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About Scottielass

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  1. 1. Get cracking on the SOP. For me, it was a work-in-progress for months. Have 2 or 3 trusted people periodically review your drafts. This helped me tremendously in my writing process. The quality of my SOP from first draft to final submission was night and day. 2. Visit your schools before you apply, if it's an option. I did this for my first choice school. I had the opportunity to meet half of the admissions committee members one-on-one. I think this really gave me an edge in the decision process. It showed I was very serious about the program. It also gave an opportunity to evaluate fit-- for me and the faculty. Quite frankly, I don't know if I would have been selected if I hadn't made a visit. 3. Don't stress about the GRE. If you make the cutoff, you're fine. In my program, it didn't seem the GRE would make or break an application if you met the minimum. That will probably change with PhD, so I may take it again after it switches format. I completely stressed out the first time I took it, and I think that negatively impacted my score. 4. As other posters have said...there is no such thing as a safety school. Don't apply to a school if it's not a right fit for you. That's a lot of money to spend for an education if it isn't your ideal fit. Take a year off, get more experience, and re-apply. I've seen a lot of people rejected the first time, and are accepted with their second application. 5. Don't take things too personally. I know that's tough to swallow. It really is about fit. Some years the applicant pool is extremely concentrated in certain areas. That makes it all the harder to stand out because so many people are qualified.
  2. I can answer at least part of the questions. Federal loans (Stafford) covers "cost of attendance". That's means any expense related to school including housing, food, books, travel expenses, school supplies, etc. Does not cover a plane ticket to Cancun for spring break . At the schools I applied to, assistantships in the department were skill/experienced based. But a campus position, such as a resident hall manager may have a need-based element to it.
  3. I got my email, but it clearly stated that the acceptance wasn't official until I received the letter in the mail. So, I was just waiting for the "official" letter to respond. The grad director called later in the week and offered tuition waiver . Maybe he thought I was playing it cool, but I just thought I wasn't supposed to make a move until I had the official letter.
  4. I totally wasn't expecting to get an acceptance email on a Sunday night on a holiday weekend. I was buying my wedding dress online and *poof*, there it was. So, Sunday was a really good day for many reasons.
  5. You know, I've been wondering that off-and-on myself. There's nothing about it in the help files I could find. When I went to my profile and clicked on it, a new box showed up where notes are placed (mine was empty). I guess if a board administrator puts someone "on notice" for something they wrote, the warn notice would reach a certain level. Maybe there's something like a "three-strikes, you're out" policy.
  6. I think the Dos Equis spokesman has become the new Chuck Norris . "He doesn't apply to grad schools, grad schools apply for him"
  7. "> Had to add for the cat lovers . This is only half of our cats. Dupree at the top. He is freakishly smart. Beauty in the middle. She is very empathetic and knows when I need some cheering up. Last is Saowyn (nickname Boy-Boy). He is 13+ lbs but still thinks he is a kitten. As you can see, the cats are completely spoiled.
  8. When I took the test, it took 18 days to receive the results certificate from ETS (took test on Dec. 31, results mailed out Jan. 12, received Jan. 17). I am assuming my schools received them at the same time. It took another week for the schools to process them into my file.
  9. I think psycholinguist hit the nail on the head. Hiding the relationship or flaunting it may cause some questions to be asked. Just be yourself. Let your colleagues get to know you and your work first. If asked how you met, all you really need to say is "We met at XYZ University". That would be enough for me.
  10. I would look up other available sources of info before calling. They are probably getting swamped with similar calls right now. It could be a 50-50 shot if someone would be pleasant or completely annoyed. Try looking at the results board from last year to see if your school is listed, and when it sent out the majority of decisions. I remember something my grandma said, "Be patient. Even when something is at the top of your list, it doesn't mean it's at the top of the other person's list." Waiting still drives me nuts, but I have to thank Grandma for keeping things in perspective.
  11. My body and brain seem to have an amazing capacity to keep going when it is needed. I used to work a terrible split shift when I worked in radio (overnights and afternoons); rarely getting more than 3 hours sleep at any given time. I can go 36-48 hours without sleep relatively easily. Sometimes I just prefer to work in the middle of the night at a diner. It quiet enough to be productive, but there is enough activity and free-flowing coffee to keep me going. It is not something I would recommend to anyone, though. Once I actually have a break of any extended amount of time (more than a week), I get sick. Not just a little cold, but completely stuck-in-bed sick for at least a few days.
  12. I wouldn't read too much into it because you'll drive yourself crazy if you do. The only thing you can know for certain from the content of this letter is that you can't be offered a GTA position unless you submit to the background check. This appears to be an HR letter, so I wouldn't try analyze the department's decision by it.
  13. This sounds very similar to an employment background check. You've probably made the short list for TA. My experience with employment background checks is that it is reserved for the top candidate, but sometimes it's run on the 2nd and/or 3rd choice too. They wouldn't invest that kind of money on every applicant. Odds appear to be in your favor . Good luck!!
  14. Upper Arlington is pretty great. Look at the Kingsdale area. There are a lot of young families living there. It's a good mix of rentals and for-sales. A lot of post-war style homes (2-3 bd, 1-1 1/2 ba). About 5-10 min from OSU (depending where you're going on campus). Near a nationally-known hospital, grocery store, shopping, restaurants. With the wet campus, I would just avoid the main drag (High St.) after 10pm on the weekends. Drunk undergrads clog the sidewalks. I do find it funny that there is one bar called The Library .
  15. LOL . I think you and my fiance may have been separated at birth. I have been baking up a storm lately as therapy. Luckily, by the time I done with the baking, I have no desire to eat whatever it is I made. I think my fiance, his co-workers, and people in my department may have gained a few pounds, though. The latest round was White Chocolate Blueberry Muffins and Cheddar Beer Bread. I have been perusing recipes for my next round.
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