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...