Prince of Darkness

I am thankful for… good professors

While applying to graduate school, there’s a lot of stuff to not be thankful for: 1

  • the cost of official GRE scores,
  • the cost of official transcripts,
  • strenuous studying and worrying about GRE scores,
  • worrying about your vocabulary
  • worrying about your GPA,
  • researching, writing, and worrying about your writing sample,
  • writing your personal statement of purpose,
  • figuring out just what the hell anyone wants in a statement of purpose,
  • cryptic, byzantine grad school Web sites,2
  • bugging people you really respect for letters of reference,
  • and the cost of applications.

Luckily, some of these worries can be both [[assuaged]] and [[ameliorated]]. Take, for example, the cost of applications.

I, being a minority,3 can apply to up to seven universities for free via ASU’s Project 1000. I can also apply to up to 15 schools for free via the Committee of Institutional Cooperation. That sounds really cool until you realize that you still have to shell out $15 per institution to send your GRE scores and $9 to send your transcripts, so it’s not like you’re going to save a lot of money, but you’ll be able to apply to more schools with the same amount.

There’s also a few good professors every once in a while that are willing to help you out. Some of these professors go the extra mile.

For instance, I have an two professors that have read and made comments on my terrible, terrible writing sample first draft. They’ve also both agreed to write a letter of reference and has been giving me wonderful advice all semester.4 Another professor I’d never spoken to met with me for 20 minutes one day and was so impressed by my knowledge of the subject, that he offered to write a letter of recommendation and read my writing sample.

I am deeply thankful for these wonderful professors. I have nothing to offer them in return and they can’t reasonably expect me to pay them back. That they would be willing to go out of their way to help me out means a lot to me.

Today I am thankful for… good professors.

Lappy update: As per agreement with a fellow eBayer, this will soon be my new lappy.
NaBloPoMo update: I have finally started reading all of your excellent posts for this month (losing a lappy for a week wrecks havok on your inbox!). Be wary for some comments from me in the very near future.
NaNoWriMo update: Getting back on the horse here requires some more work. I’m 12,000 words behind…
Grad applications update: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
  1. Originally this sentence ended here. ‘There’s a lot to not be thankful for, but I won’t get into it.” Then I thought, “Nah, you could list it!” So I did. Sorry, but someone has to hear this other than my mom. []
  2. UCSD: “if you use the letter ‘e’ in your application an even amount of times, you need not even apply: we’ll just throw it all out.” []
  3. Freakishly tall is a minority []
  4. “Kill all clowns” []


  1. I am going through the EXACT same thing right now. In fact, I’m supposed to be researching for my writing sample right now and instead I am reading your blog.

  2. I’ll try! I swear. I’m applying to two of those as we speak (I caught the wrong end of the cycle, but if I get accepted and can pay for it, I’ll go). Either way, the first time I make enough money to go back, I’m there.

    P.S. Four exclamation points? Really?

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