My Guide to TAPIF

Before I started TAPIF, I wanted a quick yet detailed rundown of what I should know and expect. I found this information scattered in various blogs across the Internet, so after I finished the program, I decided to write my own condensed guide. My hope is that future applicants will find the combination of information, advice, and my personal experiences helpful as they decide whether to apply to TAPIF, or as they prepare to embark on their journey.

I wrote the article (and was paid for it!) back in April, but it’s finally been published online for everyone’s perusal:

Update about the grad school life

I’ve been mulling over what to write about on this blog for weeks now. It originally started as a promise to a professor and an easy way to keep my friends informed about my life abroad in France, and then as a creative outlet for me to chronicle and dissect my experiences in France and in City Year.

But now my life is no longer a visual scrapbook of European city/sea/landscapes, or a written documentation of the adorable, hilarious, and savage things said and done by elementary schoolers. Instead, my life is full of all the intellectual stimulation and academic writing that I so desperately missed in Laon and DC. So yes, not a particularly exciting life for you unless you love academia.

Most of the people who I know read this blog have already done the whole college thing, so I assume you all probably don’t want to read about my adventures (or lack thereof) in class. But I will say it’s a strange, strange world: seminars only happen once a week for two hours, and here they tend to be combined with undergraduate sections. Three out of the five classes I’m taking are actually dominated by undergrads: Montaigne and Skepticism; Revolution, Sexuality, and Empire in Modern French Fictions; and Other Feminisms.

And as for being the entire French cohort? I won’t lie, it is a bit sad–but not new, because I’ve grown used to being the only French nerd among my friends, in my family, at R-MC, and in City Year. Besides, alienation’s nothing new for a queer, first-gen WOC. Kidding. Mostly.¬†At least here at Cornell, I can interact with passionate French students in the cohorts above me, and all the other Romance Studies students are incredibly kind. My cohort and I also get a nifty shared office space, which looks kind of bland but is a quiet refuge for reading, studying, and escaping human interaction.

Okay, that’s it. I won’t bore you anymore. Have some more pictures of Ithaca instead.