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About akri

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  • Birthday November 20

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    sacramento, ca
  • Interests
    science fiction, STS, history, marxism

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  1. tl;dr: I've talked with Education advisors at my school and they've assured me it is possible to apply without an Education minor. I was going to just apply to two programs in my area -- UC Davis and Sac State -- and if I didn't get in, just reapply with a stronger application that next cycle. But I'm a reentry student (26 yrs) and don't really want to delay my education + career anymore. I'm eager! And want to start! And excited! Steps I've taken: Talked to an Education advisor at the School of Education at UCD. I have talked to ~six teachers about their experiences, advice, and what made them decide to pursue teaching. One of them was actually my mom, who is going into her 30th year teaching and still loves it with every fiber of her being lol. The others were friends, so I knew they could be candid with me. Definitely solidified the decision. I have reached out to my nearest school district for steps to take to do observation hours with various ages + schools in my area. Still waiting for a call back. (Left a voicemail this morning.) I have taken a practice CBEST exam. I know where test centers + times for the CBEST and CSET. I am less confident in ways to "study" for this outside practice exams, and I've heard AP books for the social science tests? I don't understand why there are 3 SS tests? This aspect kind of confuses me. Wtf is the CSET? Some background: I have spent a LOT of time researching PhD programs in various areas of study -- History, English, Science & Tech Studies -- but nothing really sat well with me. A lot happened my junior year that ultimately dissuaded me after researching + talking with a ton of grad students. I'm fairly fluent with the GRE, where to find resources, picking out a program, knowing how to research faculty, the "etiquette" of interacting with future colleagues, what a PhD program "looks for" in an applicant. (A lot of my undergrad CVs are tailored to it: I've done my own undergrad research, am going to a conference funded by my program this September, am slotted to be a research assistant to one of my favorite professors, might be an undergrad TA in the Spring). I know exactly 0 about the culture of the Education application process... I saw UCLA takes the GRE, but it was unclear to me if that was for their PhD Education track, or also their Master's -- the website was a little vague. Stuff like that confuses me (repeat: I don't know how to research Master's programs lol.) More specific questions? How do I research a Master's program education philosophy + methodology + approach to teaching/interacting with students? (I'm more social justice minded so I want that sensitivity in my training program.) How do I know that a Master's program is a good fit for me? (i.e. After researching PhD, I knew UCSB was a better fit for what I might want to study than, say, Stanford, which is "higher ranked" than UCSB.) Is a Master's in Education not something with much variability? Is a Master's from an online school in Oklahoma going to 'look the same' as one from, same, UCLA, even if their rankings are different? How do I research funding for a Master's program? (I understand this is unlikely, but again, I want to give myself the best shot at all the resources available to me; still going to pursue this even if it means student loans tho lol.) General advice? How many programs should I apply to? Etc. Anyway, apologies because I'm sure this is a repeat question + situation. I gave up scouring this site + Reddit for info.
  2. Good point! I should be careful + come up with a good answer for why I did History and not English. I think when I say 'prefer' I meant the undergraduate classes. I love studying literature, but History allowed me to study it through literature, philosophy, religion, political science in a way that I really enjoyed. I had some pretty eh experiences with English classes. Tbh I wouldn't say this in an interview but my undergraduate lit classes weren't that challenging so I wasn't as engaged... I think for all of the English classes I took I scored 100s+ in every single one idk. I think it'll probably be good to study the Norton Anthologies to brush up and make a stronger SoP/WS anyway, but the two replies I've gotten echoed what my professor said. If you do great then it'll look great but won't make or break it, but if I do poorly then there's a chance that it'll actually do more harm than anything.
  3. tl;dr: I'm double majoring, have one year left at UCD, and do not have space/time to attach an English minor without taking a(n expensive) summer quarter when I want to graduate Spring 2020. I think destroying Literature Subject Test would ease any hesitation about my foundation + awareness of the basics. I need to decide now so I can spend a year scouring Norton Anthologies + taking notes while doing my normal studies, normal grad prep, and publishing a project that I started working on last Spring with an advisor. I would DM individuals from other threads but it looks like they're inactive. -- I've posted a few times on the forums because I'm taking the few weeks I have this summer to organize a study routine + timeline + gather resources. I am not applying for the 2019 cycle, but the 2020. I want to do this correctly, which ofc requires an enormous amount of forethought and time management. Given how expensive apps + prep are, I want to give myself as much time as possible to prepare and do this right. I've read + reread the threads on the literature subject test and I am evenly torn on it. While I understand it's out of vogue currently + not necessary, I myself would be applying to English/literature programs as an undergrad graduate who took very specialized classes in English, but no English degree. I am History + Science and Tech Studies. The English classes I've taken have been: Early LGBT Lit (late 19th/early 20th century), Asian American Lit, Science Fiction, 19th Century European Intellectual Thought, and a class on Science Writing this fall. The last three cross list to STS or History, therefore cannot be their own separate English minor. I didn't take English classes because I prefer History, enjoy the methodology, and science/tech is my beat. With THAT in mind, my logic is if I took the Subject Test, did well, & admissions were uncertain about my shaky background, then the subject test would show that I at least studied + have a foundation that they shouldn't worry about. I understand the test is difficult and there's no actual proof that this would work, I can't shake that it'd "help." Ofc it wouldn't tip the scale, but I think applications are accumulations of "little helps" that end up ultimately making you a strong candidate. I talked to a professor at UC Davis in the department and he said that if I did do well, it would signal a level of dedication + certainty that I want to do the program... as well as having a phenomenal SoP and WS. (I'm currently saving articles in the field I want to research & am going to read a few a day + research where the authors teach, or who mentored them, or who THEY mentored. My goal before September is to have a theme, topic, research interest for my SoP + WS, spend my free time during my last three quarters working on it little by little. I have what I think is the earliest draft for that.) I'm excited by the challenge of the subject test, but I want to hear some fourth/fifth opinions given the context that I am not an English student but want to pursue a PhD program. Grad cycles into these programs are extremely competitive and I'm trying to think of how my application appears holistically -- did this student do everything they could to give them edge despite having an unconventional undergrad background, etc. Thoughts? Advice?
  4. Thanks for the replies everyone! They're all extremely helpful + I did end up cold emailing the Undergraduate Research Center among others (definitely using the vocabulary of opportunity). It looks like travel grants are released per quarter and I can still qualify for some in the Fall, hopefully. I am still pretty excited and waiting to hear what sorts of financial support they offer for traveling. I've decided if I can secure independent funding + attend the conference, it'll ultimately help me -- give me something to talk about in interviews, SoP, etc. I joined a few listservs too, and have bookmarked UPenn's CFP page. Everyone's feedback was beyond helpful, so thank you!!
  5. All of this sounds fairly pragmatic & I guessed as much! I’d rather not spend money but I’m pretty lost on how to make my application stand out then tbh. I’ve been looking for grants and most deadlines have passed, hah. Anyway, the whole prospect makes me anxious and it really seems out of anyone’s control where they end up accepted. your advice abt mentioning the invite is good tho. I’ll keep that in mind
  6. thanks! The conference said they would provide some funding for travel, so that'll be helpful. I'm cool with staying in hostels since I spent a month doing that + researching. I'm going to see what my professors say. I always opted out of study abroad and I feel like this is a good alternative. Short weekend, get to travel, do a conference... Do you think prestige matters as much for conferences on an undergrad CV, or is its presence + effort at all "enough" to stand out on an application?
  7. Hi all! So during my quarter I submitted a paper to a graduate conference because the theme + grad students there aligned closely with work I'm considering for grad school. It's a science fiction conference in London and I'm coming from California. I was really excited + e-mailed my professors, but now I'm wondering if this was a stupid thing to do / waste of time / whatever. I guess I'm insecure about being so excited, and also kicking myself because I honestly thought they would've rejected it, and now I'm having mixed emotions! Mostly, though, I really do want to go and think it could be a lot of fun, plus make me more competitive for literature PhD programs. I'm not sure how often undergrads are invited to these things tbh. Are graduate conferences worth going to as an undergrad? I kind of wanted the practice, to network, and if I can get some sort of funding for at least one ticket, I can fly standby on the way back (my dad's a pilot + I've flown internationally before because of this). I have another research paper I'm working on (that's STS and not literature) that I'm probably going to try and publish at the end of my senior year. I feel like having this practice would also make me a stronger presenter for that bigger project, too. I also perused some of the older forums about undergrads at grad conferences, but everyone emphasized the "bigger ones," MA students as presenters, and not really BA students at a grad student conference. What are everyone's thoughts? I feel like a fish out of water lol. Should I be excited? Should I try and go?
  8. thanks so much! I saw that sub friend + the schools they recommended. I saw someone mention that you can still study SF within a larger field -- they mentioned 20th century American lit, for example. Wanted to see if there was an easy way to whittle down which departments specialize in that, or if it's really just a trial/error. Your advice about abstracts/conferences is very helpful though!! Thank you.
  9. Any tips on discerning what a program's research emphasis is on by looking at profiles? I have plans to visit my SF professor's office hours for some advice, but I want something more specific to bring to the hours besides a list of vague "interests." What's the best way to whittle down "fit" besides research interests...? So far I've just been going through pages of various grad programs and hoping something catches my eye. I don't really want to stay in the UC system, but that's because I would like to branch out or head back to the east coast (I'm from Florida). I've tried looking at Americanist / 20th century lit / STS programs / Critical Theory, but it's just overwhelming tbh! Some context: I'm a junior re-entry student thinking seriously about graduate school. My degree is in History and Science & Technology Studies at UC Davis, but I want to do research at the intersection of STS and Science Fiction, particularly the New Wave of SF and/or possibly contemporary SF. (Theoretical interests are Critical Theory/Marxism; History of SF; HPS is my background... I've read Suvin, Jameson, Csicsery-Ronay, the "big names"; I'm especially interested in Samuel R Delany's work; I am interested in how mythologies of tech manifest in literature and translate into "real life.") I've been trolling the boards + Googling various phrases, but I haven't found any guide/how to on determining what a program "stands for." When I look, it seems like the same combo of general/normal topics in literature (Medievalist, the long centuries, lyrical whatever, French, blahblahblah.) It doesn't help SF has only recently been taken seriously as an area of study! Sorry this is so vague! I'm still in early stages of researching programs. I'm definitely planning on taking a gap year so I can ace the GRE. (Also I'm new to this place, so I'm also apologizing in advance if this is the wrong forum for this...)
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