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Everything posted by Krauge

  1. I know I'm two months late here. When I was an undergrad, my professor knew that this was my field of interest, and told me explicitly, "do not apply to BC for a masters, it's a cash cow". According to former students of hers, there is no funding at the MA. I can't speak to the PHD level, but that was direct advice given to me by a professor who does a lot of work helping students prepare for graduate school applications.
  2. Thanks to everyone who responded, and having thought through this a bit, I’ve got a follow up question, for anyone who knows, but especially for people in Ancient, like Marcus and Prose. Having now been informed that I should avoid Hellenistic as a main focus for at least this part, are there also parts of the more commonly studied subjects (meaning mostly Plato and Aristotle) that it would be better to avoid in the same vein? That is, are there areas that I should focus on and avoid, like more popular and less popular dialogues and treatises? In regards to Plato, I find myself drawn to the Crito and Charmides, but these are short works, and there is much work being done on things like the Republic and Symposium. And similarly Aristotle
  3. This ties into what I was going to ask anyway. And, I know that you can’t say anything concrete without actually seeing the paper, but would a more historically based paper like mine be looked at more favorably by a classics track of ancient philosophy than a philosophy track, or is it just a bad way to proceed? Prose is obviously right that I need to get back into reading journal articles for philosophy, but in your experience, would classics look more favorably on this than philosophy? And, as far as articles go, how different would an article in an academic journal, say Nous, be from an article in a Cambridge Companion or Blackwell Companion? I went through a decent number of those for the paper? I’m trying to gauge what I have cut out for me.
  4. Is it suggested then that I write a new paper from scratch? One that is a Plato and/or Aristotle based one? The paper was on The Intellectual Children of Socrates in the Hellenistic world, looking at the three major schools of Hellenistic Philosophy that claimed Socrates as their intellectual progenitor, and who has the best claim to him. So, it does deal with Socrates and Plato. And Xenophon, but most philosophers don't care about him. This brings up something else that I had been thinking about, which is how useful a paper that is historically based like this one is as opposed to a topically based paper (e.g. epistemology in Plato, volition and will in Aristotle)? I happened to catch some of the advice given in another post to someone trying to come up with a writing sample, and there was a disagreement about the usefulness of a paper that compared and contrasted two position. This is something similar; do Philosophy departments care at all about a historically based writing sample like mine, or should it be saved for Classics departments? That's not to say that there is no philosophy in the paper - there is plenty of it. It's just that it takes a more historical approach to a philosophical period than an exposition of a particular idea in a philosopher.
  5. The general area of interest is Ancient. The specific subset I wrote about is Hellenistic, the area my capstone paper was about. I emphasized in my Statements of purpose my interest in the full scope of Ancient- Presocratics to Augustine. I have also read posts and comments from various philosophy blogs (legitimate ones, not just any schmuck) that emphasizing a strength in Hellenistic could be advantageous for study and job prospects, since it is rarer to find someone who does it, and that person will most likely know the standard Ancient stuff (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle) anyway.
  6. That’s more appreciated than I can say. I’ll do that in a few months when your semesters are over. And, while I have you both here, some professors suggested to me Boston University’s dual PHD philosophy/MA classics program. Do either of you have any option of that?
  7. The absolute last results haven't come in yet, but it very much looks like I'm not going anywhere this fall. Whether I try again in the future is up in there air for me. But something that I have been thinking about is the task ahead of me of retooling my writing sample. I have been out undergrad for a few years now, and so have not had that frequent contact professors who could go over my writing sample with me to see how it stacks up. My sample was a punched up version of my capstone thesis/term paper, whatever you call it. Not only is it a relatively understudied subject area, hellenistic philosophy, which my professor evidently didn't know very well. I found as I was going through it during my rewrite, that my professor had missed many many mistakes; not just interpretation things, but flat out factual errors in my presenting positions, dates, and even to my unbelievable shame, names. There were extenuating circumstances at the time that I don't need to go into; suffice it to say that I wasn't at my absolute best that semester, but it was still a solid paper. And, This is an excellent professor as well, I don't want people thinking it was some uncaring bad teacher. It just seems that they missed some stuff in an unfamiliar subject while grading one of the 15 capstone papers. Thats kind of a mouthful for an introduction, but my question is, how do I go about getting help/advice/guidance for this next round of editing? I thought my paper was pretty good (I actually thought one of the sections was excellent), but I had no way of knowing. There is no one I know who I can shoot an email and say "hey, can I get some feedback here?" It seems unbelievable tacky to email professors that I don't know who have giant course loads already and ask them to read through 20 pages and make comments. I was thinking of maybe emailing the professors at the schools I applied to who probably read my sample, but even that seems out of line. I just want someway to find a baseline telling me that I'm in the right ballpark. Being out of school, and having just rewritten it last year, i just have this horrible feeling that I might be in the middle of nowhere, completely out of line with how I should be writing. And I don't know how to find that baseline. Any advice would be hot.
  8. Thanks very much. Some of that I suspected, such as classics being slightly less competitive, if only just slightly, based on numbers. My big interests are outside Plato and Aristotle, so that’s helpful. In what you’ve come across, does that hold true even when departments have professors who specialize in other areas of Ancient. For example, I applied to Cornell because they have two people who do Hellenistic Philosophy, a big interest of mine. It might not be able to be calculated, but based on why you said, would something like that be better received through Classics? Finally, do you know of any difference between the two tracks GRE wise, like classics maybe being more concerned with verbal and less with quantitative.
  9. One of my AOIs is Ancient Philosophy. I’ve got a background in both classics and philosophy. I’ve seen people around here who have applied to some schools for the philosophy track and some for the classics track. For those of you who applied to PHD programs in Ancient Philosophy, how did you decide which track to apply to at the different schools? Especially helpful would be Those of you who applied to some schools Phil track and other schools Cla track.
  10. Does anyone know what’s going with Villanova? People have reported acceptances, rejections, and waitlists, all on March 1st. I still haven’t gotten anything. I assume that’s a rejection, but this is my first cycle, so I was wondering if that’s usual.
  11. This forum is supposed to be about who was acceptanced where for fall 2019. Take these arguments to another thread.
  12. My sample was on the intellectual children of Socrates in the Hellenistic world. It looked at the Cynics, Stoics, and Sceptics, how they stacked up in relation to Socrates, and who had the most legitimate claim to him as their inspiration or proto-founder. If I am accepted nowhere, I'll probably begin reworking another undergraduate paper on St. Bonaventure and his intellectual influences. My two big field of interest are Ancient and the Philosophy of Religion, so that would be able to tie the two together, and might be more attractive to a department like Fordham. Christopher Cullen at Fordham was a prime influence on that paper. At the time, I only had the opportunity to rework one old paper for the sample. Having more than one would be helpful. I like the Fordham program. In researching it, I looked through previous course offerings and they looked exactly like what I want in a program, and each area has multiple professors with different emphases. It's one of the few programs that while researching, I actually got excited about. It's a buffet of opportunities for someone with my interests.
  13. One of the writers on my letters of recommendations is flaking on me. They sent letters to a few of my schools, but have now suddenly dropped off the face of the Earth, and my Jan 15 deadlines are now 5 days overdue. I emailed them on the.16th and haven't heard back. Other than them, my applications and letters have been complete for a month now. Any advice on how to proceed would be hot.
  14. This is my first cycle. Do schools usually email you to tell you that a decision has been made, or do you just have to check your application on their website. Because I'm starting to look insane checking my applications every day.
  15. This was my first application season, and my GRE score on the verbal was 163, which I'm happy with, but my quantitative score was 145. If I don't get in this time, should I retake in an attempt to get a higher quantitative score, or how badly will that low score hurt me? My fields of interest, ancient and philosophy of religion, have nothing to do with math, and I come from a small state school so I'm not going to be getting into a top 15 program anyway. I don't even know if I could get much higher, and I'm not even sure I would match that verbal score again; it's a long, draining test, and I'm worried about blowing a decent verbal score if I take it again. We all know that the GRE sucks, so I'm not sure if its worth investing months into for a gamble, or if my verbal score is sufficient to get me looked at. If it helps, I'm wondering about how it would be for schools like: Fordham, Vanderbilt, Villanova, Pittsburgh, Northwestern, Boston University, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis University. I know some of those are a little higher up the list than others but that's what I mean.
  16. You are right that I am working, and full time (dishwasher, nothing too important). I've been out of school for a few years, always with the intention of going back for my graduate degree, but was never sufficiently warned about the problems that I would face in the current academic job environment. A little here and there, but no one laid it out for me exactly how horrible it was, especially if I didn't end up at a top 20 PHD school. I don't want this time around to be like my first time around, when I was an undergraduate and had no idea about the job market, and just listened to every teacher and family member say "go to college" etc., and thought they knew what they were doing. Then, no real good jobs. I'm not naive this time, and probably am on the other end of the spectrum - jaded, and a little angry. This time if it happens, its the blame is going squarely on my shoulders. The second problem is that being out of school a few years also means that I'm a few years older than and even further behind any people that I would be competing against. In any case, thanks for the input. What you said was exactly what my gut feeling was.
  17. So, we all know the risks that we take going down the PHD path, and the very slim chance that things are going to really go our way and we're going to end up with a stable, ideally tenure track job etc. etc. etc. We all know this, and presumably we're willing to take that risk, either because we believe that we can do it, that we will be the exception, or because we care deeply about our chosen subject and think that it has value and is worth the enormous effort of doing the PHD regardless of where we end up. I get this and I'm with it. I started studying philosophy at the beginning of my undergrad because I had questions and wanted to explore truth, and I think that philosophy is ultimately very worthwhile. And if I complete a PHD and can't get that elusive academic job, I'll be pissed for a while, but I'll know that I knew the odds and still went with it, and I got a few more years of study in, and got to do what I love before joining the rat race of the real world, and getting a real job. Recently however, as application season comes upon us yet again, and I finish up my writing sample and order my transcripts, and get all my ducks in a row, while working 40 hours a week, I have been getting this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I haven't been able to find sufficient data to answer the question. Can it be the case that having gone through with the PHD, that it could be a hinderance in getting a regular job? That horrible word keeps flashing in my head over and over again -"overqualified". I've heard it from people I know, not academics, or people with advanced degrees, but say, an electrical engineer who has hit a snag and need to find a job, and has told me that people who don't know better seem to think that with his big, fancy degree he can get a job almost anywhere, and so because so many people "know" that he can do this, he has a job nowhere. Point is, does anyone know, from experience, conversations, or know any resources, about a humanities PHD in general, or philosophy PHD in particular being a possible hinderance to getting a job afterwards? (This has not been written to the best of my abilities, but I needed to just spit it out after mulling it over for what has now been a long time)
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