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1 hour ago, whatkilledthedinosaurs said:

Not really sure what you meant by this - I know all of this and never objected to the rejection being handled by an "outsider" because it wasn't; it came from the program with the name of the director. It just bothered me that we didn't have our privacy respected in a very basic way. The "take your time rejecting me" line was mostly tongue in cheek; I obviously know programs are understaffed. This program gets about 20-24 applicants a year and one or two people get in; I assumed that with a smaller pool/program, we wouldn't all have gotten the same rejection without being BCC'd. Ultimately it's not even that big of a deal, I'm just venting on a grad school forum.

@whatkilledthedinosaurs, while you can certainly take what ever tone you please to express your dissatisfaction, it is more than "just venting on a grad school forum," not the least because you've provided identifying information about yourself on a BB that does not allow for the deletion of posts.

What you are doing is developing a habit that may not work as well for you as a "this is only a temporary set back / the good of the profession is good enough for me" take it all in stride comportment.

ICYMI, @AP has a Ph.D. in history and is a faculty member. A part of the big picture that you may be missing is that a critical mass of professional academic historians are not particularly fond of interacting with undergraduates. (Which is why the history fora are among the busiest at the Grad Cafe, season after season.) When you bring snark to the table, "mostly tongue in cheek" or not, are you helping to build a dynamic that encourages experienced members to stay and continue to help? Or are you sending a message that you're going to argue when you're given guidance you don't like?

To be clear, no one is asking you to be inauthentic or to genuflect. But there's something to be said about giving respect to BTDTs to get respect.

Returning to @AP's comment. You most certainly can argue what you "obviously know" or you can dial it down and understand the information you're being given.

1 hour ago, whatkilledthedinosaurs said:

Not really sure what you meant by this

 The path of an academic historian is strewn with obstacles and rejections. Between now and the time you are presented with a Festschrift , you're gong to experience people telling you "no, not what we're looking for/not good enough" even when you're damn sure that the answer should be "hell, yeah!" Feelings of frustration,  disappointment, sadness, depression, anger, bitterness (not me, never), are understandable.

However, the choices one makes when dealing with feelings are pivotal in the personal professional development of an aspiring academic historian. You have spent valuable minutes and intellectual energy "venting" and then defending your venting. You have sent a clear message to experienced members of this BB that you would rather be right than to receive information that will help you make choices that will get you where you want to go.

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I've been taken off the waitlist at Indiana! Just received my formal offer today and I have to say that I'm relieved/emotional/over the moon. I'm going to get a PhD! I'm still on the waitlist at

quite a lot to unpack here. you assume that I’m not using this as a way to put a better application forward next year which is quite a big assumption to make. I’d like to recontextualize: I said I was

sorry but why do you feel the need to be such an asshole about this? the poster didn't get into a program they really wanted to and are upset about the way the rejection was dealt with. sounds perfect

7 hours ago, Sigaba said:

 The path of an academic historian is strewn with obstacles and rejections. Between now and the time you are presented with a Festschrift , you're gong to experience people telling you "no, not what we're looking for/not good enough" even when you're damn sure that the answer should be "hell, yeah!" Feelings of frustration,  disappointment, sadness, depression, anger, bitterness (not me, never), are understandable.

However, the choices one makes when dealing with feelings are pivotal in the personal professional development of an aspiring academic historian. You have spent valuable minutes and intellectual energy "venting" and then defending your venting. You have sent a clear message to experienced members of this BB that you would rather be right than to receive information that will help you make choices that will get you where you want to go.

I'd add that the ability to be upset, depressed, hurt, whatever, and keep moving forward is one of the most important skills you can have for graduate school and life more generally. Most of us will end up in non-academic jobs, some in the private sector (which is far from the boogeyman a lot of us think it is). If you vent at your supervisors, it's not going to end well.

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I have been rejected by my top choice, Michigan. I am so heartbroken. Was so excited to work with my POIs there who have expressed much interest in my research. I wish I knew what it was in my application that wasn't good enough so that I could work on improving it for the next application season.

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1 hour ago, psstein said:

I'd add that the ability to be upset, depressed, hurt, whatever, and keep moving forward is one of the most important skills you can have for graduate school and life more generally. Most of us will end up in non-academic jobs, some in the private sector (which is far from the boogeyman a lot of us think it is). If you vent at your supervisors, it's not going to end well.

It is well established that most graduate students are deeply unhappy. Don't presume that  you'll be among the contented minority.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/03/06/new-study-says-graduate-students-mental-health-crisis.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Sigaba said:

@whatkilledthedinosaurs, while you can certainly take what ever tone you please to express your dissatisfaction, it is more than "just venting on a grad school forum," not the least because you've provided identifying information about yourself on a BB that does not allow for the deletion of posts.

What you are doing is developing a habit that may not work as well for you as a "this is only a temporary set back / the good of the profession is good enough for me" take it all in stride comportment.

ICYMI, @AP has a Ph.D. in history and is a faculty member. A part of the big picture that you may be missing is that a critical mass of professional academic historians are not particularly fond of interacting with undergraduates. (Which is why the history fora are among the busiest at the Grad Cafe, season after season.) When you bring snark to the table, "mostly tongue in cheek" or not, are you helping to build a dynamic that encourages experienced members to stay and continue to help? Or are you sending a message that you're going to argue when you're given guidance you don't like?

To be clear, no one is asking you to be inauthentic or to genuflect. But there's something to be said about giving respect to BTDTs to get respect.

Returning to @AP's comment. You most certainly can argue what you "obviously know" or you can dial it down and understand the information you're being given.

 The path of an academic historian is strewn with obstacles and rejections. Between now and the time you are presented with a Festschrift , you're gong to experience people telling you "no, not what we're looking for/not good enough" even when you're damn sure that the answer should be "hell, yeah!" Feelings of frustration,  disappointment, sadness, depression, anger, bitterness (not me, never), are understandable.

However, the choices one makes when dealing with feelings are pivotal in the personal professional development of an aspiring academic historian. You have spent valuable minutes and intellectual energy "venting" and then defending your venting. You have sent a clear message to experienced members of this BB that you would rather be right than to receive information that will help you make choices that will get you where you want to go.

sorry but why do you feel the need to be such an asshole about this? the poster didn't get into a program they really wanted to and are upset about the way the rejection was dealt with. sounds perfectly reasonable on their part. 

pretty mean of you to turn this into a broader thing about how "professional academic historians are not particularly fond of interacting with undergraduates"! 

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Good, important, and timely points about water off a duck's back. In the grander scheme, it is self-defeating to dwell on rejections, and there's really no nice way of turning down someone's application. Best to dust yourself off, keep your composure, and move forward.

But unless I'm misinterpreting the initial complaint, an admissions office CCed people other than the applicants regarding decisions made about their applications? If so, it's a fair complaint about a lack of professionalism and veers awfully close to a violation of applicant privacy. That institution might want to review its procedures.

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13 hours ago, Sigaba said:

@whatkilledthedinosaurs

What you are doing is developing a habit that may not work as well for you as a "this is only a temporary set back / the good of the profession is good enough for me" take it all in stride comportment.

...

When you bring snark to the table, "mostly tongue in cheek" or not, are you helping to build a dynamic that encourages experienced members to stay and continue to help? Or are you sending a message that you're going to argue when you're given guidance you don't like?

...

To be clear, no one is asking you to be inauthentic or to genuflect. But there's something to be said about giving respect to BTDTs to get respect.

 

quite a lot to unpack here. you assume that I’m not using this as a way to put a better application forward next year which is quite a big assumption to make. I’d like to recontextualize: I said I was a bit put off by a rejection not being BCC’d. For you to take that and then imply that I’m not listening to advice, am more concerned with being “right” than growing and many of the other things you have implied in your response is quite the assumption.

The people on this forum are humans. We have reactions in the heat of the moment. Not everything human beings do is always about “helping to build a dynamic that encourages experienced members to stay and continue to help”. For this to then be applied on a bigger scale to “this is why academic historians don’t like speaking with undergraduates” is again a big assumption to make and if anything just highlights the issues with gate keeping in academia as an institution and the way it treats the human beings who make it up, something that I have consistently had to deal with as a marginalized person.

I’m relatively new to this website and I’ve learned a lot of things about the grad school process. People have been very kind to me. The way a small comment has been blown out of proportion and the way I’ve been mischaracterized and told I have an attitude because of it is very disheartening and doesn’t make me want to reach out and in the future.

That’s all I have to say about this. Have a good weekend and I hope we all can be kinder to those on the other side of the keyboard. 

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4 hours ago, killerbunny said:

But unless I'm misinterpreting the initial complaint, an admissions office CCed people other than the applicants regarding decisions made about their applications? If so, it's a fair complaint about a lack of professionalism and veers awfully close to a violation of applicant privacy. That institution might want to review its procedures.

A person made a mistake. It happens. Lessons should be learned and corrective actions should be taken.  Does focusing on the mistake get one closer to one's goal?

(Has the aggrieved applicant taken any action? If the aggrieved had been accepted been among those cc-ed in an email would the applicant have the same concerns?)

The comments I've offered may sting some, but they're not unkind. They're based upon experience in the Ivory Tower and in the private sector working on projects for private and public universities, as well as on this BB.

Graduate school is a competitive environment. There are going to be set backs. Sometimes your fellow graduate students will come at you. Sometimes professors will use you as chew toys. When you work as a T.A., some undergraduates will pounce on any mistake you make to question your qualifications to evaluate your work. When you are at your lowest point during your qualifying exams, your professors will offer comments that are especially cutting.

The skills and habits you are developing now, the words you choose to express yourself, will be crucial in determining how much help is offered and how much support is withheld. Arguably the most intelligent classmate I have ever had earned his Ph.D. and PNG in record time. What did he do wrong? He complained about the professional competence of members of the department. He could not take set backs in stride. He argued when he got beneficial guidance from faculty members.

Hey, @histofsci, I would very much prefer not to get into a spat of name calling. If you feel the need to travel that route, send a PM and we'll work it out. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, westernpacific said:

Based on the likes and dislike, I can tell this is some old boys vs. new peeps thing. But I think @Sigaba offers reasonable advice, at least in that it's reflective of my personal experiences as a grad student in Korea.

That's very much the case.

I used to be on the f- Sigaba crowd due to the sheer brutality of some of their comments. I will say, though, that their comments are not far off from reality and actually hinge on polite. Maybe some ancedotal evidence will help. (probs not) Anyways, I'm currently a union rep for my department and have frayed a ton of relationships with faculty due to my role as a labor organizer. In fact, my secondary advisor has all but stopped talking to me and begun spreading rumors about me to other faculty. Now, I receive all kinds of looks from faculty and have a general sense of mistrust, which is fair since I had to drop a couple of hammers last semester. Anywho...Sigaba can and often does verge on the polite-asshole line, but my advice would be to learn to hear the advice out of those type of comments. You are not going to be treated well in grad school and you need to learn how to handle that reality while still holding true to yourself and advancing in your degree.

I wish you all the best in the coming weeks. If anyone needs to vent (good or bad) over the next couple of weeks, feel free to PM me.

TLDR: telling a professor to pound rocks might feel good, but will not be worth it in the end. Keep trucking along!

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Same as it ever was. 

In the hope that those who have ears will hear, @Sigaba has given some very practical advice on how you probably should comport yourself in your department and how you will need to as junior faculty. Be judicious with distributing praise, and restrict any complaints and criticisms to audiences you know and trust absolutely. Assume that any action you take will be reported to someone who doesn't like you and will use that information to harm your career, if they can.  As one person put it, "In 95% of academic situations, the correct response is shutting the fuck up. In the other 5%, it's 'That's an interesting idea; I'll have to think about it'." I have watched several colleagues over the years who have refused to listen to similar advice offered to them flounder profoundly; none are currently still in academia.

This may seem like overkill. And mostly, it is! The problem is that if you are not good at training yourself to behave in this way, you will neither recognize nor react appropriately in the moments where it matters.

For those who have not yet found it, this CHE forum thread is both hilarious and deeply enlightening as to how you should be prepared to behave in academia, as well as the reasons for it.

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Ok, this certainly blew up.

First, @histofsci, no need to calling out names. We might be anonymous, but we still foster a collegial environment. Sheer honesty does not equal rudeness or assholery, and I am surprised that after reading @Sigaba's interventions you'd still think it's ok to call them that. @whatkilledthedinosaurs, if you are not sure what I meant, you are welcome to ask for clarification. 

 

 

On 2/15/2020 at 1:51 AM, whatkilledthedinosaurs said:

Not really sure what you meant by this

 

On 2/15/2020 at 12:38 PM, histosci said:

sorry but why do you feel the need to be such an asshole about this? the poster didn't get into a program they really wanted to and are upset about the way the rejection was dealt with. sounds perfectly reasonable on their part. 

 

On 2/15/2020 at 5:01 PM, whatkilledthedinosaurs said:

 Have a good weekend and I hope we all can be kinder to those on the other side of the keyboard. 

I am not sure why you would assume otherwise. 

 

Anyway, those of you getting rejections, hang in there. One of my happy moments this year is that I am not getting rejections because I didn't apply for grants or anything. It's one of the only years when that didn't happen. Rejection is part of the game, a big and horrible part and I am truly sorry you are going through it. 

To those of you accepted, hooray! Congrats! 

Those of you still waiting... agh... I can only say: just binge on Seinfield. Or the Toy Story movies. 

And to the rest, colleagues, have a great week! 

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Question:

Currently considering a program and am reaching out to faculty and current/past students. Trying to learn about movements within the department, and hear from current students that there will be a new F2020 hire in an area relevant to my own area. Job talks may have recently concluded, but unclear if this means someone has been selected. Would it be judicious to ask potential advisor for more information about the recent hire?

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3 minutes ago, IGoToWar said:

Question:

Currently considering a program and am reaching out to faculty and current/past students. Trying to learn about movements within the department, and hear from current students that there will be a new F2020 hire in an area relevant to my own area. Job talks may have recently concluded, but unclear if this means someone has been selected. Would it be judicious to ask potential advisor for more information about the recent hire?

You can inquire but do so carefully as these talks are "behind the closed doors."  You can write, "I have heard that you are making a new hire in my field.  I am interested in learning more about this person whenever the information is ready to be shared."  Savvy POIs will find a way to clue you in as a means of roping you into the program but so as long as you don't commit too soon!  I suspect that this search will wrap up very soon and have an offer accepted within the next month (or so if there's a spousal hire involved).

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I wonder why previous years' application threads reached 60-70 pages, and this year's is only at 27 pages by mid-February... Fall 2020 applicants must be busy doing important things that will get them ahead of those of us who are on Grad Cafe 😀

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9 hours ago, AP said:

Ok, this certainly blew up.

First, @histofsci, no need to calling out names. We might be anonymous, but we still foster a collegial environment. Sheer honesty does not equal rudeness or assholery, and I am surprised that after reading @Sigaba's interventions you'd still think it's ok to call them that. @whatkilledthedinosaurs, if you are not sure what I meant, you are welcome to ask for clarification. 

Since this is the second time I've been mistakingly tagged... @histosci wrote the post, not me ( @Sigaba also tagged me and meant to tag them- it's a very similar username). 

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9 hours ago, FruitLover said:

I wonder why previous years' application threads reached 60-70 pages, and this year's is only at 27 pages by mid-February... Fall 2020 applicants must be busy doing important things that will get them ahead of those of us who are on Grad Cafe 😀

One of the major reasons is that the economy is good (in the US, at least), which almost invariably leads to more people entering the workforce and fewer people going to graduate or professional schools. The other side of it is that fora, more generally, have seen a decrease in activity due to alternative sites like Reddit.

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9 hours ago, FruitLover said:

I wonder why previous years' application threads reached 60-70 pages, and this year's is only at 27 pages by mid-February... Fall 2020 applicants must be busy doing important things that will get them ahead of those of us who are on Grad Cafe 😀

hmm...meanwhile, the English forum for this application cycle is at 60 pages and nearly 1,500 replies

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15 minutes ago, psstein said:

One of the major reasons is that the economy is good (in the US, at least), which almost invariably leads to more people entering the workforce and fewer people going to graduate or professional schools. The other side of it is that fora, more generally, have seen a decrease in activity due to alternative sites like Reddit.

Not to mention that people on Reddit actively discourage users from using GradCafe, as the Results Page can be a bit of a Skinner box at times.

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Also, are there any current Indiana University people here on the board? I haven't heard anything and acceptances and rejections went out last week, though not many as far as I can tell. Wondering if the system is similar to U of Michigan's (cohorts) or if I should take this as another L.

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3 hours ago, histofsci said:

Since this is the second time I've been mistakingly tagged... @histosci wrote the post, not me ( @Sigaba also tagged me and meant to tag them- it's a very similar username). 

OH NOOOO!!! My truest apologies. Should have double-checked. 😫

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13 minutes ago, historyofsloths said:

Not to mention that people on Reddit actively discourage users from using GradCafe, as the Results Page can be a bit of a Skinner box at times.

Really???? 

25 minutes ago, killerbunny said:

hmm...meanwhile, the English forum for this application cycle is at 60 pages and nearly 1,500 replies

Well, I am not so sure why we'd want many pages. I feel this year there are more conversations. But true, less people... 

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1 minute ago, AP said:

Really????

Oh yeah, go to any thread on r/gradadmissions or just search the subreddit itself. GradCafe is rarely offered as a helpful alternative. Though I will say that a lot of people don't realize there are entire forums and that the site doesn't just host the Results Page.

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