You’ve done a thorough job of pros and cons (of course you have, you're you :D) so mostly I’m just going to throw in my opinion.
Ivy leagues always look good and are almost always out of reach. The biggest pro for them is the networking that comes with going to a school where the alumni form a full time sorority/cult. I’m not saying this as a bad thing – it’s incredibly useful, unfortunately it’s also quite unobtainable for us somewhat realistic folk who don’t want to spend out whole lives (only two-thirds or so) paying off student loans.
Masters programs have their pro’s – is there a required internship at Dartmouth or even a career office that will circulate your resume to non-traditional job markets. This could potentially make it a contender, but still a bit risky…
UMass Amherst is a wonderful school. I don’t know about the English department, but the psychology department was kick ass. This also means that they’re looking for something spectacular on your application. GRE scores, publications, etc. You’ll pay out of state tuition, but it will still be cheaper than someplace like Harvard. I think that it is a serious contender.
Cornell is Cornell. The problem with an accelerated program like that is that you’re getting a very general education which may limit your job opportunities. On the other hand, it is Cornell and sometimes name dropping works wonders…Still a contender, but honestly I’m still a bit more for UMass.
Binghamton is a good school and I think that you’re problem with it is that it feels a lot like backtracking, but it’s not and you’ll probably benefit from being in a familiar area. And as much as the clouds will lead to acute depression they will also motivate you into finishing as quickly as possible. Also, receiving two degrees from the same university shows loyalty and may perhaps open job doors. Plus you know at least one professor who will make you work and actually like it which is almost impossible to find.
So, to sum up, yes to UMass, Cornell, and Binghamton. Also, do a bit more digging for Dartmouth – it may be worth it.
I think the festival sounds lovely and I’m glad that despite the late start you had a good time.
Friday I went to a gypsy jazz concert and it was glorious, but I’ve kind of had a lazy week so not a lot of new and exciting things. Still I can take you on a mini tour up Andrassay Utca (Street).
This is the opera house and its painted ceiling which is beyond words and you could probably spend hours looking at and still take it all in.
I get student discount tickets which I really need to take advantage of, but there are so many options and you know how indecisive I can be when faced with too much choice…
These are some random houses on the street I thought they were pretty freaking cool and so I took photos of them. If they have any significance I don’t know what, but still I hope you appreciate them.
This is Heroes Square. It was erected to celebrate Hungary’s thousandth year in existence and to support the, then, monarchy.
On either side of it are art museums.
They are the reason I was walking on Andrassy, but when I got there they were closed for a while due to some military thing. I’m not sure what was happening, but the music was quite interesting. Military drums are kind of universal and kind of not, but they always make you think of power and I think if the crowd had surged forward I probably would have followed…
I did make it to one Museum – the National Museum of Fine Arts (second in the two museum pictures) – and they had some old paintings from all over Europe. Some very good, some very primitive, but all worth looking at. I wish I’d had a bit more time to check it out, but now I suppose I’ll have an excuse to go back!
Lastly, and not on Andrassy, this is my apartment building. I like it. It feels like it could be in Greenwich village, NYC.
I hope that your query letters are coming along well and that you’re coming up with lots of ideas for NaNo! Can you believe it’s in less than one month?!? Crazy.