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About LSiefferman

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  1. That’s how I feel about Union as well, but I’m concerned about the lack of academic resources at Union. I was really going to need to take courses at HKS and HGSE. All things aside, I had a better experience at Union. @sambam did you only apply to HDS last year, or did you turn down other offers when you decided to reapply this year? What was it about HDS that made you believe it was the only place for you?
  2. I am beside myself with the news that my application was not accepted by HDS. I must have really messed up, but not sure where. An HDS professor has been a mentor of mine and wrote me a recommendation. I had a small group of folks, including current and recent HDS students look over my application materials, and I visited campus, sat in on classes, and had a good conversation with admissions. I left a career three years ago to pursue the work of arts and social change, discovering the deeply important role of religious literacy and reconnecting with my own spiritual path along the way. I have been doing community work towards my academic and career goals for the past three years. I also completed a graduate certificate in Social Justice online via Harvard’s Extension School in pursuit of these goals. (Not many other social justice options in my particular area in the South.) I certainly don’t believe I deserve anything, no. I guess I just thought I may have perhaps had a little bit of the tiniest advantage with a faculty member’s ardent support, strong writing in my essays, and all the grassroots organizing and project development I've led the past few years. I am feeling a bit lost right now. It sucks to be told you aren’t good enough by a people and place you respect very much. I truly felt I could wholly express myself and my ideas there, and perhaps within that lies my challenge... to start anew someplace unfamiliar and challenge myself to find my own way without the comfort of knowing faculty or community memebers. I did get into Union with some money, though not 100% funding. That is the only other school to which I applied, and between the two Union is where I felt more at home. Of course I will still need time to process the rejection. I share all of this for those out there who did not get the best of news this week in the hopes that it resonates with others navigating despondence and confusion. Tomorrow will be a new day... in close, a HUGE congrats to all y’all who received acceptances and funding this week!!! What an exciting time! I truly wish the best for you!! Silver lining for me is that I suppose I don’t have to sweat over which path to pick. Ha. Congrats everyone!
  3. @muse2019 oh I do hope we cross paths. I used to work with inmates as well. I had many serendipitous moments on my tour at Union, including running into someone who graduated from my very small woman’s college (I saw our school sticker on her laptop)... My brother and cousin live in NYC as well as my best friend from childhood, but my mentor is at HDS and I really want to work on their Arts and Religious Literacy Project as well as their Religion, Race and Nationalism research focus at the Center for the Study of World Religions. The ability to cross register at HGSE and HKS is also very appealing for what I want to do. My mentor did get one of her degrees at Union though and I’m with you on the “sharp SJ focus” there... however! From what alumni and current students have said, it appears that HDS is moving in this direction as well. Either way, it will be interesting... assuming I am even blessed with the luxury of a choice on the matter!! Ugh I’m so nervous. I’ve worked myself into a constant tummy ache 😩 good luck to you. Like I said - I do hope our paths cross at some point so I can learn more about your work.
  4. Same to you. I am an artist, and I’m hoping to work in the realm of religion, the arts and social justice. In particular, I am excited to expand my understanding on how the arts can facilitate religious and cultural literacy as a tool for transforming conflict. I currently make pottery to prompt conversation on social issues. I am hoping to further my arts practice with an academic understanding of contemporary relationships between religion, race and neoliberal values, creating artwork to name and challenge narratives of competition, fear and isolation. I’m hoping to become a conflict mediator, but also I hope to continue research on the combined role of the arts and religious literacy in conflict transformation. I’m pursuing my MDiv as I see my vocation as a “secular ministry,” if you will... I’ve been out of school for a while, working the daily grind life for many years. Fingers crossed. HDS is my first choice. Good luck to you. Would like to hear more about your work as it sounds interesting.
  5. Re. Union extension, I did the same thing. What’s your focus area?
  6. What about your LORs? Did you reach out to any faculty in advance? I think they want applicants to be honest and say what is true rather than try to impress them. If you submitted it, you must have felt good about it. I'm assuming you had others help you edit and think through the SOP? Anyway, it may also come down to the particular class profile/research interests they want this year. Not sure if that factors so much in this line of academia... i know it's a big factor for MFAs. I had terrible GRE math and essay scores (verbal was OK) and I failed a semester in undergrad. Granted, that was 15+ years ago and I've taken graduate level coursework since and done fine, but still, I had a rocky academic past. I guess if I don't get in, I don't get in. Where else did you apply? Yikes. this is all too slow and also too fast. ugggggggggggg i just want to know already! a yes or no is much better than the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not my life is going to completely change in a few months. I'm married and my husband will likely move with me, and we have pets... a whole life being relocated. I've not started looking at housing or anything because it feels way too presumptuous. I guess I'll know what I should be thinking about come next Friday. Good luck to everyone - it's a nail biter... what are all y'all doing during the day to keep busy? I have a municipal government job, but it sure is hard to stay focused!
  7. I am not coming to my MDiv from a denominational affiliation. I grew up in a conservative christian fundamentalist environment, and I stepped away (AKA ran away) from the church when I went to college (AKA as soon as I could). I have stayed away from church as an institution ever since. Divinity school inserted itself into my life quite unexpectedly, yet it appears to be a natural next step. I am a social practice artist and I use ceramics to facilitate difficult conversation on social issues. I am also a sustainability project coordinator for my municipal government, so I am very interested in social sustainability and issues of social justice and equity. I am particularly interested in exploring the intersections of race, religion, neoliberalism and nationalism, using ceramics as a storytelling medium for cultural (read: religious) literacy. My approach is that religion undergirds everything we know and experience, and we need to be able to pick apart these hidden forces influencing our behavior and decisions if we are to understand ourselves and others. With a solid academic training in religion, race and nationalism, my goal is to work in conflict transformation across intergovernmental and/or cross-cultural divisions. I also want to study the role of the arts and storytelling in peacebuilding. It's kinda a lot and I need to narrow down these ideas.... I'm going for my MDiv rather than an MTS or MA because, over the past three years, my artwork and personal academic journey have evolved into a theological conversation about our understandings of love and the need to reimagine how we live together. If I want to facilitate these conversations, I figure I should do my own homework. In divinity school I'm hoping to grapple with my own faith... to unravel the lessons of my youth and redefine God in the process. That was long winded, I know! But I hadn't posted in a while so figured I'd make it worth y'alls time haha. I only applied to two schools: Union in NYC and Harvard Divinity. I was accepted to Union with a 15k grant (wooo!) but it's still not enough money for me to make it work, so I'm wishing and hoping and thinking and praying that HDS not only accepts me, but gives me a great offer that will not put me into crazy debt. I'm an artist AND a civil servant haha - I need all the financial support I can get!! I'm supposed to hear from HDS mid-March.
  8. @Pierre de Olivi typically this email comes out within 24 hours of your acceptance notification. At least that is my general understanding from my conversations with various financial aid depts. I would be sure to check your spam. And I also would give a call to the admin or financial aid office to see when you can expect that funding information. I don’t think that is greedy at all… It shows initiative. But still - You probably will not have to wait very long to get that information.
  9. @dkimbab how exciting! There is a whole forum on here about funding and scholarships. That is a new world I will soon have to understand. Where are you looking for funding? Are you coming to your MDiv with particular denominational support? What’s your focus area?
  10. No news on my end. Union says late Feb/early March for their notifications. HDS is March 15. So here we are, in suspended animation. In other news, I’m bummed by the lack of HDS and/or Union MDiv activity on grad cafe. Years past have seen lively forums. Oh well!
  11. @OmniscienceQuest I understand you completed your MDiv at HDS (I follow another thread where you offered this information) - would love to hear more about your focus there, and what prompted the switch from MTS to MDiv.
  12. @rejectedndejected and @fordlandia unfortunately no... From what I understand, they really look at the whole application, and that both the Statement of Purpose and Letters of Recommendation are the two most important elements of said application. Be that as it may, you do need to show you are capable of the work, but test scores aren’t always the best indicator. This seems to be why they really try to look at the whole student. But what do I really know? Not much lol. I’ve spoken to several people from Admissions during the application process but I’m still on the outside looking in I can say that they are understanding that you aren’t going to Divinity school to study math, as I expressed my concerns about my mathematical “abilities”... I maybe got 10 math questions right on the GRE. Sigh.
  13. @OmniscienceQuest and @fordlandia yep! I’m hoping to do some work with him. We shall see... fingers crossed! I’m a fine artist, so a non-traditional applicant for sure. I’m interested in using the arts to address and and facilitate dialogue on these issues.
  14. Glad to see all y’all here! Lots of excitement building. Or is it dread? Not sure yet haha! To answer your question @fordlandia I’m hoping to work with the Religious Literacy Project and the Center for the Studies of World Religion to explore the relationships between race, religion and nationalism. I’m from the Deep South and am particularly interested in understanding the ways in which religion not only undergirds all that we know and experience, but in particular religion’s role (and legacy) with race relations and our understandings of love in the South. Im pursuing an MDiv because I want to wrestle with my own relationship with God and religion, and I feel that if I want to be a leader that calls upon people to reimagine how we love and live together, that I need to do my inner homework too. Fingers crossed everyone! And Fordlandia maybe we will see each other in the fall. Thinking positive!
  15. Looking to start a feed on grad applications to Divinity School for Fall 2019 matriculation. The wait is on! I've only applied to two ? and will be on the edge of my seat for the next few months. I'm seeking my MDiv from either Union Theological Seminary or Harvard Divinity. Would love to hear from all y'all out there! Where are all have you applied? Which school is your first choice? What are you hoping to do in or after school?
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