factfinder.gif (would it were that easy….)

My exploratory committee (of one – me) is embarking on a list of graduate schools and their relative merits.  This is more difficult than I anticipated, since I am still unsure if I want to end up as a) a linguist with a focus on French or b) a French scholar with an emphasis on linguistics or c) both a linguist and a French scholar.  All of these have their relative merits.  Since both fields interest me, I am leaning toward “c,” despite its heavier workload (and likely longer duration).  The added benefit is that it would make me more employable (according to my logic).  All three options require me to find a university that has strong programs in both, which is surprisingly difficult.  I’ve also been checking course catalogues – a program may be well-respected, but if they don’t offer classes that align with my academic interests, what would be the point?  The fees and expenses prevent me from applying to every school that fits the bill, and I should have a decent list by my GRE date in April.  So far, I have come up with (in no particular order):

  1. Glamorous Ivy League School (while both programs are strong, their respective strengths are not necessarily what I am looking for – still, I’m keeping it on the list for the time being)
  2. Big Ten School (this one is a front-runner – and it also has other qualities that appeal to me [location, etc.] – all in all, a contender)
  3. Fancy West-Coast Private School (stronger in linguistics than in French, but both excellent, good rep – pricey locale)
  4. West-Coast Public University #1 (tops even Big Ten School – both programs are world-renown, but probably the most competitive of the lot [read: GRE math scores become even more important as I compete against the world’s most motivated], but nothing ventured, nothing gained – and my grades and writing samples should impress)
  5. West-Coast Public University #2 – (learned about this program from someone in my vicious Syntax class, has a lot of what I want; but I wonder why my compatriot in Syntax isn’t doing her grad work there – I intend to find out)
  6. Current University – (definitely well-respected, though more so in French; however, does not have everything I am looking for in a program, but other considerations apply – and they may be getting an extra faculty member that could ameliorate some of my concerns)

I am keeping my eyes peeled and my ears to the ground.  I may find other schools that could bump off some of the weaker members of my list.



On another topic…in my sociolinguistics class, we are supposed to keep a journal of our conversations for a 36 hour period.  Outside of school, I haven’t been keeping up a lot of conversation; although I do have some social plans, I won’t look so very sad and hermit-like.  Actually, the professor also considers IMs (which I don’t normally write) and e-mails as conversations, too; so I guess blogging would count.  How very 21st century.