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About kolyagogolova

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    2020 Fall
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  1. Congratulations on your decision 🎉 and see you there this fall! Feel free to DM me--not that I know anything useful about moving to NC lol. But always happy to talk!
  2. Yes, as I just formally accepted my offer In the end, I had no other options (my other wait list turned into a rejection), but I couldn't be happier with how it turned out! And not having to choose between programs allowed me to direct all my neuroses towards the plentiful other targets in the world right now lol. Good luck with your choice, and I hope to see you in the fall! I hope The Other School in NC comes through for you!! Fingers crossed that I'll see you in an inter-institutional class, either via Zoom or (hopefully) in person! (I'm learning this semester that graduate seminars do not transfer well to an online setting....)
  3. I'm very glad I took time off after undergrad, as are those in my master's program who did the same. Only a few people from my two-year program who came straight from undergrad applied this year to continue on directly to a PhD. So for many people who attend a masters program, the question is not time off vs. no time off, but time off before vs. time off after. It's easy to get burnt out in graduate school, even without the extra financial (and mental) burden of debt. At least at my institution, being a graduate student often feels like being an (underpaid) employee. Sometimes the professional atmosphere results from good aspects of graduate school (like being taken seriously by faculty), but I know I would feel bitter about paying for the pleasure of doing nearly free work. As even the optimistic advisors I've talked to are adamant about never going into debt for a graduate degree in English, I wouldn't do it. I know the future is extremely uncertain, but going into debt while facing an uncertain future seems even more precarious. You might have to face the possibility that a masters degree won't help in the application process as much as it maybe should: make sure to ask for PhD program placement from these schools (and if they "don't keep records on that"... it's a bad sign). A graduate degree, even from a well-regarded program, does not by any means guarantee acceptance into a PhD program later on. Sorry to sound so pessimistic, but I've learned that first-hand this application cycle.
  4. I think that sounds reasonable! Especially if they mention any details about how this council is/isn't helpful in advocating for their rights & needs. I can't think of another way to ask, it's just that it seems harder to get a brutally honest answer via email. Not at all to suggest that current grad students won't be straightforward with you, just that I would find it more difficult myself to be critical in an email (if I needed to be critical) than in response to specific questions in person. A minor downside to the world we now live in, relatively speaking.
  5. As far as I understand from BU students, it does have a direct line to the administration, because it is essentially part of the administration. The advantage of a union is that it's not controlled by the university--any gains the administration attributes to this "leadership council" tend to be, in reality, a reaction to union pressure. Organizing grad student unions at private schools like BU and BC has become increasingly tricky in recent years, since Trump appointees to the NLRB make it dangerous to take cases to the federal government. Basically, it's within student workers' legal rights to organize, and under normal circumstances, if those rights were violated the union would take it to the NLRB. However, unions at private schools are worried that the conservative-controlled board will use their cases to overturn the organizing rights of all student workers at all private schools in the whole country. Instead, the unions are trying to bargain directly with the schools, as Harvard's union has. Many schools not only refuse to do this, but refuse to engage at all with union representatives. There was a public hearing last summer in Boston, for example, which was not attended by a single representative of university administration. Instead they sent letters, which generally denied that student workers are workers at all. The BC administration, for example, likes to claim that unionizing would threaten mentor relationships within departments (something that makes no sense, to put it mildly). Here's an article in The Globe about that hearing: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/06/26/city-council-hearing-will-address-student-workers-rights/EAKuPFtXVoKfVu6teGeoWP/story.html But you're right, it's a great idea to ask BU grad students more about this! They could totally have a different take on it (or different views from each other, of course). If you have any success, I would be interested in how you asked--I'm wondering how to get into that with current grad students at the schools I applied to in a way that's not too awkward lol. Seems harder to bring up via email....
  6. And as a current graduate student at a school that won't recognize the graduate student union (which was approved by a majority of grad students in a legal vote and has support from faculty members), I would strongly advise you to avoid an institution that so blatantly opposes the rights of its workers. I have had a generally good experience with my department, and feel supported by my advisor. However, knowing that the institution you work for--the institution that depends on your labor to survive--wants to prevent you from organizing really drives home the point that they do not value you as a person, graduate worker, or potential/current academic. Not to sound harsh, but that kind of institutional behavior makes it clear that they do not care about the well-being of their graduate students, and it has some extreme long-term results (at my school this includes stagnant stipends, reductions in health insurance coverage, and a lack of power over the terms of our employment). In contrast to Rootbound's experience, students in my cohort lost hourly jobs due to the campus shutdown and we are all expected to continue teaching with no additional compensation (and honestly without much meaningful support). There are definitely those in the department who care about this, and they are attempting to advocate for those who need it, but the institution itself? Pshhhhh. I'm (obviously) not one to judge someone who accepts an offer anyway, but I do think the importance of a union shouldn't be ignored.
  7. I think we've entered the stage of this where those of us in retail are just being laid off. That's how it's going in the bookstore world, at least--just got my "this is a hard email to send" message today, as did lots of booksellers at other stores. Here comes the next recession (but that's optimistic: economic depression, I'd say)
  8. I did not visit the school where I'm getting an MA (BC), as I was living in a pretty distant country until the summer before I started graduate school. I would have liked to visit, I suppose, but for me funding was ultimately the most important factor. Not visiting worked out for me! What I did find very helpful was stopping in Boston for a few days on my way back to/through the US. Looking at apartments in person was definitely easier, although I also know many people who found them from afar. By the way, if you (or anyone) has any questions about BC, send me a DM! Happy to help with anything I can
  9. Sure, but in order for a changed deadline to help significantly, it would need to allow for visits, right? And right now, no one really knows when that would be. At some point, any students admitted off the waitlist need to know before the summer for strictly practical reasons: to find housing, partners who need to apply for jobs, etc. I'm sure it feels extremely unfair and stressful to have to make a decision right now (and it totally is!)--but imagine coming out of whatever's about to happen and being told in July that you should drop everything and move across the country. Also, this is just a guess, but I'd say professors will be largely quiet for the next week or so. At least at the institution where I'm a graduate student, classes are paused for the next week while undergraduates are (non-optionally) moving out of university housing, and many professors are scrambling to move their courses online in the interim. This isn't to say that everything has dissolved into total chaos, but keep in mind that the most prominent members of many departments are probably the least equipped to teach online courses (they probably learned to teach without many of these tools, and they probably haven't taught or tutored online before). Many of them, at least at my institution, are also volunteering their time and homes to move and house students who aren't able to leave university housing with three/four days of notice (yes, really: they were told after five pm yesterday, and are required to leave before Sunday evening). I agree that it'll get worse before it gets better, but I don't think the slow responses mean you're not a priority. Most likely there's some panic at play, and professors will be more on top of things by next week or the week after. Obviously this is all influenced by the department I'm familiar with, but this process seems to be happening at many of the schools in our region, at least.
  10. UNC has cancelled its open house, and is generously reimbursing flights etc. Very lovely of them, but this pretty much feels like a death knell for my waitlist & rejection-heavy application season.
  11. I'm on the UVA and Chapel Hill waitlists, which is all I have besides rejections. Obviously I would love to hear some good news from either school, as otherwise I'll have to reapply next year (and this is already the second time I've been waitlisted at one of these places). I'll be visiting UNC at the end of the month. I don't really have it in me to worry that it's awkward to visit from the waitlist. It might be, but I'm tired of caring at this point.
  12. I counted 15 posts on the results board, plus me (I didn't post). That must mean there are at least twenty five applicants on the waitlist, if not thirty. Is that too pessimistic? I wish I knew.
  13. I'm going to AWP & NeMLA in a double-header next week (haha murder me). Esp interested in panels to attend the last day of NeMLA (I'll be semi-trapped at a publication's booth in San Antonio). DM me if you'd like!
  14. Woohoo double waitlist club (UNC Chapel Hill & UVA)! Since six straight rejections preceded these (uh... ow) I am trying to remain reasonable and not too optimistic lol. Does it count as a shutout if you die of old age on a waitlist? Anyway, congratulations to everyone (including people with rejections: it's a roll of the fricking dice on so many levels). I was comforted somewhat by a professor who told me the other day that he's "made a career by getting rejected from Brown every step of the way."
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