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Indecisive Poet

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Indecisive Poet last won the day on February 1

Indecisive Poet had the most liked content!

About Indecisive Poet

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  • Interests
    Poetry and Poetics; adjacent things
  • Application Season
    2020 Fall
  • Program
    PhD English

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  1. Just a note to those who are factoring rankings into their decisions about where to apply: I found this and my own research on placement much more useful and accurate than US News rankings. I didn't discover this until after I had committed to a program, unfortunately, and I wish I had had this resource when I was thinking about where to apply. US News rankings (in our discipline and others) seem to want to be exciting and diverse at the expense of accuracy. I don't know why Yale, for example, ranks at 8 when it is clearly the top dog in terms of placement and has always been (I'm almost hard-pressed to identify recently-hired Assistant Professors at programs who aren't coming from Yale). I think the placement numbers give a much better sense for how graduates are faring in the job market and how well-respected the program is than the US News rankings do. There is also something significant to be said for the name recognition that Ivies offer, especially if you are interested in working outside of the US. It's helpful to do your own research, too, though. I know that Chicago actually ranks lower than even this resource suggests because most of the placements listed here are at ... Chicago ... lol, and it tends not to place elsewhere.
  2. I can't speak to your first question as it's not my field. But "GRE not required" means "GRE scores not accepted or taken into consideration" unless the website says "GRE optional but not required" or "GRE recommended/strongly recommended but not required." If it's optional or recommended, I would go ahead and submit your scores if you have a strong score. If it just says "not required," that means they won't look at any scores you send in, so don't waste your money.
  3. Northwestern has updated their web page to say they are admitting as usual this year 🙂
  4. Oof. I'm still kicking myself every other day for turning them down...
  5. Several students defended their dissertations this summer (I'm not sure if that equates to graduating/leaving...?)
  6. Can confirm. Exact number they are admitting is 5 (for comparison, last year they admitted 19) and they are not accepting anyone applying for a subfield other than Black studies. (There really should be an announcement on the admissions page saying that they are only accepting applications for Black studies this year but I suppose they have made this information so suggestive and difficult to find because people's wasted application fees will earn them tens of thousands of $$. Oh, the irony!).
  7. Lol, note the "We continue to accept fall 2021 applications for the MA program in English" in bolded letters below the announcement. I think all the "insight" there is to be had here is that the MA program earns them money while the PhD program costs them money. I imagine that at NYU as elsewhere, the graduate student union is asking that the department use the money they would normally offer to new students to fund them for extra years instead.
  8. I've also just seen this – I would really give it much more time before you determine these people to be unresponsive!
  9. I'd be really, really wary of turning down a program with a higher stipend and a better teaching load for one that seems friendlier at the outset – especially because we're in the middle of a pandemic that has meant that academics have very little time to devote to anything but 6,000 Zoom meetings a day and all of the troubleshooting that comes with doing online what really shouldn't be done online. I know that your experience with this friendlier program has probably made them feel like more of a known entity, but so much of this is marketing/recruiting and the fact that the other program has been less responsive really doesn't say anything substantial about that program (if you think it does, fair enough, but what does it say that this program asks its students to do more work for less money? Surely that reflects on its supportiveness and whether or not the program is welcoming, too?). Once you're at a program, living there, what will matter is what your daily life is like and how that impacts the work you will do. 6 months in or 3 years in, you probably won't remember how nice the faculty was over email when you were accepted. Is there a significant difference in ranking between the two programs? How strong are the departments in rhet/comp? Are the faculty members you'd be working with well known in your field? Which location do you prefer? Maybe you haven't mentioned these things because they're about equal at both programs, but all of those factors, + stipend and teaching load, would weigh much more heavily on my decision than initial emails would. That said, it sounds like you want the friendlier program to be the right choice, and there's absolutely something to be said for going with your instincts/feelings. You'll choose the program that's right for you! 🙂
  10. Just a quick note to say that I turned down Boston College and UConn today, and that I've also recently turned down Columbia and Notre Dame and asked to be taken off of CU's waitlist. Wishing you all the best in making your decisions about the coming year.
  11. Thanks for this! I was browsing some places a few days ago just out of curiosity and I couldn't find anything decent under $800 for a studio and about $1,200 for a 1-BD. Ideally, it'd be great for me to get a cheaper 1-BD right away, but it seems like I may only be able to afford a studio the first year and then scale up when my partner moves.
  12. Thinking about heading to UChicago in the autumn (if moving is possible by that point). If I do go, I'd love to rent a studio or 1-bd in Hyde Park, but I'm not sure that's possible on a $31k stipend (which ends up being closer to $26k when you subtract fees and taxes, although health insurance is covered). Any tips on what kind of price range I should be looking at, locations w/in Hyde Park, and how to approach finding places? I would be covering rent on my own the first year and then my partner would be joining me starting the second year so we can split rent. I'll also be moving from abroad and I'm not sure how to approach that yet. Autumn quarter starts September 29 and I was thinking about flying to Chicago about a month before that and staying... somewhere(?)... while I spend a few weeks touring flats. Edit: I've also seen on this thread that it's a bad idea to have a car in Chicago. Can anyone corroborate/refute?
  13. Seconding others who have asked if your partner can move with you (either now or in the near future). I think the biggest factor here is how serious your relationship is (and whether or not they're willing to move is potentially a part of that). It's really easy to tell young 20-somethings not to choose love over a career and it's usually good advice. But the situation changes when that person is your life partner (or if you think they might be and have discussed this with them). At that point, it's a situation unlike anything else, really – families remain families even when they only see each other a couple times a year, but relationships don't work that way. A lot of younger people who are applying to programs right now with or without girlfriends/boyfriends will tell you to choose your career over your S/O, but this dynamic becomes much more like asking someone to never see their child again when your S/O is your partner, a part of your family. It becomes a non-option. I say all of this because I'm totally here with you: the application cycle didn't go well for my partner and I, and the most likely scenario for us now is one of us giving up academia indefinitely unless I manage to get a hold of the uber-competitive funding offered by the two British PhD programs we've been accepted to (spoiler: it's unlikely). And it's been frustrating having certain people on this forum who are rolling in the Best Luck of All Time with their admissions offers give me unsolicited advice based on where they are in their own lives. I suppose what I want to say is: this is a decision only you can make. What kind of future would you be giving up with your S/O? What is this person to you, and you to them? And, secondarily, how big of a dip in rankings are we talking? There's a big difference between 13 v. 20 and 13 v. 65. We live in a hypercapitalist and careerist country/global society that cons us into believing independence and entrepreneurship at the expense of all else are actually intrinsic human values – but they aren't. If going to a lower-ranked program would open up every other section of your life for you, it sounds like that's right for you. If you think ending this relationship would mean you being sad for a time and then getting on with things, you might need to make the tougher decision. The question really is: what will matter more in the long term? FWIW, I would kill for my decision to be as simple as choosing a program lower down the rungs. Being faced with no other option but re-applying or giving up the career has really put into perspective what I would have been willing to do if it had been that simple (although a very different decision may be what's right for you). Even still, the decision is a non-decision for me because giving up my family is not an option, but it's such a rough spot to be in.
  14. Wrote a long thing but I don't want to sign up for more discussion on this, so I will just say, OP: if you are concerned that where you did your undergraduate work will weigh negatively on your application, I suggest that you take all of this advice with a swimming pool of salt and do your own research. Look through every single graduate student profile at every program you are interested in and see where they got their previous degrees. Never count yourself out as a top applicant preemptively. You will regret punching below your weight.
  15. I know you're just throwing out a "worst case scenario," but I don't think this would ever happen. They've already made their decisions and they aren't going to reverse a decision because an applicant asked about the status of their application. I think your advice about how to word the email is great, and I encourage @jm6394 to reach out! 🙂
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