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About Cryss

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  • Interests
    Postcolonial lit, 20th and 21st Century Caribbean literature, South east Asian lit, African diasporic lit, colonialism and Early modern drama, language and identity.
  • Program
    PhD English (Fall 2020)

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  1. Perhaps you can look into this. I used the WES yearsssss ago because my secondary school did not use GPAs and I was applying to do University in the US. My high school grades were like 60s, which is a fail in the US, but equivalent to a B in my country. When WES converted all my grades, I only had As and Bs. They do take into consideration the quality and difficulty of the education, I believe. My undergrad school suggested and accepted WES' evaluation. I'm not sure if every school will accept it, especially at graduate level. They may just want your undergrad GPA as is.
  2. I'd personally ask #1 for a few reasons: 1) They know you better and can speak to both your academic skill and your work ethic (in other words, they know you in two different roles). 2) Taking a current class with someone who's writing you a letter seems tricky to me-- I would add unnecessary pressure on myself trying to make sure I impress them, or I would think they are critiquing me at all times. 3) It's better to have a great letter than a big name. If you are pretty sure #1 will write you an amazing letter, then that is worth so much more than an average, generic letter from a big name.
  3. I'm gonna agree with everything @underthewaves posted above. It's very hard to ascertain tone via emails/text. What you interpret may not necessarily be what someone meant, and we have to be careful not to impose our own opinions about how people may feel about us into their actual text. Also, you are essentially taking issue with her not being sympathetic enough to your cause, but you do not seem to be considering her point of view at all, or being sympathetic to her. This is not to say that you're feelings aren't valid, just that sometimes we all need to step back from our situations to see them a bit more objectively. With that being said, I second the advice that you should consider reaching out for help off-line if you're comfortable with that. Totally up to you. I hope it all works out for you, either with this professor or with another for your letter, as well as with your anxiety.
  4. That sounds like a lot and honestly, it does not sound like you and this professor have a good relationship. I'm not sure I understand why you would still go to her for Letter of Recommendation considering your relationship with her. Is there anyone else you can ask? Teachers understand extenuating circumstances and of course your life is more than the academic performances. I do think that professors prefer to write letters of recommendation for people who performed well in their class (especially if that was the only class in which they taught the student). I personally would rather a professor ignore my request than agree to send in a letter, but it's a half-hearted generic letter, which obviously says indirectly that they are not thrilled about the student. I would say, I don't think not writing you a letter means she doesn't believe you can do grad school. Yes, letters speak to how much the professor believes in your ability to succeed at a higher level, but that is connected to what they saw of you so far. I believe 1 paragraph at least in a LoR speaks about what type of student you were in that class and how those skills can translate into success, and if you're saying she may not have been impressed with your work, then maybe it could be hard for her to write you a glowing letter. But all of this is conjecture. She did not say "no," so it is highly possible that she has other things going on in her life. Just like you have extenuating circumstances, there could be things she is going through that prevents her from getting around to your email (although for the sake of professional courtesy, she should reply in a relatively timely manner). I still think some empathy her way is deserved since most of your complaints about her have not been through her direct rudeness, but through your perception of her (in)actions.
  5. I rewrote my thesis like twice before it was due. Back then, I at least had my advisor to review it. The thought of doing this again, but on my own, terrifies me. I have imposter syndrome, and I doubt everything I do, writing-wise. I am a big rewriting advocate though, since it usually just gives you even better drafts and clearly see what is not necessary to make your point. Thank you for outlining how you shortened yours AND how you did your explanation of what was missing. This is useful!
  6. No, she has not finalized her list yet. Like you, she's still looking into programs and shopping around to fully gauge schools that offer Educational Leadership. She wants to include HGSE, but she doesn't plan to apply to that many programs, so I'm not sure what will stay on the list or not. I think she's aiming to apply to 3 or 4, so she will be choosing the ones that really interest her. I'm sure there are quite a few East Coast programs you can apply to and stick with without having to move across the country. You should be comfortable with your location!
  7. I'm not in Education, but I am helping my best friend look up programs like you mentioned, since she's into Educational Leadership too. UNC chapel hill has one- https://ed.unc.edu/academics/programs/educational-leadership And Vanderbilt- https://peabody.vanderbilt.edu/programs/doctor-of-education-edd/ These are 2 I know from minimum research (outside of the ones you mentioned). But if I were you, I'd start here just as a jump off point to check out Education programs and then go to the schools' websites to see which ones specifically offer Educational Leadership EdDs. I believe Purdue offers Educational Leadership, but in the form of a PhD, not an EdD (https://www.education.purdue.edu/academics/graduate-students/degrees-and-programs/graduate-programs/educational-leadership/) I'm not in the field of Education so I can't speak to the reputation of the schools, which is why I suggested US News, which seems to be an up-to-date list of good Education programs. Of course, take the list with a grain of salt in terms of measuring prestige. Hope this helps!
  8. I'm having a WS problem too. Except my problem is that while most of my programs ask for up to 25 pages, a few ask for no more than 20, and I'm actually struggling to cut mine down by 6 pages in a way that still retains the spirit and strength of my paper (I'm at 26 pages currently. Down from the original 35-- I just omitted a section and that worked). For the WS that are supposed to be 20-30 pages, can't you just use 2 chapters from your thesis instead of one? I haven't seen your thesis, but I suppose it would be considered a sustained piece of work if it's under one large argument, even if it has subheadings. If your chapters are 12-15 pages, then maybe use your intro, 2 chaps of your thesis and a conclusion. I've read somewhere that you should or can indicate at the top of your writing sample that this is an excerpt from your larger work.
  9. I agree that it's a minimum. But the fact that they had faculty meetings, a meeting with the students and offered up (admittedly weak) suggestions in a short time after the letter was submitted, I feel, is more than many programs would have done. I recently read an article about ongoing grad student problems at UPenn and how the administration and President ignore the student groups and their demands completely. It is from that comparison that I commended Columbia for their willingness to listen. I must also agree with your point concerning this quote. I do think he is trying to be "realistic." Oftentimes social, institutional, socioeconomic factors do favor a certain type of student to whom programs would be more attracted. I think he means that higher class students, often white, are able to afford a more affluent undergrad education, better SATs and GRE tutors etc, etc. And if programs are taking in less people, chances are they will end up choosing many of these homogeneous students. However, this is just a generic problem in higher education whether a cohort is 5 or 15, so it's still not a very good excuse. I see the issue with his statement because it indicates to me that he believes that the first students to be cut would be the "racially, socioeconomically and intellectually diverse" students, which assumes that they are the weakest students, as you mentioned; the academic Other. This ideology is very problematic. I'm not sure if I buy limiting enrollment as a solution to the problem either.
  10. This works. Your first link had the paywall. I can only speak from the perspective of a prospective student. Even knowing the issues with the job market (barely because I just believe that you won't truly know until you're in it), I would still be willing to pursue the PhD because I am interested in continuing my research, a sentiment that I think is shared by many prospective students. I agree with Wimsey that we don't get a lot of student perspectives in this article, which I would have liked to see. Based on the article, I think the action taken by Columbia so far is commendable, but is it enough? So many professors offer their sympathy, but not all are willing to offer action and solidarity, and that's a big difference. Theory is fine for literature, but for real life students who are being affected, we need more than your theorizing and your "we seriously need to think about these things" spiels. What steps are you taking and what actionable ideas, if any, are you coming up with to mitigate this problem? Most importantly, are you transparent about the issue from the get-go? I feel like a lot of schools manipulate their data to be favorable in terms of outlining career outcomes. This just glazes over the problem and does not accurately depict the issue to prospective students.
  11. I did see that! Brown dropped it sometime last week, and I just noticed a few days ago that Chicago dropped theirs. The list is healthy and growing, and might just continue in the upcoming weeks as September approaches and the applications for 2020 will be opening. At least I'm hoping.
  12. *Another one.* I love hearing about people who share my interests. I feel like it's so niche that I don't usually meet many others in the programs I've been in. Nice to meet you! 🙌 🙌 Good luck on your thesis and your last year in MA! I'm sure you'll be great and that we'll be talking more in the upcoming months and early next year as we apply and wait to hear back with bated breath.
  13. Can't speak to how competitive other programs are, but some schools do either explicitly state or add in their statistics how many applicants they usually have vs how many they enroll. Columbia's PhD in English Literature website, for example, states that they receive 700 applications approximately, and they enroll 16 students, so just over 2%. Other school sites will state they receive around 200 or 400, and enroll 8 or 6. It's hard for 1 person to offer advice on how competitive all of the programs you listed are, but check out the grad statistics for a few schools (maybe the ones you are interested in); they are usually hidden somewhere on the website, and, if the statistics are very advanced, you can move from Department to department, subject to subject, and check out how many applicants, how many accepted or enrolled, and how many graduated. Other measurements are usually available too (what percentage is international, what minorities they have at what percentages). Perhaps with this information, you can compare for yourself how competitive one field is over another in terms of sheer numbers. In terms of perception, I would think each program is difficult to get into in its own way. For English/Literature, you would need to have had some classes that are relevant to the degree you are applying for, besides the basic gen ed classes. Some programs even ask for an MA. You would need to have a great writing sample that shows the scope of your research in the subfield in English you are interested in (which is why many people use either a thesis or a class paper as a starting point--they have already put months of research into the topic and know the academic discussion happening). I would think STEM may not need a 15-25 page writing sample like English, but probably has other program specific things they ask for with your application. Furthermore, the job market determines the demand for certain jobs, which also trickles back to cohort sizes. Therefore, you might have more STEM applicants and larger cohort sizes because of the market demand. Or you may have less applicants, but still large cohort sizes, which would mean a higher acceptance possibility. For Literature, the job market in academia is tough and a bit saturated, so, all this indirectly affects how many people schools will accept or how much money will be allocated to the English department etc, which could make it more competitive. Your question is very complex. Hope some of this helps, at least!
  14. I am surprised the international student office staff at your school did not heavily advise you against leaving the country between the end of your F1 and your OPT approval. Even if your F1 has expired, once you have applied for OPT, and are awaiting a decision, your status in the US is fine. Leaving is the problem. It's a bit more difficult to enter the US on an OPT in general, but especially when you haven't even started a job yet. How come you need a visa appointment? As far as I know, OPT does not allow you to have a special visa sticker in your passport, and doesn't really have anything to do with the embassy. Are you making a visa appointment to change your status from OPT to something else? I agree with the above post: contact your school's international office to ask for advice, although they might tell you that you should have sought their advice earlier. Also, check to see if the embassy in your country has a contact email, and try asking them about the whole situation and maybe they can suggest something. Perhaps you can start looking into Postdocs, or if your job offer is some sort of student job, internship, or exchange program, check out the J1 visa and find out if your job will be willing to help you get that.
  15. 100% Agree. I have been super careful about finding at least 2-3 people I can work with at the schools that are my front-runners (and professors whose work I am interested in reading!), even if they don't share my exact interests. Going to a school for 1 "superstar" is definitely a horrible idea. Instead I actually have been putting a lot of emphasis on what I think my quality of life and happiness would be in the geographical area and the school's department. Whether I would be a fit. What type of environment they foster, etc. I will be coming with my husband, and we don't want the next possibly 6 years to be a nightmare for the sake of some arbitrary prestige. At the end of the day, I feel like if you're happy somewhere and the fit is right, you can succeed there, moreso than just choosing the highest ranked school/most famous person. Ok, so I thought it was just me, haha. I l actually look at the CVs of the professors I'm interested in if they're on the website, and I scroll down to the section of their CV where they mention serving as PhD advisors and chairs. Then, I look at the topics of the dissertations, and the dates, especially. It's a bit stalker-ish now that I think about it.
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