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Fall 2018 Applicants

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On Monday, I received an acceptance to North Carolina State University's MA program. Today I received a rejection from Clemson's MA program. I am awaiting my last MA response from Virginia Tech, which their deadline was 2/1. I have also applied to five Ph.D. programs at Michigan, Wisconsin, UC-Davis, Kentucky, and Montana State. Best of luck to all of you out there!

 

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14 hours ago, khigh said:

Got a phone call this morning from the prof I've been talking to about my app. It wasn't bad. it was one of those "it's not you, it's us" calls. They just don't have a Dutch person right now and they wouldn't want me to switch my focus. I told them about wanting to look at the Dutch in the Mediterranean, which it seems will be a much better approach for next cycle. I am going to the consortium meeting on the 21st to listen to a talk on poetry in the EM Med. I am going to take a break from looking at anything to do with apps and then spend part of the summer redoing all of it.

I was told that they were impressed with the original translations in the writing sample and asked if I had more translations or if i had only done them for that paper. I'm 250 pages into translating a 750 page travel memoir. Soooo, was told to use a spot in the extra materials section to put about 10 pages of translation next time- there is no one there that does Dutch language, so showing I can do that on my own helps. Oh, and add a translation of EM Italian because no one there does Italian. They are VERY heavy on the French side for EM except for one and they do Central Europe.

I feel a lot better today and thought some of you may find that translation information to be helpful in the future.

This was exactly my concern all along, @khigh.  I understand that you love the state of Minnesota, but  you really need to think long and hard about how important it is for you to work with people who have the expertise to guide you in the coursework years to help you develop a strong dissertation proposal and eventually the dissertation. You need to be able to create and write a dissertation that can actually be proclaimed by the very senior scholars as making serious contributions to Dutch and Mediterranean histories, which you won't necessarily know until you begin applying for research and dissertation writing fellowships and need outside letter of support by an expert.

If a PhD program is not big on Dutch or Mediterranean in the early modern period, it's a very long shot.  You may be best off seeking other EM programs with real strengths in those areas like Johns Hopkins or some of the California schools with Dutch language/literature folks on campus. When I looked at programs relating to the Holocaust, I more or less stuck with those that had strengths in both in German and US history. Prior to applying, I spoke with French and Russian/Eastern European historians in programs with solid US history faculty and no appropriate German historian, I could tell that they'd be open to working with me on my proposed ideas but my dissertation would simply not be as strong.  Nowadays, when reading this board and guiding y'all with the admissiosn process while doing my dissertation research/writing abroad, I realize how my trajectory would have been different had I chose the other program with a POI who was strong in US history with an interest in Russian history as opposed to my current POI who's on top of her game with German history with an interest in US history.  You will need to choose what's most important to you: excelling in a PhD program outside of Minnesota and come out with a strong dissertation or settling in Minnesota and pursue a different trajectory.  I have met/talked with people in similar circumstances so you are most definitely not alone.

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3 hours ago, Johnlegghistory said:

On Monday, I received an acceptance to North Carolina State University's MA program.

Did you apply for history or public history? I got my MA in history at NC State and cannot say enough good things about the program. Hopefully you are admitted into a PhD program, if that's what you want, but NC State is a great place to spend a couple years. My graduating year we sent 2 people to Yale's PhD program (1 direct from undergrad), and I was waitlisted there myself. What's your focus? PM me if you have any questions. 

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7 hours ago, TMP said:

This was exactly my concern all along, @khigh.  I understand that you love the state of Minnesota, but  you really need to think long and hard about how important it is for you to work with people who have the expertise to guide you in the coursework years to help you develop a strong dissertation proposal and eventually the dissertation. You need to be able to create and write a dissertation that can actually be proclaimed by the very senior scholars as making serious contributions to Dutch and Mediterranean histories, which you won't necessarily know until you begin applying for research and dissertation writing fellowships and need outside letter of support by an expert.

If a PhD program is not big on Dutch or Mediterranean in the early modern period, it's a very long shot.  You may be best off seeking other EM programs with real strengths in those areas like Johns Hopkins or some of the California schools with Dutch language/literature folks on campus. When I looked at programs relating to the Holocaust, I more or less stuck with those that had strengths in both in German and US history. Prior to applying, I spoke with French and Russian/Eastern European historians in programs with solid US history faculty and no appropriate German historian, I could tell that they'd be open to working with me on my proposed ideas but my dissertation would simply not be as strong.  Nowadays, when reading this board and guiding y'all with the admissiosn process while doing my dissertation research/writing abroad, I realize how my trajectory would have been different had I chose the other program with a POI who was strong in US history with an interest in Russian history as opposed to my current POI who's on top of her game with German history with an interest in US history.  You will need to choose what's most important to you: excelling in a PhD program outside of Minnesota and come out with a strong dissertation or settling in Minnesota and pursue a different trajectory.  I have met/talked with people in similar circumstances so you are most definitely not alone.

Thank you so much. I realize now that my SOP was wrong in explaining what I exactly wanted to do. I wasn’t clear enough in it to convince them that it is something I could do at the U. I had written about wanting to study grassroots political movements of the Dutch Republic in het rampjaar, but I found other documents that are better and more interesting and do fit with the fields that the U has. I want to do a phenomenological study of travel accounts in the Mediterranean. They have others doing Mediterranean that focus on people that came from outside the geographical regions that the profs study (Russians, Turks, and Moroccans).

I am going to take this as a hard and expensive lesson and reapply next year and apply to the law school. Some, even you, may disagree with it, but location is more important to me than anything else  I finally have roots  I’ve never had roots anywhere, even my hometown of 29 years. Here is where I want to raise my family and sit by the lake as an old retiree. I have only felt home here and two other places- Groningen and Rome. 

I truly do thank all of y’all for your help and support this cycle and I will be sticking around. 

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Not that it will mean much from a Random Internet Stranger, but I'm sorry you didn't get in. I've been dropping by this thread every so often and I was really rooting for you. My gut was telling me that you were going to be accepted, and I'm sorry you weren't. I'm sure you're feeling a lot of disappointment.

1 hour ago, khigh said:

Some, even you, may disagree with it, but location is more important to me than anything else  I finally have roots  I’ve never had roots anywhere, even my hometown of 29 years. Here is where I want to raise my family and sit by the lake as an old retiree.

To me, this is the single best reason not to pursue a PhD in the humanities. There are many wonderful things about a life in the academy, but one baseline is you don't get to choose where you live. It sounds like you have an unusually deep connection to Minneapolis, and that's fantastic. Hold on to it. But let it inform your career choices now, rather than start you down a road that is without question going to take you away from a place that you love.

I think you've said someplace else that you'd be willing to leave Minneapolis to start an academic career. But it's worth thinking about now exactly what that academic career looks like: You'd be graduating with a degree in a highly-specialized field from a good but hardly elite program. The chances of landing a tenure-track appointment are pretty low. And many of the tenure-track jobs that do exist are at smaller, regional schools, many in the south. It's not like you'd be leaving the Minneapolis you love for Ithaca; odds are, you'd be leaving for a small, two-stoplight town a hundred miles from an airport. You wouldn't be teaching your specialty to highly-motivated, younger versions of yourself; you'd be teaching a 4-4 load of World History to a bunch of indifferent undergrads. Your boyfriend also has a PhD; there may not be much in the way of work for him in that town. And some of these towns have a massive gap between the college and the rest of the residents; many of my friends are now getting concerned about the quality of the public schools in the places they've wound up. That's the best-case scenario. The other scenarios are a lot worse.

Don't get me wrong: Teaching history is a wonderful job, and I feel very grateful to have it. (I'm at an R1 in a major city, by the way--I moved out of the two-stoplight town, lovely as it was, to take this position.) I had all the things that I dreamed of as an undergraduate--tenure, a book, doctoral students of my own--all on the friendly side of my 40th birthday. Overall it's been very fulfilling, and I've had opportunities that would have made my twenty-year-old brain explode right out of the back of my head. But like a lot of people, I got the advice "Only pursue a PhD in history if you cannot imagine doing anything else." And I took it. And it's worked out fine. But with a few extra years I realize that my inability to imagine any other life for myself was, more than anything, just a failure of imagination. I like being a historian a lot, but there are a dozen other things I can easily envision myself doing now with a similar kind of satisfaction.

I'm sure the rejection stings, but I hope the sting fades quickly. from my perspective, the law school plan has a lot to recommend it. You've got some time now while you put together new applications. Can you do some brainstorming about what else you might pursue? It's not as if law school and a history PhD are the only two options. Are there any jobs with MLB or with the Twins organization that you can pursue now, without a JD? People who are smart and can write are rare, and valuable; there may be ways to get a foot in the door without the commitment of additional schooling and additional debt. Just something to think about. Good luck. Here's to bouncing back quickly--to you, and to anyone else who is facing the difficulty of suddenly altered plans.

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11 minutes ago, Manuscriptess said:

Can you guys please start a new thread for all of this “maybe academia is not for me” stuff? This thread is for admissions. 

I'm not entirely sure what you are seeing in the above posts that's irrelevant to the topic of "fall 2018 applicants"--? As people continue to receive admissions/rejections/waitlist notifications you're going to see a lot more "do I even want to commit to this" style posts, and that seems entirely appropriate. 

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Sorry, I just think this thread has just been consumed with people talking about non-academic topics. I would rather that there be a thread that is purely about admissions (e.g. have people heard back, interviews, which offers to pick). Would other people prefer a separate thread for purely admissions nuts and bolts and not things about personal lives?

6 minutes ago, OHSP said:

I'm not entirely sure what you are seeing in the above posts that's irrelevant to the topic of "fall 2018 applicants"--? As people continue to receive admissions/rejections/waitlist notifications you're going to see a lot more "do I even want to commit to this" style posts, and that seems entirely appropriate. 

 

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Yeah, I'm not sure how helpful or relevant policing the thread is -- especially when the thread actually isn't about admissions, it's about "applicants", and all that entails. In the beginning of the application season, if you look back, I'm sure you'll find a ton of posts in this thread about similar subjects, about application anxieties, decisions about where to apply, etc. If you just want a thread about results maybe keep checking the results board? 

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11 minutes ago, Manuscriptess said:

Sorry, I just think this thread has just been consumed with people talking about non-academic topics. I would rather that there be a thread that is purely about admissions (e.g. have people heard back, interviews, which offers to pick). Would other people prefer a separate thread for purely admissions nuts and bolts and not things about personal lives?

 

I don't think you can reasonably separate the two, as the admissions process is actually highly personal? It's a huge event and in some cases decision that affects the next 5-10 years of people's lives (well let's be realistic, the rest of people's lives). You could maybe start a new thread that specifies "no personal life discussion" if you really wanted

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17 minutes ago, Manuscriptess said:

Sorry, I just think this thread has just been consumed with people talking about non-academic topics. I would rather that there be a thread that is purely about admissions (e.g. have people heard back, interviews, which offers to pick). Would other people prefer a separate thread for purely admissions nuts and bolts and not things about personal lives?

 

 

I see your point and thought to say something similar a few days ago but I held back and now hold a point of view similar to @OHSP  and  @grubyczarnykot that this is a hallmark of the applicants' thread since not everyone gets in and often do use the Applicants thread of their discipline to vent+ plan.

There are always people who share a lot more and the conversation seems to end up orbiting around their specific processing. I want to believe that even though there might seem to be only a few people posting there are many others who lurk+watch who may actually see a lot of their thoughts mirrored in the conversations happening. In their anonymity, they might take lessons and guidance from the dialogue. I think that's useful.

Edited by Guest345
editing for clarity

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19 minutes ago, Manuscriptess said:

Sorry, I just think this thread has just been consumed with people talking about non-academic topics. I would rather that there be a thread that is purely about admissions (e.g. have people heard back, interviews, which offers to pick). Would other people prefer a separate thread for purely admissions nuts and bolts and not things about personal lives?

 

I agree with this.  Plenty of room for a different thread if people want to discuss alternatives to grad school or what-if scenarios if they don't get in.  Note that we're not asking anyone to "police" this thread as another poster stated, but asked for common courtesy about keeping this thread close to its original purpose.  It's just a lot easier to keep up with the results that have been posted and specific discussions about those without all the extraneous conversation.

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5 minutes ago, Guest345 said:

 

I see your point and thought to say something similar a few days ago but I held back and now hold a point of view similar to @OHSP  and  @grubyczarnykot that this is a hallmark of the applicants' thread since not everyone gets in and often do use the Applicants thread of their discipline to vent+ plan.

There are always people who share a lot more and the conversation seems to end up orbiting around their specific processing. I want to believe that even though there might seem to be only a few people posting there are many others who lurk+watch who may actually see a lot of their thoughts mirrored in the conversations happening. In their anonymity, they might take lessons and guidance from the dialogue. I think that's useful.

I’m really not trying to tear other people down. I agree that it is valuable to discuss personal life issues, but I get frustrated when I read through the thread, looking for advice about more nuts and bolts admissions issues, that’s all. I just think that type of conversation is being drowned out. 

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17 minutes ago, Guest345 said:

 

I see your point and thought to say something similar a few days before I held back and now hold a point of view similar to @OHSP  and  @grubyczarnykot that this is a hallmark of the applicants' thread since not everyone gets in and often do use the Applicants thread of their major to vent+ plan.

There are always people who share a lot more and the conversation seems to end up orbiting around their specific processing. I want to believe that even though there might seem to be only a few people posting there are many others who lurk+watch who may actually see a lot of their thoughts mirrored in the conversations happening.Who might take lessons and guidance from the dialogue. I think that's useful. 

I too see both sides. On the one hand, I come to this thread looking for information about moves from adcoms that hadn’t made its way over to the results board yet (Chicago for example). While on the other hand, having a place to vent and seek advice from others regarding what to do if not accepted is also very useful, as long as the advice is kept general enough to apply to a multitude of people, which it mostly has here. I’m certainly guilty of posting a non admissions related meme or two... :)

I also kind of see this issue as harmless at this point, becase while there has been some movement for schools, the majority usually make their decisions starting this coming week. 

 

I think we can do a few different things if people want to make a board specifically for results. 

1) create an admissions/rejections thread. I’ve seen this done in other boards (I think Lit has one if i’m not mistaken).

2) create a decisions thread a little early

Edited by DGrayson

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6 minutes ago, Manuscriptess said:

I’m really not trying to tear other people down. I agree that it is valuable to discuss personal life issues, but I get frustrated when I read through the thread, looking for advice about more nuts and bolts admissions issues, that’s all. I just think that type of conversation is being drowned out. 

And then there are those of us that get frustrated with this line of talk. People here UNDERSTAND all sides of it- the anxiety and planning and admissions and rejections and alternate plans. You may come from a family of people who have gone through the process or have friends that have, so they understand. Some of us have no one outside this forum that actually gets it. This thread saved me from many breakdowns the past few days. 

So, I would honestly suggest starting another impersonal thread where you just talk numbers and stats or maybe, just maybe, appreciate that there are real people on the other side of the keyboard. 

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2 hours ago, khigh said:

And then there are those of us that get frustrated with this line of talk. People here UNDERSTAND all sides of it- the anxiety and planning and admissions and rejections and alternate plans. You may come from a family of people who have gone through the process or have friends that have, so they understand. Some of us have no one outside this forum that actually gets it. This thread saved me from many breakdowns the past few days. 

So, I would honestly suggest starting another impersonal thread where you just talk numbers and stats or maybe, just maybe, appreciate that there are real people on the other side of the keyboard. 

Ouch. I’m also behind a keyboard.

I wasn’t attacking you personally, yet you’re insulting me. 

Edited by Manuscriptess

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15 minutes ago, DGrayson said:

I too see both sides. On the one hand, I come to this thread looking for information about moves from adcoms that hadn’t made its way over to the results board yet (Chicago for example). While on the other hand, having a place to vent and seek advice from others regarding what to do if not accepted is also very useful, as long as the advice is kept general enough to apply to a multitude of people, which it mostly has here. I’m certainly guilty of posting a non admissions related meme or two... :)

I also kind of see this issue as harmless at this point, becase while there has been some movement for schools, the majority usually make their decisions starting this coming week. 

 

I think we can do a few different things if people want to make a board specifically for results. 

1) create an admissions/rejections thread. I’ve seen this done in other boards (I think Lit has one if i’m not mistaken).

2) create a decisions thread a little early

Excellent idea. Starting one now

Edited by Manuscriptess

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Hi all, it seems this thread is beginning to come unraveled so I'd like to first put in a few words regarding its purpose.  I had hoped this thread could serve as a one-stop-shop for everything related to history admissions this year - be it results, reactions, concerns, questions, general commentary, etc.  I understand that some of y'all prefer to see posts strictly pertaining to history results and that's totally fine.  If starting a new thread where anything even remotely off topic is removed helps to avoid the vitriolic nature of last year's applicants thread, then such offshoots are a win for everyone.  Going forward, however, I'd like to make clear that this thread is for anything generally related to the subject of Fall 2018 Applications.  Applying to graduate school is an extremely stressful process and as @khigh said, many of us rely on these forums because we have no one else to turn to for subject guidance and support.  If it weren't for the history forum, I'd certainly be ignorant to a lot of topics that I honestly take for granted now.  Let's continue to support one another through the remainder of this application season and keep this thread a welcoming place. 

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Definitely agree that civility is good and support is good! I genuinely was not trying to censor or be ungracious or unkind, I was just looking to separate the concerns for personal and admissions matters. Sorry, all. 

40 minutes ago, glycoprotein1 said:

Hi all, it seems this thread is beginning to come unraveled so I'd like to first put in a few words regarding its purpose.  I had hoped this thread could serve as a one-stop-shop for everything related to history admissions this year - be it results, reactions, concerns, questions, general commentary, etc.  I understand that some of y'all prefer to see posts strictly pertaining to history results and that's totally fine.  If starting a new thread where anything even remotely off topic is removed helps to avoid the vitriolic nature of last year's applicants thread, then such offshoots are a win for everyone.  Going forward, however, I'd like to make clear that this thread is for anything generally related to the subject of Fall 2018 Applications.  Applying to graduate school is an extremely stressful process and as @khigh said, many of us rely on these forums because we have no one else to turn to for subject guidance and support.  If it weren't for the history forum, I'd certainly be ignorant to a lot of topics that I honestly take for granted now.  Let's continue to support one another through the remainder of this application season and keep this thread a welcoming place. 

 

Edited by Manuscriptess

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Thank you @glycoprotein1, I agree that starting a new thread is a good idea for people who want strictly results/adcom discussion. I also didn't mean to come off as strongly as I did by saying "policing" -- I think I just used the first word that came into my head without considering the implications. At any rate, I'm thankful for this thread because I don't come from anywhere near academia and sometimes I need a place to vent and/or just read others' experiences! 

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I was just about to take my nap before SB LII (kickoff half an hour after midnight in my neck of the woods) when I received a very cordial interview invitation from CUNY GC. It seems I'll have to rely on the ensuing adrenaline rush to keep me through the night. Considering that a waiting list has already been formed, am I to assume that my conversation with the Admissions Committee Chair and the POI will be the ultimate deciding factor? Has anyone following this thread ever been interviewed at/by CUNY GC? Working on my applications, I could not have imagined it would get so real... 

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4 hours ago, Professor Plum said:

 I like being a historian a lot, but there are a dozen other things I can easily envision myself doing now with a similar kind of satisfaction.

As someone in his first year, this really resonated with me. Looking back on my application process, I couldn't think of anything else I wanted to do either. Now, I can name at least two or three other things I could've gladly done.

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