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About jferreir

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  1. Once again, thank you for the comments. Forgive my ignorance, but I just learned that the GRE is offered more than once every 1-2 months (as I naively thought). This actually makes studying considerably easier because I can take the test as late as December (while still having my score in time for application deadlines). Now, I have a new question... what is the best way to prep for the GRE? I'll probably pick up one of those Kaplan books, but does anyone have any recommendations for the vocab cards? What about the math prep? It's been a loooooooong time since I've taken any math course (6+ years if I remember correctly). Thanks again!
  2. Thank you for the various responses. I apologize for the late reply, but I've been out of town for the past few days. Anyway... Just to clear things up, I'm not attempting to dodge the GRE. In fact, I know very little about the GRE, which is why I asked if the requirement is likely to be waived. You need to understand that here, in Canada, the GRE is largely superfluous. That is, most universities do not require GRE scores (MA or Ph.D.), and most do not view the GRE as an accurate indication of academic merit/potential. Perhaps I posed this question out of ignorance, but it certainly wasn't laziness. After considering the various responses, here is how I view the matter. First, if I'm going to go through the trouble of writing the GRE, then I want to be adequately prepared the first time. Without going into detail, this will probably require that I write the test at the conclusion of my MA. Second, if the strength of my application is already compromised by the lack of graduate coursework, then there isn't much incentive to writing the GRE within the next 1-2 months (waste of time/$$$). So, it would appear that writing the GRE next year would be best. The one concern I have with this approach, however, is that it may appear as though I'm complacent about pursuing a Ph.D. One of my undergraduate professors once cautioned me about taking a year or two off; he made it sound as though my enthusiasm for the discipline may appear "stale" to admission committees. Does this sound reasonable to those familiar with the process? Finally, I realize that the DGS would best answer these questions, but he is currently on vacation, so this open forum will have to do. "belowthree": Intentional or not, your posts were arrogant as they made a number of unjustified assumptions. There are ways to make a point without coming off as a condescending ass. That said, I'll assume you were having a bad day and I'll take your points for what they're worth. Thank you for the input.
  3. Well, perhaps you can prepare for the GRE in one day, but I cannot. I'll be balancing a full course load on top of TA assignments and a job. Given that I will have to have the grades submitted by December (to make the early January deadline), I would probably have to take the GRE in October/November (if it's even available at that time). There is absolutely no way I'll have the time to prepare for this. This really makes me wonder how the GRE is perceived in the US as opposed to Canada. Here in Canada, I know current Ph.D. students who submitted their application without any GRE scores, citing no reason for not taking the test, and they were still accepted into the program (best in the country, top 15 worldwide). I'm starting to think that the GRE is just an American thing... you folks do love your standardized testing! So, any feedback on my other questions?
  4. Background: I begin my coursework-only MA degree this September, which is exactly one year in length. For what it's worth, the MA degree is considered "doctoral stream", meaning I can complete a Ph.D. in four years instead of the usual five. As it turns out, most Ph.D. applications will be due around early January, before I have completed any of my graduate courses. Additionally, since these graduate courses usually culminate in a major research paper, there is a distinct possibility that most of my professors will not have had the opportunity to view/critique my final work. This raises a plethora of issues which I have tried to spell out below - I would appreciate any/all advice! I apologize now for the length of this post (you've been warned!). Grades: Given Ph.D. application deadlines, I will not have any grades finalized for my MA courses. How, then, will Ph.D. admission committees use grades to determine my candidacy for the Ph.D. programme? That is, will they defer to my undergraduate GPA, or will they set a minimum graduate GPA as a condition of acceptance (or both)? LORs: I completed my undergraduate degree at a different university, so I will only have a few months to make an impression on my new professors. Is it advisable to seek a LOR from one of my previous professors, who will presumably be more acquainted with my work/study habits? Tentatively, I only plan to seek one LOR from my previous department. GRE: Admittedly, I did not think this one through. I will not have the time to adequately prepare for the GRE during the course of my MA degree, so I was wondering if this requirement can be waived. I know that current Ph.D. students have had this requirement waived, but this is at a Canadian university. How likely is it that US departments would be willing to waive the GRE requirement as well? Internal Candidacy: On the department website, it stipulates that applications for the Ph.D. programme originating from within the university will be considered on par with external applications. However, it seems that a large majority of the current Ph.D. students also completed their MA at this university. Is it common for MA students to have an advantage in gaining admittance into the Ph.D. programme, or is this sheer coincidence? Finally, any other words of advice? Thank you all for the assistance!
  5. Hmm, interesting. Assuming the stars align and this new technology reaches the average consumer in 3-6 months, what do you think the ballpark MSRP will be? I'm apprehensive of the large price tags that usually accompany new technology.
  6. I'm not quite sure I understand what you're talking about. But if you're using a prototype, then I sincerely doubt this technology will become mainstream/commercialized to the extent of existing ebook readers any time soon. Besides, for the potential savings to outweigh the initial cost, I would have to invest in an ebook reader within the next year or two. Thanks for the suggestion, though!
  7. I could be wrong, but I think you're placing too much emphasis on grades. I was successful with both OGS and SSHRC and my grades were mediocre at best (I think they're used more as a cut off). What's really important is to have an overall strong application package. Naturally, some parts of the application package will be more important that others (e.g. research statement, LORs), but no single piece is sufficient to establish academic merit. I had crappy grades, but I also had merit-based awards, advanced coursework, service to the discipline, etc. To my knowledge, most departments keep a record of their successful applications. Perhaps you should request to view those applications to get a feel for what constitutes a "strong application" in your chosen field. It's also a good idea to solicit feedback from some professors who have served on OGS/SSHRC committees. Best of luck!
  8. Haha, that was a good one! While I agree with most of what you've said, I simply can't afford to devote myself to full-time study alone. I have a heaping amount of debt that needs to be paid and I also need to plan for the likely event that I won't find work immediately after graduation. SSHRC and TA work is great, but it's still not enough. I was, however, mistaken on the conditions surrounding TA employment. I was told to contact the TA coordinator who would then try to hook me up, so to speak. I'm still waiting on her response, but the graduate coordinator sounded confident that I would secure additional hours. I found this really surprising given the heavy competition for TA funding during the application process. Oh well, it looks like I'll finally have a resolution to my problems! Thank you all for the input!
  9. eBook Readers certainly are tempting! I'm still waiting for Sony Canada to release the new models, but I don't think I could bring myself to pay more than $300 CAD. Unfortunately, only the high-end model is capable of highlighting/editing text (ridiculous!). I read on CBC that the new entry model ($199 USD) will be pushing $280 CAD here in Canada. Again, Canadians get the (inaccurate) exchange rate shaft! [/rant] In response to your suggestion, what principally differentiates eBook Readers from computers is their "e-Ink" gray scale technology. Essentially, the device reads like an actual book and doesn't transform your eyeballs into sandpaper. The viewing angles are excellent and it reads perfectly in sunlight as well. Netbooks are undoubtedly a better value, but they were built for an entirely different purpose.
  10. Well, a few reasons... - There is no possibility of extending TA hours. TA positions for the entire academic year are assigned in late August. - If any new positions come about, Ph.D. students get first dibs. - The number of available jobs decreases sharply past September (especially the flexible on-campus ones). If you were in my position, what would you do? WWJD?
  11. Then I guess it's a good thing the Kindle isn't available in Canada! Oddly enough, the one day I decide to research ebooks, Sony releases two new models: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10303031-1.html Now I have to decide if it's worth $300. I would say it's an investment, but that's somewhat of a gamble given that I'm not in a Ph.D. program.
  12. Thank you for the responses. Just to clarify, my funding package consists of SSHRC funding, a departmental top-up, and a minimum of 210 TA hours over two semesters (possibly more). The questions I raised concerned additional employment above and beyond my TA responsibilities. I'm only seeking additional employment so I can eliminate my existing student debt. I'm working on the assumption that I will not find immediate employment upon graduation, which is why I want to pay down my debt before it begins to accrue interest. In your opinion, is it advisable to seek additional employment above and beyond my existing responsibilities? Like I said, I'm highly organized and hard-working, but I have no idea how demanding the coursework will be. I just don't know if I will have enough time to balance everything without suffering from extreme burnout. In addition, I also have a 1.5-2 hour commute, one-way (damn PT!). Tentatively, I plan to use that time to catch up on readings... it still seems a bit tight, though. Naturally, this all assumes that I'm allowed to hold additional employment (still waiting on a response from the graduate coordinator). Virdisun: To my knowledge, additional employment is restricted at the discretion of the university. Perhaps they wish to reserve the TA funding for those students who were unsuccessful in securing external funding? I would suggest that you contact your graduate coordinator and request more information. Personally, I find this whole process very confusing. And to answer your question, I will be attending U of T (while trying not to become a pretentious ass). I hope you enjoy York - many of my close friends did.
  13. Does anyone have any experience using eBook Readers like the Kindle 2? I'm constantly reading journal articles - or fumbling around trying to find them - and I thought to myself, there must be a better way! I like the idea of carrying a single slim device that can store all of my pdf files, thereby (significantly) reducing the amount of printouts I produce. It seems like a win-win situation - better on the environment, better on my wallet. I have absolutely no experience with these devices (nor have I seen one in person), but I do like the concept. My only requirements would be: - Decent battery life - Ability to store, view, and edit pdf files - Easy on the eyes (unlike computer screens) To complicate matters, I live in Canada where the Kindle 2 is not available. So, any suggestions? I have absolutely no brand loyalties, but I am prepared to pay a little more for a quality product. Thanks for any/all advice.
  14. Before I begin, let me quickly state that the following questions apply to the CGSM only (i.e. Masters). Essentially, I'm trying to determine how many hours of work I can reasonably balance on top of my teaching and research commitments. My MA programme is coursework only, with 8 courses spread over 12 months (only 2 of which are for MA students only). In addition, I will receive at least 210 TA hours (as a grader). Naturally, the ability to balance work/teaching/research will vary by individual, but I'm looking for a general consensus (if there is one). I have only completed 3 graduate courses to date (at a different university), so I'm not sure what to expect in terms of workload. So, with that said... According to SSHRC: My Questions: (1) Do most departments/universities discourage additional PT employment, or do they look the other way? Keep in mind that I have received a full funding package (I don't want to piss anyone off). (2) Given my teaching and research commitments (noted above), how many hours would you personally recommend? (3) In terms of securing additional employment, what would be your ideal position? That is, which position(s) do you feel provide the necessary flexibility for a graduate student? So far, I have identified 3 possible positions: - Exam Invigilator - Student Ambassador - Administrative Position (private sector) All positions are flexible in scheduling, but only the administrative position has guaranteed hours (16-20 per week). The other two positions would probably require less than 10 hours per week, if/when available. The student ambassador position is the only one that would require limited transportation. If it helps, I'm the type of person who is highly organized and motivated, yet I tend to stress out over nothing. That said, I have managed to keep my sanity throughout undergrad, where I received a greater number of assignments, in addition to my work and volunteer commitments. Thanks for the help/advice and good luck to everyone!
  15. jferreir


    Yes, my undergraduate university.
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