The Downside of PhD Apps...

Thanks to filling out PhD applications, I now know exactly how much debt I'm in from student loans! I still have five to nine more years to watch the interest accumulate and possibly accrue more student loans! I AM NEVER GOING TO PAY ALL THIS OFF! *SOB*



Got Marx?

My theory class is constantly reminding me of how utterly lacking I am in so many things. Maybe I should blog about it each week. What else has Alli discovered she needs to read about?

This week I realized how little I can contribute to class discussions because I have never read any Karl Marx. What is the matter with me? Am I so entrenched in capitalist ways that I fear reading The Communist Manifesto? But it's not just his government theories, it's everything! He was such a brilliant and influential philosopher on all levels of society that his theories are still massively influential in anthropology, and therefore also in archaeology. I must read his works!

And anything on gender or queer theory. I need more of that...

On another note, I've recently decided that I want to know more about steampunk. We read about the Scientific Revolution this week and it made me remember a detective drama show I saw a few weeks ago - it wasn't NCIS...it may have been one of the more elaborate ones, like Psych or something...but it wasn't a comedy. I don't remember! What I do remember is that the murder was connected somehow to this underground movement (which does NOT condone murderous or violent behavior!) There is also an apartment in Chelsea that is decorated on this theme; you can see photos here. I want to understand more about this movement because it's so fanciful. Anyone have some good anime to recommend for steampunk? I know they're out there!!!



Writing this paper about my family actually has me really excited for Christmas. And I hate talking about Christmas before the start of Advent, or even before Thanksgiving - let alone I'm thinking about it before Halloween!

This is probably enhanced by the rich evergreen smell coming from the closet in the library because the sukkah has been taken down and it was decorated with evergreens this year.

Alright, I have 10 pages written and I would like to have at least 15. This needs to go out by midnight!



I realized the other day that I think I might actually get migraines. I was complaining of a excessively lengthy headache and took off my glasses. Sometimes when I have a headache, my glasses feel oppressively heavy, particularly because my headaches tend to focus around my eyes and sinuses - even my eyeballs. As I took them off I remember exclaiming, "I'm even seeing those stupid little spots! I hate when I see the spots too!"

Then it hit me: I get migraines, damn it! I had never put all of that together before.

Well, right now I apparently am having another one. I've spent too much time in front of my computer today (as I sit here and type, heh) but I have a paper due! I think it's also from my repression of the PhD app stress in order to be more productive for my paper.

Also, I think I've added NYU to my list...still thinking about it, but it couldn't hurt to apply.

Now back to this amazing paper!


PhD Stress

As any student applying to a PhD program will tell you, applications are STRESSFUL. I've been very nervous and immensely excited by all of it. I have pretty much limited my top schools to two: UCLA and Berkeley. Yep, Cali. They would provide me with the rigorous and theory-based archaeology I hope to master, along with study in the ancient near eastern languages and cultures. They are very strong and competitive programs, but I have been in contact with a few faculty members I intend to work with while I'm there. That should give me a leg-up while I'm there.

University of Chicago is still on my list, but I'm very wary of their program. It is so intense that it takes an average of 9 years to complete the degree. NINE YEARS, and students are only provided funding for the first five! I thought that maybe applying to the Anthro department rather than the Near Eastern Studies department would cut short my 4 years of coursework, but no such luck. Since I will not have a Master's in something related to anthropology, I will need to get a master's through their program before moving on to the PhD. I would therefore need to study for the same number of years regardless. That is far too long, but I think I'm going to apply anyway.

I've also started to realize how much I absolutely love NYC and I don't feel ready to leave it. So I am also looking at NYU right now. Their Institute for the Study of the Ancient World sounds intriguing! I would only take one seminar course per "semester" (they don't really have semesters...) for 3 years. The rest is independently-based study. This could give me the flexibility to explore more theory and take advantage of all that the east coast can provide me (Boston to DC - think of all the universities I could still take advantage of!), all while still living in this fantastic city.

I also need to reach out again to Johns Hopkins, I think. I don't want to cut out options. Baltimore wouldn't be bad; I'd still be on the east coast! Notice how the programs I'm seriously considering go up and down the north east, across the northern mid-west, and settle on the west coast. Yep.

Alright, back to reading for my 20 page paper due Monday. I also plan to do my statement of purpose this weekend...


Are you going to San Fransisco?

You can be sure there will be flowersh in my hair...

I've just purchased my tickets out to San Fransisco and booked the hotel for ASOR. Oh man, too much money spent in one night, but it had to be done! For the sake of my future professional career and the enjoyment of seeing my cousin, whom I haven't seen in too long! Why do I still have a sick feeling from spending so much? Ha, my brother would say, "You're such a cheap sob!" Still, I managed to spend less than $700, which I would say is kind of impressive. Hopefully my fellow grad school board members will accept my application for reimbursement from the graduate school. Seriously though, if I find a flight to SFO for less than $300 before I leave, I think I'll puke.

This is not to say that I cannot afford it - yay for student loans! I just don't like spending money...

How does a grad student live off less than $7k a school year (after housing and tuition)? I have no idea either, but I do it!

Other necessities to cross off my purchasing list:
new phone
new cable for my camera so I can FINALLY put pictures up here again!

Actually, I think that's it! Sweet!


I finally visited with Denise and Melissa this weekend! It was a great time! Even though it was Penn State's homecoming, we managed to successfully avoid rambunctious frat crowds (though the buses were pretty epic). Denise and I gorged ourselves with the infamous Berkey Creamery ice cream and made the best damned chicken parm ever to enter Melissa's mouth. Seriously, she begged us to make it again for breakfast - we said no. We even made some super delicious sweet and spicy baked delicatta and butternut squash!

We bought fresh produce from the local farmers market and hung around the local comic book store and investigated numerous "hippie" shops. We explored the some of the little museums on campus; there's a geology display and fine arts museum. We also attended the LGBTQA (Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Queer and Allies) group's Coming Out Week Drag Show (attended by none other than drag queen Lady GayGay). Denise and I were The last thing we did was walk around the Arboretum and see the Thespian Society's rendering of Animal Farm, which was fantastic! And of course, what weekend with Denise would be complete without TV marathons of Merlin and Doctor Who? I even managed to finish my Hebrew homework!

All-in-all it was a much needed break from school and meeting of the trinity! I miss my two-thirds. ;_____:



I don't know why I am so nervous right now. I'm about to go to an "informal lecture" with a professor who teaches at Berkeley. I am not nervous about meeting this professor - she may be who I end up working with if (I mean, WHEN) I go to Berkeley - and I have many questions for her to help me in my decision-making. My archaeology prof right now says he'd be willing to introduce me to her. What am I nervous about then? Going to an informal lecture with a group of people I don't know. What is the matter with me? Really, I have some serious butterflies right now. Why am I more nervous about being with peers and colleagues I don't know than meeting a big name academic?