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TheMole

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  1. Didn't get it. for the second year in a row. The Spanish Fulbright Commission can officially go fuck itself. Best of luck to everyone who is still waiting to hear.
  2. In the Spanish full research grant competition. Didn't get the grant, and am more than a little bit humiliated and crushed. Am now determined to write a truly revolutionary dissertation, and then to ram it into their bloody faces and make them rue the day they chose not to link their name to mine. Best of luck to everyone else in the competition.
  3. A friend of mine, who has a full grant right now told me that he and his fellows are able to leave the country at will, the sole restriction being that they have a cap of days - something on the order of 21 - they can take out of the country. If they exceed this number, then it is their responsibility to remain in-country after the end of the grant period (June 14th, I believe) for the same number of days they exceeded this allotment, thereby making them up.
  4. I think I speak for all full grant applicants when I say the following: GODDAMNITALLTOHELL!!!!!!!!!! I want to know NOW!
  5. Respectfully, I'm not sure if I entirely agree with that, at least inasmuch as my own discipline - History - is concerned. It is certainly true that the volume of information that one can gather during a year's time has increased exponentially thanks to new technology and that, conversely, the amount of time required to gather a specific amount of information (say, the amount necessary in 1959 to produce a dissertation) has decreased. However, standards within the discipline have not remained static either. Over the last few decades, there has been a clearly demonstrable increase in the "burden of proof" on the historian, in great part caused by recognition on the part of graduate committees, degree-granting institutions, and the field as a whole, that what a scholar can realistically accomplish in the course of researching and writing a dissertation has grown. The rise of Cultural History in the last few decades has only exacerbated this trend, as the enormously important and useful sub-discipline (I myself am a culturalist) nevertheless requires a density of evidence that elite political history and intellectual history have not, as a rule, demanded. Certainly, the only cases I know of involving individuals not in need of something resembling a year (9 months or so, if not more) to accomplish their research generally involve circumstances not related to technology: they are either Americanists working on subjects local to them, or, as in the case of one acquaintance, their sources are largely published accounts. It is absolutely true that for some folk, digitization can reduce the burden to travel; however, I don't think it the case, at least in History, that this is sufficiently generalizable to merit alteration of the Fulbright grant.
  6. Probably too soon to tell, but any further news on the Spain competition?
  7. Wait... so are you saying that the three extra grantees who were selected were ETA applicants, not full grant applicants?
  8. To quote Dilbert: Urge to kill...rising... other people who are going absolutely bonkers because of the delay: can I get a hell yeah?
  9. TheMole

    New York, NY

    First off, nice username! Second of all, if you're willing to get a roommate, then I would recommend checking out Fort Greene, down in Brooklyn. It's going to be a bit of a haul to Columbia, though. Downtown Brooklyn is nice, too, and the housing market has collapsed some there, since a bunch of developers built these absolutely insanely nice luxury towers and then couldn't sell the properties, leading to renting at cheap rates. I would caution you to not entirely discount Manhattan. The top of the island isn't too shabby - I live in Washington Heights, though currently I'm in Madrid for a few months - and my wife is still there, with no big scares or any incidents whatsoever. Well, there is one exception: the very loud and obnoxious crazy dude who dances outside our apartment building, strutting and (badly) singing Lady GaGa, Michael Jackson, or whatever else has taken his fancy. But New York is quirky like that, and it's still fine. You should also be able to live in a place like Steinway or Astoria in Queens (personally, I think Queens is an ugly shithole, though, so I don't recommend it) for a reasonable price.
  10. TheMole

    New York, NY

    To the original poster, my main piece of advice would be this: don't worry about walking to campus. The subway is, after all, your friend! Besides, Morningside Heights is nice enough, but you can get a much better deal elsewhere. Here are the things you should keep in mind: 1. expect to have something of a commute. That's just life in NYC. The subway is convenient and will take you virtually anywhere you want to go, but from Morningside down to the Lower East side runs about 30-40 minutes, and that's using the fastest options (express trains, and savvy planning). Even if you live a block away from Columbia, the trade-off will be $$$ and you'll still have the commute to anywhere else you go. And you should go elsewhere - I can think of no greater tragedy than living in New York and not exploring the infinite things the city has to offer you. 2. Consider Washington Heights or Inwood. These are the neighborhoods at the top of the West Side of Manhattan, and at the very top of the island, respectively. The rent is a bit cheaper (though you'll still want a roommate, and that's likely to be true anywhere in the city), and the Heights still has real character - it's heavily Dominican, Mexican and Puerto Rican - but it's not too unsafe. The crime there, my sense is, is the sort that you have to go looking for. Stay aware of your surroundings, walk like a New Yorker (fast), and use some common sense, and nothing will happen to you. These neighborhoods are also the only affordable ones in Manhattan where you're going to have a very quick commute. Crossing Central Park from the East Side is not just a pain (only buses make the trip), but you can forget about being able to afford THAT side of town, unless you want to live in a shoebox. I speak from experience here: I live in Washington Heights, and was cross-enrolled in a language class for three semesters at Columbia. Door to door on the 1 line from 157th street, my commute was regularly 20 minutes. I can bike the trip at a fairly leisurely pace in about that same amount of time, using the very pretty greenway along the Hudson River. Food is also cheaper up there - restaurants are generally expensive in NY, but take-out or delivery from the ethnic dives in the Heights are, I'd say, at least a few dollars cheaper than what you'll find down in the UWS. Oh, as a final point of advice, I'd recommend only taking one or maybe two roommates. I've had friends who went crazy loading up on them, and inevitably they've gotten stir-crazy. Besides, you should be able to get something reasonable. The other neighborhood you could consider, though it's likely to be pricier, and it is absolutely noisier, is Hell's Kitchen. You can't beat that area for ethnic cuisine, and the vibe isn't bad, though it's not the Village. Best of luck!
  11. Yay! UDel is a great place - I strongly considered going there for my M.A. I've never had him in class - after all, I never did go there - but Prof. Jesus Cruz (Spanish History) is an amazing, first-rate scholar and a super-nice guy. Hope you get to work with him in some capacity at some point!
  12. TheMole

    New Brunswick, NJ

    To those seeking housing in NB: Get a roommate. Live in Highland Park, especially if you don't own a car, or Edison, if you do own one and you don't mind having to drive to campus. Pay between $500-700/month plus whatever your share of the utilities are. Yep, that's what you should do. And on the 18k/year fellowship, you will manage this well enough to eat out occasionally and go out for those beers with your colleagues. Oh, word to the wise: Tuesday nights at the Olive Branch (behind the campus center), it's $1.00 Yuengling night, and 50 cent pizza slices until I think 7:45 or so.
  13. To all of you - Enjoy yourselves in fair Amherst! I did my undergrad at Amherst College, and LOVED IT!
  14. TheMole

    New Brunswick, NJ

    More procrastinating... RaoulDuke: I haven't heard of the building you're describing, so I'm guessing it's single student housing. I only know about that type of housing second-hand. My colleague hated it and moved out halfway through the year. I believe his main complaint was the noise. Note that, to the best of my recollection, single student housing is either intermingled with or at least very near undergraduate housing. As for married/family housing, oh, could I tell you stories. Do NOT move into the one-bedroom option. Just...no. There weren't any roaches, and your utility bill is $0, not to mention that the rent is comparatively quite cheap, but other than that, there's pretty much nothing to say about it. Tiny kitchens, crappy appliances, cinderblock walls. All the fun rules and regulations that come with living in U housing, up to and including those rules about halogen lights and people having the right to enter your place at any time. Oh and the cinderblock construction means it's loud as shit, pretty much all the time. That, I suspect, may have been part of my friend's issues. On the plus side, if you find a roommate, housing in the area is quite inexpensive. For nice suburban living (+1 to the previous post on this subject), check out Highland Park. The fact that professors frequently choose to live there should tell you something. Then again, it's also as boring (in my opinion) as that would also suggest. I live in Manhattan for a reason. But then, quiet college town might be your thing. New Brunswick, especially near the Douglass Campus, has some rather nice flats, and not all that pricey. If you get a roommate, expect to pay somewhere between $600-$800/month, plus utilities. It can be lower, especially if you look outside the immediate downtown/highland park area. If you have a car, Edison's not far, nor is North Brunswick, I know a number of people living quite comfortably in both places. Oh, and random note: if you do own a car, you should know that Jersey is weird, and you're not allowed to pump your own gas. By law. Seriously. I never got used to that.
  15. TheMole

    New Brunswick, NJ

    Procrastinating... To Rebeccafav: Welcome to the department! Well...that's if you accept the offer I'm a second year, mid-exams. I'm no medievalist - a specialist in Modern Europe, actually, focusing on 20th Century Spain - but I did come in with an MA (hence the mid-exams bit in my second year), and I can probably fill you in a bit on how that works, having already transferred credits, and taken the minor exam. It's actually a lot less complicated than the program statement makes it out to be. As far as finishing on time, I will tell you that you should politely ignore what they'll tell you. Unless your MA was in precisely what you're planning on writing the dissertation on, and your latin is totally fab, you'll probably take longer than 4. This doesn't mean a whole lot to me (again, not being a medievalist), but from what I understand, our medieval section is rather fond of the UToronto latin language exam, so your latin will have to be up to that standard. My roomie is planning on doing a latin boot camp at Toronto this summer with precisely the exam in mind. That said, people are starting to finish relatively quickly, and, if you're smart and cultivate a relationship with the Rutgers-Newark branch campus, you might be able to finagle an adjunctship there after your funding runs dry. Also, the 4 doesn't count any additional, external funding you might win. Our funding office is AWESOME - you might end up spending your dissertation research year abroad on a Fulbright or SSRC fellowship, so there's that. Certainly, that's what I'm hoping for. Just out of curiosity, who would you be working with? Jim Masschaele?
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