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  1. Upvote
    psycholinguist got a reaction from StelaC in So how do you find time for ..................   
    In terms of the actual amount of work, grad-school hasn't been any worse than undergrad for me. It's the nature of it that is different: things you work on are often so much more long-term that it's easy to feel stressed-out by them full-time. As an undergrad I was the sort who got all Type-A during the week, usually did all my homework on Friday night, and only then could relax for the weekend since I had nothing left to be hanging over me. In grad-school I've had to learn to spend a bit of time on a project and then put it aside and take breaks, because when you're working on this many big projects, you can't easily get to the point at which you've run yourself out of homework-assignments and required-reading. I've had to learn to force myself to put the work away at the end of the day and take it easy for a bit. That's all you can do.

    If you have any tendencies towards procrastination, I'd say try very hard to do away with them immediately upon getting to grad-school if not sooner (however you need to - academic counselling, self-help books, Zen Habits, resolutions, browser add-ons, anything). I've watched it undermine the grad-school careers of a few people now. Procrastinating is more stressful than actually doing the work, and it totally eats up your time. It's just a habit, but it's so self-reinforcing that it can really be a danger.
  2. Upvote
    psycholinguist got a reaction from vlb03 in Bioengineering question   
    I've heard good things about Christopher Voigt's lab at UCSF, and the person I know there has interests fairly similar to yours. (I hear they're about to move to MIT, though.)
  3. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to fuzzylogician in Personal Statement?   
    You should mention POIs in all your statements. It may be easier when you apply to schools with a strong language acquisition program, but you still need to take the time to explain exactly how each school will support your goals. (=have clearly developed research interests, choose 2-4 professors who you want to work with, explain why and how they can support your research). Schools that don't have language acquisition researchers will ask the obvious question of why you're applying there in the first place. It's a good question, and you should be able to answer it. If your statement is vague and (1) doesn't mention clear research interests and POIs, or (2) focuses on interests that the school can't support, then you will have a hard time getting accepted. What's more, you probably don't really want to get accepted and attend a school that can't support your goals. Remember that you'll need to take classes, have a primary advisor, and eventually form a committee at your chosen school. It'll be very difficult if there are no experts there who you can work with. So what you have to reflect on is why you're applying to each school, and that's what your statement should explain.
  4. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to fuzzylogician in proficiency in a foreign language required for some programs?   
    Look, you can only have so many demands on a program and still hope to find a significant number of good matches. Theoretical linguistics is a small field. In any field, MAs are rare and normally unfunded. You only want to live in certain places (which is understandable) and for some reason you refuse to accept what a number of posters here have told you - the language proficiency requirement is not a good reason to dismiss a school. I wish you luck in your search, but with an attitude like the one you've demonstrated in this thread you're going to have a hard time. Things don't always turn out exactly as you want them to, you know.
  5. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted in proficiency in a foreign language required for some programs?   
    Thanks. I appreciate it. I should have specified I have no interest living in a place like Texas or Indiana. The schools I checked were basically every city on the west coast, out west, far north, northeast. I appreciate your help though.

    And UCLA's site says: "Although the department offers both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, it normally admits only those students who plan to ultimately pursue a Ph.D. Students are admitted to begin residence in the Fall quarter only."
  6. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to ladyling in proficiency in a foreign language required for some programs?   
    1. UT Austin - top 20 program; requires a demonstration of "effective knowledge" of a foreign language. I contacted a friend in that program, and she confirmed that their language exam is roughly the same as ours.

    2. Indiana University - top 20 program; require "reading knowledge" of one language and "structural knowledge" (i.e., the type of knowledge you'd gain from a field methods or structure of X course) of another.

    3. UCLA - top 10 program; fully funded for MA students according to their site; "students must demonstrate reading knowledge of a foreign language." I have several friends in this program; their exam is the same as ours.

    4. UI Urbana-Champagne: reading exam.

    5. UPenn - unfunded MA; top 20 program; reading knowledge of 2 languages (the exam is described in detail here: http://www.ling.upenn.edu/grad/procedures.html#Language Requirement). This is for the PhD program--I couldn't find evidence one way or another about their MA language requirement, but it won't be stronger than this.

    There. I named 5 programs in addition to the ones you listed. I found all this information on their websites and confirmed it, when possible, with people I know in those programs. Not a single one of these programs said on their site or in their grad handbook that they required 2+ years of foreign language coursework. I found all this information in about 20 minutes. I hope it's useful to you. I also hope this helps you understand why it's so hard to take seriously your assertion that you've done your research; in 20 minutes I found a bunch of data contradicting what you've said.
  7. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to ladyling in proficiency in a foreign language required for some programs?   
    You seem more interested in complaining than listening, and I'm not sure why. I've told you about my program. We're a top ten theoretical program in California, we accept students for terminal master's, and we do not require fluency. Half the programs you've listed offer theoretical degrees they can't support (Wayne State has only two theoretical linguists on their faculty, and both are P-side. If I remember correctly, you were more interested in semantics?). Looking at a handful of top programs, I see very few which require advanced proficiency/fluency (Berkeley does for one of their options, but I don't think they accept MA students anyway). Most require reading competence, which is what I described above.

    Also, you're dead wrong if you think this is a linguistics-only requirement. Most graduate programs in the humanities require reading competence for just the reasons I mentioned. Heck, I know for a fact that UCLA film school requires their graduate students to take a language exam before advancing to candidacy. I recommend you stop complaining about how the system works and start figuring out what you actually want to do and why.
  8. Upvote
    psycholinguist got a reaction from CageFree in Do professors care if you wear sweatpants all the time?   
    I agree entirely. Was alarmed to see last night that people are downvoting Just me for no particular reason, or for reasons having more to do with her history on the board than anything else. That actually does border on picking on her; and bullying is something that a) should be intolerable in the first place, and we ought to have grown out of years ago, particularly as a bunch of (mostly) very intelligent, thoughtful, well-adjusted adults. Just me does have a habit that gets on the nerves of some people here (posting a long thread about her problems, getting lots of good advice, rejecting all of it one post at a time, and then passive-aggressively abandoning the thread because she feels as if she's been totally misunderstood), and it's true that whether we're contending with a target-of-abuse or a case of victim-playing-personality-disorder is decidedly nebulous; but that's not a good excuse to get stand-offish and/or take a few gratuitous, anonymous shots at her. In fact, either way, a few less-than-warranted downvotes are counterproductive; think about it. Whether or not her backstory is true, Just me needs (at the very least) some psychological assistance, and we've done everything we can do about that. In the meantime, I recommend that innocuous posts of hers be treated at face-value, and anything talking about being a victim be given minimal attention since we probably have nothing more to say on that subject, especially if her situation isn't going to change. Can we all agree on that?

    (Apologies for talking around you, Just me. Addressing [select] others here.)
  9. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to Triple Tall Cappuccino in Georgetown University VS Columbia University for doctorate degree   
    I got accepted into Georgetown as well, and will be attending it. It's one of the top schools for applied linguistics, and 2 great professors from Hawaii will be teaching this semester there (big names in SLA). However, it really depends on you:

    1. Which school offers you a better package?
    2. Which school has faculty that match your prospective thesis better?
    3. Which school is closer to home/friends/family (if you are expecting to travel back and forth)?
    4. Which school has the better program in regards to the specific field you want to study?
    5. Which city is better for living (how will you be supporting yourself? Will you be able to afford housing, etc)?

    All of these are questions which need to be addressed by you in order to make your decision. I can sit here and gloat about Georgetown, but that is because it's best for MY needs. It might not be the same for you, and I believe I saw in another thread that you were 99% sure about Columbia nonetheless, correct?

    Good luck!
  10. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to shayens in MIT or Berkeley?   
    I had to create an account because I really wanted to respond to this. It seems from your post you have already decided to not attend MIT, for every pro you attempted to list for MIT and the end of the sentence it was followed by a con or said something negative about MIT (e.g. "lack of girls"). However, I think I would like to give some more info about MIT/Boston.

    I'm about to finish my undergrad at MIT, going back home to CA for grad school.

    There are a lot of girls at MIT (me being one of them) so you should kill that stereotype, and no they are not ugly. As you said Boston is a big college town lots of great bars and clubs with walking distance (0-30min) and the weather sometimes sucks, but as others have stated the weather in NorCal is not the same as SoCal. The snow and the cold aren't that bad in Boston, the worst thing is the rain, which they have pretty bad in NorCal in comparison to SoCal.

    There are A LOT of EECS buisnesses in Boston, unless there is a specific company in Silicon Valley area that you want to work for, they are both pretty much tied. and the professor and your advisor probably has connections with founders. There are a lot of start-ups in Boston. I'm on the MIT EECS jobs list and today I have literally received 4 emails about jobs in Boston (on average the list sends out 10 emails a day about jobs).

    Judging on age is in my opinion foolish. Marvin Minsky is 84 and still at MIT and a cool person to talk to. There are a lot of EECS celebrities here and they are easily accessible (eg. Tom Leighton, founder of Akamai still teaches lectures for an algorithm class, Leiserson and Rivest lecture sometimes as well, and Barbara Liskov is my advisor). The EECS department is very open and very flexible.

    I have done this (I have friends who went to Berkeley) it is more than 5-6 hours one way, especially if it's a long weekend. Counting traffic and rest at least 8 hours one way on a long weekend. So I wouldn't take that into account unless you were going to fly.

    However, as I said in the beginning it looks like you already made your mind up.
  11. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to jaywalker in MIT or Berkeley?   
    If you love both programs based purely on academics, then you can't go very wrong with either one, I'd say. So I would definitely take the location into account. I've never been to San Fran, but I've lived in Boston/Cambridge for the past 7 years, and I currently work at MIT, so I'll speak on that.

    I think Cambridge is the better college town (perhaps the best in the nation). It has a very young 30's and under demographic...very clean, and lots of people live an active, healthy lifestyle. I'm pretty sure it's colder than San Fran on average, and we definitely have a longer winter. But I would never call this city ugly just for that reason. And we actually had a really mild winter this past season.

    As for the "girls" argument, MIT is actually a lot more gender-balanced than people think. Not that it matters much...you can always go elsewhere to find women. Be warned, our nightlife ends at 2am (our public transportation ends earlier)...not sure how that compares with Berkeley.

    Like I said, both programs sound amazing, so I wouldn't think too much about which has better academic outcomes. If you're committing to move to a city for a few years, make sure it's the right environment.
  12. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to aberrant in MIT or Berkeley?   
    This can not be serious. Nor Cal and So Cal is hugely different. Besides, do you really think you'll have time to make a 10-12 hours round trip to LA during your studies just for fun (or six flags, or universal studio, or hollywood, or wherever-that-you-were-thinking-of-in-southern-california)?

    The only reason you think it is CON 'cause you don't seem to know anything about public universities. If by "cool" you mean reputable in whatever field you are in, they are definitely in the same par with some of the ivies, if not all of it.

    Just 'cause your POI is 65 that doesn't automatically makes him/her a CON. This statement does not justified whatsoever.

    I supposed this is a PRO to you but your statement stands no ground without any numbers (by numbers, I mean statistics).

    To me, this would be the tie-breaker. Just so you know, though, that Berkeley/Nor Cal in general is very windy and cold compare to So Cal. So please don't expect whatever you observe/see from TV shows like Baywatch, Joey, whatever that has the story based in West L.A.

    This is a bias statement. If anything, grad school to most people is stressful regardless where you are. Besides, you are also comparing with Berkeley, which used to (don't know if it is still the case) have the highest rate of students suicide/attempt suicide among top schools in the West. Less stressful? Yeah right.

    I personally would vote for MIT because I want to be a minority after all these years; Berkeley because I hate the extremely cold weather in MA.
  13. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to Pauli in MIT or Berkeley?   
    My favorite part about your original post is how every point you listed that describes the city or the university is either hugely stereotypical or blatantly wrong. I'm guessing you're not American?
  14. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to antecedent in MIT or Berkeley?   
    Don't quote me on this, but there are probably girls at MIT too.

    As far as I'm concerned, and certainly in my field, Berkeley is equal to MIT in all ways if not slightly better. I would chose Berkeley for that, and because of it's location (Berkeley is beautiful, SF is right there, and I grew up in the state).
  15. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to postsovietgraf in St. Louis, MO   
    I Couchsurfed during a conference in St Louis. It went very well. I would recommend a place that sounds quiet and has a private bedroom (vs. sleeping on someone's couch). It was also important, in retrospect, to be somewhat close to the conference location - as I ended up needing rides at the inconvenience of my colleagues. Both couch surfing and hotel life are nice at conferences - the former means that, after you present and you want a beer, you'll have people your own age to celebrate with, and hotel life is better for being well rested and preparing for your presentation the morning of. It's a toss up.
  16. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to funology in Linguistics 2012   
    I think that a certain aspect of the SOP is not necessarily to detail in specific terms what you hope to expect in research, but more so a narrative of your own preparation and what tools your background offers you to be able to do well in a program.

    My undergraduate training is minimal compared to some of my colleagues at other schools (intro + 1 course in each subfield, and I haven't gotten to OT or Minimalism in any course), but I think, as LinguisticMystic mentions that, preparation outside of linguistics can be made relevant to your application.

    Going to conferences are a really good idea, it was there that I was able to find out more of what I wanted to do and also got to see what kind of problems are being worked on by professors.
  17. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to LinguisticMystic in Linguistics 2012   
    Well, I can try to answer some of your questions since I applied to programs coming from a non-linguistics background. Hah, I guess I'm a bit shocked that you'd say a "non-linguist" wouldn't likely be able to come up with a "profound/workable research proposal" because that's just not true at all. Not much more to say than that! I mean, I consider myself a scientist & I /know/ I know a lot more about research methodology & statistics than students graduating with linguistics degrees from my undergraduate institution & that's a significant asset.

    What they're looking for is potential to succeed, not that you've taken some linguistics classes & gotten As. I've presented research I've done in psychology at several conferences across the US & worked in a lab for 3 years. I think the programs that I've applied to acknowledge that I have a capacity to carry out original research. So what I'm saying is, don't be confused by this.

    As far as your statement & how in-depth you make your research proposal, well that depends on a lot of factors, not the least of which is how well defined your research goals are in actuality. I mean, of course you might want to tailor them to the school/your POI in particular, but you will still be telling them what it is you want to do while complementing it with a demonstration of your ability to carry out that plan. And you can't really make up something that's not there (i.e., don't bullshit a research proposal), so I would just be as descriptive as the space allows.

    Also, why not apply to both MA & PhD programs?

    tl;dr -- Just because you don't have a linguistics background doesn't mean you have no idea what you're doing. And WRT a research proposal within a statement of purpose, describe to them your plan & your ability/qualifications to carry out said plan.
  18. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to funology in Linguistics 2012   
    @amyjoust it's all about telling your story in your application a way which lines up your background an interests with the department's interests.

    So yes, maybe a MA in TESOL might be most applicable for an Applied Linguistics, but you can likely tell your story in a way that can get you places

    Might as well mention here that I'm going to MIT next year. I'm pretty stoked
  19. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to ladyling in Linguistics 2012   
    Most folks don't have publications. I know one person in my cohort did, but that's hardly the norm. Conference presentations are more common, but a lot of folks come straight from undergrad so it's still not expected. If you have the chance and you have good work to present/publish, do it, but don't publish/present just to get the line on your CV. The work you make public stays with you for your whole career, so make sure you're proud of it
  20. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to fuzzylogician in Linguistics, Computers, and Taking Notes   
    You should find out what they use at the school you'll be attending, they might use different software than others.
    If you need to do stats, learn to use SPSS, R or whatever they use at your school. FWIW, we use Linger for sentence processing; we have our own software for counting studies; we use Brainstorm for MEG data analysis, E-Prime for design. We use the software that came with our eye-tracker for design and analysis. Our phonologists use Praat. Out syntacticians draw pretty trees in Latex . If you have spare time, learn to program in whatever language you like - python, matlab, java, javascript, html will all be useful.

    I have a T401 and before that I had the IBM T42. I bet my next computer will also be from the T series, unless they can convince me to come over to the dark side and get a mac (which is unlikely). I am not familiar with the ideapad and I don't know anyone who owns one so I can't give an opinion.
  21. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to fuzzylogician in Any Phonology specalists? Or people with a phonology background?   
    In case no specialists come forward, I am not a phonologist but I have a fairly good idea about where to find general resources, or who to ask if I don't know where to look. For many purposes, if you google for first-year grad course syllabi you'll find useful references that will probably answer most of your questions. Similarly if you can find a syllabus for a seminar on whatever topic is giving you trouble, you'll be on your way to finding your answers.
  22. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to busbus in What languages have you studied/worked on?   
    I have a complicated relationship with English, and I'm a native. I think this is why we want to become linguists, to find out what the hell's wrong with us... ;-P
  23. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to antecedent in What languages have you studied/worked on?   
    My French teacher in high school was German, but I did my French minor at UBC, where all the profs (save 2 or 3) are European, and all the students have Canadian French accents (though not necessarily Quebecois accents). Needless to say, my accent is very confused.
  24. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to Andsowego in Do professors care if you wear sweatpants all the time?   
    If you suspect your prof is going to have a problem with the sunglasses (they might assume you're being disrespectful), just chat to the prof after class briefly near the start of the year and let them know that your eyes are sensitive.
  25. Upvote
    psycholinguist reacted to crazygirl2012 in Do professors care if you wear sweatpants all the time?   
    In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with you wearing sunglasses indoors when you need to. I doubt anyone wants you to be in pain! There's a big difference between a fashion statement and a medical condition.
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