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About Datepalm

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    Barbarism and Decadence, Fuck Yeah.
  • Birthday 02/22/1987

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  1. I thought it was more of an exercise is showing you kinda-sorta know what you're doing, and the place to show that 'fit with the department' thing, by making it relevant to what's going on there. I'm kind of thrown not to be required to have to put one together at all. Well, less work, I guess. Or more work in the "statement" thing.
  2. US institutions don't require a separate research proposal with applications? Huh. Huh?
  3. Ugh, good luck - I mean, it won't be any trouble for you, but it's just four hours of your life you're never getting back. Even if the secretary is filling out the forms, surely the actual admissions decisions will be able to look past bureaucratic muck? Or would it knock you out of getting to their consideration alltogether? Crap situation, hope it all gets fixed without recourse to tearing your hair out... I keep wondering whether to keep studying for the GRE or just wing it - the score will be pretty good as is, (middling math, very good verbal) and spending most of the next three weeks studying will probably only marginally improve it, but thinking I'll regret the lousy score if I don't study. I don't resent all the reading and writing and research i'm doing for other application stuff, (learning whats out there, reading in my field, etc.) but this pointless exercise of math shortcuts...its not even something real. If I was actually studying anything new, trying to get back my shoddy knowledge of calculus, etc, that would be fine, but all I'm doing is putting a lot of effort into figuring out how to do deliberately badly phrased 10th grade maths problems (which I do know) 10% faster, for an almost certainly meaningless gain in scores. But I keep spending time on it anyway. It makes me really doubt my ability to rationally follow my own priorities.
  4. Am I a coward?

    You have zero responsibility for 'breast cancer awareness', and even less for making this clown's job easy.
  5. Careerchat II

    "A recent MSc history graduate of Blobbity University, I am currently seeking mid-career (/management/senior administrative/?) roles in publishing and academia. I have extensive professional experience in academic publishing/etc, where I did Stuff X of Type Y and developed an excellent command of Essential Skills 1 and 2 and Esoteric Skill 3. I am looking for a dynamic/stable workplace with opportunities to join a team/independently lead Developing K-type Projects/Providing L-Type Services/Doing Things." Something like that? A bit pointless without knowing the jargon, but something to get you started in plugging in industry-specific terms?
  6. Theoretical Physicist guy who I've been lacklusterly texting with for a month but still haven't met? Bailed on making plans because he had to go get an MRI. Cute, funny, smart-but-not-overly-academic guy studying for the GMAT in the same cafe where I study for the GRE? Ten minutes of actual conversation to get to friendzone. Quirky, funny, aimless architecture graduate guy I saw Ghostbusters (meh, original was better) with? Off to wander the Himalayas and never heard from again. Summary of two months in India.
  7. Thanks for this! I realize I've probably spoken to a bunch of professors about it all, but maybe to one or two actual students. Which one is the worst? Be my babysitter, or adopt me for all eternity? Both sound pretty bleak when phrased that way. Departmental politics sounds dire, and along with that, what I really want to find is some way of ferreting out in advance, as much as possible, is where a place stands with research assistantships and where they have, or expect to have, active projects and connections with the groups and multilaterals that fund most of the kind of research (and implementation) I'm interested in, without seeming like all I want from a PhD is a chance to go hang out in Africa some more. (It's not! But it is important, given that continuing into a purely academic career afterwards is highly unlikely to impossible, from what I can tell.) Meanwhile - UK improving slightly vis a vis USA on the Academics-Respond-to-Datepalm's-Emails scale! Followup email to the same two people yielded a first response from one, putting UK at 1.5/2. (I feel like I ought to be looking at Europe much harder, but the place to go for studying transport in the EU is the Netherlands (it is to international consulting on transportation planning as Sweden is to the Eurovision, for some reason,) and I've lived there before and kind of don't want to again. Nothing it did, just not again.)
  8. If theres someone who's in charge of all this administrative stuff specifically for a program you've already applied for which has now changed a bunch of stuff in an unclear way, definitely contact her, no? This is her job, or at least part of it, not some unclear extra obligation. At least find out if you need to reapply or what. (Sounds like the kind of thing that may be worth a phone/skype call rather than an email, even. Though that may be my Israeli informality talking and being all wrong, removed as I am in my parochial post-mandatory backwater from the hallowed halls of properly hierarchical and mannered Albion academia.) And oh fuck yeah, I know about the IELTS requirement and along with other highly unfriendly student visa horror stories i've heard (plus Brexit) it is a serious consideration for me against trying too hard with too many UK institutions and largely focusing on the US instead. I imagine that would be no friendly cakewalk in terms of being a foreign student either, but not as bad as the UK, which is also currently becoming even stricter, is at least my impression. (I did do the TOEFL a while back though so I've at least got that to get me through initial application stuff, I hope.) A friendish person of mine just got through trying to get through visa stuff for a London MPH (Queen Mary, actually, I think. If you run into him, well, you'll know. He'll whine,) some of it seems to have been of his own making, but he did have to get a tuberculosis test because he'd been living in Africa, but only at an officially recognized - by the UK - testing center, of which there are none in Israel.
  9. I think it's the case in most US institutions, as far as a I can tell, at least in the field I'm looking at. In this case, this is a person who's work I'm really, really interested in, but she's based in a different department, so I though I'd test the waters of this whole emailing people project with a relatively concrete question of whether she even works with students in planning. If the answer was a negative, I could have taken the place of the list. (Also, well, she's in her late 70s. I was wondering if her being missing from the 'affiliated faculty' page of the department was because she was planning to retire.) This interdisciplinary thing is tricky. One UK institution has an urban geography group, a development planning group and a transport research group. They are, respectively, housed under social sciences, architecture and engineering schools. I have 19 open tabs trying to figure out who to possibly get in touch with there. 3/3 responses from US! Yay! (I know it's meaningless in the long run, it's just nice to get some response, in the sense of not feeling as though on is throwing super-carefully phrased emails into the void.) I wonder if planning is just a very small field? It's not often taught at undergrad level, for one. I've only seen a few programs that even accept applications without an MA for PhD, and even then highly un-advise it, which apparently is common in other fields? So people aren't dealing with such huge floods? Though I would have thought it would be much harder to write a competent-sounding proposal in STEM fields than in social sciences.
  10. Writing letters to friends

    Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire. The emotion derives from a double contact: on the one hand, a whole activity of discourse discreetly, indirectly focuses upon a single signified, which is "I desire you," and releases, nourishes, ramifies it to the point of explosion (language experiences orgasm upon touching itself); on the other hand, I enwrap the other in my words, I caress, brush against, talk up this contact, I extend myself to make the commentary to which I submit the relation endure. - Barthes. Only gay mid-century French structuralists can possibly approach a geeky millenial writing a text to a crush in considering all the possible erotics of language.
  11. Writing letters to friends

    That is a completely real problem and not overthinking at all. Full stop plus smiley to undercut the coldness - and it is cold - of the full stop without stooping to the adolescent excitability of the exclamation point? Or just use a comma, be mysterious,
  12. Writing letters to friends

    Yes, you're overthinking, as a fellow fan of both writing and overthinking. Especially since the whole point of the letter is to communicate how you feel about her as a friend, I don't see how it can be mis-construed. The medium is not the message, in this case. Don't, for example, try to communicate how much you value your friendship by sending her a bouquet of red roses. Letters are fine.
  13. I can't follow the references, because I haven't read anything by Bakker that wasn't a strange, smug blog post in the better part of a decade, but the evident intellectual pleasure at creating them is shining through and is fun to watch. (Needless to say, I also deeply appreciate the actual advise and breakdown of the underlying logic, such as it is.) In contributing my miniscule amount of anecdotal data, btw, so far I've had 2/2 (actually very prompt) responses from US academics, though only to note that they had retired, or that they had not retired but are affiliated faculty and not involved in admissions. UK academics stand at 0.75/2, with one no-response and one request for a proposal which has gone unanswered since. ETA - the article about the auto-didactic physicists is interesting, though I don't think urban planning, a rather public-involving profession, has the same level of particularity as physics. ;-)
  14. I'm not sure where 'people skills' blurs into 'comfortable internalization of norms and codes of a particular society' either, but it's suddenly painfully glaring when the latter is missing. I've seen graduates from a few countries in Africa really struggle to write a formal email, for example, and not through any gap of language or lack of intrinsic people skills. HE, I don't get it. (I will obey, but I don't get it.) An exchange of emails about a topic is a non-starter, but an exchange of emails setting up a meeting - followed by said meeting - on the exact same topic, is just lovely?
  15. Careerchat II

    Describe these things informally - like, right here - and then put it together from what you say when you're not phrasing it for a CV? (Or we will.) Like turning around really fast to catch a glimpse of your back in a mirror.