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    Release The Hounds!!!!!

    By Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke
    Sep 5, '06 1:32 PM EST

    I'm obviously thinking of hunters on a thrilling gallop, urging each other to release their dogs and set off after their prey. But at the onset of this new school year, I feel like the prey. This is going to be an insanely busy year: not only am I helping develop coordinate a class here at Yale in the Spring semester, but I am also one of five responsible for organizing a symposium in the Spring as well. I am a little leery of being the point person on projects, but I have to get over those fears.

    But the two things that are really stressing me out:

    (1) I am applying to PhD programs this fall. I have applied to school so many times that I am a little weary of going through this process again. It can be expensive. As to what school I will applying to, well, I'll just say that I will applying to the usual east-coast suspects. I had my first informal PhD interviews this past May, and they were, for the most part, incredibly positive. The right people seem interested in my research, and that's a good thing.

    (2) My thesis. My thesis. My thesis. This thesis thing is beginning to give me heart palpitations. I cleared one major obstacle in that I was able to get reading proficiency in German this summer. So, according to Yale University, I can read German. However, my knowledge of German is ... uh .... dictionary-informed. So yeah, my thesis. I've done a lot of primary research, and the more reading and writing I do, the more I feel that my project is spinning out of control. So, if you remember my previous posts, I am writing about the work that Erich Mendelsohn, Konrad Wachsmann, and Antonin Raymond did for the Standard Oil Development Company and the United States Chemical Warfare Service during World War II. Because most of the architects I write about are German, I spent a great deal of time actually reading primary sources in the language.

    A diversion: Has anyone ever noticed how strange a language German is? Verbs are usually the last words of a sentence. So this gives the writer plenty of writing room to compose devilishly intricate and complex modifying clauses. But for the translator, this means that we have to read every single word in the sentence before we translate.

    So, as I go further in my research, i find out that I have to deal with people like Heinrich Tessenow, Hans Poelzig, Paul Schulze-Naumburg, Paul Mebes, Emmerich, etc, etc. So yeah, the thesis thing kinda scares me. Like or not, my thesis process will inform many of my posts this coming school year.

    All in all, I am glad school is starting again. New Haven is a more pleasant place once it is crammed with student. The A+A building is bristling with new faces, excited about this whole endeavor of architecture. Only two weeks ago, I was in Texas chasing rattlesnakes and then at the Minnesota State Fair eating hotdish on a stick.

    i promise that my postings will be more frequent this year. And for those of you reading this from computer monitors on the 6th floor lab .... us MED's are on the 4th floor, next to the advanced studios. Stop by and say hello.



     
    • 8 Comments

    • liberty bell

      Smokety, you know I love your name, but maybe it's time to give up the smoking - those heart palpitations probably aren't only caused by thesis stress! I'll still read everything you write even if you change your name to Nibbly Mc Nibble Nibble (you know, as in, chewing your nails as a substitute for smoking?).

      German is so difficult to comprehend for exactly the reasons you list. My sister once spoke at a conference in Berlin, five minutes into her talk the translator asked her to slow down please because my sister speaks fast and it takes about twice as long in German to say something as in English!! And that's for plain German, not for "devilishly intricate and complex modifying clauses".

      Glad you're back for the semester.

      Sep 5, 06 3:43 pm  · 
       · 
      Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

      Thanks, LB.

      (p.s. i quit smoking 3 months ago!!!!)

      Sep 5, 06 4:11 pm  · 
       · 

      well done on the quitting smoking (and even with that 10% nicotine increase!). more impt than all the rest, in the long run.

      japanese is the same as german. verb comes last and words can become very long and you have no idea what is going on til the very end. makes reading and translating a bitch.

      good luck with the symposium and phd applications. sounds very exciting.

      btw, do you ususally have to pay for phd with those east coast folk, or do they give you a job to pay for your time as a student? it isn't free here (cheap though; this is a meritocracy and the ivies are the cheapest schools in the country)...but most of us have full scholarships from the gov't so is ok. living stipend helps too. makes education possible for a lot of folk who otherwise couldn't do it.

      Sep 5, 06 7:54 pm  · 
       · 
      Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

      hey there ... some of the doctoral programs I've been looking at fully fund a student for (I think) 3-5 years. The funding includes a stipend, and I do not think you can be a TF/TA until your second year of coursework. Again, this is based on what I've heard, not what I've actually researched.

      Thanks for the response!!!!

      Sep 5, 06 10:04 pm  · 
       · 
      kablakistan

      Ah, it sounds so familiar.

      I totally lost it during the third semester, but it all turned out just fine. And you're in better shape than I was. This is the time to write like the wind, but also to plan out the thesis as a whole. In retrospect, I should have spent a lot more time thinking about the chapters and what the point of each was. And I think I really overshot how long they can be. Longer than 20 25 pages and it just gets too far from where you started. For me at least. So you'll probably need to be a bit ruthless about leaving stuff out and saying you'll get to it in the PhD.

      It seems like most of the east coast usual suspects fund their PhDs. Which rocks. McGill was the only one I applied to that didn't. I think. I never got so clear with UPenn.

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