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Venting Thread - 2019 Applicants


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I'm one of the folks who had a funding offer retracted from Arizona, so I'm happy this thread is here. It sucks, and it was a bit devastating given that it was my only outright offer, but I'll survive

I've been having a pretty rough go of it for the past week or so, checking my app portals religiously, posting here on the gradcafe far more often than I ought to, and generally stressing out about th

This is not really venting, more gloating (though I don't intend it that way), but I just received a personal email from a major POI (one of my favorite philosophers, really) at UMD telling me how muc

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I am presuming that there will be some significant waitlist movement and news announced this week. Given my place of the waitlist of one of my favorite programs, my stomach has been in a pretty thick knot recently. The last few rejections in late March mostly washed over me as I became acclimatized to bad news, but I fear I will be really quite saddened if I don’t make it off the list. Although I am fairly happy with my one acceptance, I had hoped that I would have much broader options by the end of the cycle. It’s hard not to take things entirely personally. 

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I'm one of the folks who had a funding offer retracted from Arizona, so I'm happy this thread is here. It sucks, and it was a bit devastating given that it was my only outright offer, but I'll survive.

What's starting to get almost as frustrating as having my funding offer retracted is the comments from professional philosophers on the blogosphere. (I know, I just shouldn't bother reading them.) Perhaps my closeness to the situation is making me read things that aren't really there, but so  many comments have the tone of 'those naive kids just didn't read their offer letters closely, silly little idiots.' There are comments that literally say "that's just the way the world works." Is it even possible to utter that sentence without condescension? 

I haven't seen many grad students saying things like "this is illegal, we should file a suit, they need to reverse the decision." I don't know of any of the actual admits affected by this saying that. From what I can tell, we've all been saying that it's unfortunate and upsetting. It seems like it's a violation of the April 15 resolution, to which Arizona has committed - albeit one that's more understandable given that we're in the middle of a pandemic with huge economic implications. We've perhaps suggested that alternative cost-cutting measures should have been enacted, given the April 15 resolution (though I fully admit to not know the details of Arizona's budget, maybe this really was the only or the all-things-considered best option). 

Yet all the comments from professional philosophers, with doctorates and tenure-track or tenured positions, are basically "bUt It'S nOt IlLeGaL.' Yes, we are aware. 

Have you ever TA'd an ethics class and had an undergraduate respond to the claim 'X is wrong' or 'A shouldn't have done X' with 'but X isn't illegal'? I feel like I spend so much time explaining to undergraduates that, while they may be correct, they're missing the point at issue. I feel like I need to be doing the same thing with professional philosophers in blog comments right now.

I'm also tired of seeing comments suggesting that I should have seen this coming. The university did commit to the April 15 resolution. That absolutely gives me reason to expect that I'll have my offer until April 15, and it is completely irrelevant whether it's legal or not for them to rescind it. It doesn't follow from it not being illegal that I should have seen it coming. I want to comment and remind these philosophers that it takes them months, perhaps years, and several drafts to get their arguments in publishable shape - perhaps they should consider that before they post the first thoughts that come to their mind. 

My frustration is probably causing me to be uncharitable. But I figure a venting thread is the place to be uncharitable to people in a position of relative power. 

TL;DR:

Graduate students: University of Arizona violated the Council of Graduate Schools' April 15 Resolution, to which the university had committed. That's not good.

Professional philosophers, with doctorates and tenure-track or tenured jobs, in every single blog comment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0OP2Hmup-Y

 

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2 hours ago, ArizonaAdmit said:

I'm one of the folks who had a funding offer retracted from Arizona, so I'm happy this thread is here. It sucks, and it was a bit devastating given that it was my only outright offer, but I'll survive.

What's starting to get almost as frustrating as having my funding offer retracted is the comments from professional philosophers on the blogosphere. (I know, I just shouldn't bother reading them.) Perhaps my closeness to the situation is making me read things that aren't really there, but so  many comments have the tone of 'those naive kids just didn't read their offer letters closely, silly little idiots.' There are comments that literally say "that's just the way the world works." Is it even possible to utter that sentence without condescension? 

I haven't seen many grad students saying things like "this is illegal, we should file a suit, they need to reverse the decision." I don't know of any of the actual admits affected by this saying that. From what I can tell, we've all been saying that it's unfortunate and upsetting. It seems like it's a violation of the April 15 resolution, to which Arizona has committed - albeit one that's more understandable given that we're in the middle of a pandemic with huge economic implications. We've perhaps suggested that alternative cost-cutting measures should have been enacted, given the April 15 resolution (though I fully admit to not know the details of Arizona's budget, maybe this really was the only or the all-things-considered best option). 

Yet all the comments from professional philosophers, with doctorates and tenure-track or tenured positions, are basically "bUt It'S nOt IlLeGaL.' Yes, we are aware. 

Have you ever TA'd an ethics class and had an undergraduate respond to the claim 'X is wrong' or 'A shouldn't have done X' with 'but X isn't illegal'? I feel like I spend so much time explaining to undergraduates that, while they may be correct, they're missing the point at issue. I feel like I need to be doing the same thing with professional philosophers in blog comments right now.

I'm also tired of seeing comments suggesting that I should have seen this coming. The university did commit to the April 15 resolution. That absolutely gives me reason to expect that I'll have my offer until April 15, and it is completely irrelevant whether it's legal or not for them to rescind it. It doesn't follow from it not being illegal that I should have seen it coming. I want to comment and remind these philosophers that it takes them months, perhaps years, and several drafts to get their arguments in publishable shape - perhaps they should consider that before they post the first thoughts that come to their mind. 

My frustration is probably causing me to be uncharitable. But I figure a venting thread is the place to be uncharitable to people in a position of relative power. 

TL;DR:

Graduate students: University of Arizona violated the Council of Graduate Schools' April 15 Resolution, to which the university had committed. That's not good.

Professional philosophers, with doctorates and tenure-track or tenured jobs, in every single blog comment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0OP2Hmup-Y

 

I sympathize with you, and I'm so sorry that you're going through this. It is so easy for anyone to say they "saw it coming" before you did. This is essentially what happens after every football game. I hope you land on your feet somehow. Did you accept their offer to defer until next year at least? 

Edited by The_Last_Thylacine
typo
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3 hours ago, The_Last_Thylacine said:

I sympathize with you, and I'm so sorry that you're going through this. It is so easy for anyone to say they "saw it coming" before you did. This is essentially what happens after every football game. I hope you land on your feet somehow. Did you accept their offer to defer until next year at least? 

Thank you, I appreciate it. I'm really alright. Well and healthy, so I can't complain too much.

I haven't accepted their offer to defer until next year, though I'm strongly considering it. I actually just recently received word that I got in off the waitlist at another program, but it's not as good of a fit, and I'd be much more excited to go to Arizona. So I'm facing a somewhat tough decision.

I'm still on another waitlist (that has contacted us several times to assure us that they are proceeding as usual with their admissions) that I would choose over Arizona, so I'm crossing my fingers that an offer comes through from them. 

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Apologies @ArizonaAdmit. The same happened to a friend who had been accepted back in mid Jan to another AZ dept. I've seen comments to the effect of "well, maybe if they'd accepted their offer..." which fails to consider cases like my friend's: she was still waiting for an official letter detailing the finances and so couldn't accept when they sent word about no funding this year (well, it was more like they'd try to scrape something together for the first year but no promises for now or later on). Luckily, my friend got off a waitlist for another program only days ago; so it worked out in this case. I hope the same happens for you. Best of luck!

Edited by killerbunny
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I am so sorry about the U of Arizona mess, I was absolutely shocked when I found out about that. I hope everyone here is doing alright. Unfortunately, my waitlist schools didn’t go to the waitlist this year, so I’m reassessing options.

I will probably apply again next year and am wondering if reworking and resubmitting my writing sample would be a good idea. I am still really happy with what I wrote and know it could have used a few more professional eyes on it. Do y’all think this is a bad idea? I dedicated so much time to coming up with an original-ish topic and even more to writing the sample itself, so I’m really attached to it. Not sure if I want to come up with an entirely new sample.

Edited by sisyphushappy
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31 minutes ago, sisyphushappy said:

I am so sorry about the U of Arizona mess, I was absolutely shocked when I found out about that. I hope everyone here is doing alright. Unfortunately, my waitlist schools didn’t go to the waitlist this year, so I’m reassessing options.

I will probably apply again next year and am wondering if reworking and resubmitting my writing sample would be a good idea. I am still really happy with what I wrote and know it could have used a few more professional eyes on it. Do y’all think this is a bad idea? I dedicated so much time to coming up with an original-ish topic and even more to writing the sample itself, so I’m really attached to it. Not sure if I want to come up with an entirely new sample.

I'd send ALL programs an e-mail, asking if they could provide any feedback on my application package. Then I'd ask the advice of my letter writers.

What is the topic of your writing sample? Maybe I could provide some feedback, if it is something I am familiar with.

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4 hours ago, Ikari Gendo said:

I'd send ALL programs an e-mail, asking if they could provide any feedback on my application package. Then I'd ask the advice of my letter writers.

What is the topic of your writing sample? Maybe I could provide some feedback, if it is something I am familiar with.

In the interest of professionalism, I'd probably not recommend asking for application advice from the programs who rejected you. 

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4 hours ago, sisyphushappy said:

I am so sorry about the U of Arizona mess, I was absolutely shocked when I found out about that. I hope everyone here is doing alright. Unfortunately, my waitlist schools didn’t go to the waitlist this year, so I’m reassessing options.

I will probably apply again next year and am wondering if reworking and resubmitting my writing sample would be a good idea. I am still really happy with what I wrote and know it could have used a few more professional eyes on it. Do y’all think this is a bad idea? I dedicated so much time to coming up with an original-ish topic and even more to writing the sample itself, so I’m really attached to it. Not sure if I want to come up with an entirely new sample.

Feel free to PM me or other successful applicants on here. 

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6 hours ago, Ikari Gendo said:

I'd send ALL programs an e-mail, asking if they could provide any feedback on my application package. Then I'd ask the advice of my letter writers.

What is the topic of your writing sample? Maybe I could provide some feedback, if it is something I am familiar with.

Well, I wonder if among these programs there are some that he/she wants to re-apply to, will asking make some difference? If it will, is it positive or negative?

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On 4/15/2020 at 10:27 PM, PhilCoffee said:

Well, I wonder if among these programs there are some that he/she wants to re-apply to, will asking make some difference? If it will, is it positive or negative?

 

58 minutes ago, Ikari Gendo said:

I dont't see why/how this would be considered unprofessional, but again, I barely know this kind of stuff.

One could make a lasting negative impression of the tone, timing, and tempo of the requests are inappropriate. 

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