phthalombrage: (Default)
[personal profile] phthalombrage
I am idle and waiting and starting to despair. I am living basically as a housewife at my boyfriend's place in Avignon. I no longer have income (since mid-September) or health insurance (since October 1).

I've been promised both since May in the form of a Ph.D., and I'm afraid it will somehow fall through. It's certainly been dragged out long enough. I feel like I'm being strung along. 8 months since my application, 6 months since my interview, 5 since I accepted, 3 since I learned there were issues with the corporate sponsor, and 1 since the corporate sponsor actually started the process of trying to hire me. Meanwhile my master had its own screwy timeline, wherein classes ended 7 months ago, those grades were released 4 months ago, and the final results for everything only came on October 2, the day after Ph.D.'s usually start!

I'll be fine, but it's ironic that these people got me to pick them over other topics because they claimed the funding was "certain". Meanwhile I still have very little information about the administrative details of the project...

I don't know if I should start looking for a backup plan. I hate mooching off of my boyfriend (it's illegal if I pay part of his rent, though I do perform housewife duties and buy part of the food) and not working (it's illegal for me here as a tourist), and I'll be even more unhappy if I have to stay at my parents' house for longer than a month. I guess that would mean I could take a temporary job in foodservice or holiday retail or something, but I haven't ever NEEDED to stay with my parents since high school. I can keep myself busy while I reapply for Ph.D. topics in France. It's just kind of shitty that I'd have to after rejecting five other topics in favor of this one.

January 2012
2 January: Begin looking for thesis topics
26 January: Begin sending out apps
31 January: First reply

February 2012
2 February: Sent out application for topic I eventually accepted
15 February: First Ph.D. interview
16 February: Date set for interview for topic I eventually accepted
22 Feburary: 2nd Ph.D. interview

March 2012
1 March: Had to change date for interview for topic I eventually accepted
9 March: 3rd Ph.D. inteview
23 March: 4th Ph.D. interview
29 March: Last final for my master's program, though I'm still trying to contact one last professor about what date he's setting for his final (special circumstances: class with another program that only 2 people from the master's program took)
30 March: Application for scholarship for Interview 2 topic

April 2012
2 April: Began internship full-time (part-time and unpaid since October 2011)
27 April: Final Ph.D. interview, for topic I eventually accepted

May 2012
11 May: Response from final Ph.D. interview, upon prodding
15 May: Professor I couldn't contact for months doesn't show up for final for the only 2 students from the master's in his class
16 May: Took a second half-day off work (technically not allowed) for my actual final final for the master's
21 May: Phone calls with professors from two labs. Since topic eventually accepted had "certain funding", rejected scholarship application topic.
22 May: Acceptance of final Ph.D. topic

June 2012
13 June: Jury and grades sent out from classes (September-March)
20 June: First mention of interview with corporate sponsor for topic accepted

July 2012
5 July: Documents requested by lab for topic accepted
6 July: Interview date set with corporate sponsor for topic accepted
7 July: Documents sent to lab for topic accepted
20 July: Non-interview in Paris with corporate sponsor for topic accepted
21 July: Apologetic email responses from professors for topic accepted
23 July: Sent CV to corporate sponsor, who apparently still didn't have it
29 July: Left France because internship lab closed. Two professors in this lab have tried to propose three different topics to me, but I told them I already have a topic lined up.

August 2012
22 August: Scholarship application waitlisted (good thing I didn't accept)
30 August: Flew in from the US.
31 August: Notification that I was back in France for a second corporate interview

September 2012
2 September: Scholarship application rejected (double good that I hadn't accepted that topic)
3 September: Informed via email that the corporate sponsor hadn't even started the application for funding my thesis and that a temp. contract would likely be in place before the real one because of this. Also, the corporate sponsor apparently doesn't want to actually interview me or tell me who my contact person is there. Professor said he'd call me "tomorrow".
4 September: Professor didn't call.
6 September: Finally reached professor's officemate, who got the professor to call me back after 6 PM. He realized the length of temp. contract they wanted would be unfeasible for getting a renewable researcher visa.
15 September: Last day of internship for master's and expiration of student visa
24 September: Final report submitted for master's
27 September: Final jury for master's

October 2012
1 October: Original projected start date for thesis
2 October: Grades released for master's. Professor said I'd go home by the end of October. I noticed the researcher visa wait time had gone up from 7 days max to 21 days max.
18 October: Notification by third party that the document I need was sent to the prefecture in France and "not yet picked up". No other information.

November 2012 (projected)
20 November: Last day to leave France in time for Thanksgiving with my parents.
27 November: Absolute last day I can legally be in the Schengen zone until late February.

December 2012 (projected)
14 December: Estimated latest arrival in France if I manage to leave before 20 Nov. Last chance for Christmas with my boyfriend's family.

January 2013 (projected)
2 January: Estimated earliest start date if I leave 27 November WITH paperwork.
6 January: My boyfriend's birthday.

February 2013 (projected)
25 February: Estimated earliest return to France on a tourist visa (over 1 year after application for chosen topic)

-what is in the contract - nobody told me anything yet
-whether I'll be shafted on the TYPE of contract and thus pay

-who is paying for the round trip to get my visa: the corporate sponsor or me?
-dates of the round trip

-departure airport in France: Lyon, Marseille or Paris?
-which bags I bring (depends on public transit use in the US)

-arrival airport in FL: Miami, Tampa, other?
-whether my dad will meet me in a car, and where
-whether I need to stay in a hotel because visa appointments are AM-only
-how I will get around in Miami: car, hotel shuttle, public transit...
-whether I will fly back to my parents, and which airport (Tampa or Sarasota depending on price and if my dad can pick me up)

-arrival city in France: Avignon (to pick up my stuff) or Nancy (to start right away)

-the apartment search, which requires knowing when I plan to move in
-whether I stay with someone and look at places or just move in someplace right away
-actually moving my stuff (boyfriend driving up from Avignon)

-whether I'll be able to actually take any classes this year

-whether I'll get to spend any holidays important to me this year with the people I'd hoped to spend them with (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, boyfriend's birthday)

-whether we'll actually end up needing that temp contract, because it's supposed to take 3-4 months to set up the real one
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