Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Stomach Gone Twisty

Ok. Hold on, this may take a bit.

I didn't want to talk directly about this before I knew more, but I did mention I got to talk to two of my potential PhD advisors at the Conference of Doom last weekend. One was from a school I did get in and one was from a school I got waitlisted for. Here's the breakdown:

Old School School (OSS?):
  • I would have to reread a lot of pre-PhD classes - would probably add 2 years on to the PhD trail
  • Very strict - don't graduate until you get it place. 10 years? no problem.
  • Funding very tight
  • Up and coming department in a very well-respected university
  • Really good sub-field of Gruub studies folks to work with
  • My subfield of Gruub studies is solid there, but in the process of building (up and coming, don't you know)
  • Advisor is good, youngish and also up and coming
  • Gorgeous location
Famous Urban Uni (FUU?):
  • My MA would be very well received there so I could go straight into the PhD
  • timetable oriented. They want you on track and headed toward graduation. This is good and bad, really. I'm an older grad for my field, and I'd like to get the PhD and get out there soonish, but I'm not sure if I would feel rushed.
  • Hugely well-known, world famous uni
  • My sub-field of Gruub studies is very strong there, but the sub-field that I need to work on might be a bit weaker than OSS
  • Advisor is very well established, has written books that I've got on my shelf and dig. His reputation is quite strong (I'm already thinking recommendation letters, how mercenary is that?)
  • Very urban location - lots of opportunities, but all the ick that comes with big sprawl (can you guess it yet?)
So here's the kicker. I talked to the FUU advisor last weekend and he seemed very encouraging. My writing sample wasn't exactly what they were looking for and so they placed me lower on their lists (hence the waitlist), but I explained why the writing sample was a bit unconventional, and he seemed to understand. We chatted for a while and seemed to get along well. He said he was really glad we got a chance to talk and that he'd go back and double check on my application.

I got an email today.

acceptance with guaranteed first year TAship.


I'm really excited, but I'm not sure what to do with myself.

(read in a stunned voice) I think I'm going to FUU (need a better acronym though).

The funny thing is that when I talked to the OSS potential advisor, he asked what my other options were and I mentioned FUU and the advisor there. OSS advisor said, "Wow. If I were a grad student again, I'd go there and work with him."


zerodoll said...

sounds like the decision's been made... congratulations!

(guess the forced social interaction was well worth it!)

sheepish said...

That last comment by OSS dude is a really odd comment to make to a prospective student. Huh. Academic lack of social skills or deeper message?

Anyway, sounds like good choices either way, and just depends on what you want out of the situation, both professionally and personally. Good luck!

jayfish said...

things are looking good for you, grats!

Overread said...

Zerodoll - yeah, without the prodding, I never would have asked to meet him. Cah-razy

I'm wondering about that too, Sheepish. It think it might be a touch of both, but the deeper message is resonating with me right now. Part of it is because FUU guy is a big wig, and it might have been a respect thing, but still.

mendi-la said...

woohoo - yippee for you - either place would do well to have you but i think perhaps you are wanted at FUU - now you should rethink that acronym :)

BrightStar said...

This is very exciting and FUU sounds like it has a lot of potential for you! Although neither sound bad.


liz said...

Is it a school mentioned in a certain song about the elements?

I think OSS guy was jealous about FUU.

I also think you need to go to FUU but stay in touch with the OSS guy, 'cause he sounds like a keeper.

Overread said...

Liz, nah - it's not that big of a school. It's on the other coast, anyway. Did I give away too much? it's on a coast! Oh no! My anonymity!

I really do want to tell. I'm bad at keeping secrets...

I do agree that the OSS guy is a keeper. He specifically said that regardless of how this all goes down that he wanted to read my MA thesis once it's done. He didn't have to do that at all.