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Everything posted by LingGrad2009

  1. Probably so you make sure to use it on rent, rather than blowing it all on clothes (or camera gear, which is my weakness).
  2. Law schools tend to prefer breadth of preparation. They are going to teach you law when you get there; they don't need you to come in thinking you already know it. For this reason, pre-law is often an inadvisable preparatory major. Look at the Western legal system: a huge portion of it, as well as all of its vocabularly, is drawn from Greek and Roman tradition (classics, history). My own major, linguistics, is also a strongly favored preparatory major due to its introduction to semantics and precise analyses of the details of language. Law schools welcome biology and chemistry majors because of the great deal of forensics evidence that is being presented in courts, and computer science majors because of the high incidence of computer crime and the current furor over distribution of intellectual property. From my own (brief) research as I considered a JD, all of these majors had higher acceptance rates than pre-law. In fact, pre-law is probably the only major out there that actually has NO application to field of law after receiving a JD. All it does is get you in, while the rest provide a foundation and direction for the rest of your career.
  3. I'm glad I'm not alone on the DD/Mexican food fronts. To be fair to my area though, the ethnic food sections here are pretty extensive and well-appointed, so I'm better off than some of you.
  4. I too am a Westcoaster transplanted easterly, and I agree that the food was one of the biggest differences. What gets me is the extreme lack of Mexican food (Chipotle? Seriously, that's the most authentic place around)? Apparently no one understands that tortillas are only partially cooked when packaged, and they NEED another 20 seconds in a hot skillet before they're edible. And when I first got here, someone told me the best coffee around was Dunkin' Doughnuts. I was dismayed to find out they were right. I need good coffee so badly that I'm searching for a connection to buy green beans from and just roast my own. If I can get someone in Hilo to ship me some green Kona, I'd be in heaven.
  5. Generally yes, but in this case OLPC = One Laptop Per Child. The goal of all development under this umbrella was coming up with a laptop for under $100, so technology coming from it tends to be very reasonably priced. Witness the slew of great netbooks for $2-300 that are available because of OLPC development.
  6. Get a job or go to church. Meet some people in the short time you have free, and those are two good ways.
  7. I'm stuck in the Comcast ring of hell where I am now, but I move next week (yay!) for NewBigCollegeTown where I'll actually have options. I'm thinking of getting just a landline for use as (gasp) dial-up internet. I know, I know, how 1989 of me. But my university has a dial-up phone bank, so it's free as long as it's a local call, and it puts me inside the school network, so I have access to all the goodies without having to sign into each one. And in terms of keeping monthly expenses down it's hard to beat. So landline + free dialup for both phone and internet, and a nice VHF/UHF antenna for TV, and I have my entertainment bundle for ~$14/month. Not too shabby. Of course, I'd have to forgo the Hulu shows I mentioned above I'm also horribly sick today, so if I'm not making sense, that's why. As long as I don't lock myself into anything in this state.
  8. I used Quicken Online for a three month free trial period. It was pretty well done and convenient, but in the end it was nothing I couldn't do on my own with a spreadsheet for an extra ten minutes a week, so I let it expire. I did use it to model my spreadsheet though. I hope that's not a copyright violation : )
  9. This has gotten WAY off topic, since the original question was about TV/Internet/Cable bundles, and a bundle is almost always a VOIP system, not a landline. As for me, I recognize the benefits of the true landline, but the combination of circumstances where they'd be useful is too unlikely to make it worth the investment. The most common emergency situation people my age group get into is traffic accidents, and those, of necessity, happen away from the landline. I've called 911 about ten times in the last five years, and every time was from my cell phone when I've witnessed traffic accidents. I don't recall remarking that the cell network was ever down at any point in that period. I'd much rather take (and encourage others to take) the yearly investment of around $200 for a landline ($10/month is a rock-bottom price that most people don't get) and spend it on refresher Red Cross CPR classes, which are far more likely to be useful over the course of the investment. Or you could take one year's worth of that and get a ham license and radio, gaining access to the most reliable form of communication in existence, with the additional benefit of mobility. Or you could use it to install state-of-the-art smoke, radon, and CO2 detecters, reducing the risk of an emergency at home, or invest in defensive driving courses, reducing risk of emergency away. What I'm saying is the landline is useful, but seems to have achieved an almost holy status, to where people argue vehemently for it while ignoring a host of other minor investments that would have greater returns in safety.
  10. Every time this thread pops up I get the urge to watch Big Trouble in Little China. And you know what ol' Jack Burton always says about fiscal irresponsibility in the Golden State . . .
  11. Seminars are small classes where everyone discusses or takes turns presenting. If you record seminars you'll be expected, and probably required, to clear it with every person present. Even then, they might just disallow it completely, because even with permission, fledgling scholars might be intimidated by the recording and hesitant to participate. Besides, if there's something you don't understand in a seminar, you should just discuss it right then rather than puzzling it out on your own later.
  12. My acceptance package actually included information about the local community college in case there were languages or any other subjects needed to brush up on.
  13. Well, French and Italian have a really high degree of lexical and grammatical similarity, so if you take French you'll have an advantage in vocab and structure, and will just need work on the wildly different sound patterns. I had the opposite experience when I traveled in Italy; because I speak French, I could read Italian with little difficulty, but understanding it (I was only there for a week) was out of the question. Spanish and Italian are much closer in terms of pronunciation, but the grammar and lexicon have more signicantly diverged.
  14. I know I am. Just tell them you need a couple of weeks to arrange the move and get settled in. Unless your professors have never changed jobs or moved, they'll understand. Two weeks is not a lot to ask at all.
  15. I can't agree or disagree yet, because I don't start until next month, but your assertion begs the question that undergrad was fun to start with. I did not find it so. What I found it was fulfilling, particularly the final two years when I was working exclusively in my major. I am hoping (indeed counting on it) that grad school and a subsequent career in the field will renew that sense of satisfaction and the feeling that I was, for once, doing something where I belonged. I sure never got that sense in anything I was doing before or have done since.
  16. Some people simply prefer messenger bags over backpacks, and the Timbuk2 ones are quality products (they used to be even better, but they moved production to China). I have a Jansport backpack that I use when I have to carry heavy stuff like books, an ALICE pack for when I have to carry a LOT of heavy stuff, and a couple different messenger bags, including a Timbuk2 vertical format, for when I just need a laptop and camera with a couple notebooks. I find the messenger bags offer readier access to their contents, while obviously the backpacks have better support for weight. And while style may be superficial, it is true that there are days I need to look more professional than I can while wearing a backpack.
  17. I think your timeline gets you in there in time before the big student rush to find something. I never found waiting lists in LA; I just looked until I found a place I liked, then wrote a check on the spot securing it. Sometimes that meant overlapping a month with my former residence, but that's how it is. I don't know what you're looking for or how far you're willing to commute, but if you just want to share an apartment with another grad student in Culver City, Palms, generic "West LA", or inland Santa Monica, I seriously doubt you'll have to look longer than two or three days. If you have a family and need a larger condo or house, maybe much longer. Check over in City Guides for more info on neighborhoods. Edit for linky goodness: http://forum.thegradcafe.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=190 - the UCLA LA thread. USC and UCLA occupy very different spheres of the tangled mess that is called LA.
  18. Also if you're looking for an apartment from a distance, you may get a false impression of the market. I've tried many times to do that, and it's been a failure all but once. However, every time when I actually got to the town and started looking in person, there was much more available than I had thought. Also, to the other poster upthread going to UCLA -- several of those times have been in LA, and what I just said goes doubly there. NO ONE in LA deals remotely. There are PLENTY of apartments here though, don't worry. People are scrambling to unload them in fact. You do, however, want to look before September.
  19. Thanks. I don't feel guilty at all, but I did like both people. One of them had just been hired about six months ago. However, their department was really badly underperforming, so it's kinda their own fault.
  20. I doubt it, since at least in my case part of my funding includes 50% employment in some capacity (they haven't decided exactly what yet). I definitely support any effort to make continuing education as cheap and easy as possible, but a long-term commitment to grad school isn't really the same (in most cases) as a couple classes or certification program to pump up one's resume. However, I'll look in to it, and if they WANT to give me money for the first six months or so, I certainly won't turn it down : )
  21. Well, I gave notice to my boss today, so I'm out of the closet. The reaction was not at all what I expected. Apparently they just laid off a bunch of people and there's a hiring freeze, so the reaction was something like: [stunned silence, then] "You can't f--ing do this to me right now." When I say "just laid off" I mean he had done it just a couple minutes before. I have a sneaking suspicion if I'd let him know half an hour earlier, one of those people would have kept their job. But anyway, instead of getting rid of me sooner, they're begging me to stay on to the last possible minute, and even asked me to work remotely part-time during the quarter. Until the hiring freeze is up, once I'm gone, there's no one but the incompetent freelancer. Well, not totally incompetent, but his skills have a narrow range, while the job calls for competence in many different areas. So now I have to figure out if I can stay on longer (probably yes) and if I can do the part-time thing once school's started (probably no). Weird time indeed.
  22. I kept barely anything. Papers and summary sheets I made to prepare for final exams in important classes, NOTHING else. And the summary sheets and paper copies of the papers went into the can as soon as I got an acceptance to grad school. I move a lot too, and I constantly and strenuously reduce burden. Something else you mentioned piqued my interest though: I don't think taking notes by hand is out of the ordinary at all. In most of my undergrad classes, the professors forbade laptops during class as a distraction (both for the students who might really be playing Snood and IMing and for the professors trying to teach over the racket of clicking keys), and if you wanted to tape record a lecture you'd have to ask permission and present a REALLY good reason for it first. Is this an atypical experience? I somehow only think of law students needing laptops in class as a regular thing.
  23. All the shows I can't miss (the list pretty much begins and ends with Psych) are on Hulu anyway.
  24. I dicked around a lot in my first year or so of college and had a similar record (less Fs, more Ws). I took a couple years off, got my priorities straight, went back, and aced everything, and am now on my way to my top choice grad school. So take heart; it can be done. Are you sure about the Ws? The school I went to had a program to remove Ws. I had to take some minimum number of units, get a high average for that semester, and fill out a petition. I was able to remove two Ws per semester I believe, and eventually got rid of them all. That won't work. You have to report every school you went to whether you apply for undergrad or grad school. If you don't, and they find out, you can get in serious trouble. Also since you're talking about two different universities in the same system, it'll be VERY easy (probably automatic) for those records to be transferred whether you report them or not. However, it might be better to transfer to UCSD from JC anyway, and work with them to repair the Fs and Ws from Riverside. I can't imagine that bouncing from school to school will look good on a transcript. If you know that UCSD is the school you want to finish at, figure out how to get there as soon as possible. If you HAVE to go to Riverside to repair your grades, maybe it's better to just finish there.
  25. Internet only for me. I'm in the same position, so this is not only what I would do, it's what I just DID do. The only reason I'd get a landline is if DSL was the only internet available. For TV, the signal that comes in via antenna is perfectly fine for the little I watch, especially now that we've finally switched to digital. In fact, the over-the-air signal, if you get good reception, is of far greater quality than by cable or satellite. I don't need 100 channels clamoring for my attention when I'm supposed to be reading for grad school anyway. One other thing is that if it's a bundled package provided by your cable company, it's probably not actually a "landline" in the traditional sense (copper cable to tip and ring). It's more likely VoIP, so the purported emergency services benefits of POTS don't apply anyway.
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