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About B-612

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    Double Shot
  • Birthday 11/17/1982

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    Diving, birdwatching, hiking, neuroscience of religion, theological anthropology, religious social movements
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    Not Applicable

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  1. I hope you don't mind my bullet-pointing because it helps me organize my thoughts a bit better. Make sure you're researching the fully-funded programs as deeply as you can. A lot of the info that comes up first in Google searches is old. There are some up-and-coming programs that have either recently become fully-funded or are in the works to (although if they're not fully-funded yet, they won't be for your incoming year, so might be best to look elsewhere or hold off). There are also ways to get funded through something other than an acceptance. In my case, the program to which I was accepted granted teaching assistantships the first year which covered tuition and gave a nice stipend that was livable. Going into my second year, I got really lucky. I applied for a graduate assistantship at another office on campus which granted the same benefits and luckily got the job. It just happened to be right up my alley. However, I was on a small campus and I don't think there were a great deal of these opportunities, so I might be in the minority. Larger universities with larger programs, though, will have more of these (likely). To be honest, I'm not sure how important your letters of recommendation are. None of my previous professors had major connections with any of the universities to which I was applying, so I don't think my acceptances and rejections hinged on that. I think I remember reading once that someone who was accepted to the Writers' Workshop (Iowa) got a letter of recommendation from a co-worker at a factory. I think it goes back to that "this person is unique and we can see how their life experience shapes their vision for their work" thing. I'd say don't spend more money on a certificate and just throw your efforts into finding people you already know who can attest well to your talents and achievements but I also don't know much about certificates in the subject in general. And yes, definitely let others give you feedback, but make sure they're trustworthy and they understand you and what you want of your work. I don't think editing/publishing work or working at a literary magazine would necessarily make your application stronger. Most programs only have a course or two offered on the subject, and I think a lot of students get by without ever taking one on it. The job you're in now might do better to distinguish you from other candidates. But also, I don't think I was asked for a resume or CV by any of the programs to which I applied (it's been a while) so I don't know that any jobs came up outside of what I chose to include in my statement of purpose. Do you mind if I ask what genre(s) you prefer when it comes to your own writing? I don't know if that'll change much but you never know.
  2. Thank you! I certainly will do some investigating on those. I think rather than applying this fall, I'll apply next. That gives me more time to study for the subject test and it might allow me to audit some classes at my alma mater so that I have a better vocabulary to draw from. Thank you so much!
  3. Doesn't sound nuts at all to me. Writers come from a multitude of backgrounds, and I think those backgrounds influence our writing in interesting ways whether we're conscious of it or not. I'll say that--from what I can remember--the MFA programs I applied to didn't care one whit whether I'd already been published or not. They wanted to know my educational background, they wanted to see a portfolio and they wanted to know a little bit about why I was applying. My applications were rushed because I'd actually planned on applying to a PhD program in religion that applications season. Much like you, my heart said, "That isn't where you're meant to be," so I did a 180. I'd already missed the deadline for several MFA programs I was so late in the game. Here in late September I think you should be fine. That said, things to consider. You might want to try having a piece in your portfolio that reflects your ecology background. My background was religion, so I made sure at least one of my pieces spoke to this. If you have the time, write something new if you need to. Make sure you've edited and revised whatever prior work you're going to submit in your portfolio, but don't overedit so that it loses its heart. Make sure your statement of purpose distinguishes you from the rest. Your background already does a bit, so make sure that comes across in your statement. Don't go to an MFA if you think the job market will get much better for you. Do consider programs that will let you teach, possibly in exchange for tuition, as this experience will be an asset once you do hit the job market, often more so than the degree. Don't go to an MFA thinking it's your only way to get published. Lots of writers have been successful without going anywhere near an MFA. Also, real talk: it often gets hard to separate the bad advice from the good, your work will get heavily criticized and possibly even torn apart, and a lot of writers come out of MFA programs feeling creatively and emotionally exhausted, so make sure you're prepared for the ups and downs. A lot of us take a bit of a writing break after graduation because of this. It's helpful knowing it's not you, though, and that a lot of people feel that way. Your MFA can be a helpful place to make connections but it's not guaranteed, so make the most of events like the AWP conference and local readings. Anyway, all this to say, don't talk yourself out of it! The quality of your work and what unique insights you bring are the most important things they're going to be looking for.
  4. Hi, everyone: I've recently begun researching PhD programs in psychology and I wanted to ask your advice given my educational background might be somewhat atypical for applicants. I graduated from college with a bachelor of arts in English, writing and philosophy/religion and went immediately to a divinity school afterward. I'm gay and I was living in the Bible belt at the time, so I thought I might study the Bible in order to be a better resource for other LGBTQ+ people and a stronger advocate. My trajectory shifted, however, when I discovered I loved ministering and caring for LGBTQ+ people so much more than biblical scholarship, and pastoral care/counseling became of greater interest. My thesis on gender and sexual minorities, religion, bullying and suicide wound up being incredibly psychological in nature, and it was really well-received by my university, which seemed like a sign I was moving in the right direction. I put off aspirations of a PhD in Bible studies and in the years after have been glad, as my thesis topic is where my interest remains. However, I'm not sure how people from non-psych backgrounds (no B.S. with a psych major, no master's degrees in psych, etc.) are received as applicants by admissions committees, so I thought I might ask people here, as well as ask if any schools out there might be open to someone interested in the intersections of queerness, religion, bullying, oppression, trauma, and loneliness.
  5. Hi, everyone: Just wondering if there are any good resources online or elsewhere for someone to figure out what they're even qualified to do. I ask because I've reached burnout with adjuncting. I've got two terminal degrees with honors from good universities (not that that matters outside of academia) and 8 years experience in higher ed with a couple of years in government (doing human rights advocacy) and church. Because I haven't published a book yet and I don't have a PhD, I haven't had much luck finding a secure teaching job with a sustainable wage, and because I'm not ordained (yet--though I'd like to change that), I haven't had much luck finding a church positions. My plan for now is to move closer to home (I came far from family for my MFA) and work on seeing if I'm priest material/hopefully doing some chaplain-ing, but until then I need to figure out what sorts of jobs I'm eligible for that would pay the bills. My educational and professional backgrounds are in English/writing, religion/ministry and LGBTQ+ interests. Lots of teaching, lots of proofreading/editing/publishing, and ministry/activism. I used LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed and various others but have not found them to be super helpful, but whether that's the platform or because my skills are not in high demand is another question. I went to the career center and spoke with a career advisor at both my master's programs' respected universities but did not find a great deal of specifics, though I received good "you're worth something and you can do it" pep talks. All ideas welcome and appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  6. I was considering chaplaincy for a couple of reasons. I am really drawn to the up close and personal aspect of ministry. I originally went to div school as an MTS student with the intention of pursuing a PhD after, but the ministry classes (i.e. pastoral care and homiletics) took my heart. I thought this might help me test the waters to see if chaplaincy would be a good fit for me. I've worked in the Episcopal Church and have been prayerful lately about whether I'm feeling called to ordained ministry, and I thought this might be a good experience along the way. I know that neither of those things are necessary for the other, but I can see how the experience could be transformative. I guess "chaplain" is a pretty general term... Is it the case that certain institutions (campuses, residences for the aged, etc) wouldn't expect you to have actual clinical pastoral education since the focus there is on hospital environments? You all are helping me so much with this. I truly appreciate it. (The Little Prince is just the best. I had to read it for a philosophy capstone class in undergrad almost a decade ago and instantly fell in love with it. I would love to be a fly on the wall of your study!)
  7. Yes, I'd say your personal statement is a good opportunity to give them your voice as a writer and the "why" of your writing as well. Prior to my MFA I was in a super intense grad program in a completely different field, and I'm still trying to purge my writing of Latinate academic language. That'd be the thing I would most want to revise about my statement. In it, though, I mentioned a queer writer whose debut novel reached me in a period of total isolation. A lot of my faculty stress the social importance of writing, so I think my values connected with theirs on this score. They want to know that you're good, you're unique and you share interests/style/values with at least one of them.
  8. That's heartening! Thank you so much for your reply. i would love a parish-based or university-based chaplaincy, but I also have a heart for the aged, and one of my best friends (one of the chaplain buddies I mentioned) has been working in that capacity since we were in div school way back when. I'm a bit nervous about this--I'm a somewhat shy introvert, despite being deeply drawn to people and caring about them--but I figure if I can walk into a college classroom every day and teach for hours, I should be able to get over that initial trepidation for something I'm even more excited about.
  9. Hi, everyone: I had some questions (mostly pragmatics) regarding CPE for any of you who've gone through it. I finished my M.Div. in 2011. I moved back home--a couple states away--and fell into a vocational black hole. I moved halfway across the country after a couple of years when offered a job, and I've been teaching English up here since. I think I've been running from "the call" for a while now, and I'm feeling curious about chaplaincy. But I'm having a hard time navigating the ACPE site and understanding the requirements. Some chaplain friends of mine said that some programs require--for a year-long stipended residency--one or two units of CPE already under your belt. But they also said some don't. In divinity school, we had two units of ministerial internships in which we had weekly meetups with a group to share case studies and reflections, much in the way one does in CPE. I was a chaplain on the university's campus. I wasn't sure if that might count. I'm concerned that I'm not in a financially secure enough position to add CPE to my schedule if it's not stipended, but am wondering how others managed their situations. I certainly wish I were. One final question: do you have thoughts or suggestions re: the type of CPE program? I've heard that in addition to hospital/hospice positions, there are parish-based opportunities, opportunities to work with the aged/elderly, and opportunities to work with folks with disabilities. All of these sound especially appealing to me. Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts. Most grateful.
  10. Any word on UC - Riverside, Old Dominion, Washington University in St.Louis, McNeese, Johns Hopkins, West Virginia, and University of Florida? I'm in this horrible place of being accepted to two with funding up in the air and wait-listed for another program that's fully funded. I'm really hoping my work is good enough for just one school to say, "You were among our crop of first choices for acceptance AND fund you!" I have Vanderbilt debt and cannot sign much more of my soul over to Sallie Mae. I've read Doctor Faustus. I know how this works.
  11. Dear prospective programs: Pick me. Choose me. Love me.

    1. likemythesis


      Grey's is my saving grace in these difficult times

  12. I'm sorry it's taken me two months to give you my thanks, Tony, but I very much appreciate your reply! I will say that I applied to Georgia College knowing about the Flannery O'Connor connection and was accepted there. Let's hope that the blend of gender, sexuality and religion makes me an interesting candidate to my other prospective programs.
  13. As far as Iowa, not a single soul I've spoken with on here or the MFA Draft (Facebook) has heard back from them, so cling firmly to that hope! There's still some left. EDIT: Actually, three people on the MFA Draft page have confirmed acceptances from Iowa. Maybe more if I've missed them. Uh-oh.
  14. Does anyone know what the typical process is for providing admissions information to applicants? Someone near the beginning of this thread posted a long list of schools that are already notifying students of acceptances, rejections and/or wait-lists. I applied to several of those schools and I haven't heard a word either way, so I'm curious as to how faculties and admissions committees go about this. I have yet to hear back from nine programs.
  15. I just heard back that I've been waitlisted at Arizona. Accepted to two (interviewing for assistantships) and rejected from two. Nine left to hear from. Assuming rejection from the Writers' Workshop as well. Tucson is a lovely place but with all the hubbub in the news I'm not sure I could tolerate the political climate. But the program is impeccable.
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