Reminder for Grad School Applications

It is that time of year, before the term begins or before it gets really hairy…this is the perfect time for students to think about their grad school options. My words of advice is to be organized. Most students will approach faculty in October or later and this is when professors are writing lots of students letters of reference for graduate school. Be organized. You should hopefully have put together a list of schools that you’re going to apply to. Remember to include more than one school with this list! You should have a sure bet school, the programs you would really like, and then the dream options.

How can you make this application process easier?

1. Ask professors weeks before the letters are due.

2. Provide us all the information we need.

This includes~ Who, What, Where, and When, Fill out all necessary forms. Really organized students provide me a Word or Excel file with the schools, deadlines, and any additional information.

I ask for a copy of your letter of intent and cv/resume. I might even meet with you and ask what your motivation is for continuing your education.

3. Remind us. Send an email a few days before a due date.

4. Thank us. This can be an email or a note. It’s not necessary to do more. Remember that your tenure line faculty actually get paid to mentor and do things like write letters. Keep in mind that part-time faculty do not get compensated for this extra work. Remember to thank them profusely–a card, bottle of wine or a face to face thank you is nice.

Good luck with this process! And, remember this process is nerve wracking!

I Broke Up with Four Square: Don’t Judge

I was an avid FourSquare user. The platform or app is a location based and you would “check in” to different places. The goal was to become the Mayor and get free coffee, discounts, and the like.  I had free coffee at certain places, free appies or my bill was discounted. Likewise, during the holidays I would get badges for saying, “Happy Fourth of July” when I checked in somewhere. I know to those unfamiliar with FourSquare or people who hate location-based apps/games, this might seem like an utter waste of time. I began to peel the band-aid off a few weeks ago deleting certain contacts from my account. I went from some 200 to just around 130 or perhaps under. I also wondered–what was I benefiting from this? Bragging Rights to the Munchie Bar as its esteemed Mayor?! But, the app had lots of my data.

My goal then became to get to 5, 000 points and I did. Then, I thought 10,000 points and I did. I was used to the check in and frankly a part of me hoped that more establishments would use FourSquare and offer deals. That really never happened to the extent that I hoped for, but some places do offer customer benefits. I just am not at those hotels or coffee shops enough. I cracked 12,000 points and thought that maybe it was time to stop. So, on Saturday, May 26th around 2pm I deleted my account. FourSquare wanted me to really think about this, though.

Well, FourSquare, it’s you. I think I might save a few minutes or possibly 20 minutes each day from here on out. And, you won’t get to document that I’m on 12 weeks running going to libraries or on fire with my 17 days in a row at coffee shops. I will admit that some of the badges were hilarious and maybe I should have taken some screen shots, but you know it was time to say bye. I also think that my girls and partner will smile when they hear that I deleted you. I guess I can be a little obsessive…

It’s been 24 hours and I am embarrassed to say that several times since I wrote this post I grabbed for my phone to check in. I definitely was power user. Now, I’ll do better things with my time. Bye Bye FourSquare–it’s me. It’s definitely me.