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Gelpfrat the Bold

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  1. I've had crushes on lots of people I felt I shouldn't have thought about that way. By chance (perhaps owing to gender trends in my subfield) most of my influential teachers/professors have been men and I've developed sort of inappropriate feelings for a couple of them. But it's never manifested itself into a real crush where I hope something happens between us. In fact, in both cases I can think of, the thought of actually having sexual contact with these men repulses me. I think it's just something that happens when I spend time around men I respect - part of my head gets confused and starts
  2. Make a list of all the authors whose work you've read that has anything to do with your field of interest. Go through your old essays and hunt through the bibliographies for names you may have forgotten. Google the authors and find out if they're still teaching and where they work. You can also try looking into universities whose presses tend to publish a lot in your field. Otherwise, go to the websites of every university you can think of and painstakingly search through their faculty lists. Good way to waste time.
  3. Pardon my ignorance, but is Late Antiquity actually classified as its own subfield anywhere? Like, can you get a degree in Late Antique History the way you can in Ancient, Medieval or Modern?
  4. There seem to be a few different definitions of exactly what constitutes Late Antiquity. Where do you see the divide? When stuck between ancient and medieval history, I think someone interested in Late Antiquity would be better served in the medieval field, as there are lots of [early] medievalists with very early medieval training (particularly in the UK) but not so many ancient historians with early medieval training.
  5. I don't know how the two would compare in time or difficulty, but one reason to do a thesis would be that you'd have a bit more control over the outcome. Exams are scary because you don't know what you'll be asked, whereas when you write your own piece to hand in, you are in full control of how good or bad it is. I can't tell you much about how much time/work goes into a thesis because my program's requirements and dates are a bit wonky in comparison to other places, but I will say that I'd go the thesis route because it's a great opportunity to focus on something that really interests you, wh
  6. I keep a traditional planner and scribble everything in there. At the beginning of each semester I write all my due dates (in order) on one sheet of paper and tack it up above my desk, so I have a good idea of what my semester will look like. It's surprisingly easy to forget about due dates, or for them to be buried in such weird places in the syllabus that it's a pain to have to look them up multiple times. Also, then you get to cross off each due date once you've handed things in, so when the end-of-semester crunch hits you you have a visible list of things to feel accomplished and confident
  7. I drank instant coffee for a long time, so I'm probably not qualified to post here. But anyways, I switched to actual coffee somewhat recently, mostly just out of shame. I use a stovetop percolator because the store I went to had no french presses and I didn't want to spend lots of money on something fancy I'd never use. The percolator's a bit funky and of course the coffee comes out a bit strong, but I drink it with a little milk to it's not really an issue for me. And I like it because it's pretty simple to clean, doesn't take up space on my counter, and doesn't require filters. And I feel l
  8. Thanks for the response. My reason for going for it was that it's $50 and every other non-child bike available right now around here is at least $150. I figured if I go have a look at it and everything seems fine aside from the brakes, it might be cheaper to just pay someone to fix or replace them than it would be to buy another bike. I gather the person selling it just doesn't use it often enough to bother fixing it, but maybe I'm over-psychologizing the ad. I grew up in a bigger city than where I am now, where my parents found all our bikes by dumpsters in the alley. So I'm familiar with cra
  9. If you don't have space for a filing cabinet or can't find an affordable one, you can always just put your files in a crate or box. I got a rectangular box that's kind of like a basket, rattan with a metal frame. Anyways, I just keep that on my desk and the extra wide manila files fit perfectly inside of it. I don't know what the proper name for these baskets is, but you'll see them at a lot of home furnishing stores and they're usually between 10 and 20 bucks. A laser printer is a great idea, and I wish I'd bought one this year because the library printing facilities are very expensive. In
  10. I've been scouring Craigslist for a cheap road bike, partly to save money and also partly because I'm concerned that if I had a nicer bike, it would just get stolen! Anyways, I have no experience fixing bikes, so what are the most important things to look out for when buying a fixer-upper? What are the easiest or most difficult, cheapest or most expensive parts to fix and replace? I'm looking at one in particular whose breaks aren't functioning - how easy/expensive is it to fix that?
  11. Personally, I don't think explaining how you first came to love your field of interest really adds much to a SOP. Unless the story is unusually remarkable. I prefer just getting right into what your interests are and why you think you'd fit in at the university, because it shows a more professional instead of naive attitude. I don't mean to call you naive, I just think that wistful opening lines often come off sounding that way - and I know because I've written my fair share of them myself! I sort of wonder whether the first sentence or two is really as important as people chalk it up to be -
  12. Emailing to ask is probably a good idea. I've had some helpful email exchanges about language issues in the past, definitely got me much more informed than if I'd just gone off the information available on the department websites. As for MA programs, there are a couple that offer the possibility of funding. Off the top of my head the only one I can think of is Villanova, but there are definitely at least a couple others that would be worth looking into.
  13. I also just want to second what ticklemepink said. Being outside of academia for a year won't kill you. As an undergraduate, I never intended to take any time between college and graduate school, and I was determined to avoid having to do a terminal MA if I could. Whereas most of my friends applied to MA programs because they weren't sure about committing to the PhD route, I knew for sure that I wanted to pursue a doctorate and didn't want to "waste" time in an MA program. I ended up having to do a terminal MA because I didn't get in to the PhD programs I applied to. And I have to say, I think
  14. Take the Latin. It's indispensable for any kind of medieval studies (well, European) and you can never have too much preparation in it. If you want to try both, audit the Old English and focus more on the Latin. As Lyones mentioned, having a firm footing in Latin will really help you learn other languages down the road. And it's great to work on your Latin independently, but having formal lessons will a) be an important part of your transcript for applications and allow you to pick up the basics more quickly so that you get a lot more out of the time you spend studying Latin on your own. Good
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