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  1. Because "his" is not gender neutral?
  2. Thank you. This is exactly what I needed to hear right now -- an anecdote that supports what I'm being told by all of my advisers and friends, which is that it ain't over till it's over. It's not that I don't respect the opinion of my advisers: I really do, and I trust them a whole lot. I know that they know what they're talking about. But it's hard . . . some people have gotten acceptances and rejections alike from places that I applied to, and I haven't heard a thing either way from anyone, so an anecdote like this really helps me out. (I'm a big believer in not counting my blessings before they've hatched, but I'm afraid I have quite the opposite perspective when it comes to negative things -- I count them before I even know they exist!) So again, thank you.
  3. @Branwen, intextrovert, and Medieval: y'all are much more patient than I am. I have to say that I've just started answering those kinds of questions with "Yes," regardless of whether or not the question can even be answered with "Yes." ("Do you have specific research objectives?" "Yes." "What research do English major PhD candidates do?" "Yes.")
  4. Thanks! I found it here: http://community.livejournal.com/iconomicon/
  5. I started with a list of authors of books and articles that I admired and then I found out where they worked. Thus began the list. Good luck!
  6. Yes, "I am apply" to English PhD programs, and "English lit." only means "English literature," a.k.a. the name of the discipline ("omg"!). For the record, although it's hardly relevant, I am not writing out of sour grapes as you appear to quasi-imply about myself and several others; I did well on both my general and subject tests, and I haven't trivialized a thing during the application process. I've said before that I'm a suck-it-up kind of person; I'm also a no-stones-unturned kind of person. I'm quite sure that many others on this forum are the same way, given that it does take a certain "mindset" to apply to graduate school; hard, thorough work falls squarely into that mindset. Believe me: I kind of wish the GRE(s) counted for more: I worked my tail off. But then again, I worked my tail off on the whole thing and for many years beforehand, as -- again -- I'm sure many, many others did. Sure, test scores matter: that's why they're required. I did not say that these tests don't have "any real value" -- I said they "don't add much value to the application." They are not UNimportant; they are simply not the MOST important. They don't say NOTHING; they simply don't say much. They have precisely as much value as they appear to: they tell admissions committees how well the applicant performed on a standardized test. If I get in, it will have nothing to do with my test scores. It'll have everything to do with my current and proposed future scholarship, as well as my past academic record. In saying this, I am relating precisely what I have been told by several highly qualified, dazzlingly successful professors. Regarding my own scores, the professors I spoke to from my own alma mater as well as the schools I applied to said something along the lines of, "That's awesome! But, it's up to the rest of your application to say convey your potential to admissions committees -- these tests don't do that." Straight from the horse's mouth. And yes, some of those professors do work at or have gotten their degrees from some of the schools you have explicitly mentioned. Yes, these schools look for good scores -- that's a given. The question is, how good are good scores? And the answer, as I have been told, is simply that good scores are good to get in the "read me" pile: not good enough for an offer of admission. Thus, "not much value," in the scheme of things. Regardless, none of this is relevant to the discussion of money, which people have likely griped about since the first coin was made. Why on earth do you see the need to argue when people are simply upset that it will cost them more to apply in the first place? In fact, a rather prominent literature professor who I'd love to work with himself said to me, entirely unprompted, that it's a crying shame how expensive this process is. And oh, god, stop throwing nationalities around. You have no idea where I'm from or what my background is, nationally, ethnically, socioeconomically, or in any other way. You're putting your foot so far into your mouth that I am surprised you have yet to taste it. And that's enough of that noise.
  7. Are you some kind of undercover ETS henchman? I personally and perennially subscribe to the "suck it up" philosophy; I do what's required and respect that while I won't always get why something is required, it's required nonetheless. That being said, I don't think JerryLandis is "deluding" himself/herself about anything -- he/she is simply stating that there are some seriously steep costs here that put very real limits on what an applicant can and cannot do; when those steep costs pertain to an aspect of the application that many (including professors at these programs we're applying to, by the way) do not think adds much value to the application, the one paying up (as you put it) has every right to his/her concerns. And seriously, the Better Business Bureau? Really? Oi to the vey.
  8. I'm thinking something like either "Man v. Food" or "The Alaska Experiment": fully-funded admissions are awarded to either the X number of people who eat the most of a giant pizza/hamburger/sundae/etc. or the X number of people who make it the longest in some desolate wilderness. (Typical: I've gone and proposed the two alternative courses of action that, if possible, give me even LESS of a chance of admission than I have in the present system. I have the stomach capacity of a sparrow and the outdoorsmanship of . . . well, of someone who hates to be outdoors.)
  9. They'd have to make it "chance of eating a really amazing and rare apple," though. At the first sign of the phrase "chance of admission" I'd start whimpering, and I feel like I wouldn't be the only one.
  10. This I do entirely, wholeheartedly agree with. I think it was rising_star who said that affirmative action could use a strong push in the direction of examining socioeconomic status; someone else mentioned (sorry for the lack of attribution on this paraphrase -- I can't find the post at this time!) that little checkboxes on a form is hardly an adequate examination of race. On personal and non-personal levels, I agree with both statements.
  11. I see what you're going for here, but I don't think there IS a conflict between individuality/individual merit and the goals of affirmative action, because . . . well, because of everything Pamphilia already said! Emphasis mine below:
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