Feb. 12th, 2007 02:38 am
dreadpirateange: (Default)
[personal profile] dreadpirateange
...So apparently ETS doesn't want to give my money back, ever. The bank sent me some kind of 'under oath' paperwork to fill out and then my account will be credited the money I claim is missing. Who credits it, I wonder? Does the Bank just cover me? Or does the Bank give me back my money, and then take ETS to court? Who knows.

Also, I was on looking up various things to put into my spreadsheet, and found that the lowest average time for completion of a history PhD is still 8.3 years (at Rice), and the longer ones are like 17-19 years.

Who in their right minds would spend 19 years doing a PhD?????? It would fill my heart with nothing but violence.

Date: 2007-02-12 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's absolutely amazing how long some people take to do their PhDs.

I mean, there are things I understand - like, if you have to learn a completely new language (particularly one with a different alphabet) or if access to sources is REALLY difficult. But I know a couple of early modern british historians who are in their 8th or 10th years, and I just don't understand.

I WILL be out in five years. Worst case scenario? Six, but if that happens I'll have a really good excuse AND at least ONE great article for publication out of my diss.

Date: 2007-02-12 12:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I'm leaning towards my second acceptance also partially becuase I wont have to learn any new languages. I'm bad at absorbing them, and would rather just be tested on my native German, thank you. :)

I also have a 5 year plan, hopefully I can use these next few months to learn everything I can about the process so that I don't waste time at the beginning figuring things out. The Semenza book you reccomended, by the way, arrived in the post today. It looks very good-- I'm especialy loving the characters in every department--- the high preists, the deadwood, the careerist-- and have been practicing by identifying these people in my undergrad departments!

Date: 2007-02-12 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I adore that book! I think you'll find it helpful in further consolidating your plan, too. Also: hopefully you'll have a good advisor. It helps when you know yourself what you need to do, what you want to do, and what has to be done to get there - too many people flounder because of a lack of these elements. I think being proactive helps tremendously, and can offset issues such as an advisor that may not be as on the ball as you.


Date: 2007-02-12 03:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe it's all the part-time students? I remember reading an article a couple of years back stating the average time for a student to finish undergrad in the US was 5-6 years. When I graduated I found that a little odd because almost everyone I knew did it in 4 years, some in 3.

I love how ETS just won't give up. I'll bet you anything they'll take a page from what the applyingtograd people are saying about ETS's excuses regarding PowerPrep software--the USPS lost it!

Re: Eeeep

Date: 2007-02-12 12:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I hope that this is the case. If 8 is average, there must be plenty who finish up on time, and others who do it part time, or take time out for family emergencies and to generate cash flow.

Date: 2007-02-12 04:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
19 years?! Is that, uh, funded? If yes, the school must be broke. If not, the students must be broke...

Date: 2007-02-12 12:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't know, it seemed like only reject universities had 19 years be their average time. I'm guessing that they don't fund the students, causing students to probably get part time jobs to support themselves, which is why it takes so long?

Or perhaps they require a TON of teaching from each TA to be worthy of the tiny stipend, which causes the TAs to only be able to take one class per semester to avoid suicidal thoughts.

The other school I've been accepted to has an average of 12 years to completion, so I'm guessing the TA duties are a part of that.

Date: 2007-02-12 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow. Clinical Psychology is 5-7 years. Crazy.

Date: 2007-02-12 12:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
we'll never get out! :-P

Date: 2007-02-12 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh yeah - also, that time to completion includes getting a master's. Since I think MOST people don't go the straight-to-PhD (getting a master's when you past quals, like I'm doing - or, as I think you'll be doing) - that can add time. For example: I have a colleague who did a master's and it took 3 years. He's working on the program at my school now, which is technically a five-year program. Theoretically, he can be done in four years, but he's only going to do quals about 6 months before me, so i don't think he'll be cutting too much off of time.

Date: 2007-02-12 12:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So is the master's the few years before you can write your thesis where you are taking classes and doing exams?

Date: 2007-02-12 01:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Technically, yes. My program just calls us "prequalification" students, and once we pass exams (and, at the same time, get approval for our dissertation proposal), we become ABD. We don't *actually* get a master's degree unless we leave the program at that point, but it's understood that we have the equivalent.

Date: 2007-02-12 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
How does a PhD differ in the US from a PhD in the UK?

Date: 2007-02-12 12:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As per my understanding (mainly from disgruntled European intellectuals), a UK PhD makes you sit in a corner and write a book in three years. An American one spoon feeds you classes and you have grades, and exams, and language requirements, which can take a long time if you are not an efficient studier. Only after that is finished can you start writing up your book.

Date: 2007-02-12 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[ profile] dreadpirateange has it right. In the UK, the focus is on research on your own, leading to a dissertation - about 3 years.

In the US, we have 2-3 years of coursework FIRST, often combined with teaching assistant duties. Then we pass "qualifying exams" to demonstrate we have sufficient knowledge in several academic fields (typically, this entails reading somewhere in the neighborhood of 200-300 or more books during your coursework period to prepare). After that, you focus on the dissertation, which is where most people tend to "stall out" because many programs lack adequate preparation on how to spend two years writing and researching.

Date: 2007-02-13 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
wow, I didn't realise it was that different.

Date: 2007-02-12 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have been researching the UMD History program. They list sample time tables for completing a PhD....w/o MA five years; w/MA four years. I think that is pushing it just a bit.

Date: 2007-02-12 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think the thing is, the people who take 19 years...don't JUST do a PhD. They are probably working at the same time, start families, etc and this makes it harder to finish everything. I know a few people who have had university teaching positions before they officially turned in their dissertation/got the degree, so there wasn't really any rush.

I think a lot of places, also, used to not fund as many people but admitted more, and that contributed to the long time to completion. That made schools give more funding and become more selective in order to get us out of there in 5-7 years.

But yeah, I hope I'm in the 5-7 range. Really, really hope.

Date: 2007-03-04 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
After 18 years, you'll look forward to a career of pillaging and burning ships to the water line.

I'm in my 3rd year post-MS. My advisor is very anxious for me to be done with my dissertation. I am, too - I don't want it to get to the point where pillaging looks good.

Date: 2007-03-04 12:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...I have to say, I kind of already do!

Date: 2007-03-04 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'll have to admit that I did once suggest mounting cannon on a sailboat on which I crewed - though I was more interested in sinking a few power boats than pillaging. Alas, the owner of the sailboat was a judge, and as much as he sympathised, he did not think that resorting to such measures would enhance his judicial career.

Date: 2007-03-04 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*shakes head* that's where the judge's first mistake was--- you obey no law but your own when you are a pirate! Cannons are perfectly acceptable in almost any situation. :)
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