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siarabird

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About siarabird

  • Rank
    Caffeinated

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Application Season
    2013 Fall
  • Program
    English Literature
  1. Wow, as a first-time applicant with no idea what she's doing, just reading this thread has almost brought a tear to my eye. You guys are so amazing. You'd better believe I'll be taking some of you up on the offer of reading your SOP. I've never read one before and having a few examples would be wonderful.
  2. Thanks for the additional resources. I've been reading up on academia as much as I can but I don't know too many resources thus far for information. I don't have contact with any humanities PhD students because my college does not have any humanities PhD programs. My comment before was based on the general feeling I've gotten from reading through the humanities forums on this site. There isn't a lot of mention of tailoring research to job prospects. Since I know that there are some big differences between the hard sciences and humanities, I didn't want to assume that TakeruK's well-meaning advice would be true across all disciplines, since s/he is a Planetary Science student. Thanks for your input. EDIT: Also, I love PhD comics. :]
  3. surefire: Thank you so much for your response! It was immensely helpful to look at it from your perspective, and I loved your figures haha. It makes sense that people would retroactively highlight their past experiences. I'm surprised that this is new information to me, since that is pretty much how I arrived at the English major! For a while I was a hard science geek until I kind of fell into the English thing and realized that I was so much more passionate about this than any biology class I had ever taken. But when I tell people about my past it tends to go something like: "Oh yeah, I've always loved reading books, I've gotten an A in every English class I've ever taken, I started to become interested in this specific area, etc. etc." Which isn't the entire truth at all. ^^; I think looking at it from your perspective is really going to help me let go of my anxiety of finding a specific topic and just let myself and my interests mature naturally. Imogene: Thanks so much for responding. I really like the list you've given me, and while I can without hesitation answer some of the questions, others I'm a little hazy on. I'm definitely going to keep those questions in mind throughout my research, they're very thought-provoking without being too specific. TakeruK: I think that some of what you said could definitely be applied to my field, although I don't know how much job placement will hinge on researching a specific literary topic. I just simply don't know enough about academia in the humanities to make an intelligent decision on that front. But I really liked your advice about the SOP and about mentioning professors. I definitely don't want potential schools to think that I'm not flexible in my interests and giving myself room to grow!
  4. The third or fourth installment in my never-ending string of burning questions about grad school... How does one come to have the really specific research interests that a lot of the wonderful people on this forum seem to have? I know my area of focus, postcolonial, and I know that I love reading world literature. But no matter how many recent postcolonial tomes I try to read and how much research I try to keep up with, I can never seem to latch on to a specific topic. I don't even know where to start. How did you all come to know your specific research interests? Any suggestions for where I should start?
  5. My to-read list so far: Postcolonial Theory, Leela Gandhi Orientalism, Edward Said The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie Colonialism/Postcolonialism, Ania Loomba A Companion to Postcolonial Studies, Henry Schwarz/Sangeeta Ray Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: In Other Words, Sangeeta Ray En-Gendering India, Sangeeta Ray Native Intelligence: Aesthetics, Politics, and Postcolonial Literature, Deepika Bahri I know that I'm really behind in my field (give me a break, I'm earning my BA in 3 years after all ) so I'm trying really hard to catch myself up this summer.
  6. Agreed. Right now I'm mostly stressed over not having a writing sample. Since I'm completing my undergrad and so I'm in my junior year right now, I really haven't had to write any papers >8 pages. I think that one class I'm taking right now might start me off on the right foot as far as the WS goes, but looking at those 15-20 page requirements is daunting. And it's definitely going to be a challenge to do any of this stuff when fall semester rolls around and I have to focus on finishing out the last year of my degree. I'm looking forward to the summer as the time when I'll get most of this stuff done. EDIT: Wow, that is such great advice. Especially the bold bit really just helped me solidify what the SoP should actually be. Thanks a lot for that.
  7. I think all you awesome people here at TGC have saved my life, yet again. I'm going to have so much time over the summer to study for the GRE, I'm gonna kick its ass. I was seriously considering putting off grad school apps for a year for the sole reason of how daunting it would be to study for the GRE right now. I should really get started on that SoP though.
  8. Something that I've been a bit confused about is, can you register to take the GRE any month that you want? The official GRE website is so confusing, I really don't understand how the process works at all. But if I could start studying for the GRE when I finish up this semester and take it in like July or August that would be fantastic, because I'll probably have enough time to study and I'll also get the scores back in time for my app process. I'd prefer to have time to take it twice, but that just isn't going to happen haha.
  9. I'm applying for Fall 2013! I'm scared...witless, we'll go with witless. Something I'm having the hardest time with right now is finding time in my day to study for the GRE. Whenever I have free time and feel like studying a little more (after I'm finished with homework/study for my classes) I just can't seem to justify studying for the GRE over studying for the classes I'm in right now...
  10. Spring break almost over, heading back up to school tonight. Excited to go back to class but I won't have as much time to research programs...I definitely have to start studying for that GRE though. o.O

  11. I hope I'll still come around to offer advice and be helpful and whatnot in return for how awesome and helpful everyone here has been to me. But I just don't think I'll be as active as I am now because right now I'm asking a different question every day, haha! Hopefully that'll simmer down a bit once I've been accepted...
  12. I don't even know what I would do without you guys! Thanks so much for all of these amazing ideas. It's really made me feel a lot more hopeful now that I know that there are so many other options out there for me even if I don't get into grad school. Exactly!
  13. Also, there's dropbox.com for online storage. You can sign up and get 2gb free. It's a pretty neat little system.
  14. I saw that post! It was horrific. I hope he decided to take legal action or something, considering that he ended up declining all of his other offers. I believe that the University that fake-accepted him at least owes him something in damages. Then again, if I were in his shoes, I would be worried about how taking any kind of action would look to future grad programs...gah! What a horrible position to be in. Poor guy.
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