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About Cryss

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

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  1. Hopefully I'm still on topic with this question, but can someone explain post-docs to me? I understand the general concept of what a post-doc is, but how does it work exactly? Do people submit applications for it simultaneously while looking for jobs? Is it typically subfield-specific? And how come I don't often see people suggesting this as a valuable option? Is there some sort of negative connotation attached to it? Educate me, my US friends.
  2. I'm just specifying my proficiency in each language on my CV. I did 7 years French, but didn't take any college classes. I personally don't think you need to justify it by offering explanations.
  3. From what I am understanding from research and observation, this is quite a complex question. Some schools may give you a second look because you attended a top 10 over a lower ranked one, but if you flourish more, contribute more to your subfield in that lower ranked one, I ultimately don't think they would ignore you because you didn't attend a top 10. This is probably why people push fit and culture, because you can go to a top program and be lost among the crowd with nothing to show from your time there. So, I would go with/apply to whatever schools you are interested in, even if they are ranked at or below 50.The job market seems to be a mess regardless. Just my 2 cents.
  4. These are some great questions. I'm in this application cycle with you, so I will put my understanding of a few of these and maybe it can help you in some way. 1) So far, I've constructed my statements of purpose to include: first what some schools will call "your reason for doing literature beyond a general love of the field"-- essentially, what brought you to this field and why do you feel like doing a PhD necessary for you. Secondly, I describe my previous research, only the one I use for my writing sample, which is a portion of my master's thesis. Then I explain how I feel like I could expand the study or I ask some possible research questions I could approach. The second half of the essay, I write why specifically this school. Bottom line- I'd say go as in depth as you feel is appropriate and relevant in the 500-1000 words you have. If given additional space on the actual application to write something, I would carefully re-read both what they want you to write about in your SOP and what they want you to write in the space given. Often times, they are similar, like splitting hairs, but they do have differences. Sometimes they only want 500 words for a SoP, but you may have a 1000 word one. That space can be used for the extra info you feel is relevant that you weren't able to add to the SOP. Make sure you are specifically answering the prompt though, if there is one. 2) I would definitely include languages you are not fluent in on your CV. I believe language acquisition can be divided into Beginner/Novice/Elementary; Intermediate ; Advanced; Fluent/Native Proficiency. You can also say something like "Spanish- Intermediate Reading Proficiency, Novice Speaking and Writing" 3) I have 2 sections in my CV for experience-- work experience, then other leadership experience. For the first, I would add jobs you got paid for that is relevant. You can list the job title, but then add a description below it. For example: Tour Guide- In this position, I was responsible for leading and guiding large groups of people...etc. However you want to make it sound, your description is the place for it. Then under leadership experience, I put roles I was not paid for. If you were the president of a group for your extracurricular activities or any major role that showcases your leadership, etc. That would be a decent place for it, if you so choose. 4) I don't know. 5) If the school's application page requests that you list a secondary interest, I would. If they do not specifically say it, AND you do not see something you would want to add, then don't.
  5. I agree with @Indecisive Poet I've heard a little spillage is OK, like if you took 11 pages instead of 10. But 20 seems like way too much for that page limit. Any way you can either put a more appropriate 10-page excerpt you want from your larger work and write a note explaining that it's taken from a larger work? Another option might be to just go with your current 12 page paper, maybe do minor trimming, and explain your theoretical and methodological position in your statement of purpose in less words. The third option, which is probably the hardest, would be to just write an entire new 10 page essay based on your longer one that summarizes everything you want to showcase for this school specifically, but in much less words.
  6. I would leave it out and highlight your others. It doesn't matter if this one is a CUNY conference and you are applying to a CUNY school. Attending another conference would probably carry the same weight (a well-renowned one might carry a little more).
  7. Check out the spreadsheet in the link above. It's a life saver.
  8. Thanks for this. I know I read them all when I was looking at schools, but definitely did not double check and really think on it for the schools I have decided to apply to. I can't imagine the level of disappointment at being shut out, but I wholly agree with this. My husband and I have a contingency plan that also excites me, so much so that even though I would feel like a failure at being shut out, I know I would be happy to go through with our back up plan. I'm also gonna add that I think the top schools also have the funds and the presumed prestige to draw multiple big names to their department, which could easily convince us prospective students that those schools are strong in our sub-field and therefore the fit is right, but this may not be the case at all. Harvard, for example, has Homi Bhabha and Jamaica Kincaid but that does not automatically mean they have a strong postcolonial slant or Caribbean literature slant. Many times, these "superstars" may either be close to retirement, not taking students, or are Emeritus faculty.
  9. This seems decent to me. I'm not in foreign policy though. I'm in English, but I believe the SoP for grad schools should include a few faculty members from that school you'd be interested in working with and why. I would add that to your 3rd or 4th paragraph if I were you, but maybe someone in your field can offer up some insight on this though.
  10. You can indeed just keep your interests broad. 20th century American is probably enough specificity for now. I'd imagine some programs would be more stringent than others with regards to this, but it shouldn't be a big deal if you don't know exactly what you want your future thesis to be. When I applied to MA, my writing sample did match my interests, but I got the impression that the WS was more to gauge my critical writing skills than to actually perceive what research I was heading towards. This might vary from program to program, so take this with a grain of salt, especially if you plan to apply to more competitive programs. Another option is to explain that you are interested in what you've written about, but really want to take your research further by exploring it through the lens of [insert theoretical lens here] because [insert reason here]. Keep in mind that you don't at all need to adhere to this when you are in the program, nor are you expected to. You will need to write which faculty members you want to work with, so if you can find some commonality between the lens and the interests of the possible faculty advisers, that would be good.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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