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theootto


Mar 26, 2009, 2:28 PM

Post #976 of 2090 (15168 views)
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Re: [loaf] Utah [In reply to] Can't Post

Rock on, loaf! SLC is actually really cool! And surprisingly liberal.

I'm SO happy for you!

That is REALLY REALLY REALLY great!!!


germericanqt


Mar 26, 2009, 2:40 PM

Post #977 of 2090 (15161 views)
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Re: [theootto] Utah [In reply to] Can't Post

Yay loaf! :) SLC is actually a great place to live. There are good arts and music scenes here, some really beautiful areas to live/hike/camp/bike and obviously ski, some terrific local breweries (Squatters, Red Rock) that consistently win medals at GABF, and a LOT of liberals (SLC county voted for Obama). There's a farmer's market in the summer, local/organic produce etc. available year round, lots of local coffee/hangout options, Sundance Film Festival in January, a couple of free concert series in the summer (the Gallivan Concert Series brings in some great acts: Neko Case and the Mountain Goats among others last year), lots of local theaters, symphony, opera, and ballet, a vibrant GLBT scene, etc. etc.... I've actually come to love it here. It gets pretty cold in the winter and hot in the summer, but it's not too bad. I went to the U for my undergrad and loved it there. Pm me with any questions. :)


GDClark
George David Clark
e-mail user

Mar 26, 2009, 5:21 PM

Post #978 of 2090 (15112 views)
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Decision Time [In reply to] Can't Post

So I got my last letter this afternoon.

Accepted:
Texas Tech
USC
Houston

Waitlisted:
Ohio U
UGA
Tennessee

Rejected:
Missouri
FSU
Georgia State


How important are teaching options to you guys? Would you sacrifice a little money for a wider range of classes to choose from? One of the reasons I want the PhD is to qualify myself to teach lit classes in addition to the comp and creative writing, but I'm finding that a couple programs have their PhDs teaching comp and little else. Any thoughts?


potshot


Mar 26, 2009, 6:06 PM

Post #979 of 2090 (15086 views)
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Re: [GDClark] Decision Time [In reply to] Can't Post

GD - I'm not in a grad program but my girlfriend, and nearly all of my friends, are in an English Phd (not creative though) program. None of them have taught anything above the first-level comp classes and won't be able to teach anything other than these freshman classes while in the program.

This is especially true now that the recession has slashed graduate enrollment a lot of universities are pulling faculty back into heavy teaching loads, so tenured/tenure track faculty will be teaching everything above the comp 100 level.

By no means a snapshot of every program, but I think it's likely most grad students are used to teach the freshman comp and little else, mostly because faculty don't want to teach those classes.


kvandegraaf


Mar 26, 2009, 6:15 PM

Post #980 of 2090 (15079 views)
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Re: [GDClark] Decision Time [In reply to] Can't Post

I do have a few thoughts about this. I was able to teach both composition and introductory creative writing courses during my MFA, but additional teaching experience/diversity was a reason I applied to PhD programs. Personally, this was a pretty important factor in my decision. I really wanted the opportunity to teach creative writing and lit courses as well as composition, though comp/rhet is an interest of mine as well. I think this diversity in teaching experience is most helpful on the job market at smaller, student-centered universities and liberal arts colleges, where the emphasis is on teaching first and publication/research second. In larger, more research-focused places (or competitive MFA programs), I tend to think that publication matters more than teaching diversity in landing a job. Of course, the former category probably makes up the majority of possible job opportunities later on, so it shouldn't be dismissed lightly. Much of my thinking about the importance of teaching stems from a really wonderful opportunity I had as a graduate student to serve on a faculty search commitee. It really gave me a sense of what the conversations in those rooms sound like, even though it was a huge amount of extra work.

If you're concerned about the breadth of teaching opportunities, especially at a place that only offers you composition courses, I would inquire about the amount of freedom you have to design your own syllabus after the first year or so. There's a surprising amount of ways to teach a composition course effectively, and by writing some really interesting and varied comp syllabi, you could still potentially make a good case for being able to teach a number of courses when you're out on the market. There's a lot of ways to frame an introductory comp course, and if you're dying to teach certain kinds of texts, I'm sure you'd be able to work them into a syllabus at a place that gives you a bit of latitude.

Also, your own quality of living has to be a factor too. If you think the extra money is ultimately going to mean that you have a better experience, more time to write, more creative energy, then the decision is pretty easy. Of course, there's cost of living difference to take into account too. Congratulations on all your acceptances! I don't really think you can go wrong with any of your choices.


loaf

e-mail user

Mar 26, 2009, 7:17 PM

Post #981 of 2090 (15053 views)
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Re: [Tabby] FSU [In reply to] Can't Post

As for FSU, I know a lot of masters students stuck around or got offers maybe because they didn't get offers elsewhere? I don't know details, but I know a lot of my friends are staying, and I know the budget has been brutal on us all year. FSU is great, but, um, I'm glad to get the heck out.

I hear ya, Tabby, with the rupturing a spleen bit. My stomach's been hurting since Utah called...I'm visiting the first week in April, so hopefully that will help me make a decision. If anyone wants to offer info on Utah, please pm me!


LesK
Les
e-mail user

Mar 26, 2009, 8:28 PM

Post #982 of 2090 (15031 views)
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Re: [loaf] Utah [In reply to] Can't Post

loaf, congratulations!


Quote
Just got a call from Utah...they're accepting me off the waitlist!


Utah is an amazing program as I understand it. Also, SLC, though perhaps not ideal politically, is gorgeous. I imagine it's a fantastic opportunity, and funding rocks.


germericanqt


Mar 26, 2009, 10:56 PM

Post #983 of 2090 (14998 views)
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Re: [LesK] Utah [In reply to] Can't Post

Are you republican? Because SLC is pretty liberal. The entire county voted for Obama. It's a blue oasis in a red state.


indievirtue


Mar 26, 2009, 11:15 PM

Post #984 of 2090 (14982 views)
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Re: [GDClark] Decision Time [In reply to] Can't Post

When I was speaking with J Kastely, he informed me that Houston admits teach intro comp classes and at times lower division lit/survey courses in the English department. To my knowledge, he said nothing of mfa or phd candidates teaching workshops, and having browsed through the Houston course schedule, they seem to be taught just by the faculty. However, I do know several students in the program go on to teach workshops in the imprint brown reading series, which is in collaboration with the program. Coming from UVA, this is a probably a big change. Hope that helps.


LesK
Les
e-mail user

Mar 26, 2009, 11:33 PM

Post #985 of 2090 (14974 views)
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Re: [germericanqt] Utah [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Are you republican? Because SLC is pretty liberal. The entire county voted for Obama. It's a blue oasis in a red state.


Nope...not even remotely close to republican. Just ignorant of SLC.... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is headquartered there, right? So there must be a strong conservative influence....but perhaps I just assumed too much? Please elucidate further if you can for the sake of future applicants. What makes it surprisingly liberal as, I think, theootto mentioned?

Are there yet more reasons (aside from the quality of the school and funding) for loaf to be thrilled by that acceptance? And the possibility of moving to SLC?


germericanqt


Mar 27, 2009, 12:41 PM

Post #986 of 2090 (14905 views)
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Re: [LesK] Utah [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I sent her a loooong email detailing different reasons to be thrilled, but in answer to your question:

Yes, the LDS church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, however, the true Mormon stronghold is an hour south: Utah Valley. The Mormon majority in SLC has been in decline for years, and I think (though I'm having trouble finding statistics) that non-Mormons are now in the majority. In any case, when I meet someone new in SLC, I tend to assume that they're not Mormon, and I'm usually right. A lot of Mormons (including myself) tend to swing far left when they do leave "The Church" (as it's called here) so the liberals in SLC tend to be VERY liberal. And yes, a LOT of non-Mormons in SLC are actually ex-Mormons, which can admittedly get tiresome as well.

If you want to see Happy Valley, true Mormon country, head down past the point of the mountain (the imaginary barrier between the two worlds) and from the first billboard to the only bar (okay, maybe there are two) in Provo, you will be amazed by the insulated little world they've created for themselves.

The University of Utah has many roots in the LDS church, including several prophets who graduated there, but the school tends to be mildly anti-Mormon in my experience. Especially the English department. I can't tell you how many times I heard the tongue-in-cheek phrase "the dominant local culture" used with a wry smile.

If you check the breakdown by county, three countries voted for Obama in the 2008 elections: Salt Lake County, Summit County (Park City area), and Grand County (where Moab is). Basically, the metro area and the best recreational areas (thankfully) house non-Republican majorities.

People could argue that you can't escape the LDS Culture in SLC because it's just too omnipresent, and it's possible you will come up against some of its less pleasant aspects, but a non-Mormon can find a great many like-minded people, businesses, and activities in SLC.


jacksonbliss


Mar 29, 2009, 1:45 PM

Post #987 of 2090 (14810 views)
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Re: [GDClark] Decision Time [In reply to] Can't Post

GD Clark,

I don't think that's crazy at all. For MFA, I picked a 2-year program with the possibility of a third year instead of another 3-year program for a bunch of reasons, one of which was, the ability to teach something besides comp. And I loved teaching fiction, it gave me direct workshop/literature experience that lots of MFA and PhD grads don't have, and then I got my 3rd year anyway. So, I'm saying only that you should go where you're going to be happy (or where it seems most likely that you'll be happy, wherever that is). And if having more flexibility to teach something other than comp will affect your happiness, that's something to keep in mind. I have no idea what the funding situation is with those three programs. I've heard great things in general about Texas Tech and USC, and great things about Houston on the poetry side. Good luck, whatever you decide. If you do go to Texas Tech, however, one of my close friends is a Comp Lit. prof there. Let me know, I'll give him your email address if you're interested. He's a really cool guy. Peace, Blessings.


Tabby


e-mail user

Mar 29, 2009, 7:24 PM

Post #988 of 2090 (14746 views)
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Re: [GDClark] Decision Time [In reply to] Can't Post

Re: the chance to teach courses other than comp —

I don't know WHAT helps the job app other than cocaine and strippers (whoops, my nola is showing), although I have to believe variety in teaching experience would help. I know have seen apps that ask specifically for people with experience teaching creative writing.

And I'm sorry, but personal sanity matters. How much would I rather teach creative writing (or literature) than comp? We're talking five years here.

Bottom line though, I want to be at the program that will further my writing career more than my teaching career. If a program was exactly what I wanted writing wise except for the one snafu, that wouldn't be the deal breaker, even as it gave me [deep] pause.


http://www.kellykathleenferguson.com


chitown


Mar 31, 2009, 10:44 AM

Post #989 of 2090 (14640 views)
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Re: [Tabby] Congrats! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the info Tabby. I'm probably going to turn down the offer at UL though. Funding is pretty poor, only 5/K a year, and I just don't think I could live off of that.


LesK
Les
e-mail user

Mar 31, 2009, 11:20 AM

Post #990 of 2090 (14627 views)
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Re: [chitown] Congrats! [In reply to] Can't Post

chitown,

Wow.


Quote
Thanks for the info Tabby. I'm probably going to turn down the offer at UL though. Funding is pretty poor, only 5/K a year, and I just don't think I could live off of that.


I'm really, really sorry to hear that. 5/K a semester might be reasonable (though I think it should be more), but that's really pathetic....particularly for a PhD. What sort of teaching load would have accompanied that?


ellen362


Apr 1, 2009, 6:43 PM

Post #991 of 2090 (14514 views)
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Re: Denver [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Folks,

Has anyone heard from Denver? This was supposed to be the week they notified.

Ellen


jacksonbliss


Apr 1, 2009, 7:19 PM

Post #992 of 2090 (14500 views)
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USC [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in at USC for the PhD in Lit. and Creative Writing (fiction)! I'm so stoked. When I read the email today, I screamed, danced, hugged my girlfriend, and then I cried, in exactly that order. Best of luck to all of you guys. Peace, Blessings.


LesK
Les
e-mail user

Apr 1, 2009, 7:23 PM

Post #993 of 2090 (14496 views)
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Re: [jacksonbliss] USC [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I'm in at USC for the PhD in Lit. and Creative Writing (fiction)! I'm so stoked. When I read the email today, I screamed, danced, hugged my girlfriend, and then I cried, in exactly that order. Best of luck to all of you guys. Peace, Blessings.


Congrats!!! Savor it.


kvandegraaf


Apr 1, 2009, 7:46 PM

Post #994 of 2090 (14484 views)
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Re: [jacksonbliss] USC [In reply to] Can't Post

Yay! I know from poking around on the TSE how much you've been wanting USC, and that's really terrific news. Congratulations! I'm sure you'll love it there.


theootto


Apr 1, 2009, 8:34 PM

Post #995 of 2090 (14456 views)
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Re: [jacksonbliss] USC [In reply to] Can't Post

That is truly wonderful! I was actually stalking some of the blogs to see how it was going for you--when Mimi decided on TX, I knew goodness was coming your way! Hurrah! Congrats! I live in LA, so if you have a reading or something, post it! I'd love to go!


jacksonbliss


Apr 1, 2009, 9:04 PM

Post #996 of 2090 (14440 views)
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Re: [theootto] USC [In reply to] Can't Post

LesK + Kvandegraaf,

Thanks so much. I really really appreciate that. That's really kind of you guyz. I wish you all the best with your writing + your schools, wherever you are, or end up. Drop me a line sometime.

The Otto,

Thanks a lot man, that's hella cool of you. I'll def. drop you a line and let you know when I have a reading. For sure. I'm kinda scared of LA traffic but I'm sure I'll get used to it. My g/f and I are going to try and buy a hybrid if the monthly payment isn't outrageous. Anyway, my email for all of you if you ever want to drop by and say hi, or tell me about your programs/projects/frustrations is:

jacksonbliss2@gmail.com

Peace, Blessings, All


LesK
Les
e-mail user

Apr 1, 2009, 10:31 PM

Post #997 of 2090 (14401 views)
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Re: [jacksonbliss] USC [In reply to] Can't Post

jacksonbliss,

Again, congratulations, and do enjoy these moments; soon enough logistics.

About me? I applied to one school this year (long story): Cincinnati.

I got in. Very lucky. Sorry for not posting sooner; I'm vaguely fearful it might affect my ability to get a job in the interim (which I very much need).


jacksonbliss


Apr 2, 2009, 12:12 AM

Post #998 of 2090 (14370 views)
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Re: [LesK] USC [In reply to] Can't Post

Lesk, that's rad. Cincie is a great program, and the CR is a good journal. Are you stoked? It's crazy because today I'm enjoying it, but I just realized that classes at USC start in 4.5 months. . . and then I was like whuh? Anyway, this week, I'm going to keep reading the acceptance letter over and over again until it sinks in, and then soon, I'll figure out the logistics. My g/f is about to do a flurry of research on LA. Cinncinnati is really beautiful at night, by the way. . .


LesK
Les
e-mail user

Apr 2, 2009, 12:32 AM

Post #999 of 2090 (14361 views)
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Re: [jacksonbliss] USC [In reply to] Can't Post

Jacksonbliss,

First: I thought I was the only person who still used "rad"!

Next: yeah, I'm totally stoked. The poetry faculty is amazing. I should be able to teach comp + cw/lit. The program is relatively small, which I think will mean great community. It's something I've worked hard for, and now, I'm looking forward to working harder. Also, I'm really lucky: I don't have to move.

About USC: Good plan. Enjoy that letter. T.C. Boyle, Percival Everret, Aimee Bender. Crazy. And if you decide to take one poetry workshop....wow.


jacksonbliss


Apr 2, 2009, 1:04 AM

Post #1000 of 2090 (14343 views)
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Re: [LesK] USC [In reply to] Can't Post

Lesk,

The word rad is an institution, we're just employees Lesk. I'm telling you.

Yeah, I've been fantasizing about having workshop with the fiction crew there for months now, it makes my head dizzy. It really does. If they'll let me, I'll def. take a workshop with Mark Irwin or David St. John too. And that's, well. . .you know, "r**" that you get to teach comp + c/w. That's going to be a lot of fun. I taught fiction at my MFA and I loved it. Comp, on the other hand, is going to be a loud, dirty uncle: I basically accept him, but I don't know how to deal with him, and truthfully, I wish I could avoid him but I can't. Congrats, and celebrate your acceptance. 1/1 means you're a 100%, and for PhD programs, that's pretty much insane. Peace, Blessings.

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