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University of Oklahoma; Rhet/Comp

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Hello all!

I'm still waiting on four schools, but I've gotten one acceptance and I'm thrilled. But I would love to know more about the Rhetoric and Composition at UO than I can find out just looking online. I mean, I applied, so obviously I like what I've seen... but now that I'm moving into the next level of obsessive freaking out, I need more info!

So, basically, does anyone have any first (or even second!) hand information about the program?

Thank you all in advance!

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I wasn't accepted into their rhet/comp program, but their literary studies one. I've been corresponding with the DGS; she has been really forthcoming in answering all of my questions. She has also put me in touch with several grad students and faculty in my field. I doubt I will be able to make it down for a visit, so I'm trying to talk to as many people as possible before making my decision.

Have you tried contacting the DGS yet? Also, from the information I've received so far, I do know that the rhet/comp program is a little bigger than lit. For lit, they extended 24 offers, and on average 50% accept. In terms of placement, the DGS told me that the rhet/comp people typically place in Tier 2 schools in various parts of the country.

I would definitely start to contact different people at the program; they can provide you with the best information. I've been really impressed with the open and friendly responses I've received, which is going to make my decision even tougher.

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I currently attend OU for a Master's in the Literature Program, but know most of the Rhet/Comp students and work for the First-Year Composition office. I am happy to answer any questions I can about the program, people, town, atmosphere, etc.


I'm happy to answer anything I can for the Literature concentration, as well.

Edited by j17564
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Thank you both so much!

I'm presenting at the CCCC's, so I get to meet Chris (first year writing co-director) and a TA (I think her name was Sarah?). So far I'm really impressed with what I've heard.

General questions:

- The TAship I've been offered will give me about 1400 a month. My partner and I need to rent a house because we have several parrots. Are there affordable homes to rent in the area? We would need a two bedroom, for about 600-800 a month (the cheaper, the better). Could you recommend areas to look in and areas to avoid?

- My partner has his MA in English. He will need to find a teaching job as well. Chris said there was some possibility of his adjuncting at Oklahoma, but are there other places to work? I know that in South Bend, where we currently live, enrollment seemed to take a dive across the board and it is getting really difficult for MAs to find adjuncting positions. Is that true in Norman as well?

- Do the English lit and comp folks get along well with one another? I've heard horror stories about campuses where there is no love lost between them, and honestly that is a pretty big turn off to me. I love English across the board and would love to friendly relationships/discussions with lots of English folks.

I'm REALLY pumped about this school.

Jbarks, as a student there, how satisfied are you? Are you happy? What do you like the most? What is your biggest regret?

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Hi, megerdes,

I'm not a student there yet. I was accepted to their literature program, and I'm in the decision making process. So far, I've had really great interactions with students and faculty. Everyone has been accessible and willing to answer my questions. I'm a medievalist. The MEMS program is small, but everyone seems really happy. I'm just worried about the prestige of the program. My goal isn't to work at an R-1 or top tier school; I really want to work at a SLAC. I would definitely get the teaching experience needed at OU, but I'm still on the fence. I do know, however, that their rhet/comp program is pretty strong, so it sounds like a good choice for you.

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Chris is great! You will love him. He is so helpful and kind. I am pretty sure I know the Sarah you're talking about, but I'll go ahead and leave her full name off of the internet.

I'll try to answer your questions as best I can, and you can feel free to PM me if you have more questions.

- There is tons of affordable, pet-friendly housing in Norman. The closer you get to campus, the more expensive it gets, but you can absolutely find something for your price range. It might take a bit of Craigslist or newspaper hunting if you're picky, but you will find something. There are certain areas, mainly apartment complexes, that you might want to avoid, but the crime rate in Norman is not substantial. It is a relatively small college town and the majority (though not everyone) of the people here are either students, former students, affiliated with the University or related to someone affiliated. When you're actually getting close to moving (if you choose OU), you can ask me about specific locations and I will give you a fair evaluation of the places (assuming I know them). Offhand, I'd say the square block northeast of Biloxi and Lindsey would be an area to avoid, but again those are mainly apartments. As far as recommendations, there are tons of duplexes and houses for rent in Norman frequently, so I would start with places near the University (listed on Craigslist and the Norman Transcript newspaper online) and fan out as needed.

- There are several of our graduated students now adjuncting in the Department. It doesn't pay great (probably average) and it is a ton of work from what I hear, but there are those possibilities. Some people I know teach at Oklahoma City Community College, University of Central Oklahoma, Rose State College or University of Phoenix. There are also some very good high schools in Oklahoma City. Finally, the campus has a Writing Center and an Athletic Writing Center. Either of those places may be looking for people.

- Finally, everyone in the Department gets along. The Lit and Comp/Rhet students take classes together and the meanest anyone gets is making a joke about the other concentration that everyone laughs together over. This Department is especially friendly; we share books, hang out together socially, and generally support one another. The Comp/Rhet group is very involved in the Department and there is an incoming-teachers workshop which builds community between the incoming class. The incoming class then takes a semester-long course together that concentrates on teaching. All of this not only acclimates you to teaching at the University, but really does bring everyone together. Your most lasting friendships will likely be with those you come in with. However, if you don't mix with them, the other people in the Department are happy to accept new people. The friendliness and compassion in this Department is one of its greatest strengths.

I'm sorry I ended up writing a novel; I attended OU for my undergrad and will be moving on when I graduate this May, but I have really enjoyed it. Let me know what you decide and if you have any questions as you get closer to moving!

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