I am applying to five graduate schools for English, well literature, one has an comparative component - they range from very prestigous (or as my dear friend the Adjective Queen kindly avers - pretty much out of my reach) to run of the mill (more my style), but they all suit my academic purpose: to get an adavanced degree and just generally get a better understanding of literature and language. I am applying, ostensibly, to Vanderbilt for medieval literature, Purdue for literary studies, The University of North Texas for general English, The University of Louisiana @ Lafayette for folklore and The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for comparative literature. Each one holds such appeal to me and I can see myself being happy at any of these schools, but the process to apply to each one is a bit much. Again, as my mentor AQ points out, it is all a game and they want to see how many hoops they can make you jump through before you stumble or quit. I refuse to quit - I have already invested far too much financially, not to mention temporally - ugh.
After I took the GRE in June, that was the last thing barring from begining the application process. Then I was off, I began to frantically gather information and application materials for all the schools that I was planning on applyng to, but then I went on vacation in August and am just now coming back from that, mentally. I know, how foolish to take a sabatical mid admission process, but now I am getting back on the horse and I have my head back in the game. I will fight tooth and nail to get in to each of these schools, for I am about as stubborn as they come. For now, I must muster and verbalize why I want so badly to go to each of these schools and why I would be an asset to them. I am not sure though, that I know how to do this without sounding pompous and self-absorbed, not that I am not these things - i just don't want that to come through in the essays. Any ideas- all those who have come before me on this path to academic advancement???
I have also been working on my writing sample and trying to get professors to finish my recommendations, but both have been pretty slow going. Two of my three recommenders have followed through, but one seems to have fallen off the face of the earth - so I am at a loss. Then, my writing sample - which my lovely mentor helped me with - that I turned in to my advisor for proofing and editing was given glib reviews replete with little praise. Sometimes in their attempts to keep a student grounded and realistic, advisors kind of squash hopes. That is good though, right? I really cannot wait to be in school again, don't get me wrong - I love not having homework, but I miss the freedom students are afforded and I miss devoting the majority of my time to learning. Anyway - next fall can't come soon enough.