Monday, October 16, 2006

Down the road to grad studies

I just had the most awesome meeting ever! It was about grad studies. I didn't know the first thing about what I could study in grad school (still pretty much don't), so I went to one of my best profs today and asked her. "Let me show you," she says, and leads me to an office where all the English theses written at the U of R are kept. Then in walks the Department Head and says "Is Megan thinking about doing grad studies?" "Yes she is. She's wondering what sort of things people do theses on." "You should do Medieval! Come talk to me if you want to. I'd be glad to supervise you!" [Well, as it happens I don't plan on doing my Master's at the U of R, but pretty awesome all the same] He continued: "Megan won the President's Medal, you know. And the Arts Prize, but that was a shoo-in." Dr. Awesome Prof does this crazy big arm-pumping "Yesss!" and then gives me a hug!

Then she takes me back to her office and writes out all the things I need in a proposal. "These are the basic things your proposal will need, for both the SSHRC application and the grad school application. Now we'd be happy to have you here. I don't want you to see U of R as the default; we'd be very happy to have you here, but it's easy to see yourself working here because you know the faculty, you don't need to establish a reputation, and in fact" [gesturing at the wall in the general direction of the Dept Head] "it sounds like we'd probably take you without an application. But I recommend that people apply to five universities: your dream school, a fallback school, and three middling schools. Do some surfing and find out if the faculty specializes in the area you're interested in. And make sure there are more than one doing what you're interested in, in case one of them dies or gets transferred. My supervisor for my dissertation (who straddles the earth like a colossus and heals sickness with a touch of his little finger, and about whom I will not tolerate criticism) ended up doing Shakespeare because the only guy who worked in the area he was interested in was a sociopath. What do you do? Work with the crazy guy or change your field?"

:0 Turns out there's half a dozen Medieval specialists at my dream school, and one Old Icelandic/Old English fellow—I suspect a Tolkien fan!—so I'm getting pretty excited. They have a list of english graduate student webpages on their website, and it would appear that they have only three grad students...good sign? Maybe better chance for funding? More personal attention? At any rate, Dr. Awesome Prof pretty much set out what I need to do from here. Well I'll miss the SSHRC deadline this year (three weeks? no way! I don't even have a "Question"—#1 on the list of things necessary for a proposal). Now I have to make an appointment with the Dept Head about this Medieval business. I've been given to understand that I'll require Old English—which I'm more than rusty on, not having learned it quite properly in the first place—and most likely Latin—no troubles there—and maybe Old Icelandic or some such. I will definitely need to peruse some theses, and try to come up with the all-important Question.

In other news...I'm being enlisted in all sorts of rock-heaving and whatnot that I hadn't anticipated, plus there was snow on my car today. A very thin layer, but still snow, and it will only get worse. I was hoping to get some writing done, but haven't done any in weeks. The Inter-Puter has been restored, so I will hopefully be able to post drawings more regularly, pending (of course) the creation of said drawings. I'm not finding new ideas so easily. And finally, last chance to buy a llama! They're all (except for two) being hauled away in two weeks to be set free...until they are sold at the auction in which they will be set free. My throat is sore; I think I'm getting sick. But I need to go before the Parking Nazi gives me another ticket.


Anonymous said...

i know i'm a horrible friend in that this wasn't immediately retrievable common knowledge, but what exactly is your dream school?

i have my theories but rather than face the possibilities of looking like a total dolt if i got it wrong, i'll just ask you :P

Anonymous said...

See, I told you you were awesome. I bet you could apply for a shirking scholarship in 3 weeks. I did my NSERC (N-shirk?) application in one week, more or less.


Anonymous said...

You are awesome Megs .. I wish I had a brain like yours.. shit .. I would be happy if I can just understand some of the stuff you talk about sometimes

Lapsura said...

I could have sworn I already posted this comment...

Ang, I'm quite certain that you can correctly guess what my dream school is. Last year, eh? Planning on doing grad studies after? :)

I definitely won't get a SSHRC application in at this rate. At least not this year. Anyway, you're the awesome one!

Gil, that's what the Word Of The Day was for! To help you understand what I'm talking about! I guess it would be beneficial to also provide the definitions instead of leaving it open to guesses... I just hope you're taking good care of my Frankenfoil.