Last weekend I was back in my comfort zone: Columbus. This time, visiting the Comparative Studies program at OSU, where I have been accepted for the 4-year Ph.D.-track. I was thoroughly impressed to say the least and ecstatic to be back in range of my beloved alma mater. As usual, one is never more than six degrees away from Middle Path: my roommate in the hotel & fellow prospective student was the sister of a 2010 Kenyon Lord, a man who is dating a 2011 Kenyon Lady, who was a resident in the hall where I was community advisor in 2010-2011. The world is this small.
Dinner Thursday night was at one of my favorite Ohio-chain restaurants, Aladdin’s, so I was immediately in love. The easiest way to my heart is through my belly, OSU, how did you know? Mingling with the five other prospectives and the current students was really delightful. For once, I was sitting with several POCs (though not all) and talking with a large group studying diverse things.
Friday was a day-long marathon of meetings: Maurice Stevens, the trauma studies prof. who edited the journal issue which published my essay; sat in on an advanced student’s class, Intro to Sexuality Studies and I was thoroughly impressed by her students; Julia Watson, only one of the two biggest names in women’s autobiography studies (this was like meeting a hero or celebrity!); delicious lunch at the Heirloom Café in the Wexner Center including more students, Leo Coleman and the department chair Barry Shank; Theresa Delgadillo, with whom I chatted about The Buddha in the Attic and studying Asian Americans’ experiences living in the Midwest; Joe Ponce, Filipino American and a mentor of Ivonne García’s once upon a time; and finally dinner and ever more mingling over dinner at the department chair’s house. Returning to the hotel at 9:30 pm, I don’t think I have ever been more tired.
I was elated. I was quite ready to say yes. I wanted to do all the interdisciplinary things with all of the wonderful people I met. I wanted to be in Columbus.
A week later, I, unfortunately have my doubts—mostly because there are a lot of pragmatic things to think about. For example:
- First, I am still worried about the interdisciplinary degree not having the marketable quality that an English Ph.D. will have. If I stay at Miami, I would still do interdisciplinary work, I would get concentrations in WGS and probably educational leadership. My faculty networks here would enable me to connect with these scholars at OSU anyway, plus others. The interdisciplinary program, though, is a risk I am willing to take. The people at OSU are amazing. And I know that I am a go-getter and will take care of the relationships I need to cultivate to make things happen for me when I do enter the job market. Not to mention that I most definitely will have my eye on some pre-doc fellowship opportunities that would help me.
- The second major consideration is that the funding offer is not on par with either my expectations or what I would need to live in Columbus moderately. I already struggle to make ends meet living in Oxford; I just don’t see it happening in a city like that, where the rents (though cheap compared to many other cities) are higher and other costs of living will be greater (bills, temptations (read: eating), car/gas). The less-than-minimum-wage stipend over a 9-month period means that I will definitely have to seek some kind of summer employment, with no real guarantees that I would be able to find anything. While I am not unwilling to work, I want to do so by choice and in positions or jobs that I find fulfilling and relevant to my development/future career. I don’t want to do so out of necessity just to make the bills.
Miami is making a very strong pitch and they take care of us as Ph.D. students on the financial front. Sure, it’s more teaching; sure, Oxford isn’t nearly as exciting as Columbus. But, it isn’t this place that makes me happy (or sad). What I do makes me happy, and not doing what I want to do makes me sad. And, at Miami I can keep doing all of the amazing things I have been doing and there are several amazing opportunities here. I did write to OSU, hoping to negotiate a bit more money out of them. I do, after all, have the leverage to do so—it never hurts to ask!
In other news, I am also still waiting to hear whether or not I will be chosen for the dissertation year scholarship at Miami and we have our prospectives visit here next Thursday and Friday. I would like to meet all the other students who will come in this Fall just to get a feel for them, too.
My decision has not been made, though you might guess that I am leaning toward staying right where I am. Stay tuned.
- OSU visit day 2 & exploring Columbus solo (read: eating)—detailed post forthcoming
- MY ESSAY PUBLISHED
- Received Diversity Enhancement Pathway Graduate Assistantship from the Miami University Graduate School. This is a fancy way of saying that half my stipend each year of the Ph.D. would come from the grad school rather than my department, meaning my department can use their money for other stuff. It means they really like me.
- Danielle Hipkins visit/talk on show girls + reception
- long meeting with Anita
- Celebrating Global Sisterhood Reception (Speech)
- Student conferences
- GSCA lunch
- Chicken pot pie & chive biscuits
- maybe, scholarly networking
- Catching up on all the things
My student doesn’t realize it, but he wrote an amazing creative piece about Spaghetti O’s. My analytical mind would summarize it thus, “[Student] accurately depicts the canned “magic” Spaghetti O’s as the queer bastardization of authentic and nutritious food that it is, reminding us why our childhood loves are meant to be fleeting.” Although I can’t write this sentence in my feedback, since the key phrase “queer bastardization” runs the risk of being very critically misunderstood by a college sophomore pre-med dude, I am a very proud to be teaching a student who subconsciously pulls off such brilliant commentary on American processed foods.
CHECK ME OUT!
- Lazing around in my sick bed all day Friday
- Belated Valentine’s letter exchange with Le Tony
- Saturdaytrip to Costco, Target, Jungle Jim’s, Panera with Brenna and Sandra!
- Bread Pudding Party with Brenna & Kathleen!
- Sunday, Monday workin’
- Phi Kappa Phi election-letter?
- Composition committee meeting over the liberal ed revision
- Beginning of OSU visit (more details to come in a separate post later this weekend)
- Reading list: American Son by Brian Roley, Dust Tracks on the Road by Zora Neale Hurston, Mary Rowlandson + 3 theory chapters.
- OSU visit/Columbus apartment tours/catching up with old friends/mentors. Jeni’s, maybe.
- Grading student papers
Spoiler alert: there’s gonna be a lot of lumbr on this tumblr. We visited an organization that tears down abandoned Detroit buildings and turns the wood into cool furniture. Check out all the rings in this piece. This is really old wood - a rare thing to find in new construction.
I’m very fond of this and can’t wait to see more!
Magazine: Jalouse March 2014
Photographer: Thomas Smith
Styling: Jennifer Eymere
- Major snowstorm
- Valentine’s dinner at Kona with Brenna & Kathleen + gossip + necessary sleepover
- Sunday morning acceptance phone call from Madelyn/Miami University! + nomination for 1-semester scholarship :)
- Akï’s birthday dinner at Steak n Shake & adventures in the Meijer bakery —scones!
- News from OSU that I’ve been awarded a first-year fellowship!
- Getting sick :(
- Culinary adventure: meatloaf with a squash mixed in
- Reading list: The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass and Quiet Odyssey by Mary Paik Lee + 4 theory articles
- celebrations out
- Costco/Target/Jungle Jim’s trip
- Skype with Vivian
Le Tony sent me an authentic #polaroid picture. & I now I made a meta polaroid picture using iPhone.
I made myself a huge celebration #dinner! But the meatloaf won’t stay together. I think because I mixed a squash into the meat… But, delicious nonetheless!
- Phone call with U Minnesota’s Jo Lee! Phenomenal!
- Paid off full balance of Discover CC!
- Pancake breakfast hosted by Brenna & Alex
- Monuments Men
- Mailed valentines and packages
- filed taxes
- work all week
- productive routines
- Rejection notice from University of Michigan :(
- Lunch with Sandra
- Gym 2x, Yoga video 1x
- Valentine’s book exchange with Le Tony!
- Reading List: Mona in the Promised Land by Gish Jen, The Promised Land by Mary Antin, Imagining the Nation by David Li
- Valentine’s dinner with Kathleen & Brenna at Kona Bistro
- Birthday dinner for Akï at Steak n Shake
- File FAFSA
- Phone call with Brittney
Correspondence from my smartest #Kenyon friends always brightens my day! #postcard #malaysia
Le Tony & I agreed to only exchange books & cards for #Valentine’s day this year. Because #books = #love. ❤️
My first Princess movie! Oxford is cute. I’ll miss that when I move to a real city. (at Princess Theatres)