When were you enrolled in the program?

Respondent #15: August 1995 - August 1996

How did you learn of the program? UVA MA program materials

Why did you enter the program, and did it meet your expectations?

Frankly, I don't remember why I decided to enroll in a graduate program in English. Having so decided, however, I was attracted to the American Studies program by my interest in American literature and history and by the shortened timetable for the degree. It basically met the few expectations I had.

What did you find most valuable about the program?

The opportunity to realize that graduate school was not for me while only spending a year at it and leaving with a degree despite it all.

Was the program different in any significant ways from your earlier education?

Yes--more pretentious, less fun.

Did the program help you develop any of these aspects of your life?

-Thinking and communicating? Yes
-Work habits? No
-Research abilities? Yes
-Technical abilities? Yes

To what extent did your classmates affect your experience in the program?

To a moderate extent. The program was largely controlled by Prof. Alan Howard.

To what extent did the public venue (the Internet) for much your work affect your experience in the program?

It highlighted the insularity of most higher education, making graduate English programs (including American Studies, though to a lesser extent) seem like a poor use of time and money.

Was the course work appropriate to the goals of the program?

Most of the work was appropriate, though some clearly was not--for example, the task of reading journal articles and writing summaries of them for posting on the AS UVA Web site.

Did you perceive yourself as part of any university department or community larger than the American Studies Program itself?

Yes, to a moderate exent, though I was glad not to feel too enmeshed in the graduate English world.

How well was interdisciplinary study integrated in the program?

Fairly well. I took courses in folklore, bibliography, and the Web--but oddly enough the requirements led me to take an intesive Tibetan language course during the summer of 1996 while I was trying to finish my thesis.

Were the following resources (and any other ones) adequate for your work?

-Libraries? Yes
-Computers and technical support? Close--we could have used more computers dedicated to American Studies students.
-Work space? We also could have used more work space dedicated to us.
-Classes? Sort of (see previous question)
-Faculty? Yes
-Financial support? n/a

During the program did you have any relevant part-time employment?

Yes--in a restaurant where many burned-out former UVA graduate students worked, and in the main library shelving books, mostly in the literature sections.

Please describe briefly your major forms of schooling and/or employment since your time in the program (giving dates, name of organization, and chief activities there):

No schooling; work for Oxford University Press in New York, writing promotional copy for and overseeing the production of book jackets, advertisements, mailers, and catalogs, March 1997-present.

Did you find advising and placement support in the program to be adequate? n/a

Has your involvement in the program made a discernible difference in the subsequent steps of your career?


How might the program be strengthened?

By expanding its enrollment and resources, and most importantly by bringing in other professors who would share planning and administration with Prof. Alan Howard.

Any other reflections?

Charlottesville is beautiful in the spring.