Nonsense. Utter tripe. You have the a keen mind and an appropriate amount of inventiveness. The nice thing about social skills and positive communication patterns are that they can be learned. The former are purely genetic gifts. Since you are internally energized anyway the first thing that would be helpful is to change how you think about yourself. Self-talk works. There's a reason CBT and Motiational Interviewing are the primary (and empirically verified) methodologies for counseling (especially for addictions since it helps get past the roughly 7 seconds of impulsive desire that a chemically induced craving generates). You're your own worst critic.
Send a letter to the work address of the two scholars you mentioned. If you would like, I can read them over (or Wet or M-o-M) before you do. Express your interests and your game plan for achieving said interests. Ask if they have any recommendations. If they blow you off then they're poor teachers and not worth studying with.
Well to give you an idea of my wife's journey, we spent our entertainment budget money to send her to theater conferences. So she would email (read offer up on the unholy alter of political academia) her presentation topic and was eventually accepted as a presenter. Normally you have to be affiliated with an organization of some sort so she came within the purview of the 501c3 theater that she does grant writing and development for. Someone liked one of her presentations and asked her to write a chapter for a compilation book. Score. She also met a lot of the admin folks and PhD students at various universities and chatted them up. So she came into the interview process having already met a good many people at the school she wanted to attend. After a few years at conferences people started to recognize her and view her as a part of that community. Now she already had her MA done (during which we had no children, I deployed, and we actually made money for once in our lives with which we bought furniture and paid off all her student loans. So I feel you on the underprivileged piece, but we have always been careful with our money and cognizant of how student loans can drag down the process. Her MA was at a second tier school with a good reputation, but not exactly what you would call positioning oneself for a top tier school. Again, it was mostly networking and people showing interest in a unique viewpoint of the same old material (sounds like you have the latter factor down). That and God. Got to give credit where credit is due, but don't know where you stand on that front.
So she has good social skills, a high EQ, an excellent memory, and a willingness to put up with people to achieve a goal. Studies show it is the first and the last elements mentioned that predict the greatest chance for success. If you can find a good Career Counselor I would highly recommend it. Unfortunately, I don't know any (worth recommending or otherwise) in your area.
That was the long winding road that took us to where we are now. That and she didn't make it to the final round of cuts the first time she applied to Northwestern. So at the next conference she chatted up some more people and got a better reference and submitted a better writing sample. Voila. Here we are.
If this doesn't do it she will continue on in the journal writing and we will take the time to raise our children. Once they're older we've agreed she should try again, but that will likely mean a lower-tier program. That's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. Besides, job satisfaction is more important for one's self image and life span. She wants to teach. This is her best shot at her dream program. If not, there are other ways to peal an orange.
"The University of the WoT Re-read, headed by Dean Butler"
I wandered around and came upon a sign that said "This way to Gray's Harvest."
Thinking someone was putting me on like
"This way to the egress".I examined it.
There was a marker showing a path to a place outside the University.
I stepped on the marker and was somehow moved to another place almost instantly.
I looked around.
The place was filled with sheaves of grain, placed in an orderly manner about the room.
At the hub of the place was a location marked by a hanging sign which read: "Teories", but as I looked
it changed to "Theories", then to "Terez".
Ahhhh I thought. "One of those modern signs which display information in different languages."
Under the sign, laid out and indexed in an orderly manner just like the sheaves, were many summaries.
I counted 27 and then lost count and counted again.
Finally giving up, I inspected one of them.
Wow. A lot of information. I looked at the others.
They were all like that.
I began to see that this Gray person had harvested grain from the University Garden or some other grain field and processed it,separating some chaff and concentrating it.
I could describe it in two words. Im Pressive.
I saw a sign above and to my left, an arrow pointing left.
I touched it and was immediately back at the University.
I would have to be careful. No telling where I might end up.
*The Theresa>Harvest plus Gray. That is what I meant.
That transcription was straight from Brandon's mouth, so what Brandon said is direct quote, I'm 99% sure.
I listened to it a few times over, and then transcribed it line by line.
I just deleted "uhs" and "ums", as there were quite a few which didn't add much. Let me work on getting you the audio, I've got it in my recorder here in my bag, just need to figure out how to load it to my PC :D.
How would you like me to send the audio file to you?
For the "interview" I just posted, did you link to the actual comment? I could do that again, but I don't have a website of my own or anything. I guess if I revitalized my theoryland account, you could tell me how to post it there... I'll let you know when I've got it ready, and we'll figure it out, eh?
Ooh - the shiny new database! Make me Wetlander, I think. More people know me that way, if they care. About the other signing.... No, I never posted it. I started transcribing it, and discovered that a certain small boy had (probably by accident) figured out how to erase a file. So the part with all the interesting personal q&a was gone, and I was so frustrated I quit. I'll try to go back and at least find my list of questions, so I can fill in what I recall of his answers. Sadly, I won't be able to give verbatim answers, which is a pity because I'd love to give a quotation of his thoughts on the cover art. Can I just email it to you?
Howdy. No, you are quite welcome to indicate that I share much of your take on Cadsuane, and how could I take offense at being considered "among the older members of the fandom"? As for Luckers' stand that she'd risked the world at the Cleansing, I disagree on two points. First, she couldn't have stopped Rand from trying it without dire consequences of a different nature, it was he who was chancing a global disaster not Cadsuane. Second, she knows who he is, she likely saw it as a calculated trust that he is fulfilling his role in the Pattern by even conjuring a technique to perform the Cleansing. Anything truly great requires faith of one sort or another. The fact that the face Cadsuane showed to Rand was of someone who discounted everything he did or said as foolishness doesn't ignore that she was fully aware of the phenomenal things he had already accomplished. But you can't steer someone if they think that you're in awe of them (at least that's the position she's operating from). Good day.
Hey, thanks! I haven't been keeping up on the documentation, so you gave me a good excuse to go exploring again. :) No problem with "older" - either way you look at it, I'm older than most of them! Been reading WoT since the first book came out, and... well, just OLD! Thanks for the shout - and the shoutout! And thanks a MILLION for doing all that documentation. Wow.