Saturday, July 28, 2012

Contingency Plans

I am very sorry that this has taken so long to update. I got seriously sidetracked and I never got around to updating this. I do have a post about Claremont in the works but this post is more important and it is important that I update you all on this before I tell you about my impressions of Claremont.

So plan A has been what you have been reading about up until now. Just a refresher, Plan A is take GRE, apply to schools, get into schools, go to school. Unfortunately Plan A did not work out. You will hear more about it later but the short version of the story is that Claremont is really expensive and I can't afford to go right now. The good news is that I can defer my acceptance until the fall of 2013, which is good and it plays into Plans B, and C.

So, Plan B is what comes next. Plan B consists of taking more math, which I currently am doing (differential equations at UW(again you will hear more about this)), retaking the GRE for a third time (oh joy), reapplying to some graduate schools, maybe not as reaching so high this time, and getting accepted with more funding than what I received at Claremont.

That may still not work out so I have also come up with a Plan C just in case. Plan C is for if I do not get accepted with better funding somewhere else. Plan C is to attend Claremont for a year and then transfer somewhere else in order to receive better funding, or stay at Claremont if they are able to make it more affordable.

So that is where I am at. I will give you more updates and start doing this more regularly again. Once again I apologize for the hiatus. It's good being back

Running in place,


To Do List:
  1. Pass Diff EQs
  2. Study for GRE
  3. Do better on GRE 
Your Reward:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The One You've All Been Waiting For


I thought about just leaving it at that but I thought that would be really self indulgent (though isn't that what a blog is?) and you guys didn't come here for that. No, what you're here for, at least I assume, is to read about how I got accepted to a graduate school. So here it goes...

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Claremont Graduate University (CGU) stating that my application was under review and that I should be hearing back from them in about a week with a decision. This was the day after I got the email mix up from the U. The combination of these emails had me nervous and excited, and I was getting desperate.

After the UW flop I was giving p hope and wasn't thinking that anyone was going to accept me. I was already trying to plan my next year:getting a real job, finding some math classes, re-applying, etc.

As a week approached I became more anxious and more stressed out about the uncertainty of my future. Exactly a week came and went with no notification and I was getting antsy. On the eighth day after the initial Claremont email I finally heard back.

With my heart pounding I opened the email. My eyes quickly scanned the first lines of the email to find out that I was being congratulated on being accepted to the P.h.D. program in economics at CGU! I had to reread the email a few times just to make sure that I had read the email right and that I had been accepted. My eyes didn't deceive me and I have actually been accepted.

All of the stress I had been feeling the previous weeks had been lifted. I no longer had to worry about not getting accepted. But, now I have new worries like the affordability of graduate school.

Included in the email was information about an open house on campus, scheduled for April 4th.I plan on making the trip and I will update you all with what I learned down there and what the campus is like since pictures are nowhere to be found online.

I am now 1/8 and I am still waiting on UNC.


To Do List
  1. Visit Claremont
  2. Figure Stuff out 
  3. Blog

Your Reward:

Via (plus more like this):  Economists Do It With Models

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Missed Connections

Disclaimer: While most of you know that I have been accepted, this is not going to be that blog post. That would be going out of order. So for those of you who want to read about that, you will have to wait until the next blog post. Sorry, but if you want to read that one, you're going to have to wait and you can leave now. Without any further ado: "Missed Connections."

Amid all of the madness that I wrote about last week, I received another email which only added to the madness. I was staying up late and watching television, usually that means "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report." While I was watching I got an email from the University of Washington. My heart started thumping, again, and then I opened it and it only started going faster.
The email was asking if I was still interested in the University of Washington or if I had other offers that dominated the potential offer from them when they make the decision. The only problem was that the email was addressed to somebody named Ibrahim...

I was still optimistic though. I thought that maybe I was in the right list and that they sent me Ibrahim's email and he got mine. So, I wrote back saying that I was still interested and I signed my name.

A couple of days later I got a response notifying me that there was an email mix up, but I was invited to meet the graduate program director (the author of these emails). I figured that I should take advantage of this and schedule a meeting with him. I sent a reply saying as much and got one back the same day asking if the following day at 3 pm was okay. I then told him that it was. This meant that I would have top find someone to cove both of my practices that day. Fortunately, I was able to.

The next day drove to Seattle to the UW campus. I found the building and his office no problem, and I was there with plenty of time for our 3 pm meeting. I went into the main office so that I could have them take me to his office though so that I could be officially announced instead of bargain in on the professor.

I shook his hand and sat down, and then the meeting started.Things started off well. He asked me why I wanted to pursue a PhD. And then things went downhill...

After that he told me that UW this year will probably only admit a class of 11-15 people and that I was behind on my math, and if I were admitted I would have a really hard time catching up with the rest of the students who had more math. I tried telling him that if I were given the chance that I wouldn't disappoint at which point I was told that everybody else was just as hardworking as me but that to get into a program like UW I would have needed to take more math while I was in school. At this point I was able to read the writing on the wall... I wasn't going to get in. I was then told to explore other other options besides a PhD in economics; that maybe I could find what I wanted in a policy school or health services, so I could use some economic tools and thinking but not need all of the math that I am apparently lacking.

I asked what I would need to do to get accepted into a PhD program and he said more math and when I asked what type of math he said just more math. We then discussed other avenues which would help me get accepted into a PhD. He mentioned again more math. Or maybe finding a good MA program like at the one at the University of Denver. But he warned me that I needed to be careful about master's programs because they may not be serious. Another option was to attend a not so good PhD program and then do really well there and look to transfer to a school where I would want to get my degree.

This meeting was not at all what I had wanted. The professor was very nice though, in fact, this was the nicest rejection I had ever received for anything. He also offered some advice and he said that I could email him if I needed more advice or help with anything in the future for my educational journey.

I was really disappointed. I had not gotten any good news yet and while it hasn't been made official yet this was another school that I didn't get into. At  my record for getting into schools is only getting worse. I'm 0-7. I was thinking that I wasn't going to get in anywhere.

Stay tuned for another blog which includes the good news.


To Do List:
  1. Figure stuff out
  2. Blog
Your Reward:

Friday, March 9, 2012

March Madness

Ahh March. Winter comes to an end, things start to look more springy, it stays lighter longer, and the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament is on TV. Oh yeah... and I start to get notifications from graduate schools.

At the beginning of March I started to receive emails letting me know that a decision has been made about my application, kinda like the last one that I told you guys about. An email to tell me to click the link and log in and read the letter they had posted there.
First came Penn. I didn't get into Pennsylvania but that was pretty much expected. I figured that since I didn't get into UCSB, that getting into sn Ivy League school was out of the question. It hurt but note as much as the first rejection did.

A week later things really started coming in fast. I received UCLA and Oregon on the same day.
UCLA didn't accept me either. Again I wasn't too shocked but I wanted to get in and prove some doubters wrong. They also notified me twice. Once in a regular email from the economics graduate studies director and another like the others.

I had been feeling optimistic about Oregon since it was the second lowest rank according to U.S. News and World Report. But I didn't get in there either. At this point I had 5 schools to go, but I was starting to feel discouraged and running worst case scenarios through my head.

A couple days later I heard back from Georgetown. Another rejection. And then a day after I heard from Northwestern; again a no go.

With there left, UW, Claremont, and UNC, I am starting to feel less confident about my chances. I was before, but now I am really tring to figure out what I am to do if I don't get in anywhere. I don't know the answer to that yet...

Hopefully something comes about with these last three schools and I get to write about something else. Until then I have some new schools to root against in the big dance.


To Do List:
  1. Get Accepted
  2. Blog
Your Reward:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Odd Jobs

For those of you who pay attention to my To Do List at the end of each post, you may have noticed on the last two posts I have included "rebuild my bank account" as my number one priority. I included this because applying to graduate school is expensive. You have to pay for the GRE, if you apply to more than four schools you have to pay to send your GRE scores, you have to pay somewhere between 50-80 dollars per application, and you have to pay for transcripts to be sent to the schools. Overall this is a very expensive process.

So to try to combat the negative drain on my bank account I have been doing some yard work at my boss' house. This has ranged from pulling up scotch broom for a day, to making a burn pile, trying to burn that burn pile, chipping that burn pile, splitting logs, stacking logs, cleaning the roof and gutters, and pumping up nearly 1000 soccer balls. Pretty much I do any type of yard work and/or soccer work that is needed of me. I'm not too picky because I really need the money. Working out there at his house is nice because he usually provides me with food and I get paid 11 dollars an hour. All of that yard work has started to paid off, and my bank account is on the rebound.

I have also been picking up some more coaching at the club I currently coach at plus some extra coaching. As of Monday the 27th of February, I started coaching the C-team at Capital High School. This doesn't pay a ton. I will probably put more into it than I will get out of it, but every little bit helps right now.

This is just a little update on what I am doing with my life: trying to make some money and waiting to hear back from schools.


To Do List
  1. Get accepted
  2. Get accepted
  3. Get accepted 
  4. Blog
Your Reward:

Since I felt like a lumberjack...

Friday, February 24, 2012

And Then There Were Eight

I recently heard back from one of the schools that I applied to. Everything is done by email now as my uncle (who has his doctorate in economics) told me. So it was a normal day and I was checking something or more likely playing a game, on my phone and I received a notification on my phone that I had a new email. Making sure that it wasn't something coaching related, which most of my emails are, I looked to see what it was. It wasn't soccer related, but it was from UCSB to notify me that there had been a decision made on my application! They didn't tell me in the email what the decision was just that there was one and that I needed to log in to my application to view the decision. Reading this caused my heart to start pounding in my chest and I became extremely nervous and anxious. I wanted to look right away and not find out at the same time.

I was with my girlfriend when this happened. I think we were watching a TV show on her computer, and as I was reading this email I apparently became very quiet and my facial expression must have changed because she kept asking me what it was that I was reading. I told her what I just read and that I needed to log in to find out. She instantly gave me the computer so that I could. With my heart pounding ever harder, I logged into my application and opened the decision letter.

I didn't get in.

I instantly fell quiet again as we both read the letter over. I hadn't realized how much being declined admittance would hurt. When applying to undergraduate schools I had a 100% acceptance rate ( I only applied to two schools but I got into both nonetheless). While I knew that I most likely wasn't going to get into all 9 of the schools I applied, I had been feeling confident about UCSB. UCSB wasn't even the best school that I had applied to so I was feeling bad about that too and my prospects for some of the other school to which I had applied. So, the combination of it being my first time being rejected, the confidence I had felt, and which school it was that rejected me made the rejection notice sting... a lot.

This experience got me thinking down the line. If I can't get into UCSB, where can I get into? What happens if I don't get in anywhere? What do I do then? Do I try again? And spend all of that money again? Do I try to retake the GREs to improve my score? This may be a bit premature and a bit fatalists since I still have eight schools to hear back from but I couldn't help thinking it at the time.

Waiting... for good news,

To Do List
  1. Rebuild bank account
  2. Get accepted
  3. Blog
Your Reward:

Again thanks Jodi Beggs from

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Application Update

I am now all applied to all of the schools since I finished both Claremont and Oregon this month. Those schools went in terms of getting the applications out. I didn't have any problems with recommendors this time since they got them in really early, before I had even started actually. I did have one problem actually... only with the Claremont application though.

As I'm sure you know, Washington* got hit by a snow storm which closed down schools, and shut down roads, including PLU and I-5 (I still see places with snow). Here, where I live, in Olympia, we got 15 inches while ten miles away out in the county they got 28 inches. Then we got freezing rain which caused all sorts of problems like trees falling and knocking out power closing schools and roads for even longer. Things were local schools were closed for over a week and PLU was closed for almost a week. This normally would be a problem but this happened in the middle of January and the Claremont application was due on the first of February. I could have waited but I wanted to avoid paying to fedex it there. Good news is that they got to both schools in time and to the right place.

I had another problem with the Oregon application. It was also easily taken care of. As I was going through I noticed that the economics department at U of O wanted my CV mailed to them and there was no place for it to be uploaded. Mail was the only option. So I dropped it into the nearest mailbox right away and hoped it would get there. Then, Monday I had decided to call the department to see if I had sent my official transcripts to the correct place (to the department not admissions) and the nice lady who I talked to said that I could email my CV in so that way they would be there on time until the hard copy arrived.

Now I have nothing more to do but wait and pray that somebody accepts me. Maybe I'll write more posts more often now... hopefully.


*The real Washington, the state not D.C.

To Do List
  1. Rebuild my bank account
  2. Get accepted
  3. Blog
Your Reward:
Courtesy of T Rex is Trying.