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a cup of coffee

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About a cup of coffee

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    English MA/PhD
  1. I have to say "musea" made my day (according to the OED: "archaic, rare").
  2. Well, the guy won't be your main adviser, and if you really don't get along with him you don't have to put him on your committee, even if he's in your field. At an extremely, extremely small program, this might be more awkward, but no one forces you to choose your committee members. And even if he's on your committee, there is no way that you wouldn't be able to graduate! That is an absolute nightmare scenario, totally not going to happen, even if he is pure evil. I mean, he's had to advise many other students at this school, he can't just destroy anyone who doesn't please him. When you get to your new department, find some professors that are really good with students and build relationships with them so you have a supportive network. Who knows, maybe he will end up liking you anyway, even if he has a bad personality. Plus, you will almost certainly have to work with people like him in the future, so it would be good practice to get used to dealing with academics like him. It sounds like you are really nervous, and that means you may not be perceiving what happened in your "bad" conversation accurately. I can sympathize with you because I struggle with my current adviser on a personal level, and often get caught up in what I perceive as really negative remarks, but I try to recognize that he probably hasn't thought twice about them. Don't let one professor turn you away from a school that sounds like it will be great for you in every other area. Also, all the problems you're worried about are years away. You will gain a lot of confidence in three or four years, get used to dealing with this guy, and feel a lot more comfortable standing your ground if he bothers you. When your body is flooded with stress hormones, it prevents you from thinking rationally. Have you gone to try to get some medication to end your panic attacks? It will be obvious to any doctor that you need a couple Xanax or something like that, and you will feel much better instantly. As long as your body is in such distress (I know exactly what it's like), you will not be able to think about this in a productive way. I hope you can get help and feel better You're right that it's too late to change now, so you can stop thinking about that. I would go ahead and let your recommenders know how you feel. I am sure they will only reassure you! They've all had to deal with difficult people, too
  3. If I were you, I also would have chosen School A. Also, I expect that my specific research interests will change in the future and don't see them as completely definite in any way. And once you become a professor, there's no reason why you couldn't publish work in the area you love now. Good job! You made a good decision, and now you just get to relax and wait until the fall
  4. I have problems with anxiety, so I can totally empathize with you. I will bet you anything you are just nervous about making such an important decision, not about your choice! What seems worse to you, having to decline a school you already accepted or going somewhere you truly don't want to go? I think if you really felt that you had made the wrong decision, you would already have made some calls. When you start in the fall, wherever you go, you won't worry about this anymore because you will find your place in your program and won't be able to picture those alternative realities so easily.
  5. Seriously, "ending up" at some "Podunk U" is actually a highly desirable outcome for a lot of us. You want to work 60+ hour weeks for the rest of your life? More power to you. I'm at a major research university right now and I've gotten some perspective on what it's like for professors working at the top of their field. Sure, you may have lots of prestige, but the lifestyle is just not for everyone. And attending a top university doesn't guarantee your ticket to a high-paying research job. You gotta do the work, too, son.
  6. My writing sample was only close reading (my bibliography had three sources, the two texts I used and one secondary source), and after reading this, now I'm kind of unsure how I got in anywhere. I think I would have done much better if I had waited a year out of undergrad and used my thesis as a writing sample, but luckily things worked out. I think the advice here is spot on, though, and I believe fit is the most important thing to look for. I think the main point of the SOP, aside from summarizing your interests, is to show that you have done a lot of research into their program. I also didn't mention any current scholarship anywhere in my application, because I, too, will have no clue what is going on until grad school. I only decided on my area of focus after taking a class the last semester of my junior year, and didn't learn a lot of the background theory and scholarship until working on my thesis, after sending in all my applications. Anyway, my point is that I think a lot of this is random, although of course it's a great idea for you to strengthen your application along these lines. But I wouldn't feel too down about it, you know? Though that is a great line from Didion. As for the GRE scores, I think they can be helpful at demonstrating certain things, like, I got a 730 on the subject test, which I think might have helped make up for having no clue about theory, since I do have a really broad knowledge of the "canon." I also had that problem of all my professors telling me "oh, I recommend Princeton, and UVA" when I asked them where I should apply. Sticking to the top of the rankings is just ridiculous, in retrospect. Also, I've noticed some programs seem to prefer students with an MA, some prefer students with only a BA (I think Michigan comes right out and says this on their website). That might help?
  7. Going to IU Bloomington to study Victorian lit. I couldn't be more excited!
  8. I think the most you would ever need might be proof of income, apart from ID and previous references and all that.
  9. Comcast is unfortunately the only option these days. I pay $60 a month for internet only, but I have Comcast's fastest plan. Maybe it's time to try "that kind of living."
  10. I turned down one of my offers extremely early -- if you already know your decision, I would recommend saying no asap only because you will feel SO much better when the decision process is entirely, entirely over.
  11. What cell phone companies have the best coverage in Bloomington? I'm going to switch plans when I move.
  12. I found my apartment on Craigslist, which is pretty active. Right now I'm renting from a management group called Hornig Companies that I can highly recommend -- they have a ton of apartment buildings in different price ranges and have always responded quickly to any problems. Many of their apartments are in Uptown's Wedge neighborhood, but that's a 5 minute bus ride to the U. Their site has a list of all their open ads on Craigslist: http://www.hornigcompanies.com/ DO NOT RENT from UPI (Uptown Classic Properties). I read one horrible article about them in the City Pages, and if you look up reviews of them online, they're just awful -- terrible management, building condition, bugs, etc. I just found a blog (http://upirenters.wordpress.com) that has more details.
  13. E. Where are you going to write the best dissertation possible? Quality work is what will get you a job, assuming the school you choose already places students effectively. Go for it!
  14. Yeah, but if the poster already had the qualifications to get into a top program, I doubt a Fulbright grant would make his second application anything but stronger. However, I missed that it was a teaching and not research grant, which I think might not be seen as equally impressive, depending on the program. I still don't think it's that obvious of a choice, though, depending on what the poster's interests are.
  15. Oh, I totally missed the ETA part (I just looked up what that entails -- not familiar with any of the Fulbright awards). Maybe ask a professor? It seems like it would be a cool opportunity, but I can see why you wouldn't want to be potentially kicking yourself a year from now.
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