Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I think too much...

Wow aren't I just getting involved?

I contacted my college's student body president and told him I wanted to get involved. When I saw student newspaper I thought "Hmm" I might just get involved with that. They also have a position for an Academic Senator which might be interesting, representing the students who are political science and history majors like me. I'd have to see what the time requirements are, after all we live twenty miles farther now and we have only one car. We'll see. It was the President's idea recommending the Senate position. Will keep you posted. I'm not going to overdo it, that's for sure.

I recommended to my professor/mentor that we need a student organization on campus for students whose political affiliation is "Independent". I mean HELLO? The Republican or Democrat is getting old. People don't think like that anymore, it's not just TWO parties, there are more than that. For me, Independent is the way to go, no affiliation with the crap on either side.

Ok this Harvard thing? I say Harvard because US Colonial History is the main area of my studies, although I want to study ancient Greece and Rome and European History. I emailed the Graduate Coordinator of Harvard's History department. Damn there's a lot to know. First off, Harvard doesn't have a MS in History, you enter the Doctoral program with a BS and after two years receive the MS as part of the Doctoral work.

First, I would need an above average GRE of between 650 and 800, three strong letters of recommendation, and a really kickass personal statement about my academic background and history related research interests, a 20 page writing sample from either an undergraduate thesis or research paper. I was told the personal statement and writing sample are critical components of the application and are the strongest factors in consideration for admission. The committee and faculty in my field review the application and make a decision. Also, the PhD at Harvard requires two years of languages in the field and this must be done during the first two years. It is helpful to have solid foreign language before entering, but language can be taken there. I would have to take an exam in which Ihave two hours and one dictionary to aid me in translating two passages which are 3/4 page in length.

In order to take the General Exam which is a two hour oral exam which allows the student to move on to teaching and dissertation work, the language requirements have to be met. I was advised to get my foreign languages under my belt now. I have a background in spanish and still need to take the language, but I could also take two others at the undergraduate level too.

Eventually in the third year and once the General Exam is passed, it's time to present the dissertation research where reviewers of my choosing would attend and provide feedback. Fourth and fifth year students teach or travel to do research.

There is also five years of funding awarded to admitted students who need financial aid. The funding includes a yearly stipend of $19,000, full tuition (which is about $32,000 per year), health insurance. The final year of study includes a completion grant. The first two summers include a $3,800 stipend.There are also grants available.

Holy shit, that's a lot. I'll be old by the time I finish. I am 36 now, it'll take me 6 more years to finish my undergrad, I'll be 42, then 47 by the time I got a PhD?

I need to rethink this. I wanted to retire at 59 1/2, I wanted kids. None of that is going to happen if I do this.

I could just get a BS and be done with it.

Oy vey.

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