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anyone else have family against the english major idea?  my parents keep wanting me to do smth with my other major, but truthfully, i don't think they super like either of my majors 

but WHATCHA GONNA DO IF YOU LIKE ENGLISH? lol 

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6 minutes ago, optimistic_nihilist said:

anyone else have family against the english major idea?  my parents keep wanting me to do smth with my other major, but truthfully, i don't think they super like either of my majors 

but WHATCHA GONNA DO IF YOU LIKE ENGLISH? lol 

I feel like my parents secretly want me to go to law school, but I’m really not into it. There are a couple of Masters of Arts in teaching programs that have late deadlines I’m considering applying to in the worst case scenario. I don’t wanna talk about that possibility for two more weeks at least though lol

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Furthermore, my mother a former English teacher, didn’t want me to major in English, which is just wild to me

Edited by mwils15

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4 minutes ago, optimistic_nihilist said:

anyone else have family against the english major idea?  my parents keep wanting me to do smth with my other major, but truthfully, i don't think they super like either of my majors 

but WHATCHA GONNA DO IF YOU LIKE ENGLISH? lol 

We have 2 daughters that are English majors and we think it a sensible and marketable degree. There are so many companies that need good writers. 

Right now, my adult daughters are filling out grant proposals for their younger sisters' swim team.  You can't believe what a difference their writing skills make. One has also revised the swim team website. It now has the same information, but when you read it, you think, "Dang! I like these people. I want to give them money and join their team!" 

My husband is an engineer and his most valuable employee has an art history degree. So I know that my daughters will be able to find jobs even if it isn't in traditional English major fields. 

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1 minute ago, Mumasatus said:

We have 2 daughters that are English majors and we think it a sensible and marketable degree. There are so many companies that need good writers. 

Right now, my adult daughters are filling out grant proposals for their younger sisters' swim team.  You can't believe what a difference their writing skills make. One has also revised the swim team website. It now has the same information, but when you read it, you think, "Dang! I like these people. I want to give them money and join their team!" 

My husband is an engineer and his most valuable employee has an art history degree. So I know that my daughters will be able to find jobs even if it isn't in traditional English major fields. 

Yeah, just to second all of this, with an English degree I was able to get very cushy and well-paying job in the grant/proposal/technical writing field, and they are always desperately trying to hire good writers around here to do that kind of work. If you decide to take a break or to not go into academia, play up your writing/marketing/persuasion skills in an industry interview and you can absolutely do just fine for yourself with an English degree.

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@kendalldinniene I am sorry to hear that. Hope the Oregon state becomes an acceptance. Also, you will probably hear from UCs in the next few weeks!

@alexisnj and @jadeisokay It's only 2/1, so don't give up hope! That said, I understand the feeling (went through the same thing around the same time in my first shutout season). Truth is, what you can do to improve your odds is going to be rather different from what others do, so really you should talk to your LOR writers, who should be familiar with your materials, interests, and the programs that will fit, and see what they suggest. That said, here's what I did between my first shutout season (2014) and now. (I am no expert, so hopefully others join in with their experiences. Each journey is different)

I applied to philosophy PhDs straight out of undergrad with BA double major in philosophy and mathematics, and was shutdown. I then took several years off and taught high school math (don't recommend this) and eventually decided I wanted to go back to studying literature. I applied to MA programs to (1) see whether it was for me and (2) zero-in on my research interests (was initially interested in Anglo and Hispanic American modernisms, so that has shifted quite a bit). I spent about a year researching dozens of programs, down to a list of five programs that were best fit for my research interests. This "fit" part is difficult, and ultimately we never really know what an adcomm is looking for. That said, read their mission statement, look at who the chair of grad studies is, look at who is teaching past upper level grad courses, look for their most recent hires, check the departments job postings to see who they intend to hire over the next few years; these are all good ways to get a better understanding of the department culture. Past dissertations and current students are good to check out as well. I had been working on my writing sample for years, and I don't know what to say about that, other than make sure it's as flawless as you can get it (I had four faculty and three peers provide edits; for me, good work cannot happen in a vacuum). For SoPs, spend a good amount of time relating your work to POI's. I did tons of research on this; read articles and books from multiple faculty members, and if I found a faculty member whose interests matched my own, I made sure to find out who their colleagues were, and then read their work. One of my mentors advised to say "Dr. so-an-so and their colleagues," thereby casting a wider net. Also, reading past years Grad Student Handbooks will give you a better idea of how you will be getting your funding, language requirements,and  course requirements, all of which tells you more about the department and whether you fit/how to show the adcomm that you fit

Edited by j.alicea

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Got an interview at Columbia, but from the looks of it interviews aren't common there... Not sure to be nervous, excited, or sad! Lol. (I joined the gradcafe forums 5 minutes ago despite my mentor yelling at me not to.)

EDIT: realized this might not be the ideal forum to post in so I moved it to the acceptances thread. My bad! New to this.

Edited by trytostay

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19 minutes ago, optimistic_nihilist said:

anyone else have family against the english major idea?  my parents keep wanting me to do smth with my other major, but truthfully, i don't think they super like either of my majors 

but WHATCHA GONNA DO IF YOU LIKE ENGLISH? lol 

My aunts (I've got a large and "involved" extended family) were disappointed I didn't get married and have kids after high school (let alone coming out), then that I moved far away, that I switched from computer science to English & biology in undergrad, then finally when I decided to get my MA. When that was fully-funded and lead to a job handed to me, they started to turn the sails. I'm especially happy because they were much more open to my younger cousins going to school far away and pursue a variety of passions. I think you are going to have a lot more opportunity than they expect, and hopefully that will lead to more familial support for you. 

I also think your research interests are compelling, and I'm not just saying that because I used to be in a punk band ?. It's an interesting subculture, and that can lead to some valuable cultural insights elsewhere, too. What's your other major? I know having two majors did a lot for me in my MA. 

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1 hour ago, alexisnj said:

This may have been asked already, but is there a thread with information regarding what English PhD applicants can do after a shutout in order to improve their application for the next cycle? Feeling pretty convinced that I need to start planning for this already 

I'm sure we'll have a postmortem/planning for next cycle thread sometime in the spring! It would be lovely to have some of you as teammates for next round if things don't work out this year.

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a while ago, a customer at work and i were talking about my school because she was visiting campus with her son. she asked what i wanted to do with an English major and i said i was applying to comp lit grad programs... she was already being snooty because her son is ~pre med~ and asked me why i chose "competitive literature" because it sounds useless. 

my parents said do what makes you happy so i got lucky there

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3 minutes ago, jadeisokay said:

a while ago, a customer at work and i were talking about my school because she was visiting campus with her son. she asked what i wanted to do with an English major and i said i was applying to comp lit grad programs... she was already being snooty because her son is ~pre med~ and asked me why i chose "competitive literature" because it sounds useless. 

my parents said do what makes you happy so i got lucky there

Same. I feel like it's really hard for me to talk about concrete reasons for wanting to get an English PhD to other people, because the rest of the world always tries to disprove my reasons for doing so. 

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17 minutes ago, placeinspace said:

I'm getting really anxious about the silence from Chicago. I guess it could've just been delayed because of the weather?

Same. I’m hoping. And I hope if anyone hears they post ASAP. 

Edited by swarthmawr

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47 minutes ago, swarthmawr said:

Same. I’m hoping. And I hope if anyone hears they post ASAP. 

well, chicago usually releases decisions early feb, so i think it would be next week or even the week after next. Don't stress, just go do some self-care :) 

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2 minutes ago, Eucerin said:

well, chicago usually releases decisions early feb, so i think it would be next week or even the week after next. Don't stress, just go do some self-care :) 

During my interview they said today would be the “latest,” but I guess they didn’t expect the polar vortex, so I’m hoping you’re right! Gonna breathe a bit :) 

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@swarthmawr I'd also put the Brandeis one out of your head for a while! My friend/former advisor on the adcomm said they're not close to making a decision there. They're still in the process of reading them! :)

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1 hour ago, jadeisokay said:

a while ago, a customer at work and i were talking about my school because she was visiting campus with her son. she asked what i wanted to do with an English major and i said i was applying to comp lit grad programs... she was already being snooty because her son is ~pre med~ and asked me why i chose "competitive literature" because it sounds useless. 

my parents said do what makes you happy so i got lucky there

Whats that sappy quote from Dead Poet's Society about doctors saving lives, but poetry gives people a reason to live? That.

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8 minutes ago, madandmoonly said:

@swarthmawr I'd also put the Brandeis one out of your head for a while! My friend/former advisor on the adcomm said they're not close to making a decision there. They're still in the process of reading them! :)

Thanks! So much awesome insider knowledge ? 

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On 2/1/2019 at 3:09 PM, spatial_person said:

Whats that sappy quote from Dead Poet's Society about doctors saving lives, but poetry gives people a reason to live? That.

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for."

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27 minutes ago, ExileFromAFutureTime said:

I'm interviewing at Emory next week - any advice or suggestions, particularly from those who have interviewed at programs recently? Thanks in advance. 

Me too and SAME. 

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1 hour ago, ExileFromAFutureTime said:

I'm interviewing at Emory next week - any advice or suggestions, particularly from those who have interviewed at programs recently? Thanks in advance. 

Me three!

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