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About hopelesslypostmodern

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    Art History

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  1. A Swiffer works nicely. The long handle gives you some distance and if you have a cleaning pad (or, in a pinch, paper towel) on it makes clean up easy.
  2. Hi ekans! I can sort of understand where you are coming from. I am also going into a Ph.D. program straight from undergrad. While I am a more typical age for someone finishing undergrad (22), I am aware that I will most likely be the youngest person in my program. I am also a bit socially awkward, but I'm beginning to realize that most of the time I feel more awkward than others perceive me to be. I think poco_puffs' advice about not making a big deal about age is probably good. Most likely, if you don't make a big deal out of it, others won't either. Also, from personal experience, I agree with poco_puffs' advice about alcohol. I began drinking around your age, and when I first started, I only drank in situations where I felt safe and around people I was comfortable with. I also limited the number of drinks I would have. I still don't drink that often and tend to only have one drink (occasionally two, but never more) when I do. One drink tends to loosen me up a bit and feel more comfortable/less awkward, but allows me to remain in control and aware of myself and my surroundings. I'm sure you'll be fine once you get used to your new surroundings.
  3. There is an entire tumblr dedicated to people who believe that the Onion's stories are real. I'm not sure whether its funny or just plain sad...
  4. I have an L.L. Bean Deluxe Book Pack. It holds a lot of stuff (my laptop, gigantic art history text books, and a couple binders - that's just the main pocket!), is waterproof and durable, and has fairly comfortable straps. I use it quite a bit for traveling as well. L.L. Bean makes good backpacks for pretty reasonable prices.
  5. I have a small public speaking related problem (not necessarily anxiety related, but possibly exacerbated by nerves). Whenever I'm presenting a paper, my throat will get really dry after I've been talking for a bit, which makes it hard to speak. I'll stop to take a sip of water, but that only helps a little. I was wondering if anyone else has (or has had) this problem and if anyone knows of things that might help.
  6. I know you're trying to be funny, but this statement is super condescending. Having suffered from severe anxiety myself (which I needed medication for at one point, and still need on some occasions), I understand why msafiri feels the need to defend her/his situation. There is still a tremendous stigma attached to mental illness, and, at least in my own experience, anxiety issues seem to carry more stigma than other mental illnesses. Everyone suffers from at least some anxiety, right? This is part of the reason why it took me years to get help. I was still on my parents' insurance and needed their approval to see a doctor and/or psychologist for help. I tried to talk to my mom about my anxiety and ask for help, but she brushed aside my concerns. Clearly, since I had a nice group of friends and was successful at school (i.e. since I was both more socially and academically successful than she was at my age), I must not have a problem. Despite my misgivings, I tried to believe her. It was only when my anxiety skyrocketed out of control and could no longer function as the high performing individual I used to be that my parents were convinced of my problem. I had to explain to them (through email - a phone call would have been too difficult) how I felt physically ill 24/7, how I couldn't eat or sleep, and how I had panic attacks every time I tried to do school work. I finally got the help I needed and have my anxiety mostly under control. I guess the point of this story is that anxiety can be a serious issue to deal with, and we should not dismiss the experiences of others. Anxiety can work in some idiosyncratic ways. You can be fine in one situation, but crippled with fear in a seemingly similar one. Maybe the OP needs medication; maybe not. Maybe talking to a therapist about ways to control his/her anxiety would help. I don't know. Every individual's situation is different.
  7. Exact same situation. I'm worried that I'm going to feel like an absolute baby next to everyone with "life experience" and M.A.'s. It's pretty intimidating.
  8. Madison is a fantastic city. My sister lives on the West Side (not by campus). She has a car, but she can easily take the bus most places, and I believe that buses are even more common around the UW campus area. Madison has a pretty big biking culture as well. And everyone walks around the State Street area. I know a bit about the Walker situation, but not a whole lot about how it will affect UW-Madison students specifically. My advice would be to talk to some students who are currently there to find out their take on the situation and keep a watch on the news. UW does have a good art history program. Another student from my undergrad is there now and seems quite happy with it last I talked to him. I think you'll be happy with your choice. Congrats and good luck!
  9. 1. I don't necessarily think it is wrong to apply to Williams and/or another MA program for a "back up plan" to be wrong. It's super competitive to get into PhD programs. While this doesn't necessarily mean that you won't get into one on your first go around (I did!), it's a good idea to start thinking of what you would do if you get shut out completely (or only get unfunded PhD acceptances). In that case, getting an MA first could be a good stepping stone towards eventually getting the PhD. Also, in my personal experience, writing the MA SOP for Williams helped me reflect on why I wanted a PhD, what an MA could do for me, how my educational/career paths might differ if I go straight to a PhD program or get an MA first, etc. I believe that that reflection helped my applications. 2. I'm not really the person to talk to about internship experience, but I don't think it could hurt. I suppose how redundant the experience would be depends on what exactly you have done at your other internships. I believe that Williams offers a lot of hands on curatorial experience, so if you don't already have a lot of experience in that area, then the Williams program should certainly add some new experiences.
  10. I am going to formally accept to UPitt in the next day or two. YAY!
  11. I agree fully with everything fullofpink said. I would like to add a couple things, though: - If at all possibly, use primary sources in addition to secondary, academic sources. The types of primary sources you turn to will depend greatly on your topic. In my writing sample, I used a fair amount of speeches and interviews by my artist. That's pretty typical, but I have also used film, literature, and journalistic accounts for historical purposes in other writings. There was another guy in my undergrad (a year or two ahead of me) whose writing sample was about depictions of the poor in Victorian era painting, and he discussed Dickens a lot. Basically, remember the "history" aspect of "art history," as well as the "art" aspect (formal analysis and whatnot). - Also, your writing sample should convey that you understand art historical methodology/theory. Again, this will depend on your topic/approach. I would imagine, however, that this shouldn't necessarily be too difficult since there is a great deal of overlap between the theorists that art history and English like to turn to, especially in regards to post-structuralist approaches (Everyone uses Foucault!). - I've found that 15-20 pages is the norm, but I applied to mostly PhD programs. I might be more like 12-15 pages for MA programs. - I'm a bit ambivalent about whether it needs to be a strict art history paper. I would advise having a least a portion of your paper be related to art or visual culture (film, advertising, pop culture, etc.). You might want to revisit some of your old English papers and see if there are moments like that already existing in them or places in them where you could bring in elements of visual culture. I do imagine, however, that the success of this will vary depending on the approaches of the programs you apply to. More "traditional" art history programs seem to prefer more "traditional" art historical focuses, while programs that place a greater emphasis on interdisiciplinary work seem to be more open to such an approach.
  12. I applied and was accepted by Williams. I initially had cut it from my list (my undergrad advisor suggested that I should just apply to PhD programs since that is my end goal), but added it back onto my list after talking to another art history professor of mine (one with more connections and greater seniority/reputation than my advisor). He basically stressed its reputation and placement for PhD programs. Those were really the main reasons I applied. Other reasons: - there is one scholar whose interests dovetailed nicely with my own and at least one other whose interests were related - they offer lots of opportunities for museum internships. while museum stuff isn't really my goal, I thought that having more experience in that regard could look nice for PhD applications and potentially could be used as a back-up plan. The travel/symposium were also appealing, and I am not necessarily opposed to small school (being used to the environment of small schools due to my undergrad), though I can see why that would make one hesitate. I turned down their offer. The short of it is that I got an offer to a PhD program with an excellent fit and great funding. There are other reasons why I felt a bit hesitant about accepting their offer*, but I probably would have accepted it had it not been for my funded PhD offer. *If you want to know more, feel free to PM me. They aren't necessarily bad reasons, but I feel weird being less than completely positive in a public forum. I'm strange - I know...
  13. Hi mermaid08! I think, if your application as a whole is solid, you will have a fair shot. I agree with Chulianne that you should focus on developing a strong SOP and writing sample. Your background working as a gallery coordinator on campus and any other internships you get will look nice for applying to SAIC's museum management program (or, at least I imagine it would). I was advised to get above 1200 composite on the GRE. Of course, higher is better, but if the rest of the application is strong, a baseline of at least 1200 probably won't disqualify you. Also, if you want to/have time to start learning a language, might I suggest German? Naturally, the languages you will need will depend on what you want to study and how far you want to go (do you eventually want a PhD?), but German has its advantages. At the PhD level, at least, it seems like a fair number of schools (though not all and dependent on interests) want their students to know/learn German. Historically in the late 19th and early 20th c., art history was mainly a German discipline and some of its most important practitioners (like Panofsky, Riegl, W├Âlfflin) are from German-speaking countries. A fair amount of art historical discourse is written in German (I was recently writing a paper on Italian Renaissance sculpture and kept coming across citations for German texts). It is a pretty important research language and knowing some might make your application distinctive (especially since it seems like more people know French, but I could be mistaken about that). Of course, I am completely biased about the whole "learn German" thing given my interests and the fact that it has worked out well for me. *shrugs* About me: I am finishing up my BA at a small liberal arts college. It is good academically, but not necessarily known nationwide. I have a good amount of research experience, but no real experience or honors outside the confines of my college. Regardless, I've been accepted by two PhD programs (one funded) and one of the top MA programs (also funded) in the country. It's a competitive process, but have professors you're close with (and/or grad students) take a close look at your SOP and writing sample and study for the GREs and you can make yourself a competitive candidate. Trust me - there is more to your application than just the name of your undergrad school!
  14. Since both schools seem to be fairly equal academically and since both have good funding packages, I feel like location is a fair thing to take into consideration.
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