I sat in my tiny kitchen-part of a carelessly designed top-fl oor apartment in a one-time boarding house-with a copy of Rhetoric Review before me, drinking tepid coffee. My MA program was limping into its home stretch, and a pile of library books, mostly about the Perry Scale of Intellectual and Ethical Development-teetered beneath a poster of Meatloaf’s “Back Into Hell” album cover. It was the mid-1990s, and I was deciding to which PhD programs in rhetoric and composition I would submit applications. My GRE scores weren’t bad at all, aside from the math score, which suggested that I was mildly retarded. Based on the time I had available and the cash in my checking account, I could afford to apply to no more than six programs. I made a list, made phone calls to the contact folks at each institution, made myself wait patiently for the forms and such to arrive.