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mandelbulb last won the day on March 15

mandelbulb had the most liked content!

About mandelbulb

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  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Cinema/Literature PhD

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  1. mandelbulb

    Prepping for Fall 2019

    i'm not doing anything specific, but i have a lot of things planned! going to a science fiction writing conference in may, then a science fiction research conference in june. a trip to europe in july, as well as possibly opening a speculative fiction short story/poetry magazine. i haven't really talked with the person i hope will be my adviser, as she has seemed incredibly busy with personal projects, but i plan to take a class with her my first year and foster our working relationship when i'm on campus i guess, more or less, i'm just continuing on with my life as it is and trying not to stress out over moving.
  2. mandelbulb

    2019 Applicants

    one thing to note--i applied to berkeley's film PhD and didn't get a rejection, and when i reached out, they said they'd sent notifications. i reiterated i hadn't received anything, not even in my portal, and so she did some investigating and found out there'd been a glitch that'd affected not only me but a few other students. the hold up on the notifications could have nothing to do with the program itself and everything to do with the grad school. just something to keep in mind!
  3. or you could apply to one or two more schools and increase your chance of being accepted somewhere.
  4. mandelbulb

    Turned Down Offers Thread

    i bet your sincerity definitely came through! get some bubbles in there and maybe a glass of wine...
  5. you really think it's worth it to pay $160 for a two point increase? wow lol
  6. mandelbulb

    Turned Down Offers Thread

    wow you called? you're so brave...
  7. mandelbulb

    sending mediocre gre subject scores

    the score is fine, but if they didn’t ask for it, i’m not sure what you expect them to do with it? and it’s totally appropriate to check in again. reiterate your interest in the program and ask if there is any update. if there’s not, that’s ok, but just reaching out to touch base shows how interested in the program you are. good luck!
  8. this is easy: nope, don’t retake. your grades in your MA show you’re ready for graduate level work. what will higher scores tell them that your writing sample, sop, lors, and grades don’t already?
  9. i graduated in 2011 with a BA in psychology and took a research assistant position in the psychology department of a local university. i applied to english MA programs in 2016. i graduated in 2018. i never felt ever disadvantaged by this time off. if you want more specifics, i'm happy to talk about it in PM
  10. i want to push back on this, that a gap year isn't "universally harmful." i feel like this is very strong wording against advice i feel like is pretty universally given, universally belabored on, and universally true. every single person i've talked about applying to PhD programs with has 1) advised me to take a gap year, if i was already in academia at the time, or 2) made sure i had taken at least one year off, if i was out of academia. it is also one of the most given pieces of advice to what seems like everyone in this particular tiny section of GC; it feels like all of us have heard this piece of advice at least once. why would all of our most-loved and most-favorite professors continue to give this piece of advice over years and years if it weren't true? honestly, just living life outside of academia makes you a stronger candidate. developing relationships with coworkers, learning how to be professional as an employee rather than a student, understanding ways of navigating work hierarchies... also just spending time being a person while not in school can really be an awakening process. nearly everyone i've ever encountered who took a gap year (or years) has said that they've done some growing that they felt made them a stronger candidate. if anything, perhaps a conversation about if taking a large gap is detrimental would be productive. at what point do gap years become a barrier to communicating fit? does that point even exist? why would you even need to address your gap year? this feels like you're equating a bad GPA or GRE scores to taking a gap year and that it needs to be explained away. however, most people don't encourage the discussion of weaker parts of an application. rather, you should spend time emphasizing what makes you a strong candidate. if the job you took during your gap year doesn't strengthen your application, then it remains a line on your CV, and that's okay. publications and presentations aren't necessarily markers of a great candidate, either. some students get into top programs without either, but most certainly without the former. however, going through the motions of these professional experiences are definitely good, as it replicates other submission processes that are important to academic life, such as applying for fellowships, applying for grants, and (of course) submitting your work to conferences, journals, and (eventually) publishers. so it doesn't actually matter if it "happens" because a lot of things you apply for as an academic don't always "happen." rejection follows you everywhere, and learning from that is also a good experience. email, phones, and skype exist. i understand the fear that perhaps a professor may not remember you or may not write as good of a letter if you're a year (or few) out of the program/institution, but professors do remember their students. if you did something that made you stand out in the first place, the professor will likely remember it. i say this anecdotally, of course, but i wouldn't be surprised if other students and teachers feel this way as well. moreover, if you create a habit of checking in with professors you'd like to ultimately write you letters during your gap year, then this won't be a problem at all. the additional bonus is that this would mirror similar processes after you complete your PhD of keeping in touch with your mentors from different institutions. a lot of students, even for their dissertations, may move away and still have a great working relationships with their committee members, who will be providing feedback via email and skype. real world mirrors the real world, and you can't control for people always being in one place. sure, you may move, but maybe you don't move and one of your letter writers moves instead. we've moved into a time where a lot of connecting does happen through email and the written word. whether it's the "same" or not doesn't necessarily matter. it's similar and i'd argue that neither gives you more leg-up on your application than the other. i apologize; this was long. however, i've taken a lot of gap years, and i've never once felt like it put me at a disadvantage. in fact, i feel like it's prepared me more for graduate study, so the idea that it would be discouraged is bizarre to me.
  11. i feel like we should have a cross-UC facebook group lol
  12. mandelbulb

    2019 Applicants

    100/10 for aaron barstow being the best part of this entire application season.
  13. mandelbulb

    2019 Applicants

    i'm a masochist and emailed them for feedback. i explained that because i'm passionate about my project and i'm hoping to present parts of my writing sample at conferences, the feedback is invaluable
  14. mandelbulb

    Looking For The Right 'Fit'

    sorry it took me so long to reply to this. what i mean is that "science fiction" or "speculative fiction" does not really fit cleanly into many of the categories or areas adcomms seem to use to sort applicants. you can obviously say you research speculative fiction (or "dystopian worlds and alternative histories"), but i'd say that you should make sure to pair it with something that will ground it in a specific area that will make you look legible to adcomms. just my two cents as someone who studies science fiction and just went through two app seasons feeling a bit like i didn't quite find a way to translate my interests well enough to adcomms. stephanie burt at harvard also studies science fiction. also really exciting is that UCSD's Shelley Streeby and UCR's Nalo Hopkinson are starting a cross-UC speculative fiction research group i'm really excited for it myself.

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