Notes from the Library

Experiences applying to university again

I’m applying to fourteen universities for graduate philosophy this year. Last year I applied to around eight US institutions and this year I’m applying to nine US universities and five UK universities. The US applications are mostly just a repeat filling-out of forms, but the UK applications required a great deal of editing of my writing samples for length to fit their much tighter word limits. Here are some observations from doing this.

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Mr Whitton's timers


There are a great deal of absurdities that mean my job offers only rare opportunities for teaching English. One way that I keep myself sane is by making my fulfillment of various institutionally-defined roles as efficient and as low-effort as possible. I might be wasting my time and the time of my pupils, but goddammit, I'm going to do so efficiently.

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Non-vegetarian experiences so far

I've found that I've no real interest in eating any meat. It's either tasteless or just unappealing. I didn't expect this; I assumed that my body would really jump at the chance to eat some meat. By contrast if I'm faced with a some green vegetables I want to just eat and eat.

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Should I go to university again?

Though I am currently re-applying to US universities for their combined master's degree-and-PhD programmes, I am not particularly hopeful about being accepted. I was rejected everywhere last year, and I think that one reason for this is not being philosophically mature. I don't know what I'm most interested in and I haven't done any real research. I'm not sure that I can commit to seven years study. Additionally, I'm no longer so keen to go directly to the US, after experiencing life in a completely alien culture here in Korea. This leads me to take seriously the prospect of doing a MPhil degree or equivalent in the UK. There are five or six good universities where it'd be a serious research master's. I think I should avoid one year MA degrees as that would probably be a step sideways or at worst down from my four-year undergraduate.

There are three knowns and one unknown that make it incredibly difficult for me to decide whether to go ahead with this. So of course I'm writing a blog post on these factors to help me move closer to making the decision.

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Love & responsibility

Something big that's changed in my life recently is that my girlfriend has finally fallen for me. This means that I no longer ever really feel lonely here in Korea, even though my social life has dwindled to my girlfriend and one other solid foreigner friend, with a few other foreigners and Koreans who I see from time to time.

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