Grad School Introductions

So I started graduate school this past week.  It’s been busy but not horribly so, and I know I’m going to enjoy this (my friends won’t let me not enjoy it, anyway).  I am taking three classes, and all three are promising for me.  But, one of the things I noticed is that the first thing that people want from you in a graduate-level class is your name, followed by your research interests.  I am a bit fortunate here, in that I have research interests.  I know pretty much what I want to study and write about.  Some people are not so lucky in that respect, but they are lucky in that they get this time to be inspired by something (like I was in 2008).

When I say that people want your research interests, I mean they want it distilled down to a maximum of two sentences.  That’s pretty small when you think about what people are asking about.  I’ve come up with my little introduction speech for these situations:

“My name is Michael Thomét. I am a masters student in the rhetoric and composition English program and I am interested in how narrative and play work together in games, various narratives of play, as well as authorship in games.”

I figure that, when I rattle this off, it may sound coherent and organized, but people probably don’t really know what I’m talking about.  I sound like a grad student, and that’s about as far as people can throw me.  Not that I’m saying people are stupid, it’s just that when I say these things, they only scratch the surface of what I am interested in.  They are categories and don’t tell you where my passion is.  So here I want to go into this and explain what my grad school introduction actually means.
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The Last Six Months — In Brief

So I promised that I would give an update of what happened while I was not here.  And a number of things did happen.

In November, I applied to my first grad school.  This I announced in my last post before I came back.  I did not apply for another one until December.  The problem?  Money.  With it being the holiday season, and I having only been at my job for a few months, I had not the savings that I needed to be able to pay for a) application fees and b) transcript processing.  The drive to work was killing my gas tank and I wasn’t able to save much money for anything I did.  So the second place I applied was the school I graduated from, Arizona State University.  The defeated feeling I felt from having to do this was strong and likely kept me from being social for a while.  I probably hedged out friendships and pushed people away, some of whom aren’t going to come back.  At the time I couldn’t help it, but it didn’t make anything better.  So, December was a slow spiral for me.  December was also when I abandoned my attempt at making a very good writing sample for my applications, and instead revamped an old paper into a much better paper [You can read it here!].  This was still a lot of work, mind you, but it means that I still have not written my paper on player styles.  It will probably become one of my seminar papers.

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