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The Hoosier Oxonian

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The Hoosier Oxonian last won the day on April 12

The Hoosier Oxonian had the most liked content!

About The Hoosier Oxonian

  • Rank
    Double Shot

Profile Information

  • Location
    Midwest USA
  • Interests
    Gender & Sexuality, British Modernism
  • Application Season
    2020 Fall
  • Program
    English PhD

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  1. I know first-hand that at least four (and I think probably a few more) of the applicants admitted to Yale for the 2020 cycle have MFAs, and I encountered folks with MFAs at other schools I visited as well. My impression is that doing both is quite common!
  2. That's amazing!!! Everybody I met at Michigan was so kind and supportive and I'm told Ann Arbor is a great place to live - I'm sure you'll have a fantastic experience. Wishing you all the best!
  3. I've just written, with a heavy heart, to decline my offers from Michigan and Northwestern (in all honesty, I shed a few tears over my email to my primary POI at Northwestern, and I'm really sorry to walk away from Michigan's Rackham Merit Fellowship - this hurt). I know at least a couple of GC folks are hoping for Michigan waitlist movement, so I hope this means good news for someone.
  4. For whatever it's worth, I did exactly the opposite (started with a personal "hook" that led into discussing my research interests) and had a pretty successful season. I know it's not terribly helpful, but I really do think writing an SOP is a highly individualized undertaking, and probably the more your SOP is organic to you the stronger it is. Then again, I'd be lying if I said I didn't read a whole bunch of models before writing mine, and it probably helped. So I'm happy to share mine if you PM me, @onerepublic96.
  5. I have a lot of hard emails to write over the next few days, but I will be officially committing to Yale on Monday. It really hurts my heart to walk away from all the lovely people I met at both Northwestern and Michigan (not to mention Michigan's Rackham Merit Fellowship!), but I think deep down I've known Yale was where I most wanted to be since even before I applied. In spite of all the turmoil in the world right now, this really is a dream come true. Best wishes to all who are making tough final decisions in the next few days!
  6. A query regarding decision etiquette: is it good manners to contact all the POIs you've had contact with at schools you've decided not to attend to thank them for their kindness and attention and (regretfully) let them know of your decision to attend elsewhere? Or is that weird? I have for sure one professor I feel I owe a very grateful "it's not you, it's me" message to, as he went very far out of his way to be kind and welcoming to me, but for those I just chatted with on the phone, for instance, is that excessive?
  7. Thanks all for your input! To shift the direction of the conversation slightly in view of the impending recession: do folks think stipends, etc. are likely to be safer at wealthy private schools with enormous endowments or at public ones with strong unions? I've heard some on GC opine that it's smarter to take private offers right now thanks to the greater likelihood of funds being there, but others have suggested unions may better protect students' financial interests in a time of crisis. Thoughts?
  8. I've discovered one of the major discrepancies between the schools I'm choosing among is the presence of a "robust" (according to a current 5th-year) grad student union at one, while another not only doesn't have a union, but unionization efforts were quite brutally crushed by the administration just a few years ago. How important is a union, really? What are the potential dangers in picking a school that doesn't have one? Curious especially to hear about the experiences of current students who can attest to what having or not having a union has or hasn't done for them.
  9. I'm thinking very much along the same lines - would rather wait a year than start remotely. Please keep us posted on the outcomes of your conversations with DGSs about this!
  10. I can testify that I've been getting automated messages from Northwestern reminding me that my decision is available (i.e. "accept your offer already!") approximately every 10 days since mid-February. I get it, Northwestern, you want me to commit!
  11. I finished my undergrad senior thesis last semester. I could have graduated with my BA in December but decided to stick around because my scholarship covered me through the end of the school year and I thought I'd finish another minor and take some "just for fun" classes and graduate in May. In retrospect that doesn't seem like the greatest decision, but there's no way I could have known this would happen. Congratulations on your dissertation!
  12. I know this is small in comparison to the scope of the problems many are facing, but on top of all else I've lost this semester, I was devastated to learn today that my university library is closing for the foreseeable future (despite initial promises that the library would remain open when teaching went online). I'm doing two independent studies with major research components this semester - how am I supposed to complete these to any kind of standard without access to a library? (Our online resources remain available, of course, but not every book is available electronically!) And I can't imagine the stress and worry for our graduate students who are working on theses or dissertations, or even fellow undergrads doing senior theses (I'm just incredibly lucky that I finished mine last semester - I couldn't possibly have done it under these circumstances, at least not to a standard that would have gotten me into PhD programs). I know there are much larger issues on the table, but I was counting on books for solace through this troubling time, and having my library access cut off feels like the scariest thing that's happened to me yet.
  13. There's also some talk that this will come in waves, which is almost more worrying - I could imagine a scenario where everything is sort of back to "normal" in time for everyone to move and start school in August, only for another wave to hit and the world to do this whole shutdown thing again in November. (Though I'm always one to catastrophize, so anything I say should be interpreted with that in mind.)
  14. This is something that's really weighing heavily on my mind as I'm considering where to go. I did my undergrad at a large state school and I think a large state school is where I'd like to work long-term (though obviously, the job market being what it is, I'll take what I can get - if anything - and be thankful). I'm leaning toward Yale, but I worry that getting my PhD there may knock me out of the running for the big state school jobs I'd prefer. Then again, I guess I can always talk in teaching statements, etc. about my state school origins and hopefully allay concerns about elitism... But it's hard to know whether the Ivy degree will more help or hurt me in the long run, and I have, I feel, a very stark choice between a huge public school (Michigan) on the one hand and one of the "big three" on the other. I've had multiple professors tell me I "can't go wrong," but I feel like this would be truer if I was picking between institutions that were remotely similar in anything besides their US News English rankings.
  15. I definitely have concerns that schools won't be reopening normally in the fall and that this year's cohorts may have to start late or online, but it wouldn't make any practical sense for schools to just rescind this year's offers and make everyone reapply. What seems more likely if we're in a true state of economic depression and this year's cohorts end up starting late is that next year's prospective cohorts will pay the price - schools may not extend or may severely limit offers for the 2021 cycle because 2020 acceptances have ended up starting then instead.
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