About suck mails: This is not good - please help

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schwiss
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About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby schwiss » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:33 am

Ok, so I have been sending these general suck mails to professors. Most of the replies have been meh, but one professor from an excellent university replied basically that he's in the admission committee and can pretty much guarantee I get in.

Now, I am not stupid enough to fully trust that, but still I seem to have lost my energy of contacting professors from other schools and filling their applications. I was hoping someone could say something mean and depressing, so that I could re-find the anger and determination to complete these endless forms with the required vigor.

negru
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby negru » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:25 pm

Just reply back to that prof: "what, you're taking me in? well you know what, *** you! asshole." Now you'll know you need to complete the other apps.

schwiss
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby schwiss » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:35 pm

negru wrote:Just reply back to that prof: "what, you're taking me in? well you know what, *** you! asshole." Now you'll know you need to complete the other apps.


Thanks, I'll try that! Other ideas, in case that won't work?

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HappyQuark
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:47 pm

schwiss wrote:Ok, so I have been sending these general suck mails to professors. Most of the replies have been meh, but one professor from an excellent university replied basically that he's in the admission committee and can pretty much guarantee I get in.

Now, I am not stupid enough to fully trust that, but still I seem to have lost my energy of contacting professors from other schools and filling their applications. I was hoping someone could say something mean and depressing, so that I could re-find the anger and determination to complete these endless forms with the required vigor.


Nobody will ever love you!

Oh wait, did it need to be physics related?

schwiss
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby schwiss » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:56 pm

HappyQuark wrote:Nobody will ever love you!

Oh wait, did it need to be physics related?


Nope.

ryan6
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby ryan6 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:50 pm

'
Last edited by ryan6 on Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:13 pm

ryan6 wrote:I mean, get real, my professor lets his grad students take turns replying to those emails just for a few laughs.


As much as I know I come off as immature on this forum, this seems very childish for a professor.

-Riley

ryan6
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby ryan6 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:25 pm

schwiss wrote:. I was hoping someone could say something mean and depressing, so that I could re-find the anger and determination to complete these endless forms with the required vigor.


WhoaNonstop wrote:
ryan6 wrote:I mean, get real, my professor lets his grad students take turns replying to those emails just for a few laughs.


As much as I know I come off as immature on this forum, this seems very childish for a professor.

-Riley


*wispering to whoanonstop* obviously i was joking, but dont ruin it, schwiss needs the motivation, i dont think he cares if its a flat out lie ***

*outloud* but its so funny when he lets us post these emails up in the hallways so that everyone who walks by can write "you wish" and "i know this dude, he posted a pgre:420 on physicsgre.com"

schwiss
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby schwiss » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:44 pm

Btw, I just realized I secretly wouldn't be happy to read my original message were I not me, because admissions are a competition, after all. So, I'll add that due to reasons I shall not enumerate here I'm not directly competing with most of you. Therefore, in the other part of the multiverse where the professor is not lying juzt for lulz, it does not hurt your chances at all.

Sorry for this serious message in the midst of the funny ones.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:08 pm

I don't think contacting professors is always counterproductive. I think it depends on your mindset. Are you trying to get contact just to have contact with someone in a school, or are you doing it because you are quite intrigued by the research at hand with that professor? I know there are a few professors (not at my high ranked choices) that I would love to contact, considering they do research that I am heavily interested in and have a background in.

-Riley

schwiss
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby schwiss » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:24 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:I don't think contacting professors is always counterproductive. I think it depends on your mindset. Are you trying to get contact just to have contact with someone in a school, or are you doing it because you are quite intrigued by the research at hand with that professor? I know there are a few professors (not at my high ranked choices) that I would love to contact, considering they do research that I am heavily interested in and have a background in.

-Riley


I'm actually arrogant enough to think my mails are pretty good. I only contact professors whose research actually interest me a lot and for whose research I think my background would be very good. I did my background work by reading everything on their lab page, and 1-3 of some recent interesting papers where the professor seemed to be more than just a last author who did no actual work. Then I wrote a nice and humble e-mail subtly telling them how well I would fit and made sure to ask a couple of questions I actually wanted to know about their papers, their current research projects or something like that.

So far, everyone has answered the questions politely, which is nice. Some replies have been longer than others, and most have said that they think I would be useful for them or good match for the program (I expect this is the standard reply), but that they have no power over admissions. Then there is this one person who (or is it whom?) I mentioned in the OP.

Thus, I think non-spammy professor contacting is definitely not counterproductive. That of course depends on the applicant. I have quite a lot of stuff I want them to acknowledge that is not contained in my scores, GPA, recommendations or even that much in the SOP. The e-mail lets me to squeeze that in without it feeling too out-of-place. Of course one purpose is also to establish contact, given the reasoning that it is very unlikely to do any harm, but might (I have no idea if it actually does) give some small advantage, at least if there is a genuine match between research interests with the contacted professor.

Edit:
I was about to add that I consider myself a pretty good writer. However, re-reading this post does really not reinforce such a statement. I apologize, it's past midnight here in Europe and I'm getting tired.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:30 pm

As long as when writing the emails you give the professor the stage, you should be fine. Most professors don't get to tell people about their research, so they enjoy doing so. Keeping questions that relate to you at a minimum is the best.

-Riley

schwiss
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby schwiss » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:42 pm

Cool. But dear Riley, you are not helping with my original problem at all.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:52 pm

schwiss wrote:Cool. But dear Riley, you are not helping with my original problem at all.


I don't see the problem. Just apply to the program like you normally would.

-Riley

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quizivex
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby quizivex » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:52 pm

Haha, I had no idea "suck mail" was a commonly used term... I remember a thread from last year about emailing profs but thought suck mail was just something the OP coined. Anyway, you may find that discussion helpful...

schwiss
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby schwiss » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:13 pm

That's actually where I got this term.

Just to make it clear, I don't believe I need that much help with what to write. My problem is that one very promising reply made me lose my motivation to force myself to apply to as many places I originally intended. And, given the generally very straightforward (=mean, but justified) way of replying to some of the posts here, I was quite hopeful that I'd get a swift drop back to reality, which would help me complete my applications with full focus. ryan6 and HappyQuark made good attempts (thanks!), but I think they were holding back.

ryan6
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby ryan6 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:48 pm

schwiss wrote:Btw, I just realized I secretly wouldn't be happy to read my original message were I not me, because admissions are a competition, after all. So, I'll add that due to reasons I shall not enumerate here I'm not directly competing with most of you.


I think that if someone gets scared off by the competition, they probably dont want to be on this site in the first place. This site most likely has a tendency to attract the more competitive side of the physics grad applicant pool.

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grae313
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby grae313 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:15 pm

Schwiss: everyone needs a safety. Your professor may not be the only or last word in terms of admissions. Don't be left feeling like a chump. Congrats on your likely offer of admission :)

pqortic
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Re: About suck mails: This is not good - please help

Postby pqortic » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:26 am

grae313 wrote:Schwiss: everyone needs a safety. Your professor may not be the only or last word in terms of admissions. Don't be left feeling like a chump. Congrats on your likely offer of admission :)

don't fool him. they don't give admission to someone without seeing the whole application.
I think the professor had been drunk when he was replying your email which means you are not even lucky enough that they open your emails at right time in the right place. so don't lose hope and contact more professors until you get a moderate reply which should be in the form: "apply... and then, we go from there!"




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