Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Grad-Schooled

Well, finals have been over for a few days at the university. I finally almost recovered from them, and more importantly from that term (it was a rather harrowing experience). I didn't get the grades that I wanted (3.4 is by far the lowest that I've had since coming here), but they're not so low as to get me into any kind of trouble with scholarships or academic societies (thank God for smal favors).
Since then, I have done all sorts of stuff to "relax." I went to see "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" with Ariadne and the folks from the Veritas Forum. I also bumped into a few friends from high school after Mass and played "Urban Golf" for a good part of Sunday. I watched several episodes of the "Band of Brothers" series with some friends, and I've gone dancing twice (Saturday, Monday) with plans to go again on Friday. There's a chance that I may be heading north to finally take a course to complete the necessary training to get my concealed carry permit, and I may also get some Christmas shopping done if my brother ever gets back to me with some ideas as to what my parents really want. All-in-all, it's been a good break.
Except for one thing. The problem is, this is my senior year, and I intend to go to graduate school next year. Therefore, a significant amount of my time has been spent doing grad school applications. These aren't "hard," not in the general sense of the word. However, they are both time consuming and very boring, and as a result pretty frustrating.
Fortunately, I'm through with most of the boring part, but I still have to write the "statements of intent." Unfortunately, each program seems to want a slightly different variety of the same thing. By different variety, I mean different length. This wouldn't be a problem if the different lengths were roughly close to each other (all ~1 page, or all ~2 pages, or all ~1000-1200 words, etc). Unfortunately, this isn't so. Most programs don't have any particular constraints, but three of them have radically different ideas of the "correct length." The University of Washington wants a page; the University of Wisconsin wants 2.5 pages; and the University of Chicago wants "no more than 2500 words." At to these the Curricula Vitae (some want it as a part of the statement, others want it sperate), and we have a genuine pain in the neck.
The one up side is that the University of Chicago's Economics program also wants a second sample of my writing. It can be about anything, published or unpublished. Probably it should tie back into economics somehow, but that doesn't bother me too much. I think I may review a few of my old writings on this blog, see if I have anything in particular that I can either use outright, or something that can be modified a little. Well, here's to grad school applications!