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v1ctorya


Sep 20, 2006, 10:52 AM

Post #126 of 1175 (8715 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

Aubrie -

I'm curious as to which New School course you're taking. I was in one this semester, but it didn't feel right for me (too disorganized) so I left for another workshop elsewhere. Just curious as to how your experience is there, and who the instructor is.

And no worries, I am applying to no NYC schools, no money there :)


Lglabor


Sep 20, 2006, 12:09 PM

Post #127 of 1175 (8705 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm applying to NYU, Brooklyn College, City College, Queens College (new program starting next year), and perhaps Rutgers-Newark (also new program starting next year) if it's cheap. I live and work full-time in NYC, have no money and can't take out any loans. So the CUNY schools, and perhaps Rutgers, are the only almost-affordable options, which is cool since they're all good programs. NYU rejected me a few years ago and they get about 1000 applicants for about 10-15 spots so it's an extremely long shot--but I work at NYU and would get free tuition so I have to give it a try. If all else (mostly meaning money, but also convenience, time on the trains, etc.) were equal, though, my first choice would be Brooklyn. Great faculty (Michael Cunningham, Sapphire and others) and I've heard great things about the program. The new Queens program looks good to me too, with a strong faculty: poets Kimiko Hahn and Nicole Cooley, and novelists John Weir and Jeffrey Allen. Rutgers has Tayari Jones and Jayne Ann Phillips, both wonderful writers. Brooklyn, Queens and Rutgers are extremely appealing to me also because the student body is more diverse and more working-class than at the expensive schools. From this same viewpoint, if I were younger and less tied-down and could apply anywhere in the country, I think my number-one choice would be Indiana.

Prep: I'm almost done polishing a story that I've had very good feedback on. About to write statement of purpose. GRE scores in. (And they crack me up. About as low as they can be in math, and 99th percentile in verbal. Seems about what an MFA program should want. Sort of a babbling dunce.) Recommenders lined up. Undergrad transcripts in. So that's it.


Aubrie


Sep 20, 2006, 2:06 PM

Post #128 of 1175 (8681 views)
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Re: [v1ctorya] Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi v1c,
I'm taking Advanced Fiction: Elements of Craft with Karen McKinnon. So far, so good. It's strictly workshopping, so the craft elements comes in while we are discussing other people's work. It's really beneficial to have your work looked at so closely (each story gets about an hour of critique) but I'm used to examining established writer's work to learn craft. So it's a little different than I expected. Karen seems to be a great teacher - she reads each student's work VERY closely - I was pleasantly surprised by all the feedback she's been providing. All in all, I'm pretty pleased, but tonight's only my 3rd class, so we'll see. Maybe when my story goes up and gets slaughtered, I'll feel differently. :)~
I do like being in the class and polishing work before applications, and the constant discussion of writing keeps me in the right mindset.


v1ctorya


Sep 20, 2006, 4:34 PM

Post #129 of 1175 (8660 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

I knew you'd say that! it's the class I didn't like, although I liked Karen a lot I felt the author was too much 'on attack' by the other student's, so I switched to another workshop where the instructor really focuses on the students asking what in the story isn't working, not if the author 'meant it' to work or not. Also, which I LOVE, they critique people's critiquing, you have to do a written critique for each story, and these are read and the instructor guides you in how to more effectively critique, the idea being 1. you gotta do that to your own work and 2. you gotta do that in MFA programs, critique others effectively. Much more my style in prepping for the MFA's. Although I am interested in seeing your perception as it goes forward. I do still have the e-mail list somewhere. .. .(nov 1st, can you really wait that long????) Mind if I e-mail you off of here?

In terms of more on-topic, I've got my database going with the school information and am running off reccomendation letter waiver forms (for those needed) and have two people lined up, jthird soon will be. I just have to drop it off and then pick it up later, and I'm picking them ALL up. Those that need to be mailed separately I'll pop in the mailbox, others go with the application. This way I know for sure what's what. I'm picking up a few transcripts (it sucks because I've got three schools) Took the GRE a few years ago, one draft of a manuscript that was workshopped, then completely deconstructed and is being reformed in a much better image and one that goes before my workshop group Monday.

All in all, I'm stressed and have that fear that 'what if none do' so really narrowing the list and applying to a select few, and if I don't get in will do the same next year.


Aubrie


Sep 20, 2006, 5:00 PM

Post #130 of 1175 (8657 views)
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Re: [v1ctorya] Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

Ha! Definitely email me or PM me here. I'm trying to match the name to a face, but I'm really, really bad at remembering names and faces.... So you were in last week's class?


Glinda Bamboo


Sep 27, 2006, 12:51 PM

Post #131 of 1175 (8554 views)
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Re: Cornell [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone else applying to Cornell and wondering about the application process? They use an online application, but unless I'm missing something, they don't explain where to mail the writing sample, personal statement, etc. I assume I should just send it to the English department, and I will email them and ask....or am I just a bonehead who missed that info on their website?


Glinda Bamboo


Sep 27, 2006, 12:58 PM

Post #132 of 1175 (8551 views)
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Re: Letter of Recommendation [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's a silly and nitpicky question: When some schools give the option of submitting electronic letters of recommendation, do you go that route?

For me, since I'm applying to so many schools, I figure it's just easier to give my recommenders all the paper info so they can do each letter the same way, instead of having to log on and create accounts for just a few specific schools. I guess I like the thought of paper versions better, anyway, and this way the letters come to me in the mail and I can put them in with my other materials.

Just curious what everyone else does. Thanks. :)


trinmeg


Sep 27, 2006, 1:21 PM

Post #133 of 1175 (8544 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Cornell [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, The website says to send the following "supporting materials" to the English Dept:
    • statement of purpose
    • three letters of recommendation
    • one transcript from each college or university attended
    • GRE general test scores
    • writing sample (see below)

and you send them to the following address:
Graduate Application
Department of English
250
Goldwin Smith
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-3201


But, for the record, I e-mailed the English department a couple of weeks ago with another question and they were very nice and helpful.


trinmeg


Sep 27, 2006, 1:23 PM

Post #134 of 1175 (8543 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Letter of Recommendation [In reply to] Can't Post

I just sent all of my recommenders the paper materials... wanted to keep things as simple and consistent as possible.


bighark


Sep 27, 2006, 1:23 PM

Post #135 of 1175 (8542 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Letter of Recommendation [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Glinda,

Different programs require different LOR submission methods. There are three possible variables:

1. Electronic
2. You send all LORs with your application
3. Your recommenders must send LORs to program directly

Now if you're allowed to send your letters with your application material, I can absolutely understand why you'd want to go the paper route. It's nice having all your material in-hand and knowing that the application is complete.

If your recommenders must submit their letters directly to the program, however, you will want to encourage them to use the electronic submission format so you can see when, exactly, they have submitted their letters.

Another thing to think about: Electronic applications are becoming the norm. If your LORs are coming from former professors, they'll be more than familiar with the process.

Good luck


Aubrie


Sep 27, 2006, 1:24 PM

Post #136 of 1175 (8542 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Letter of Recommendation [In reply to] Can't Post

The apps I have that offer online recs I've used. My recommenders seem to think they're easier - I think they just get to copy and paste their letter - and you basically do most of the registration for them.

I like the idea of paper recs, too, but then I have to remind myself that the letters are opened as pdfs, and printed out. So in the end, they'll look exactly the same as if they'd been mailed in. Unless your recommenders are handwriting the letters (!?!?).

I emailed my recommenders and asked them which one they preferred - it's probably the best way to go about it.


Glinda Bamboo


Sep 27, 2006, 2:05 PM

Post #137 of 1175 (8538 views)
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Re: [trinmeg] Cornell [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi trinmeg,

Yes, thank you. I'm a moron. I went to Cornell's site again before coming here and saw the address listed there plain as day. At least it's only September and I have a few months left to pull myself together. :) (And that will hopefully include not using phrases like "plain as day" in my writing.)

I suppose I will give my recommenders the option of submitting online if they want...I just figured that since they have to print the letter for other programs, it would be easier to stay consistent.

Thanks, everyone. I look forward to spending a few months obsessing over my applications here in this forum.


HopperFu


Sep 27, 2006, 4:16 PM

Post #138 of 1175 (8520 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Cornell [In reply to] Can't Post

I had my recommenders do it online when possible - the reason for this is that you can actually confirm that your recommendation is in.
I don't think it hurts to ask them which they prefer, however.


GDClark
George David Clark
e-mail user

Sep 27, 2006, 9:32 PM

Post #139 of 1175 (8489 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Letter of Recommendation [In reply to] Can't Post

Glinda,

If you go with the online recommendations not only will you be able to see when the recs are in, but some schools will automatically remind your recommenders for you when it starts getting close to deadline time. Saves you that uncomfortable phone call to remind them they agreed to help you out.

Good luck.


SweetJane


e-mail user

Sep 28, 2006, 2:34 PM

Post #140 of 1175 (8448 views)
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I'm an idiot [In reply to] Can't Post

I think I screwed up several of the online applications that I already submitted. Before I was an undergrad, I went to two different community colleges and took a total of four classes at them. Two were taken as part of an honors' program when I was in the eighth grade, and two were classes taken as a non-matriculated student just after high school graduation when I was working full-time. Although the credits eventually transferred to my ugrad, it was as free-electives; they didn't count for anything. Anyway, somehow I just completely failed to mention attending those schools on the five applications I've filled out so far. I can't imagine how it even slipped my mind, but when I was filling out Iowa's app, I saw the big, screaming, bold print that tells you to "INCLUDE ALL POST SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS ATTENDED" and realized my mistake. I can still forward the transcripts, and I'm trying to contact the schools to officially correct it (a very nice woman with a thick southern accent at UVA told me not to worry about it at all), but I can't help but feel like I've totally futzed everything up, and won't be able to get into any of them now.

Anyone else totally overwhelmed and stressed by all of this--the paperwork, the fees, the forms, everything?


SJ

"Oh, all the poets they studied rules of verse
and those ladies, they rolled their eyes"


muttonfish


Sep 28, 2006, 2:43 PM

Post #141 of 1175 (8444 views)
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dilatory [In reply to] Can't Post

Applying earlier or later, does it make a difference? Most applications are due around mid-January. If I apply in December do I suffer any less change of being accepted as opposed to applying now. Thanks


(This post was edited by muttonfish on Sep 28, 2006, 2:45 PM)


Aubrie


Sep 28, 2006, 2:50 PM

Post #142 of 1175 (8439 views)
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Re: [SweetJane] I'm an idiot [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Sweetjane - I did the same thing when I was in 8th grade, and certainly never thought about getting transcripts from it. ????
Also - I took an evolutionary anthropology class at NYU during undergrad, but that class shows up on my undergrad transcripts - I didn't think that I would have to ask NYU to send a separate transcript. I don't know - I can't imagine these little things would affect any major decisions. If any school was really concerned about not having records like these - but they were impressed by your manuscript - I'd imagine they'd just ask you to provide them. Maybe I'm being too lackadaisical about it, but I'd be a bigger nervous wreck than I already am if I stressed about all the little things. Because like you said - the forms and fees and paperwork are already starting to keep me up at night.


Aubrie


Sep 28, 2006, 2:57 PM

Post #143 of 1175 (8432 views)
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Re: [muttonfish] dilatory [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Muttonfish - my understanding is that most schools begin reading apps. shortly after the deadline - not right when they're received - so regardless of when you get yours in, you'll be in the same pile as the early and late people. The only exception would be those programs that have rolling-type admissions (Alabama offhand?) that read your work once it arrives, and contact you shortly afterwards.


SweetJane


e-mail user

Sep 28, 2006, 2:59 PM

Post #144 of 1175 (8431 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] I'm an idiot [In reply to] Can't Post

Aubrie,

I originally felt the same way you did--after all, while the letter grades didn't transfer to my undergraduate transcript (incidentally, all As), it shows that they were passing grades. But this is the text from the Iowa application that put the fear of God in me:

" List chronologically all post-secondary institutions you have attended or in which you are presently enrolled. Omission or misrepresentation of information concerning enrollment in other colleges or universities is sufficient grounds for canceling one's admission or registration. Submit to the Office of Admissions an official academic record/transcript from each institution attended and submit a second set of official academic records/transcripts to your department."

What's worse, this is going to triple the cost to forward my transcripts.



In Reply To
Hey Sweetjane - I did the same thing when I was in 8th grade, and certainly never thought about getting transcripts from it. ????
Also - I took an evolutionary anthropology class at NYU during undergrad, but that class shows up on my undergrad transcripts - I didn't think that I would have to ask NYU to send a separate transcript. I don't know - I can't imagine these little things would affect any major decisions. If any school was really concerned about not having records like these - but they were impressed by your manuscript - I'd imagine they'd just ask you to provide them. Maybe I'm being too lackadaisical about it, but I'd be a bigger nervous wreck than I already am if I stressed about all the little things. Because like you said - the forms and fees and paperwork are already starting to keep me up at night.



SJ

"Oh, all the poets they studied rules of verse
and those ladies, they rolled their eyes"


GDClark
George David Clark
e-mail user

Sep 28, 2006, 3:00 PM

Post #145 of 1175 (8430 views)
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Re: [muttonfish] dilatory [In reply to] Can't Post

You won't be putting yourself at any disadvantage by finalizing your application earlier, and you might save yourself the grief of realizing a couple weeks after the deadline that you left something out.


HopperFu


Sep 28, 2006, 3:13 PM

Post #146 of 1175 (8427 views)
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Re: [muttonfish] dilatory [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Applying earlier or later, does it make a difference?

I think Arkansas has a sort of rolling admissions, but other than that, as far as I know, as long as you make the deadline it won't affect your application status.
That being said, I would strongly suggest you try to beat the deadlines by a couple of weeks for two reasons:
1) It will give you the luxury of a cushion and a few days to digest everything, to maybe reconsider that decision to print your story on pink unicorn paper, or to submit your statement of purpose in sanskrit
2) It means that if something gets fucked up - a rec doesn't get in, a story doesn't work out the way you want, your application gets lost in the mail, your computer crashes - you can fix it.

But, of course, the most important thing is to simply give the best application you can (which sometimes means you should send it in early so you don't overwork stuff).


Aubrie


Sep 28, 2006, 3:14 PM

Post #147 of 1175 (8427 views)
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Re: [SweetJane] I'm an idiot [In reply to] Can't Post

Gah. I hate this whole process.


renapoo


Sep 28, 2006, 3:48 PM

Post #148 of 1175 (8422 views)
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Re: [SweetJane] I'm an idiot [In reply to] Can't Post

SweetJane-- I too freaked out when I saw this. But I've since relaxed and decided not to bother with it (I took classes at my local college while in highschool, and have taken classes through Harvard and UCLA extension). The transcripts for this classes are really irrelevant, and the cost of requesting 5 transcripts for the eleven programs I'm applying to is outrageous. If you're really worried, why not call or e-mail the admissions coordinator and ask about it? Then you can report back to the P&W board and make us all feel better...or make us all very unhappy, depending.


SweetJane


e-mail user

Sep 28, 2006, 3:59 PM

Post #149 of 1175 (8658 views)
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Re: [renapoo] I'm an idiot [In reply to] Can't Post

Further investigation has turned up the following:

University of Virginia specified that I should forward all transcripts.
University of New Hampshire only wants transcripts for schools attended for a year or longer.
University of Florida graduate admissions office will not answer their phone!
University of Wisconsin has a really useful feature on their website--an e-mail address where you can contact them about mistakes or changes on your application.

I'll let you guys know what I figure out about University of Washington (Seattle), University of Montana, and University of Oregon.

It's nice to know that other people are in the same boat as me, at least. I do think, though, that demanding official transcripts for single courses attended at an institution is pretty gross, and a needless drain on our wallets.


In Reply To
SweetJane-- I too freaked out when I saw this. But I've since relaxed and decided not to bother with it (I took classes at my local college while in highschool, and have taken classes through Harvard and UCLA extension). The transcripts for this classes are really irrelevant, and the cost of requesting 5 transcripts for the eleven programs I'm applying to is outrageous. If you're really worried, why not call or e-mail the admissions coordinator and ask about it? Then you can report back to the P&W board and make us all feel better...or make us all very unhappy, depending.



SJ

"Oh, all the poets they studied rules of verse
and those ladies, they rolled their eyes"


Glinda Bamboo


Sep 28, 2006, 6:58 PM

Post #150 of 1175 (8641 views)
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Re: sealed envelopes [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, man, you guys are going to love this question. It's going to make you want to kick me off the forum. If any MFA profs are for some reason reading this, they are going to pray my real name is actually "Glinda Bamboo" so when I apply they can reject my application ASAP on the grounds that I am an obsessive compulsive nutjob. I call this type of question the "Glinda is avoiding the real issue of perfecting her writing sample and is instead freaking out over the stupidest, smallest details possible."

So you know how your letters of recommendations have to be sealed, with the recommender's signature across the seal? I thought that meant we had to supply an actual sticker/seal to seal the envelope, and then they sign over that. I just returned from three stationery-esque stores, and none sold plain seals for envelopes. Then I started to think that maybe they just need to, you know, lick the envelope and sign across the flap. I was going to give each recommender seals, but maybe that is unnecessary. And maybe college profs have their own college seals or something, but one of my recommenders is not a professor so I wanted to be sure.

Any thoughts? Feel free to respond to either the seal question or the fact that I need to get writing and stop worrying about little round sticky things. Thanks.

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