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snorkles last won the day on November 18 2019

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  1. You seem to be focused on boosting your CV, which is insignificant at this stage relative to the time investment. Publishing in itself isn't noteworthy. It's the work that matters, where a published paper is a sign of good work. Keeping in mind, too, that not all journals are equal. Publishing is not a prerequisite for graduate school. I haven't published anything. I would work on refining your interests and developing faculty relationships. And keep honing your writing. Also, do lots and lots of research on the state of the field and its future. Are you comfortable with 6-10 years of work without a job waiting for you at the other end? The work itself has to be enough to sustain you. Another question you might think about is whether an MA is the best route, or if you'd be better off applying straight to PhD programs.
  2. Get a feel for the culture of the department and decide from there. I suspect your department doesn't have a student union (recognized or otherwise), but if it does then I'd go there first.
  3. Like you said, no one knows what is going to happen, and each program will respond differently. But I suspect admissions will be in a strange place for a while across the board.
  4. I'd also like to emphasize how dire things are. Everything is indeed in flux right now, but I've heard rumblings of even more severe measures. This is to say, I would not wait for the 2022 cycle to apply. And only apply with the expectation that you will not land a tenured position at the other end (not that this is news).
  5. I like this a lot. I had something longer written out in response, but I decided it was a bit of a bummer. In short, I've learned in my first year the truism that one should not compare oneself to one's peers is crucial for one's mental health in graduate school. Setting your own metrics for success is important, especially for those coming from nontraditional backgrounds.
  6. It's a terrible situation all around. I'm starting to consider the possibility that I may have the fall and winter quarters online. It's too early to tell, of course, but I don't see this thing going any anytime soon. I've had one class session online, and it wasn't so bad. It definitely limits things socially and intellectually though. The writing has been the worst part of it so far for me. Getting tunnel vision quickly that's hard to shake off while sheltering inside.
  7. This is sounds more likely. Those who had significant changes to their contract were given various options, to either sign on or not. I don't recall the details because they didn't affect me very much. The point still stands though: They have far higher degrees of freedom than we do regarding the contract.
  8. Soooo we sign it. They do not. At least I think that's how they can change things at will. Or it's in the fine print. Either way: Super happy fun times.
  9. I can explain Chicago. Stipends have been standardized across the humanities. Every PhD student is now guaranteed a set amount for the duration of their enrollment in the program. This change may prove to be wonderful should we need longer than 6 years to finish our dissertation. By year,I think it amounts to about 500 dollars more a year for me, but a decrease for second years, who had a higher stipend last year). For my cohort, this seems to be a net gain. And it certainly is for students in other departments. Before, from what I understand, other departments had significantly smaller stipends. However, this adjustment came with the caveat that the humanities can only take in a set amount of students per year, so many departments have had to downsize enrollment a ton. This is the scariest bit of it, English seems pretty safe so far. The stipend has seemed to always vary by year, which sucks for my cohort when I consider that last year's had a substantial research grant to buy computers and the like, on top of a higher base amount. But all things considered, I'm living pretty comfortably here, so I haven't felt any immediate outrage. It's unsettling to know that our financial contracts aren't binding on their end, though, but that just seems to be the case for every program.
  10. From what I've heard, the Ivies have a more traditional perspective of the field. You get a Ph.D. to become a professor. Other programs, like Chicago, are pushing a lot of resources towards alt-ac, since the job market is so bad. So Harvard may have the name recognition advantage when it comes to people outside of academia. But training and opportunity wise, it seems to be heavily in the opposite direction. Take this with a grain of salt, though.
  11. Faculty everywhere are panicking trying to get online classes up and running. It's likely to be far more difficult to get in contact with them in the next few weeks. Also, friends and family have taken on a different level of priority for everyone, so that factors into how quickly they may respond to emails.
  12. Irvine is phenomenal. And isn't the cost of living at UCSB really high?
  13. 34k in Manhattan sounds tough. I suspect you spoke to someone at bar night here about his Columbia MFA experience . If not, he could help you think about that option. Not sure how far the other stipends stretch besides Chicago. You could make any of these work, but some will require more sacrifices than others.
  14. You have a lot of unknowns, and all of those programs are great. What they're not equal in, though, is cost of living. Think through the finances of your options and it may be easier to decide than you think. I know a few in my cohort who decided based on this factor alone. I love Cal. Do I love 2k+ studios? I do not.
  15. Is there an opportunity for you to arrange in-person meetings? It might be helpful to review where you're at in the process. Are you still invested and willing to revise or are you just going through the motions of applying, using the same materials? These conversations are easier in person, I think. Also, I'm curious why you didn't seek any of your MA professors to write you a letter?
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