Friday 15 April 2005

Pros and Cons

Yesterday on the way to meet Tim downtown before our prenatal class, I checked the mail and - lo and behold - there was the "information package" from Comparative Literature at U of T! With really not very much information in it! I don't feel that receiving this package has helped me make a decision at all between York and U of T.

Prenatal class, however, did help. Last night we made up lists of pros and cons for giving birth at the hospital and at home. (As an aside, studies indicate that in a healthy pregnancy - which is what I am having so far - the outcomes of home and hospital birth are exactly the same; one is not safer than the other.) This drawing up of lists gave me the idea to draw up lists of pros and cons to decide which university to go to. Here are my lists so far:

Reasons to go to York

  • York is familiar

  • decent financial support

  • I have an idea of what is expected of me

  • I have an idea of what courses are available

  • I have an idea of what my schedule will be like

  • friendly/helpful admin staff

  • can take 2 years to complete if need be

  • thesis or research paper option rather than just coursework

  • Dr. Swiss (whose opinion I value) recommends two supervisors

  • subject may be easier to handle with new baby

  • English focus rather than Russian may lead to more job opportunities in the future

  • I feel more comfortable and confident in English

    Reasons NOT to go to York

  • not as prestigious as U of T

  • not sure if my lack of confidence is making me favour York as an option right now

    Reasons to go to U of T

  • well respected university and program, looks good on transcript for PhD

  • program is hard to get into and I got in!

  • studying Russian lit was my original plan

  • decent financial support

    Reasons NOT to go to U of T

  • U of T is unfamiliar and intimidating

  • unfriendly and unhelpful admin staff

  • I have no idea what is expected of me

  • I have no idea what my schedule will be like (how many hours of TA-ship? classes? etc)

  • coursework is the only option

  • my Russian is not good enough to properly study the literature

  • getting my Russian up to a decent level will require more time and extra courses

  • due to language I may not be able to keep my marks up to standard

  • this subject may be too difficult with a new baby

  • does not seem as flexible as York

  • I feel like my Milton class this year has opened up a new avenue in literature for me and I want to explore it!

    As you can see, U of T isn't faring so well in the lists. It seems like an easy choice, doesn't it? Well, one thing that I realized in drawing up these lists is that there are too many unknowns in the U of T list for me to really judge accurately. The "information package" didn't really help to clear up any of those unknowns, but it did give me another contact in the department who hopefully (unlike the contact I have been trying to correspond with until now) will answer my questions. I took all the unknowns on my U of T list and put them in an email to the Graduate Coordinator for the Centre for Comparative Literature. We'll see what kind of answers I get back, if any. Though no answer, in this case, is probably enough of an answer for me.
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