I know what I’m doing, trust me.

Another pearl of wisdom from the Applying to Graduate School Files. People will try to give you advice. That you don’t really care to receive.

Not even like the guy who sat in my little information meeting and droned on and on about how your forms of ID for the GRE have to match even though that’s not true, in fact, I don’t think they even looked at my driver’s license when I took the GRE, but whatever.

I mean more like when you e-mail the secretary drone at Unnamed University asking a very simple question- do you have a form for letters of recommendation for history and religious studies, or should I just have the professors mail the letters alone?

Note that I did not ask for spiritual or academic guidance. I just need to know if your massively confusing website is holding on to a waiver that my not finding will screw up my career goals. Also, you are simply the name at the bottom of the graduate school form. You are not an advisor. You are not my advisor. Presumably if I’m intelligent enough to get through college and consider grad school, I actually sought the counsel of an advisor.

So please do not e-mail me back going, “No, there isn’t a form. But why do you want to do two programs? We don’t want you to fail. And why those two? What are your career goals? You’ll probably fail. No one does two.”

Well. Okay. I added that last part.

But still. First of all, tons of people do two master’s programs at once. Second, I have nothing going on. Like, I’ll be upset if I have to miss a Criminal Minds episode to go to class, but I think I’ll be able to handle it. Third, I’m willing to pay you for two master’s programs, so what the hell do you care? Fourth, do you have any idea how many idiots I know who have gotten master’s degrees? Some two of them? TONS. So please do not tell me that I am not capable of doing a dual program, because I have yet to put up any embarrassingly drunk pictures on Facebook like these people may or may not have done.

Yes. I realize that most schools are slightly wary of accepting someone who doesn’t know what they want to do. But I do know what I want to do. Marry wealthy Teach history and historical theology. Here’s the thing- you need graduate degrees in both history and theology to do that! And if this person had read my statement of purpose, they would know that this is what I had planned.

And yes, I realize that it may not be the smartest thing to attempt that much work at once. But I don’t know where I’m going to be accepted. Until I know where I can and can not go next year, I’m not closing any doors. You’re lucky I didn’t apply for kinesiology or something, lady.

Finally, Marquette offers a dual master’s program. And Marquette? Is a million times more difficult than you, Unnamed University. So I do not appreciate your sass.


Much is made when you’re applying to graduate school about what languages you can speak and/or read. Presumably because there are important sources that you would not be able to decipher if you can only speak one language like a plebeian.

(This is why I’m doing British history. They conquered everyone. And made them speak English.)

Now. I am pretty much monolingual. I speak English quite well. I can read a lot of Latin. I can read some French, with a lot of time to translate, but please do not ask me to tell you how to say, ‘The restaurant is to your right,” because I can’t. Other than that…not so much.

I never really thought it would be a problem, either, because I’m sorry, but almost everything has been translated into English.

Except for John Paul II’s speech at his first visit to the Great Synagogue in Rome. That is still only available on the internet as Italian or German. Except for “buon giorno principessa!” that I picked up from Life is Beautiful, I know precisely no Italian. And even less German, despite the week-long attempt when I was twelve to get in touch with that part of my heritage.

Anyway. I needed that speech for my thesis. And I couldn’t have it. And that made me mad and also question my own personal constructs because MAYBE THE CRAZY GRADUATE SCHOOL PEOPLE ARE RIGHT AND I WILL DIE ALONE WITHOUT A PH.D.

Then I realized…wait. Google Translator.

So now I have the text of the speech. And I didn’t even have to learn a modern European language. And I can’t see why anyone would waste time doing anything other than that.

Oh yes, I just used "Dalek" in a sentence. AND I’m a real girl.

I watch a lot of Doctor Who. You put together my love of guys in suits, guys who are adorably awkward, and guys with accents? You’re lucky I haven’t moved to London to stalk Russel T. Davies.

Because I have always thought I would make a good companion. I’m not too talkative. I have decent hair. I’m a normal size. (I love that the companions are normal sizes. Except Martha. She was kind of a skinny little twit.) I’m not secretly in love with David Tennant. I would be a perfect companion.

Anyway. I’m going somewhere with this, I promise. Thanks to the H1N1 hysteria (My sister: People forget that during the Plague there were literally piles of bodies in the streets. When I see a pile of bodies, then I’ll freak out.), there are dispensers of alcohol-based sanitizer all over campus. And I usually use it, because I am a freak for hand sanitizer. I am. I even was before the piggy sniffles took over.

But then I start to think, wait. What’s really in those dispensers? Is it maybe less Purel and more some out-of-this-world substance that will turn us all into willing participants for the Dalek takeover of the human race?

Because that could totally happen. David Tennant would be completely stumped as to why the humans stopped caring or something and he’d ask me, his new companion (shut up, I know he’s not the Doctor anymore), if anything weird happened in 2009 and I’d be all, no, wait! The universities started pushing hand sanitizer on us! (Much like Donna’s, “The bees disappeared!”) And then he’d get all excited and hug me and save humanity.

Okay. That’s maybe a little bit far fetched. But it does mirror a few episodes quite perfectly. (I’m thinking of the french fry in grammar school one.)

I’m going to stop using that hand sanitizer. Just in case.

He’s weak. I can take advantage of that.

One of my major semester papers is on Iran. I’ve decided that the only part of Iranian history I find remotely interesting is the hostage crisis. Mostly because the Republican in me rejoices when she sees examples of Presidents who were far more inept than George Bush and far less hated for it.

(Like I know. I wasn’t born until six years after the hostages were freed.)

Well, that and the part where I realized that I’d read the memoirs of the Shah’s wife and DIDN’T REALIZE IT. Yes. I am so stupid that I’ve studied her husband in three different classes and I didn’t put it together with that night I couldn’t sleep and read this book about an angry royal Iranian with delusions of grandeur at four o’clock in the morning.


So. I’m going to write about the hostage crisis.

Problem. I told my professor I’m writing about the revolution and the switch from autocracy to theocracy and it’s impact on the modern Middle East.

Solution. He’s probably in a Tylenol with codeine haze and I’ll be able to manipulate this. I don’t know what you’re talking about, sir, you e-mailed me and told me it was totally okay for me to write about the US involvement in Iranian politics.


This evening, I logged on to Facebook.

This is not important. I do this…ooh…constantly. Thanks to Heloise the iPhone, I can do it even more. Although I do not appreciate Facebook Version 378,924,185 urging me to write on my cousin’s wall because I haven’t in awhile. Facebook. Back off. Paul and I are fine. We don’t need your help with our relationship.

The important part was that I had a notification from Josh Groban.

(Not the real one. I don’t actually know him. Despite my best efforts.)

Turns out there will be a NEW joshgroban.com come November 9.

And that made me realize that there was a time that this announcement would have caused major freaking out. I would have squealed a little bit, I would have had to discuss it on the message boards, I would have to blog about it.

(Some things don’t change, I guess.)

Now? I realized it’s been like a year since I’ve even been on the site. I haven’t belonged to the message boards in years because I decided that paying $40 a year to listen to post-menopausal women have orgasms over a twenty-four-year-old was kind of ridiculous. I’m still blogging about it. So…there’s that.

This isn’t really about Josh Groban. I still love him. I still listen to his songs more than any other artist’s probably. And I definitely would not have driven to St. Paul to see anyone else. It’s not really even about fandom on a whole. I know that it’s a really good thing that I’m more into my own life at 22 than I was at 16.

But it made me realize, more than anything else in awhile, how I’m really a grown-up.

I don’t want to be an adult now.


Two and a half years ago, as a wee little freshman enthralled with all (and yes, I do mean all) of the aspects of History 204 I decided that yes! History! That would be my career path! It was perfect! Esoteric knowledge, not having to work continue in the journalism department that scared me half to death, and getting to drink in the afternoon because you’re an academic, so it’s totally cool. PERFECT. And, get this. I’d get to put off the real world for a few more years. No resumes, no job hunting. No drinking in the middle of the afternoon because you’re unemployed. PERFECT.

Except I have to apply for graduate school. And I didn’t really realize that this? Would pretty much be a job on it’s own. I had coffee this summer with a friend of mine who’s a professor and she told me not to underestimate how much work these applications take. I kind of scoffed into my mocha, like, yeah, I’m not applying to Yale. I don’t think the UWM application is going to be that difficult.

BUT IT IS. There are a ton of different things that you need and different deadlines and it’s expensive and the letters of recommendation- oh, my goodness, those letters of recommendation.

Because I’m not just applying to one graduate program (e.g., history.). Well, at some schools I am. But at some schools I’m applying to history and theology, which requires an entirely different statement of purpose an also different letters of recommendation. Two of the five schools I’m applying to require three letters, three require two. The two that I need distinct hey-she-likes-Jesus-too letters for are in both categories- one needs three, one needs two. So all three professors have to write two different letters. Which is annoying. And the forms.

There are forms. That are not online forms. (Except Northwestern. God bless Northwestern. I don’t even have to go pick up the letter from the professor- it’s all online.) Most are forms that I have to print out multiple copies, take them to offices all over the frickin’ campus, and have them sign/fill out.

Oh, so much work.

I think it’s to weed out the people who actually want to go to graduate school from those who are just really sick of their retail jobs.

So much correspondence lately.

Dear Guy Standing Behind Me in Line,

Hi. First of all, could you take a giant step back? Because there’s kind of an honor system here in…oh, any place with stores, really. You’re not supposed to violate the bubble around a girl who’s desperately hoping her credit card won’t be declined. (It wasn’t! Whoo!)

Also. I appreciate your thinking that the coat I’m purchasing is pretty. I really do. It is pretty. I friggin’ love it. (Hence the need for the possibly overdrawn credit account.) However, you don’t need to keep commenting on it. And how beautiful you think it is. And you really need to stop looking at me.

Because see that woman over there in the next line? Yeah. She’s my mom. And despite the fact that I’m 22 and can take care of myself, she’s about ready to beat you over the head with a hanger. Possibly from the coat you keep admiring. I know. Even though I can’t see her because I’m trying really hard to not make eye contact with you, I can feel her freaking out.

Also, I’m wearing what could very easily be a wedding ring. Now, it’s not actually a wedding ring that I received at a wedding in which I was the bride. But it is a ring set, and one of them is a simple silver band (I use it as a guard ring.) It’s even on my left hand, because I was trying on rings before. You have no way to know that I’m not actually married. So you’re being a jerk on top of being creepy.

So. Please pay your Kohl’s bill and then leave me alone. Thank you very much.

Well, I don’t want you to know my name, actually.