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Fiz, I seem to remember you saying you'd almost certainly be accepting Urbana's offer. Are you at all concerned about the teaching load? Urbana's asking me to teach more than twice as many classes than at Pitt, but the pay is only a smidge more. Urbana is such a great program and certainly more highly ranked, but I'm wondering if it'd be better to sacrifice rank in order to have a more moderate teaching load at a program that looks equally (if not more) appealing. 

I think I mentioned this on another thread somewhere, but: I could probably make peace with teaching 2-2, but I really do not like that we're asked to teach from day one before we've even settled into the program. And a guarantee of only 1 semester off from teaching? ...... I'm feeling kind of unimpressed. Is that crazy?

I'm supposed to talk with the DGS this week. Have you had any conversations with her or other faculty? Do you have a feel for the atmosphere of the department at all?

I would like to visit in March, but I'm not sure if I can afford the plane ticket.

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Yeah, I don't doubt that it's common. That being said, all but 2 or 3 of the schools I applied to don't have you teaching until the second year, which seems much more reasonable and logical to me, and many give you an additional full year off from teaching at some point. Urbana's expectations seem much more demanding than most of the other schools I applied to, both higher and lower ranked. Sure, many people take on a teaching load similar to Urbana's, but if you don't *have* to... 

I'm just trying to weigh ranking/prestige versus a more attractive and (IMO) less exploitative financial package, basically. 

Edited by Algernon
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Fiz, I seem to remember you saying you'd almost certainly be accepting Urbana's offer. Are you at all concerned about the teaching load? Urbana's asking me to teach more than twice as many classes than at Pitt, but the pay is only a smidge more. Urbana is such a great program and certainly more highly ranked, but I'm wondering if it'd be better to sacrifice rank in order to have a more moderate teaching load at a program that looks equally (if not more) appealing.

I think I mentioned this on another thread somewhere, but: I could probably make peace with teaching 2-2, but I really do not like that we're asked to teach from day one before we've even settled into the program. And a guarantee of only 1 semester off from teaching? ...... I'm feeling kind of unimpressed. Is that crazy?

I'm supposed to talk with the DGS this week. Have you had any conversations with her or other faculty? Do you have a feel for the atmosphere of the department at all?

I would like to visit in March, but I'm not sure if I can afford the plane ticket.

Without trying to come off as all arrogant, I receieved a fellowship for 2 years, so I will not have to teach during those years as well.

The DGS is super friendly and nice, and Ive also been in contact with a professor there, who Im sure did some work behind the scenes to get me in and get me that fellowship.

Were you invited to the Community of Scholars event? It starts the day after the English depts visit, and it is funded--travel, meals, lodging. Its three days I think, and you can visit the dept then.

Ive also spoken with 3 grad students there, 2 of which are from cali like myself and 1 of whis is a first generation student, also like myself. They have all raved about the institution, one even saying she feels "privleged to be there." It seems like a very supportive and close knit dept, but Id def get in touch with the dgs. Who were u interested in working with?

Edited by Fiz
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Oh right, I forgot you won the fellowship! That's an awesome deal-- congrats!

I was not invited to that event. (I wonder if it's linked to your fellowship?)

Unlike a lot of people, it seems, I didn't apply to schools (except one) with the intention of working with a particular person-- I took a more holistic approach and made sure there were multiple faculty doing research I found interesting and lots of opportunities for interdisciplinary work/graduate minors etc. But didn't let myself get too attached or focused on specific people. That being said, Professor Goodlad's research resonated with me, and I mentioned her in my SOP. 

Based on what you're saying, it looks to me like the department obviously really, really wants you, and they've given you an amazing package to reflect that. Just as obviously, they are not as keen about me or they would have done more to "court" me as they did you. Depending on how my conversation with the DGS goes this week, I might decline their offer. Somehow, based on the email I received, the program just doesn't feel like the most comfortable fit, but I do want to get more information before making any rash decisions. I can see myself at Pitt really easily; it's more of a struggle to envision myself at Urbana right now. 

Thanks for all of the info! I found it very helpful.
 

Edited by Algernon
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Oh right, I forgot you won the fellowship! That's an awesome deal-- congrats!

I was not invited to that event. (I wonder if it's linked to your fellowship?)

Unlike a lot of people, it seems, I didn't apply to schools (except one) with the intention of working with a particular person-- I took a more holistic approach and made sure there were multiple faculty doing research I found interesting and lots of opportunities for interdisciplinary work/graduate minors etc. But didn't let myself get too attached or focused on specific people. That being said, Professor Goodlad's research resonated with me, and I mentioned her in my SOP.

Based on what you're saying, it looks to me like the department obviously really, really wants you, and they've given you an amazing package to reflect that. Just as obviously, they are not as keen about me or they would have done more to "court" me as they did you. Depending on how my conversation with the DGS goes this week, I might decline their offer. Somehow, based on the email I received, the program just doesn't feel like the most comfortable fit, but I do want to get more information before making any rash decisions. I can see myself at Pitt really easily; it's more of a struggle to envision myself at Urbana right now.

Thanks for all of the info! I found it very helpful.

I as well took a more "holistic" approach as you say. There are a number of professors who I am interested in and mentioned, though Rodriguez, Cacho, and Newcomb really are my targeted interests so to speak.

Dont feel bad about the event. Im only invited becuz im "underrepresented"--Im Chicano and a first timer. The event is only for this select demographic becuz it is a little harder for us to get here.

Honestly, I don't know what they see in me, and I dont feel worthy of that fellowship, so Im not all that. Im sure if u decided to attend ud kick my ass all over the place.

Obviously, Id like you to choose Urbana becuz Ill probably be going there as well, but in the end, you need to go where your heart is. I have a couple other acceptances that I wont accept becuz my heart is not there. At this point, only one place can pull me away from Illinois, and I havent heard from them yet, so we'll see.

Let me know how your discussion with Trilling goes. She's always been super sweet with me!

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Just got off the phone with the DGS. Definitely feeling much more positive about the program after speaking with her. Hopefully I can scrounge up the money for a visit. And you're right, Fiz: Trilling is very sweet and super friendly. I like her a lot! My decision just got much more difficult... 

 

5 schools still left to hear from (though 3 are essentially rejections at this point). Is this whole process over yet??

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Just so you know, if you raise hell, they might give u funding. I did and they gave me 400 bucks but i said no anyway cuz a flight from cali to urbana is 550-600 and im already going to that fully funded event so i was like nahhh.

Ask her!

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Well, when RRT and I talked, I mentioned that I would like to visit, but would have to see if I could afford it, and she just sort of casually ignored the money part of my comment and encouraged me to come, haha. I don't know if I have the cajones to raise hell with anybody... I'm the poster child for timidity when it comes to requests. But at least they're going to take care of lodging! That helps. I'm sure I'll find a way to get there now that I'm seriously considering their offer. 

So you won't be there during the recruitment visit days, 13th-15th? That's too bad! I'll probably visit then, I think. 

Is anyone else attending the recruitment visit?

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One thing I found really funny was that Trilling kept referring to Urbana-Champaign as a "small town" of 150,000 people.

 

My undergrad was in a midwest town of 36,000, and I thought it was a freaking metropolis after my hometown, which is right next door to Amish country. Like... we were all really excited when we finally got our own grocery store back in the early 2000's. And the grocery store has parking for Amish buggies. Haha! 

Ah, rural PA... It makes everywhere else seem so exciting. 

Edited by Algernon
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One thing I found really funny was that Trilling kept referring to Urbana-Champaign as a "small town" of 150,000 people.

 

My undergrad was in a midwest town of 36,000, and I thought it was a freaking metropolis after my hometown, which is right next door to Amish country. Like... we were all really excited when we finally got our own grocery store back in the early 2000's. And the grocery store has parking for Amish buggies. Haha! 

Ah, rural PA... It makes everywhere else seem so exciting. 

 

I was contacted by a current UIUC in my field offering advice on living and studying there. He mentioned that he could offer insight on living in "a small midwestern town" - ha! I grew up not so far from UIUC in a town of 10,000 people that was the largest town for about 30 miles every direction. Chambana might as well have been NYC to us!

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Just got off the phone with the DGS. Definitely feeling much more positive about the program after speaking with her. Hopefully I can scrounge up the money for a visit. And you're right, Fiz: Trilling is very sweet and super friendly. I like her a lot! My decision just got much more difficult... 

 

5 schools still left to hear from (though 3 are essentially rejections at this point). Is this whole process over yet??

 

Congrats on getting accepted to UIUC! I love Professor Trilling. She was my honors thesis advisor for undergrad. If you guys have any question about UIUC or their campus let me know!

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Congrats on getting accepted to UIUC! I love Professor Trilling. She was my honors thesis advisor for undergrad. If you guys have any question about UIUC or their campus let me know!

Thank you! I will probably be taking you up on that offer. Keep an eye out for a PM.

I like your blog! Your recent posts are very apropos-- and helpful as well. I'll take all the advice I can get at this point, haha. 

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Thank you! I will probably be taking you up on that offer. Keep an eye out for a PM.

I like your blog! Your recent posts are very apropos-- and helpful as well. I'll take all the advice I can get at this point, haha. 

Thanks Algernon! I'm always happy to talk about UIUC. The English department is great.

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