Create-A-Day: Dr. Alexa Hayes?

January 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve been fantasizing about getting a PhD all weekend. It’s somewhat silly, I guess, since I have no idea what my chances are of getting in anywhere, but it doesn’t hurt to dream big, does it? Plus I need to start really thinking about which programs I want to look at so I’ll be ready to go visit campuses in the fall. I don’t want to apply to more than five schools, to keep my application process manageable but also because there just isn’t a good reason to apply to a big number of programs. There are only a few programs I *really* want to go to, so why settle? If I don’t get it, I’ll live. I didn’t get in last time I applied to PhD programs (when I was still an undergrad), and you know what? I survived. So I’m not interested in settling. All or nothing, that’s the kind of girl I am, to a fault sometimes.

I love looking at what courses are offered per semester. I guess I just like seeing what cool topics different schools come up with and it gives me an idea of what my options would be if I got into that school. Of course I try to weigh how many courses in my declared interest (19th c American & European) are offered compared to the other courses, but I also like to see how many courses are offered in Ancient art, which is another of my interests. And 17th c Dutch art… and maybe some other fields…. I have a lot of interests in art… Anyway, I like to geek out over course offerings. I think it really gives you a read on the school and how seriously they take their Art History department. You know me, I take things seriously and expect everyone else to too. I’m also taking into consideration which schools allow students to take courses outside of the department. I like to branch out, so I tend to lean towards schools that allow more courses outside the department, mainly because I think it shows that they realize the “point” of a Liberal Arts education, which is by nature interdisciplinary. A great education is one that draws connections between its focus and the outside world. Makes findings/arguments more relevant and developed, yeah?

I’ve got six schools on my list right now, but I’m probably going to end up ruling out the ones that won’t give me funding or teaching experience. I don’t want to be in any more debt than I am now. I’m pretty determined about that. And I don’t want to go to a school that won’t give me some room to grow, and I really think teaching experience would be good for me. Anyway, planning for PhD applications means I’ve got a lot on my plate this year and there’s a lot of pressure to keep my grades up at school (like that would change, PhD apps or not, but it’s still good to remind myself). So, the plan: keep grades up, build resume (internships + applying to conferences to present papers), take language course (for reading German), and maybe a thesis instead of a qualifying paper? Meeting with my advisor later this week, so hopefully I’ll develop a more solid plan.

For the non-nerdy part of this entry, how about some more photos?

and my favorite outtake from the photo/hr challenge the other day:

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