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shoe1234


Mar 2, 2008, 9:15 PM

Post #401 of 2090 (19028 views)
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Re: [josray] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

Impossible to really know at this point, but how many people are applying this year for a PhD in creative writing, and how many slots are actually available? What percentage of us, in other words, will be accepted?


spamela


Mar 2, 2008, 10:06 PM

Post #402 of 2090 (19006 views)
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Re: [boody01] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

PhD programs are nice because they're funded and tuition is waived. I can't imagine that you are "too old" for a PhD. People get PhDs in all stages of life. I know some MFA programs tend to skew young. I went to one that skewed old (even though I was a youngster at the time) and so I understand your trepidation. I loved studying with adults who all had lived their lives for awhile. The idea of an MFA where everyone is in their early or mid 20s turns me off now--no offense to any of the younger students here.

I know at Utah, the age range is mid twenties to mid forties. But really, these programs are so small that I imagine it's probably difficult to self segregate by age. Besides, I would assume nobody really cares how old or young you are, since you have more in common with each other (i.e. your career path, writing, desire to teach, etc.) than with most people your own age who you might randomly meet, right?


gcsumfa


Mar 3, 2008, 2:36 AM

Post #403 of 2090 (18955 views)
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Re: [bktv] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think Stephanie is accurate with the "quite a few" students being 5-7 per genre, or 10-14 total per entering class. Most PhD programs admit 1-3 per genre, or 2-6 per entering class. That's easily less than most MFA programs. However, I would still say that many MFA programs receive more applications than PhD programs, but then most PhD applicants are more qualified/experienced.


Yep. You pretty much nailed it.

Which is why I'm already planning my list for next year. This is tough sledding, and I've just decided to remain even-keeled about the whole process. The acceptance rates are just ridiculously lowÖlast year, Ohio accepted 2 people per genre. Fiction had around 80 applicants. Whatís that, a 2% acceptance rate amongst very stiff competition?

Iíve just realized that itís pointless to work myself up over this whole process any longer, and that the best thing to do is to keep writing and keep applying until someone offers me or I finally get in off a waitlist.

Best of luck to everyone this week.


(This post was edited by gcsumfa on Mar 3, 2008, 2:39 AM)


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 3, 2008, 10:39 AM

Post #404 of 2090 (18919 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Fiction had around 80 applicants. Whatís that, a 2% acceptance rate amongst very stiff competition?

Iíve just realized that itís pointless to work myself up over this whole process any longer, and that the best thing to do is to keep writing and keep applying until someone offers me or I finally get in off a waitlist.



What a lot of people don't realize is that the 2% acceptance rate--and the very stiff, crazy competition for spots that this seems to breed--is one of the most hellish statistics out there. There are so many people who have said to me from day 1 things like:

"Well your GREs sucked, so you're still going to apply? I mean, really?"
"Well you went to Harvard, so you're smart, so you should get into a program."
"You've been teaching for like 6 years now, so of course you'd get into a program. And I know you spend a lot of time on your writing..."

It has been so hard to try to explain to people the so many different ways of looking at one's writing, of evaluating whether it's good, it's solid, it's interesting, it's accomplished, *and* it provides opportunities for guidance and mentorship. It has been so hard to explain to people how lucky I would be to get into 1 program, if any, and how my enthusiasm over programs has absolutely nothing to do with any of the handful of ranking systems that are out there, how Missouri (ranked--I don't even know) is so much better a place for me and the direction I am headed than FSU (ranked #1 on Atlantic Monthly, if I am correct...), how I had been so worried over my GRE scores being the thing that trumped my application as equally as I thought that maybe programs would overlook my GREs--my one achilles heel--if they were enthusiastic enough about my writing, my personal statement, and the promise of intelligence and capability that my recommenders wove into their letters.

It's a strange mix of things. I think it's a bit hard for many of my friends to get that I feel, on the one hand, like I totally earned my one admissions offer and, on the other hand, like I am the luckiest little shit alive to even get one admissions offer. This is, well, except for my friend who is a budding composer and who has applied for doctoral programs in music & composition--the mix of achievement and subjectivity and the super-crazy-slim-odds apply for her and for music. It's like the same thing, except that her applications wind up costing more money than mine do.

One of my recommenders, Lucie, who is one of my mentors and one of the best teachers I have ever had, said it this way (I am paraphrasing here): if you're a good writer--a really good writer--and if the work in your application manuscript shows that accomplishment and promise--then you should have your application included in that really small, whittled-down group of final possibilities. Once the faculty has that group--maybe about 15 or so applicants--formed, then it's almost like drawing names out of a hat. Of those 15 people who the poets (orfiction writers, or CNF writers...) really like, any combination of 2, or 4, or whatever other small number, could work for them really well. And at that point, even the rest of your application might not matter too much. That's when it really becomes luck of the draw. And that's beyond anyone's guess.

GCSUMFA, I really dig on the distance you have from all of this--the "whatever, I'll just keep on writing" attitude. That's the most important thing. :)

My fingers are totally crossed for everyone this week!!!


gcsumfa


Mar 3, 2008, 1:16 PM

Post #405 of 2090 (18881 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

Good post, Steph, and thanks for the well wishes!

You make a lot of good points, particularly your points about the subjectiveness of this whole process. This is really difficult to explain to family members and friends, most of whom think that PhD admissions are like admissions to undergrad. I have a hard time explaining to them, for instance, that I am more than qualified for admission to Ohio University, but that I will still--most likely--be rejected. LOL.


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 3, 2008, 1:41 PM

Post #406 of 2090 (18863 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

That whole thing--a place like OU being your best fit and a place that will likely reject you--is not something that people applying for a PhD in, say, history or Russian Studies or PoliSci or whatever other field can necessarily say. So many other doctoral fields have more of an objective and predictable process of eliminating applicants. but with creative writing, it's not like that. A certain GRE score, a certain GPA, 3 "five star, two thumbs up" recommendation letters, a critical writing sample that incorporates XYZ research methodologies (that faculty in ABC program might like) or considers LMNOP approaches to/responses to/controversies regarding (insert subject matter here)--yeah, all of that is lost on the creative writing doctoral application readers. It's the most fickle and unpredictable thing. Sometimes it can be a "dude, I don't CARE how illiterate she seems from her GRE scores, her stories are so rad and I want her" sort of thing, and other times the EXACT SAME FACULTY MEMBERS can have a "yeah, those poems are killer, but homegirl can't even write a sentence. I mean look at that crit writing sample! Now look at homeboy's poems over there...those are just as rad, and look at his critical writing sample. He writes about how awesome comic books are and he makes me believe him! And he sounds like he can hang with the lit kids!"

It's so fickle. It's so unpredictable. It's so moody.

(and for the record one of my areas of literary interest is comic books and graphic novels. I mean--poetics of translation, immigrant literature, Greek American narratives, and ethnic identity and neighborhood formation, but also comic books. I find them fascinating.)


gcsumfa


Mar 3, 2008, 6:47 PM

Post #407 of 2090 (18794 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


It's so fickle. It's so unpredictable. It's so moody.


Definitely,

Then again, we might as well get used to it, because the job market in our field is just as fickle, if not more.


medusashair


Mar 3, 2008, 7:07 PM

Post #408 of 2090 (18778 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

To y'all waiting on your apps, I've been checking out the requirements for this degree-- AND the loooooong short lists.

My God: I'm doing an MFA right now, and I could NEVER even apply for the PhD! How did you do it? The subject GRE's, the language req's.... Props to ALL of you, I mean it... I could never do it.

Hopping off to find another Plan A. ;)


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 3, 2008, 11:14 PM

Post #409 of 2090 (18696 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

You're totally right. It's like even the APPLICATIONS are a training ground for the professional world.

Freaking insane.

To all of the people in my life who have said that I have 'arrived' and that I have figured it out and that I'm all set, I just laugh. Not mean-spiritedly, but with this understanding of all that they do not know--the hell of adjuncting, the struggle for publication, the hours and hours and hours of looking at my poems so much that I start to question myself and second-guess my editing decisions (and I also start to see things, but that's another thing...crazy mirages and shit like that...).

The worst response I think I have ever gotten when I have actually decided to try to explain the life path that this is was some cross between "well let's hope that you marry rich...hey, are you dating anyone these days?" and "well it's a good thing you've had so many other jobs and you have so many good administrative skills to fall back on."

THAT is when I feel like puking and crying and pulling fists full of hair from people's heads. But let's not go there. That's an entirely different story all together...


spamela


Mar 4, 2008, 9:52 AM

Post #410 of 2090 (18650 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

Heh, I feel you, but I have to say: I will take the competition and bureaucracy of academia over an "Office Life" existence any day. Just the idea of not having to sit in front of a computer for nine straight hours has my heart aflutter.


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 4, 2008, 10:11 AM

Post #411 of 2090 (18645 views)
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Re: [spamela] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, Spamela, me too! Me too! I was just trying to imply (perhaps I was nowhere near successful) that no matter what it is you do, problems and worries will always pop up. There are politics and roadblocks and challenges no matter what path you take--academia, office job, garbage picket, window washer, seamstress, door to door salesman, whatever.

And as for taking academia over office work and feeling the sheer and utter hell of Cubicle Land--I am right there with you, sister. I seriously spent this morning's commute to my godforsaken Cubicle Land wondering if I would be OK if I suddenly got fired and had to live in Boston, and on unemployment, until I left for Missouri this summer. I *really* hate my job, and now that I know that this stupid job--which I took when I got on the raw end of the adjunct deal about a year ago and which I have cultivated as a 'back up plan' should I not have gotten an acceptance this year (and would have to grit my teeth to bear even for a small while)--is something I am going to be able to toss, my patience for the tedium and stupidity of each day is decreasing. Rapidly.


spamela


Mar 4, 2008, 11:34 AM

Post #412 of 2090 (18621 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh commuting in Boston--don't get me started about the T (I went to Wellesley and lived in town summers and a stint after graduation, eons ago). I was on the green line--always late, always stuffed, always sweltering. And what's with the fare hikes? Every time I go back to visit it's more expensive.

Yeah, I have basically checked out at my job. My quit date isn't until July but I"m already coming in late and leaving early every day. Getting fired and living on unemployment sounds fabulous, but I'm trying to be good and stick with it so I can save money. Something that will be in short supply next year.

Sorry for your adjuncting problems. God adjuncting...I'm from a union family (nurse and electrician), so the sorry state of adjunct work boggles my mind. But that is a topic for a different threat completely ;)


gcsumfa


Mar 4, 2008, 7:34 PM

Post #413 of 2090 (18559 views)
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Re: [spamela] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone heard anything?

I'm surprised it's been this quiet on the PhD front the last two days. Ugh. This is driving me insane.


shoe1234


Mar 4, 2008, 8:18 PM

Post #414 of 2090 (18544 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

Did anyone else apply to University of North Texas, or am I the only one?


LesK
Les
e-mail user

Mar 4, 2008, 8:27 PM

Post #415 of 2090 (18537 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
I'm surprised it's been this quiet on the PhD front the last two days. Ugh. This is driving me insane.


Nope. I've not heard anything either. And frankly, I'm a bit surprised not to have heard from Missouri yet. It's March 4, right?


bktv


Mar 4, 2008, 8:28 PM

Post #416 of 2090 (18537 views)
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Re: [shoe1234] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

North Texas is on my list for next year, if it comes to that. I thought for sure that I would have heard from Mizzou, Georgia, and possibly Tennessee and Georgia State by now. All of them have reported acceptances. Just get it over with!


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 4, 2008, 8:38 PM

Post #417 of 2090 (18527 views)
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Re: [bktv] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

Utah is also in that list of 'delinquent' schools when it comes to notifying those who have not been accepted yet. The track admissions website taunts me with 'out to graduate department' status, and the department chair has not returned my e-mail inquiring over the result of my application.

I'm also wondering about FSU--if they will notify this week, since it was around this time last year that they notified admittees.


shoe1234


Mar 4, 2008, 8:45 PM

Post #418 of 2090 (18523 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

What about Nebraska? Anyone apply? There's something about that program I like. I've heard the admissions committee is meeting this Friday and that some applicants will be notified through email and others via post. I have a feeling the email is the more favorable of the two. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge.


gcsumfa


Mar 4, 2008, 9:03 PM

Post #419 of 2090 (18508 views)
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Re: [shoe1234] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
What about Nebraska? Anyone apply? There's something about that program I like. I've heard the admissions committee is meeting this Friday and that some applicants will be notified through email and others via post. I have a feeling the email is the more favorable of the two. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge.


I applied to Nebraska, and I absolutely love that program and department (based on my pre-application research). UNL is actually in my top 2. The department seems very innovative and progressive, and I've heard good things about the faculty. For instance, you can fulfill part of the language req's through a collateral field, several cool interdisciplinary concentrations/certificates are offered, and NO GRE's--not even the general GRE. From their website:

NEW Graduate Record Exam Policy:
The Graduate Faculty in the Department of English no longer requires GRE scores for application to the MA or PhD degree programs. Applicants may choose to include GRE scores with their applications, but no penalty will accrue to applicants who choose not to do so. We have come to this decision based on a number of considerations. In particular, we note that the GRE does not assess the critical, analytical, and imaginative competencies we value in our program; the GRE is not a reliable predictor of an applicant's ability to succeed in our program or in graduate study generally; the GRE is expensive; the GRE is coachable (ETS sells its own test preparation materials); and perhaps most importantly, there is considerable evidence that the GRE may be subject to race, gender, and economic bias and therefore limits access to graduate study for women, people of color, and people from poor and working-class backgrounds. In making this decision, we join Harvard Divinity School, Brown University Division of Engineering, UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, the UCLA MA and MFA programs in the School of Theatre, Film, and Television, and other progressive programs across the nation.

Link: http://english.unl.edu/grad/admission.html

How refreshing is THAT?

I also saw some survey not too long ago that ranked Nebraska as one of the ten best academic climates to work in in the country. I've also heard good things about Lincoln; there are a lot of stereotypes about Nebraska, but Lincoln is supposedly a nice little city, and Omaha is only 30 miles away; I've heard a lot of good things about Omaha too. Kansas City isn't that far away.

Can you all tell that I really really really really like UNL?

Nebraska, if you're reading this, please admit me:-)


(This post was edited by gcsumfa on Mar 4, 2008, 9:13 PM)


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 4, 2008, 9:16 PM

Post #420 of 2090 (18495 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a friend who lives in Lincoln. She's lived there--gosh, I don't know, a very long time. She loves it. Takes her kids to Huskers games, has found a good number of thrift stores in the area, is part of a belly dancing troupe, frequents a dollar movie theater, etc.

Aside from the cold (!!!!!!), it sounds like a really awesome little town to be in...


chitown


Mar 4, 2008, 10:10 PM

Post #421 of 2090 (18465 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Georgia [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't heard a thing lately, although I'm only waiting on FSU and Binghamton at this point. The secretary at Tennessee did tell me that second round offers were going out Monday (yesterday), so if you didn't get a phone call, it means you're out. I'm out.

I'm making my list for next year, although I'm considering applying to comp/rhet programs.


cantonioni


Mar 4, 2008, 11:35 PM

Post #422 of 2090 (18417 views)
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cantonioni


Mar 4, 2008, 11:41 PM

Post #423 of 2090 (18413 views)
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stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 5, 2008, 1:53 PM

Post #424 of 2090 (18341 views)
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FSU [In reply to] Can't Post

from the "I'm In" boards:

Got my rejection from FSU today in fiction.

If you don't get a letter sometime in the next few it means you've been short-listed. The grad advisor told me they have 65 on their short list for fiction.

...now I wonder if this holds true for the PhD folks as well or if that's a different process? I will be looking in my mail over the next few days, regardless...


pedro


Mar 5, 2008, 4:16 PM

Post #425 of 2090 (18292 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] FSU [In reply to] Can't Post

65 on the "short list?" that's insane--

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