Time Management

Something I really struggle with is time management. Now that I have my materials gathered, textbooks out, apps installed, practice tests ready to go.

So now what?

This post will mostly be me organizing my ideas on how to come up with a schedule for myself.

I have four textbooks I want to read. Three will be review, one will be new.

An Introduction to Language, 9th edition – Fromkin, Rodman, Hyams
An Introduction to Sociolinguistics – 3rd edition – Holmes
Rhethorical Grammar – 6th edition – Kolln, Gray*

Language Files: Materials for an Introduction to Language and Linguistics –  11th Edition – Mihalicek, Wilson

I have a GRE app on my phone which I think will do well to help me, but I might want to get a book as well. For now I’ll just focus on the app and maybe look around on the internet and see what resources I can find.

GRE study time
Textbook  reading

After looking up some info about GRE studying, it says I could be ready in a maximum of 12 weeks? I suppose if I didn’t have children I could do that. Maybe I can take the GRE in October to see how I do. That would give me time to retake it if I need to.

I just looked at the GRE site again and noticed there are a lot of available dates and times for the computer adapted test. Looks like I can pretty much take it at any time I feel that I’m ready. Which is good. Gotta figure out how I’m going to get an extra $200 though. Heh.

That helps to know though.

Man I am so tired, it’s hard to think.

Ok, moving on… stream of consciousness post going on here.

I need to work on building my vocabulary. Reading will be the best for that. Flash cards suck because words work best in context. The New York Times and the New Yorker have been helping me find new cool crazy words. I’m also reading the unabridged version of Pride and Prejudice, which has good diction as well. Maybe I can use a white board to put up words in context with their definitions. Cram it into my brain and erase when I feel confident that I know it through and through.

I read that using “algebra/geometry for dummies” book would be beneficial in getting reacquainted with math needed for the quantitative section.


I wonder if I could get this all done to be enrolled next year. I don’t know if I could with the kids being as young as they are. Maybe waiting an extra year would be beneficial cuz I can do self-study and research to help build my portfolio to get into the program. And if my GRE score isn’t to a high enough standard for me, I can retake it.

So much to think about, but I’m feeling cautiously confident.


*I took a class from Loretta Gray, and she is the most kind, down to earth person ever. She’s great. She pretty much let me take her class as an independent study course.


Obtained my Tools

You know you’re an adult when you get excited over buying pens, highlighters, notebooks, and a planner.

That is what I did today. I’ve started writing down notes like the basics of exponents (which I have unsurprisingly forgotten) and vocabulary words with example sentences for context. I bought a five subject notebook to put all my study notes in. I know some would say, “well duh, what else would you do”, but it’s been six years since I’ve been in school. It’s kind of new and exciting again.

My husband and I have talked that if we were very wealthy people, we would be professional students. We would take classes together and learn everything. Forever students.

Since we are not rich, I suppose I’ll just work toward learning everything I can about a subject I really love: language.

PhD in Linguistics: Getting Started Resources

This page is being used to centralize information so I don’t have to keep a million bookmarks and try to navigate through pages again.

The Program


90 Credits
Required courses (35 credits):

LING 507 (“Syntax I”)
LING 508 (“Syntax II”)
LING 532 (“Sociolinguistics I”)
LING 551 (“Phonology I”)
LING 552 (“Phonology II”)
LING 550 or 553 (“Phonetics I or II”)
LING 542 or 579 (“Semantics I or II”)

Catalog of Linguistic courses: http://www.washington.edu/students/crscat/ling.html

Prospective Student FAQ: https://linguistics.washington.edu/prospective-graduate-students-faq

8. What are your admission criteria?

Here are some of the criteria that we take to be important when we make admission decisions. Note that they are just general guidelines to help you with your application process.

  1. linguistics coursework successfully completed
  2. strong recommendations from linguistics instructors
  3. good grades and GRE scores
  4. personal statement that describes the applicant’s motivation for graduate study, as well as possible areas of research. The more specific, the better.
  5. sample of written work demonstrating your ability to conduct linguistic research

9. What do you expect from a personal statement/statement of purpose?

The personal statement should describe your background and research interests as well as your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree in our department. Our department values the contribution of students from diverse and/or non-traditional backgrounds to the intellectual and social enrichment of the program. Please include in your personal statement any relevant information concerning your personal history, family background, work or volunteer experiences, and formative influences on your intellectual development. This information might involve cultural and educational opportunities (or the lack thereof), social, economic, or physical advantages and/or disadvantages that you have experienced, work or life experiences in minority or underrepresented communities, and the ways in which these experiences have affected your life, studies, and decisions concerning pursuing linguistics as a career goal. Speak to how these experiences demonstrate your ability to take initiative, conduct research, solve problems, particularly as relates to your interests and work in linguistics, or other research you have conducted. Include special interests and abilities, career plans, and future goals.

10. What do you expect from a writing sample?

A writing sample should demonstrate your ability to conduct research in linguistics. It could be a term paper, an honors thesis, an MA thesis or a write-up of a conference presentation, or another sample that you will accurately represents your research aptitude.


Cost: $205
Intended testing date: 2/3/2018
Registration deadline: 12/29/2017

New Life Goals

I need a goal, and I have chosen the goal: To get a PhD in Linguistics.

Let’s back up a bit. I’ve been riding the wave of depression for the last few months. Lack of sleep, lack of things to do, and lots and lots of rain contributed to its flare up. Hormones compounded it. I was a mess. I still kind of am. My poor husband. He’s so stressed out, and my depression is not helping him feel any better. (I know it’s not about him, but we’re in a partnership and his happiness is my happiness, and vice versa.)

The last week or so I have been spending a lot of time pondering and weighing my career options. I know for sure that I don’t want to be an office drone for the rest of my life. I want an actual career that matters to me, that I enjoy going to and being a part of. I thought about microbiology, which I have zero background in and would have to start from the very beginning. I thought about computational linguistics, which would require a lot of effort on my part to get up to par with the computer side of it. Finally I looked more closely at the university’s linguistics department’s page and came to the conclusion that if I work really hard for the next two years, I can definitely get into its doctoral program.

Two years.

The first year would be spent reacquainting myself with linguistics. When I was studying for my bachelor’s degree, I stumbled upon linguistics right near the end of my program. I probably would have switched majors had the school had a linguistics major, but it just had a few classes here and there. I loved the ones I took. But that was several years ago… gosh, six to be exact.

I found out which textbook the university uses in their introduction class and purchased it used. I still have the books I used from my alma mater, but I want to make sure I get the same information that the university is uses with their undergraduates.

I also need to study and take the GRE.

I’m hoping to accomplish this by the December 15, 2018 application deadline.

The second year would be spent keeping up with the knowledge I’m gaining and preparing to enter the doctoral program for Fall 2019.

I need to keep myself motivated, involved, engaged, and actively working toward this program. I think I can do it. I know I can do it. And I plan to use this blog to do just that.