En route USA #04 – Finances.

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Click here for Part 3 - Essays.

Assuming you’re done applying by say, December 31st, you have about 2 to 3 months to wait before the admission decisions start rolling in. While some do get a response as early as end of January or mid-February, the general consensus is around the beginning of March all the way till May or sometimes even June. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that colleges with earlier deadlines will respond faster. What goes behind the screens inside the admission committees is a mystery we’ll never unearth. I did find universities in UK responding much faster though. Most of them had deadlines open till late March or even rolling deadlines that never closed. Glasgow replied to my application literally the next morning. Bath, Leeds and Queen Mary took less than 3 weeks, as stated in their website. Imperial stated a wait of maximum 4 weeks but responded in the 6th week only. Still, all of them were mighty faster compared to US.

My point is, you got time to kill now. And this is usually when the mind starts to ruminate about what you’ve been doing the last few months and the reality of what’s to come. A big bummer in that reality is money, how much you’ve spent and how much you’re yet to spend and will it all be worth it and will you ever make it back. Here’s how much I spent.

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En route USA #03 – Essays.

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Click here for Part 2 - Exams.

One of the really cool things about applying abroad is that you get to make your case. As far as I know it’s all about numbers in India. You have a defined entrance exam and a set cut-off you clear. Reservation quotas might come into play then. Sometimes there’s an interview and even then it’s too technical. Nobody asks you about your story or what purpose you think you will serve by getting this degree. Foreign universities make space for this in the form of personal and academic statements, usually put together as one – the statement of purpose.

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En route USA #02 – Exams.

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Click here for Part 1 - Choices.

Once you’re set on colleges, take a look at their deadlines and start registering for the mandated exams. The General GRE is pretty much a standard for all STEM courses. Business and management courses will need GMAT. Specialized courses like pure sciences, literature and mathematics might need a subject GRE but few universities have begun phasing them out recently. Except very few cases, which differ with each college, you will almost certainly need to take a language test, either TOEFL or IELTS. Go figure.

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En route USA #01 – Choices.

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             So last week my visa finally came in and in another five weeks, I am out of the country for a minimum of two years. This time last year, I was clueless. I was taking online courses on computational fluid dynamics in hopes of landing a job as an aerospace engineer. Now I’m a month away from starting my master’s degree in physics. What happened? Either the best or the stupidest decision of my life, that’s what happened. (more…)

2131 Poetry#19 – Who’s happy ?

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Attempts at poetry, Commentary, Rants

Who’s happy?
The optimist is overfed on disappointment,
no outcome’s ever up to the mark of his imagination.
The pessimist walks away with his coin still in the air,
the odds are fifty-fifty, but who’s got time to care?
The realist is drenched in sweat for he knows he can never really know,
until the result is out but by then what’s the point anymore.

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1312 Poetry#18 – The Last one.

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Cover image

Nerdgasm 0003 – The How Works.

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It’s been 2 weeks since Endgame was out and it’s currently the number two at the global office just $300 million away from the reigning champ, Avatar. I myself have watched it about 5 times.

meme

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endgame cover

Avengers Endgame : A thank you note.

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Avengers Endgame was, beyond being a movie of spectacular scale, a love letter from Marvel to all its fans and a glorious homage to its history. This post shall be my love letter to Avengers Endgame. (more…)

Nerdgasm 0002 – Endgame Expectations.

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So the past few posts must have implied how obvious of a fan I am. While I did, unfortunately, end up glancing at few spoilers in parts, I have taken a hiatus from the social media world until I watch Endgame tomorrow when it finally releases in India. I’ve even not viewed most of the trailers or TV spots, barring the first couple or so. Fans have been theorizing what could happen in Endgame since Infinity war a year ago. I couldn’t possibly come up with a new theory that hasn’t been said or debunked already. So what I am going to do is make a list of all my “dream” scenes that I would absolutely love to watch on the big screen tomorrow. Now bear in mind that I have not viewed any of the leaked scenes or spoilers, so things I’m writing about here may have already been rendered impossible or have actually happened and even shown in the promo materials. Maybe I’ll catch up with everything after watching Endgame tomorrow night and figure out for myself on how far away or how close to reality I really was. (more…)

MCU Rewatch : Phase 3

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After phase one and phase two, I am very interested in how exactly Marvel is planning to bring the story to a close in Endgame because, in the current state of the MCU, it is practically impossible to have a truly standalone movie without the other heroes butting in.  Movies like Civil War and Homecoming fully embraced it,  CW became pretty much an Avengers 2.5 while every aspect of Homecoming from the villain’s origin to the hero’s journey directly stems from events in the MCU’s past. Then there are movies like Dr.Strange, Black Panther and Captain Marvel which found workarounds like time lags or secret kingdoms to justify being standalone, origin stories. It almost feels like the MCU’s bubble is close to its bursting point and Endgame absolutely must end some of the existing arcs and sort of “reset” the MCU so that future characters have enough space to grow on their own terms. (more…)

MCU Rewatch : Phase 2

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Kevin Feige said that all the phase one movies happened over the course of a few weeks and eventually led to the Avengers and that was perfect because it allowed the movies to completely stand on their own without neckbeards raising questions like “Where was that hero when this hero was in trouble?” and so on. Phase one puts that freedom to excellent use and only hints at the greater universe in short nods and background detail. Each movie is very different and very much standalone. Phase 2 continues that but then the lines are definitely starting to get blurred. (more…)

MCU Rewatch : Phase 1.

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I was extremely sure when I began this blog that I would lose interest and give up in a couple of weeks as I usually do with most things that I don’t “have” to do. Here we are three years later and this is my 96th post. I am awfully sentimental – of people, places, things – this blog is no different, so I can’t shake off this nagging feeling to make the 100th post something poignant and special. I’ve promised way too many people that it’d be about them and clearly can’t fulfil all of them. For all the people I disappointed, from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to say, “My bad.” People have a tendency to change, or worse, leave. I don’t want to look back on this post down the line and feel the wrong kind of nostalgia. You know who will always love you back just the same? The Avengers. Can’t possibly go wrong with that choice.  (more…)

Captain Marvel

Captain’s log 08032019 – Spoilers Galore!

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Captain Marvel is right up there with some of the phase one origin stories of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. When the world was a much simpler place and superheroes were still not so established. But its placement after Infinity War and so close to Endgame makes its stakes feel rather insignificant. Ant-man and Wasp came right after Infinity war as well but that had lovable returning characters whose situation we were worried about during the events of Infinity war. Captain Marvel is a brand new character we’re supposed to get to know now so that her presence in Endgame makes sense – she doesn’t enjoy the popularity of Spiderman who could be directly thrust into Civil War after 10 minutes of chatting with Tony Stark. While it is a great story and a wonderful piece of cinema, the cinematic universe format that Marvel has carved for itself has ended up pushing it into the shadow of the looming threats of Endgame.

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Rant #22 – Peace out.

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We are so used to watching the hero and villain duke it out on screen and cheering for CSK vs RCB on twitter that we have developed no other means of conflict resolution whatsoever. We are so used to being just the audience to performances that we view even war through the same goggles. The movie ends, the match gets over and the participants and the audience return to their normal lives. War is no movie and we are no mere audience in this scenario.

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2030 Poetry#17 – Glass panes.

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I did not notice the fish tank in the background until much later when I was going through the photos we took that night and this was inadvertently caught in one corner. The absurdity initially did make me chuckle as I thought to myself what the fish must feel like stuck behind a glass pane and having to watch other dead fish day in and day out. Is it sad? Is it glad that no one’s killed it yet? However, the current scene in India with the back and forth strikes at the Line of control and the whole country praising war through memes on social media (So much 21st century in one sentence, amirite?), it got me thinking – We are all that fish silently watching other fish die from behind glass panes we so conveniently carry in our palms.