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Chris83

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About Chris83

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    Espresso Shot

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    English- rhet/comp PhD
  1. congrats! I think you got the spot I gave up.
  2. Most schools do this-- over offer because they historically always have folks turn them down. It's a really common practice. I think programs have recently started cutting down on this because with the increased applications, decreased spots, and therefore increased competition it's much more of a gamble to over-offer than it previously panned out to be. Purdue used to offer more slots than they have, but this year they are not.
  3. I'm in composition and rhetoric, so I'm not sure of the advantages and disadvantages of doing this in literary studies, but I thought I'd mention one thing I used my campus visits to do: talk openly and candidly about the other programs I was considering in addition to theirs. I was really up front with the faculty I spoke with about what my other options are. I think comp/rhet is a smaller community, and I felt comfortable being candid with everyone I spoke with. I wasn't doing it to brag-- I was doing it because it added some context to our discussion, and I really valued the different perspectives that I've heard. I found it really helpful, and I even had one professor, hearing me list my acceptances and then say which among those I was considering, tell me "now wait-- I don't want to sound like I'm not advocating our program, but you shouldn't be so quick to dismiss school X because blah blah blah." Again, I'll stress that this is something I've felt comfortable doing as a comp rhet person because it's a small community of scholars. In fact, my top choice school has graduates placed at my other schools, so they have been helpful in giving me some perspective for both their programs and the one they graduated from. Another advantage to being open and candid about this process is that you might get to meet others who have been in your shoes. At both of my campus visits I was referred to students who had found themselves choosing between the school I was visiting and one of my other options. So those conversations have been really helpful for me. My take on this is that comp/rhet is such a small community of scholars that do sort of want to be collegial and help each other out. In fact, one of the best parts of this experience for me has been realizing that even if I don' choose School A, for example, I will still be a part of the community of scholars that school A belongs to. I've made some really great connections during this process that have made me feel really great about my decision to pursue a PhD in this field.
  4. If your offer isn't funded, do you even have an obligation to accept their non-funded offer by April 15th? Seems to me that you could keep this as your backup plan as you wait to hear back from your wait-lists. (Though living in Seattle for even a quarter sounds pretty darned expensive and might also leave you feeling cohort-less.)
  5. I think you should e-mail them AND include the photo so they know that their package came postage due. This is a case where I wouldn't worry about burning any academic bridges-- like you said, it's a program you didn't apply for.
  6. I'd echo this. As a rhet/comp person the teaching has directly affected my research and I can't imagine being able to articulate my research goals for this statement of purpose without having had that experience, but that might not be the case for you. I think most PhD programs view the TA offer as recruitment tool and not a recognition of your teacher training. You might look around at some programs to verify this. I'd say that out of the 7 applications I did this year only 1 or 2 of them even required a separate teaching statement. (Requiring a teaching statement with the application can sometimes, but not always, indicate whether they award ta-ships on the basis of experience/desire to teach or not.)
  7. Since many MA programs are unfunded, and many PhD programs admit students with a BA only, I'm not certain teaching experience is going to matter a lot-- but it depends. I would say that the writing center gig sounds like a pretty nice way to get your feet wet. On the other hand, taking an offer with a TA-ship could be valuable for you in other ways. You'd get to find out sooner rather than later if you like teaching-- which could directly affect your decision to move onto a PhD. This was a long way to say....I dunno. If all things are equal, then you should definitely take the best funded offer for the least amount of work. But if all things are NOT equal, then you need to evaluate what else is different among your offers.
  8. I need to stand up on behalf of other rhet/comp people here-- Not picking a fight, but I think this is something that needs to be said. I know plenty of people that go to English PhD programs that do rhetoric and lit, so I'd disagree. I would say that RockDenali is correct to say that you can't take the rhet/comp path just as a way to pursue literature. But there are programs out there, I'm fairly certain, that can be a productive place in which to pursue rhetorical analysis of literary texts. These would have to be programs that offer an English PhD with an emphasis in rhetoric and not a standalone rhetoric department, of course. The key would be to look at the dissertations that come out of these programs to see if this type of work is valued and encouraged by the department. There are departments out there where lit and rhet folks (gasp) actually get along.
  9. I am happy to share the info but only if they ask-- I just don't want to presume that they really want to know or care. I think if I knew where I'd be going I'd say "I have accepted an offer at blank school" . At this point, though, I do know I'm accepting another offer. I haven't decided which offer, though. I just wanted to decline the schools I'd for sure ruled out.
  10. I honestly think something like this is all you need if you didn't have a lot of contact with the school: Dear so and so, I will be accepting an offer at another school, so I will have to decline your offer. I wanted to let you know as soon as possible so that you can extend my funding to someone else. Thank you for the offer, me
  11. They've made their first round of rhet/comp offers. If you haven't yet heard, you might be wait-listed. I'd check it out with the director or with the graduate assistant. edited to add-- you can pm me if you want more details.
  12. I was also going to say (in a slightly different way) that the work you are doing now with immigrants made me think of how at home you might be in a Rhet/Comp program. I'd suggest checking out Louisville if you do this again-- they have Bruce Horner and Min Zhan Lu who are both doing exciting work with trans-lingual studies right now. There's a lit requirement, and from the students I've spoken with it sounds really flexible about what kind of lit you do for your comps. (meaning-- horror might be a possibility). But whatever you do, I wish you well.
  13. I think this is an excellent point. When you visit you might ask if they can tell you where their MA students wind up-- what kind of PhD programs they enter.
  14. I can't decide between a few schools, and won't be able to decide until at least April 1 but maybe later. As soon as I rule schools out I'm letting them know, though.
  15. I think it depends from program to program, but I'll echo what's been said here and say that the first big difference tends to be whether or not you have to comp in a lit area. What's your ultimate goal after the PhD? What kinds of programs would you like to teach in, and what kinds of courses do you want to teach? I think that's something you need to ask yourself, and then you need to look at the placement data for the schools you're considering. There's something to be said for being able to go out on the job market being able to teach a variety of courses (including literature) even if these courses are not all areas where you'd likely concentrate your research. On the other hand, many people think that the tides are turning and a literature background might add nothing to your profile when you go out on the market. It depends. This is one of the things that's also weighing on my mind as I try to make a decision.
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