Where did we all decide to go?

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

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quizivex
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by quizivex » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:28 am

maxwell200 wrote:And of course, there's always the issue of whether or not he would want to spend at least 14 hours a day for 6 years working with pompous, self improtant jackasses, like certain forum members here who will go nameless.
will wrote:Cornell is one of the least cutthroat environments, and all of the people I've met who have come from or gone to Cornell have been exceptionally nice.
grae313 wrote:That is interesting because when I visited Cornell, I found all the faculty and students there to be extremely friendly, relaxed, and down to earth. Actually, Cornell has a reputation for being one of the more supportive and collaborative schools.
vroomfondel wrote:Cornell seems WAY more chill than Berkeley/Stanford
The funny thing about this forum is it seems like anytime someone posts an opinion, stereotype, observation or prediction, an army of other users offers overwhelming evidence it was wrong and that the exact diametric opposite is actually the case. lol.
grae313 wrote:At Stanford however, I was treated horribly and I felt like everyone there was a snob.
Wow!! I'm shocked about that... Of course, I don't know much about Stanford personally, but I thought that was supposed to be one of the least pretentious schools and given the weather, location and laid back atmosphere typical of California, the fact that people are happy, combined with what I heard about them wanting everyone to succeed and nobody fails the exams etc...and the fact they don't have the type of ego typically blamed on, say Harvard, I'm surprised...

Could you tell us a specific example of how they treated you badly... I totally believe what you say, but I'm just confused... like why and how would any school be dumb enough to treat their visiting students badly? Did they single you out or did they treat everyone poorly?

I don't see how state school students would get treated any differently at an open house than other students. Firstly, I didn't htink anyone would care who did their undergrad where... since you're all admitted to the same school, you're all equals, you're starting over. And besides, it's not like everyone has their school's name and rank tatooed on their forehead... who's gonna know or care who went where? Maybe our nametags should include our GRE scores so the state school students have a chance to fight back... ah j/k... geez

doom
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by doom » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:00 pm

Just out of curiosity, did anyone go to a school where students or professors admitted that it's really competitive, or that many people don't pass the quals?

I think the "weeding out" thing is more a thing of the past, and most schools try to graduate everyone they admit. Even at the highest-ranked schools I visited (Maryland, UW) they said that 95% or more students pass the quals eventually, and that most of those that don't are the ones who decide a PhD is not for them.

excel
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by excel » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:13 pm

edit: previously posted in the wrong thread by mistake :lol:
Last edited by excel on Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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butsurigakusha
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by butsurigakusha » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:22 pm

I think the "weeding out" thing is more a thing of the past, and most schools try to graduate everyone they admit. Even at the highest-ranked schools I visited (Maryland, UW) they said that 95% or more students pass the quals eventually, and that most of those that don't are the ones who decide a PhD is not for them.
I agree. When I visited Berkeley and Illinois, I did not get the impression from anyone that I talked to that it was extremely competitive, the students didn't seem too stressed out, and they all said that quals were no big deal.

hpharty
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by hpharty » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:04 pm

When you all sent in your acceptance letters, did you receive a prompt reply? I faxed mine on Friday followed by an e-mail to the Recruitment Chair. Still no response. This is making me very uncomfortable.

fermiguy
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by fermiguy » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:16 pm

hpharty wrote:When you all sent in your acceptance letters, did you receive a prompt reply? I faxed mine on Friday followed by an e-mail to the Recruitment Chair. Still no response. This is making me very uncomfortable.
Hummm... I did everything online and got official emails back pretty promptly. I also took screen shots.... I wouldn't worry too much... Although you may want to call them just in case tomorrow.

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dlenmn
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by dlenmn » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:17 pm

doom wrote:I think the "weeding out" thing is more a thing of the past, and most schools try to graduate everyone they admit.
I think a lot of the "weeding out" stories come from fields other than physics, but get lumped with other tales we listen to about grad school in general. Although you might not know it from the money we were offered, physics is fairly well funded as far as graduate programs go, and that reduces the need to weed. The same might not be true for English Literature...

hpharty
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by hpharty » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:36 pm

Something is funny about the phrase "need to weed". I just can't quite put my finger on it.

vroomfondel
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by vroomfondel » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:13 pm

something is funny about the word "finger" but I can't quite get to the bottom of it.

agonizomai
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by agonizomai » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:30 pm

I've accepted the offer from Maryland and was at the open house. My name is John. Were you the guy who wanted to do complex networks?

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dlenmn
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by dlenmn » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:35 pm

Well, I just declined U Penn's offer, so Wisconsin it is! Maybe now I should stop reading this forum and do something productive... like find an apartment... VT, you having any luck?

doom
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by doom » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:56 am

If you're talking to me (regarding Maryland), then no. I am interested in high energy theory.

gcensr
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by gcensr » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:05 am

I decided on Harvard - LISE and a couple of the Profs there were just impossible for me to turn down. I'm psyched, and can't wait to get to Cambridge...

I agree with a lot of the sentiments about Cornell students being awesome, friendly, and not arrogant. I felt that at other institutions (including Harvard), students' mentalities varied from group to group, but at Cornell, everyone seemed to have the right state of mind (for me at least). It was one of the reasons I strongly considered going to Cornell, and I may have definitely ended up there if my research interests better aligned with the department.

Good luck to everyone on their decisions, and especially good luck to those I met at various open houses (though you may not know who I am on this forum...).

VT
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by VT » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:17 am

@ dlenmn:

I found 1 bed room in a two bed room apt for this summer only. Its on Harvey Street( it is a University housing) The rent is $340/month with all utilities included(free laundry facilities). I am moving there in the summer(May 25).

kangen558
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by kangen558 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:04 am

agonizomai wrote:I've accepted the offer from Maryland and was at the open house. My name is John. Were you the guy who wanted to do complex networks?
I think you might be describing me. I was at the open house (and have accepted their offer), and I have an interest in complex networks. I'm Mark. Anyway, I guess I'll see you at Maryland!

marten
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by marten » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:30 pm

I'm going to Lehigh this fall. Anyone else heading there also?

I was a bit surprised last Friday to get an email that I had made it to the #1 waitlist spot for full financial support at Drexel. I decided to withdraw my application as I had already decided on Lehigh. Very happy with my choice, I just didn't expect that from Drexel!

Marten

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noojens
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by noojens » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:07 pm

I sent in my acceptance to Cornell - hello Cornell people :)

(I've been lurking around for a month or two, first post though.)

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grae313
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by grae313 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:33 pm

noojens wrote:I sent in my acceptance to Cornell - hello Cornell people :)

(I've been lurking around for a month or two, first post though.)
hello! were you at the open house? what is your area of interest?

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noojens
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by noojens » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:35 pm

grae313 wrote:hello! were you at the open house? what is your area of interest?
I was not at the open house - I've never even been to Ithaca (eep). I'm in the Applied Physics department, and I'm interested in plasma physics, specifically applications to controlled fusion. How about you?

cancelled20080417
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by cancelled20080417 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:28 pm

How can you be doing plasma research at Cornell, noojens? Do they have anybody doing plasma physics there!

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dlenmn
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by dlenmn » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:48 pm

RG wrote:How can you be doing plasma research at Cornell, noojens? Do they have anybody doing plasma physics there!
Yes, they're just not in the physics dept proper.

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dlenmn
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by dlenmn » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:59 pm

VT wrote:I found 1 bed room in a two bed room apt for this summer only. Its on Harvey Street( it is a University housing) The rent is $340/month with all utilities included(free laundry facilities). I am moving there in the summer(May 25).
Interesting. I was just looking at the Harvey Street apartments. Do you know anything about their availability during the school year? Any plans for housing then? I'm starting to compare places online, but I feel that it's really something that I should be there to do (but I don't think that I'll be able to make it out there to do that).

christopher3.14
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by christopher3.14 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:27 pm

After much deliberating up to just 2 hours ago I finally chose Columbia.

Congrats again to all of you. I'm so glad to finally be done with this process.

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noojens
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by noojens » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:53 pm

I lived in Madison for a few years - if any of you UW folks have questions about neighborhoods and the like, I might be able to help.

And yep, as dlenmn mentioned, the plasma research (theory and experiment, oddly enough) is mainly in the Applied & Engineering Physics department.

Congratulations to all :)

___
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by ___ » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:11 pm

I just turned down Harvard astro for Santa Cruz physics. Rankings be damned.

cancelled20080417
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by cancelled20080417 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:15 pm

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Was is due to two-body problem???

VT
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by VT » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:18 pm

@ dlemn:
Check ur inbox. I have PM'ed you about the apt.

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grae313
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by grae313 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:19 pm

___ wrote:I just turned down Harvard astro for Santa Cruz physics. Rankings be damned.
:shock:

___
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by ___ » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:21 pm

Only partly. It was a very complicated calculus. I got lots of reassurance from many people (including people at Harvard) that I couldn't really go wrong given my interests. Santa Cruz grads seemed to all go off and do good things, so the prestige doesn't matter as much. I think the real kick was that the physics and astronomy departments are so separate at Harvard, while they're on the same floor at Santa Cruz. But it was certainly a close agonizing decision.

VT
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by VT » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:08 am

Good luck ________ ( ur username is pretty cool)
Were you at Wisconsin's openhouse!!

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quizivex
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by quizivex » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:34 am

Wow, VT and dlenmn shall unite! Awesome! Ugh I wish I had gotten to meet some of the people on the forum from this year. Well, at least I met schmit.paul!
_____ wrote:I just turned down Harvard astro for Santa Cruz physics. Rankings be damned.
RG wrote:HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Was is due to two-body problem???
Let's just hope he finishes the PhD before he attempts the 3-body problem :wink:

But congrats, _____!
noojens wrote:I'm in the Applied Physics department, and I'm interested in plasma physics, specifically applications to controlled fusion.
Sweet, another fusion dude. Welcome to the forum.

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butsurigakusha
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by butsurigakusha » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:04 am

Well, I bet Santa Cruz is a much nicer place to live than Cambridge. I applaud your choice.
Last edited by butsurigakusha on Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

megatron
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by megatron » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:12 am

___ wrote:I just turned down Harvard astro for Santa Cruz physics. Rankings be damned.
Good for you (I hope). I'm sure you'll be happier with such a wonderful climate.

doom
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by doom » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:26 am

Plus, Santa Cruz is the banana slugs. Can't think of a much cooler mascot than that.

drken
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by drken » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:54 am

i decided on princeton (astrophysical sciences), although i'll be deferring for a year to do the part III maths in cambridge. i'm not really looking forward to the non-physics life in princeton (would have preferred berkeley or chicago much more), but it was clearly the best choice for my research interests and for future outlook.

___
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by ___ » Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:07 am

VT wrote:Good luck ________ ( ur username is pretty cool)
Were you at Wisconsin's openhouse!!
Yeah, I was. I'm sure I met you there. I was the guy that refused to wear a scarf, and I was one of the last two to leave the party on Saturday night. I do appreciate a crowd that appreciates their beer. Also, I wore a very old coat. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out who each other were given that we know we were in the same place at the same time.

geomar
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by geomar » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:34 am

gcensr wrote: Good luck to everyone on their decisions, and especially good luck to those I met at various open houses (though you may not know who I am on this forum...).
I am pretty sure I know who you are as I think we kept running into each other at every open house. I am going to be turning Harvard down (though I liked the research a ton, probably the most overall of any school). One of the toughest decisions I have ever made, but I'll be at Stanford next year.

I think I met Grae at one of the open houses as well, and probably some other people on the forum.

hpharty
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by hpharty » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:59 am

I'll be at Johns Hopkins. YOU KNOW IT!

fermiguy
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by fermiguy » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:40 am

Reading this thread is a lot of fun! I don't know about you guys but it feels nice to know that the whole admission and GRE nonesense is over and to see people with success! This is something to celebrate! Congratulations everyone! :D

*edited for clarity....

rooibos
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by rooibos » Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:54 pm

christopher3.14 wrote:After much deliberating up to just 2 hours ago I finally chose Columbia.

Congrats again to all of you. I'm so glad to finally be done with this process.
Awesome! Did you apply for housing yet? Maybe we'll be roomies :mrgreen:

megatron
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by megatron » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:14 pm

___ wrote:
VT wrote:Good luck ________ ( ur username is pretty cool)
Were you at Wisconsin's openhouse!!
Yeah, I was. I'm sure I met you there. I was the guy that refused to wear a scarf, and I was one of the last two to leave the party on Saturday night. I do appreciate a crowd that appreciates their beer. Also, I wore a very old coat. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out who each other were given that we know we were in the same place at the same time.
Did you visit Santa Cruz as well?

christopher3.14
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by christopher3.14 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:45 pm

rooibos wrote:
christopher3.14 wrote:After much deliberating up to just 2 hours ago I finally chose Columbia.

Congrats again to all of you. I'm so glad to finally be done with this process.
Awesome! Did you apply for housing yet? Maybe we'll be roomies :mrgreen:
Fellow Columbian! No, I haven't yet. Did you go to the Open House?

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dlenmn
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by dlenmn » Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:45 am

quizivex wrote:Wow, VT and dlenmn shall unite! Awesome! Ugh I wish I had gotten to meet some of the people on the forum from this year. Well, at least I met schmit.paul!
Well, Wisc has lots of plasma stuff, so you may visit at some point. If so, VT and I will throw a room party in your honor!

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quizivex
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by quizivex » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:44 am

Ah yes, true! I'll probably have an occasion to go to Wisconson at some point during the next few years.

VT
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by VT » Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:04 am

yeah right on dlenmn!

myumla
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by myumla » Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:53 pm

hpharty wrote:I'll be at Johns Hopkins. YOU KNOW IT!
me too! did you go to the open house in february?

___
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by ___ » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:29 pm

megatron wrote:
___ wrote:
VT wrote:Good luck ________ ( ur username is pretty cool)
Were you at Wisconsin's openhouse!!
Yeah, I was. I'm sure I met you there. I was the guy that refused to wear a scarf, and I was one of the last two to leave the party on Saturday night. I do appreciate a crowd that appreciates their beer. Also, I wore a very old coat. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out who each other were given that we know we were in the same place at the same time.
Did you visit Santa Cruz as well?
Yeah, I did, but not on the official visit day. Darn conflicting visits.

hpharty
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by hpharty » Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:37 pm

myumla wrote:
hpharty wrote:I'll be at Johns Hopkins. YOU KNOW IT!
me too! did you go to the open house in february?

Yes I did. I was the guy with the black rimmed glasses and big curly hair.

myumla
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by myumla » Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:26 pm

hpharty wrote:
myumla wrote:
hpharty wrote:I'll be at Johns Hopkins. YOU KNOW IT!
me too! did you go to the open house in february?

Yes I did. I was the guy with the black rimmed glasses and big curly hair.
Ok, I remember you :) I was one of the three girls at JHU open house, and then we met at the CMU weekend too. Did JHU sent you some kind of confirmation after you accepted their offer? I haven't heard from them since the open house, I don't know whether I should be worried at this point...

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quizivex
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Re: Where did we all decide to go?

Post by quizivex » Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:24 am

@grae

There's a thread waiting for you in the GRE forum.



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