. Her attentiveness to syntax, lack of art knowledge, and rigorous questioning of what I actually meant when I said this or that really helped me to clarify and develop my paper. I wish I had gone to her sooner instead of staying in my echo chamber, getting very used to how my draft sounded. If you don't have time to do this, a shortcut is to take my advisor's advice and read your writing aloud. This is so helpful. I knew this before we met, but it had felt like extra work (and I just don't want to hear the sound of my voice that much). Even better, have someone you know read your writing to you. This will make any part that's unclear, too dense, or overly academic jump out at you. Another SOP tip: I found this essay to be quite helpful, particularly the bit about prewriting: Statement Invitation to Frustration.pdf My other hint is don't forget to order those transcripts! I've screwed myself in the past with this step, and I feel like I almost waited too long again this time. (The community college where I took dual enrollment courses so many eons ago in high school only does mailed transcripts).