Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Readers Are Too Smart

Friday Workout: 5 miles, 10:42 average, Pace Gloves

A picture you've seen a million times, this time with a truck!

So it seems no one agreed with my "good school with no funding is better than less good school with full funding" delusion. And unfortunately, you guys are smart dudes so I can't just dismiss it and go on my merry way. Why are you making me think so hard about this?!

Let me tell you a story. I'm the kind of person who, as soon as a plan enters my head, I accept it immediately without really thinking it over. For example, back in college I'd be at the bar (yes, "the") having a fantastically fun time and suddenly I would think, "Hm, what if I went home right now?" It's not that I wanted to go home, and it's not that there was any reason to go home. It was just a thought. Two seconds later, I'd be leaving. The next day people would ask, "Jeano, why'd you leave all of a sudden?" and I'd have no answer for them. I left because I happened to think about the possibility of leaving! Duh. It made no sense, there was no reason behind it, and yet that's kind of how I make many of my decisions. I wouldn't call myself impulsive, though. Maybe just crazy? Also, I lied. That wasn't a story. More of a character analysis.

Why did I tell you that? Well, your thoughts kind of made me do a 360  on this grad school situation within, literally, a half hour or so. My hypothetical situation is only partially hypothetical, and I've actually been offered full funding (for the duration of the program) from two schools. I'm waiting to hear about funding from the school I thought was my top choice, but have been told I may not hear until May (!!!), which means I can't just wait to make a decision until I hear. Meanwhile, one of the two funding-offering schools has been wining and dining me (or, just sending me a lot of emails), and the professor whose work I'm most interested in has told me he has some projects going on I could get involved with immediately. The other schools have made no such effort. This makes me think that going to a school where at least one faculty member is eager to work with me may, in the long run, open up more opportunities than being a more lowly student in a better program.

Basically, your comments made me realize I haven't given this school a fair chance, and I thank you for that. I've obviously got a lot of thinking to do, but I'm glad I could get some feedback from people who have been there. I'm going to talk to some other people in the know (hell, I work in a building full of 'em), but you guys have really blown this thing wide open. Thanks for everything!


And now, to run six easy miles (partially) in my neighborhood and (partially) on the treadmill. Bailey's been giving me the cold shoulder for not running or hiking with her (even though I walk her twice a day, the ungrateful mutt), so I'm going to attempt to win her love back.

No questions today, enjoy your Saturday!


  1. I was thinking about your situation today and the small advice I had given you. When I applied to PhD programs, I started with a list of like 12 schools to apply to. Then I narrowed it and I did not apply to any "safety" schools. I almost even cut the University of Colorado, where I ended up going and having the best experience of my life. Have you spoken with faculty and grad students in both places? Get on the phone with them ASAP if not! Have a conversation with them and see what kind of vibe you get.

    1. Thanks for thinking of me! I really do appreciate your advice. I'm in touch with people from one of the places that's offered me funding, but not with anyone at the school I thought was my first choice. I just sent an email asking for some contact info, though, so I'm hoping to talk with some people from there this week.

  2. I've been getting a cold shoulder lately from Indy, too. I'm sure he's feeling neglected since the puppy-demon entered his life.

    Can't wait to hear what you decide - it's a big decision!

    1. Yeah, I really can't win with this dog unless I'm taking her for multiple-hour hikes every day. I don't even think she LIKES running with me that much unless she's allowed to be off-leash, but she'll have to take what she can get.

      I can't wait to hear what I decide either!

  3. I've been thinking about you (and this situation) as well. I also wouldn't be afraid to contact the programs you haven't heard from yet - to let them know you need to make a decision, and see what their timeline is. They may not be able to give you any info, but you never know.

    Finally (this is a bit more awkward, but up to you), you maaaay be able to weasel yourself a bit more time from the schools you've already heard from - or at least whichever you decide is your top pick - by letting them know that you're awaiting a decision from another program. Worst thing they say is "no", and hold firm to their April 15 deadline. Second worst thing is that you clue them in to the fact that they MAY not be your top choice - which could count slightly against you in practice, if you choose to go - but likely won't matter/be remembered by the time August rolls around anyway. Grad school isn't like undergrad, where you're often just assigned a number and are forced into a "like it or leave it" set of policies that apply to hundreds or thousands of other students. Grad school is a lot more individual, with a smaller applicant pool, so there is a better chance you can get some leniency in timing. Could be worth asking.

    I'll stop there, though, since this situation is already complicated enough for you. :) Good luck. Drop me an email if you want to chat further.