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About Alyanumbers

  • Birthday 02/14/1989

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  • Gender
  • Location
    New York, NY
  • Interests
    Tea, violin, contemporary art and politics in Egypt, 60s' literature and film in France.
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Comparative Middle Eastern Literature

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Mocha (7/10)



  1. My cohort is 4 people, and it's a multi-disciplinary program, which means we're each in a completely different subfield. It's great because it means no competition, and we got to know each other pretty well over the past year. I think I'm lucky in that I love and get along with everyone in my cohort. My department also has a "buddy system", where incoming students are put in contact with older students with similar interests; that works great to connect to the rest of the department. On top of that, our required course is the same as for the MA program, which in my year had 18 incoming students, so we also get to have a bigger cohort. My closest friends are actually MA students.
  2. I've been using a 10.1" netbook as my main computer for two years. It's not ideal, but I really liked having all my work on one machine that I can take everywhere (it weighs slightly over 2 lbs). Now I finally got a desktop, and will start using it regularly in the fall.
  3. Only if by "no penalties whatsoever", you mean, "anything from the prof being cool with it to them deciding you're lazy/not making enough effort to not greeting you in the hallway anymore". There are profs who don't accept auditors precisely because they hate how they tend to disappear and reappear. Others really have no problem with it. Some of them may take a personal interest in you and ask you to do a presentation or write a paper. I've seen all of those happen to my friends and classmates.
  4. If you're in a small field or working comparatively (or both, like I am), chances are, no one department or university will be enough to constitute a good committee. A lot of humanities specialisations have literally 5 people or fewer in the US working on them. For example, I'm interested in vernacular Egyptian poetry (though I'm likely not picking that as my dissertation topic), and there are 3 people I know of who focus on that genre; one of them is in the UK, and another in California... This is because there are huge expanses of Arabic (or insert any non-western-European language) literature that get entirely ignored in academia, and people tend to gravitate towards fields where some groundwork has already been done, so the trend is reproduced generation after generation (so there are like clusters of well-researched areas/genres/periods and big gaping holes in other specialisations). Anyway, in small fields/uncommon languages/comp lit, it makes perfect sense to have at least one person for another uni on your committee. Of course, in that case, going to school in NYC is pretty convenient.
  5. It's great to be back, and see familiar faces. :)

    1. newms


      Welcome back!

  6. My department, one of the best in the country, only has 2 Arabic lit grad courses a semester... One in modern, one in medieval. So if the modern one doesn't fit in with my research interests, I basically have to take the medieval lit course if I don't want to take all Comp Lit courses (and the Comp Lit department here is very European-lit-oriented). Yet when I complained about this to my friend who's an MA student specializing in modern Iranian poetry, he was like, "Listen, do you know how hard it is to study Persian literature here?" There is *one* Persian literature class offered every semester, and it's actually just "Advanced Persian: Now you can read something besides basic conversational sentences." I love my department; the atmosphere is great, my cohort is small and really friendly, our professors treat us more like colleagues than students... I just wish there were more options for us literary types.
  7. About how long does it realistically take to get from the UES to NYU every day? I've been commuting over 45 minutes each way to school for 5 years now, and have no desire to keep doing that. Is the commute 30 minutes or less? I've tried looking on HopStop and Google Maps, but the times don't align.
  8. Well, my desktop is currently dead, but I strongly believe in option 3 and intend to implement it in grad school. My laptop is a netbook, btw, which means I can carry it around with me everywhere. The idea is to have memory-hogging applications installed on your desktop, and save the netbook for websurfing/notetaking on the go.
  9. This won't be easy. I'll be leaving post-revolution Egypt for at least 5-6 years, and there's so much I still haven't done or seen here. 1. Take a trip around Sinai; I need to see Dahab one last time, at least. 2. Go to the White Desert (this is highly contingent on having the time and money, since I'm saving up for the Big Move). 3. Take a programming course. 4. Brush up on my languages, especially Latin and Armenian, as well as Arabic grammar. ETA: Oh and, 5. Learn to drive and get a driver's license. ... I think that's it? Most of the summer will be spent packing anyway.
  10. Hey everyone! I've accepted my offer at NYU this morning, for a PhD in ME Studies. Now I'm trying to figure out if I should apply for university housing.
  11. Does anyone know if Columbia's MESAAS decisions take longer if you've also applied to ICLS? Because the wait is already driving me crazy.
  12. NYU notified me of my acceptance by email. I'm a lit student, though; they only admitted two of us. My understanding is that they take more history & social sciences students, so maybe decisions take longer there.
  13. From looking at previous years' results, around mid-March.
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