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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:17 pm 
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Congrats quark!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:31 pm 
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I am hating school right now. I have to find a policy that contributes to a health inequity, and it needs to be the foundation of my thesis, and everything I am coming up with doesn't quite fit the mark. I know what I'd *like* to write about but it's more about the need for a policy rather than an analysis of an existing policy. And so I found a policy that was interesting but it's so recent there probably isn't any literature about it. And I feel like my prof is being so god damned vague about what she actually wants! ARGH.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:02 pm 
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j-dub, are there any health polices related to first nations you can study? There's a lot of first nations literature out there.


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:12 pm 
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Congrats, quark!!!

I'm feeling frustrated today because there's a job I really wanted to interview for-- like I've been waiting a year for recruiting season to come around so I could interview-- and the way the stupid university career site works, the first 8 people to submit their applications get the only interview slots. The rest of us have to go on the wait list. It's not merit based at all. I'm mad because I know some of the people who got the slots and some are just interviewing to practice for next year (they're not actually graduating/looking for jobs this year) and the others don't really want the job but are doing it as back up in case they don't get the big pharma job they're drooling for. At the info session last week none of these people even bothered to show up. In fact, when i gave a presentation to my research group last year about the chemistry this company does, some of them head the nerve to laugh and say the chemistry was too "simple" for the likes of them. I guess they're not too good for it anymore. Bah. Meanwhile, people like me who give a shiitake about the work and would love to do it are SOL. It's life and life's not fair but it still cheeses me off.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:26 pm 
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ok immediate update!

I just got an email that the company really liked my application and scheduled me an interview for Monday! Yes! I don't know how that happened....I guess they might have overridden the university's stupid system and bumped all the clunker applications? Wooooohoooooo! Now I have to prepare. OHMYGOD how do I prepare for this interview.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:48 pm 
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My research is back to being shiitake again. I have to go to a lab meeting in like ten minutes and tell everyone that it is back to being shiitake. Bad day on the rollercoaster.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:33 am 
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I hope things are looking up, C&S!

For those of you in theory-heavy disciplines, how do you read theory efficiently? I am reading the most dense, stupid, irritating piece by Dorothy Smith (the ideas are actually pretty awesome, it's the fact that they are wrapped up in ten tonnes of intellectual wankage that is making me want to cry) and I am getting nowhere.

I feel like I'm developing some solid skills for more quantitative pieces but this kind of stuff just kills me.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:50 am 
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I'm really selective about the theory stuff I read (I'm doing research in a cross-over topic of sociology and history, and goodness there are plenty of theoretical wafflers in those fields! I only read stuff that I'm sure is going to be very relevant and useful, and try to alternate it with articles/chapters that are more grounded in practical stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:18 pm 
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I don't have a choice at this point--I'm doing coursework. My own research will be much less theory-heavy (thank God!).

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Welp, I had my interview today! I waaaaaaay over prepared. There were no technical questions at all, just HR stuff like about leadership and conflict resolution. Hopefully I made a good impression! He said I'd hear back about an onsite interview anywhere from next month to NEXT SPRING. Hopefully I'll have some competing offers so I can get them to commit if they're slow to respond.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:56 am 
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Ok. I drafted most of the guest lecture I will give on the 17th (which needs pre-approval from the team of profs leading the class....) and now have only piles of writing to do. I can't decide if I need a quick walking break or not between tasks, but man, piles of writing and a cute boy in my bed! Come on grad school, go fasterrrrrrrr.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:35 am 
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Ok guys... So GeorgiaTech is doing a partnership degree with Udacity (a MOOC provider) to offer a MS in Computer Science. My first MS is in Computer Information Systems. GeorgiaTech says it will be the same content/rigor as their on campus degree. I submitted my application yesterday (but stupidly didn't submit my driver's license so I have to send that separately). They are starting the pilot program in January so if I get accepted for the pilot program (600 students), then I shall be a student in January. More to come.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:37 am 
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Exciting!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:38 pm 
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j-dub wrote:
For those of you in theory-heavy disciplines, how do you read theory efficiently?


With lots of eye-rolling.

Reading theory you're not into is the worst (and I'm not into most theory).

If you just mean strategies for reading straight through the text really fast, I have none. I can only read theory for about 3 or 4 hours a day max, and it ruins me for all other academic work that day.

Sometimes I try to find notes online. If I can get a general idea of what the theorist will be arguing and why ahead of time, the reading is a lot easier. Sometimes I skim (because usually the big take-aways from any theoretical text could actually be stated in half a page, tops). I try not to get too hung up on understanding every reference to every theory I'm not familiar with and have no interest in (Psychoanalysis? Pfftt.... Fork your pseudoscience.) and am willing to read along with some confusion until I pick up the point again.

If it's really just reading for a class and not at all to my tastes, I will minimize how much of the text I actually read depending on whether or not it will be useful for my final paper. I try to be as pragmatic about this stuff as possible. My time is valuable.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:53 am 
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lutin wrote:
Ok. I drafted most of the guest lecture I will give on the 17th (which needs pre-approval from the team of profs leading the class....) and now have only piles of writing to do.


Wrote 2000 words on a joint paper (third author flicks the weasel!), including 4 giant tables summarizing our data (by HAND) and 2 storyboards of the data. Co-author had someone make cute pics for us, so things are much more readable now.

Wrote 2000 words on another joint paper (on which I am first author). That included reconstructing methods from 2 different projects (took most of the day) since the info. on the slides we presented at conferences doesn't quite match our data tables (oops) so I had to re-construct everything instead of just cut-and-paste from the ppt. (EVERYONE: write your methods sections early and often! Even as a google doc! Reconstructing methods from ages ago sucks.)

Have so far written 600 words on another joint paper (also first author). I am about to look at the slides from those talks in hopes of conjuring up another 1500-ish "work-free" words. At least these methods were better behaved...

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:19 am 
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But oooooof, the profs just wrote back and are all sorts of unthrilled with the lecture I wrote.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:52 pm 
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Sooooooooo this is where I'm at: tonight I am going to stay up and do a big push on my thesis project, try to get ANY worthwhile breakthrough to happen.

If I have nothing accomplished by morning, then I slink to my advisor's office hours with my tail between my legs and ask to change project topics.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:26 pm 
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Yikes C & S. Good luck. How did it go?

I am so out of time, and its killing me. I swear, I get asked to rewrite a whole section, and after I get over the fact that this came when I was in the middle of sad-period-day and can actually really write without wanting to just weep (which is just a step below my usual procrastination because I feel too dumb to do anything so why not just FB), I finally rewrite it a few days later and think its really good. I sent her a preview paragraph to see if that's what she's looking for and says its good.

I wrote it like how I thought that paragraph was, and she asked if I sent the wrong version. Nope, didn't. What the hell did I just do then? I don't want to fail out of grad school but I'm about out of time and its always wrong and my brain feels like mush. I kind of wish I quit before I got this far down, because I sure can't now.

ETA- I think her issue is with my writing in the passive voice too much and I should stop that, but she doesn't know about how to communicate that?

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:41 pm 
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Lycophyte, can you ask her specifically what the issue is? There are some sciency types on the PPK, would you be open to have someone look at your section? It sounds though that she is looking for something specific.

Good luck C&S!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:35 pm 
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Holy crepe that was the worst tutorial I've ever run.


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:16 pm 
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Ugh. One of my classes is SO redundant. The prof is obsessed with a single orientation, prides himself on how progressive he is (without any real race, gender, or anything but class analysis), talks about the same two topics every single class, assigns readings about the same two topics every single class (income inequality in Canada and how delightful the Nordic model is--while refusing to countenance any criticism of the Nordic model), and spends at least a third of the class talking about himself. I'm trying to do the readings this week but they are sapping my will to live. Yes, yes, unions good, neoliberalism bad. I already know this! I already agree with this!

fork. What do I do? I don't want to show up to class having not done the readings but it really doesn't feel like a good use of my time to read essentially the same arguments every week.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:55 pm 
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I'm feeling pretty bummed out today. I wasn't in lab last week because I'm applying for jobs and working on this group presentation my advisor forced on me. Then I got two emails from my advisor asking where I am, why haven't I checked in with him, and that he hasn't seen me in a while. Ignore the fact that he was gone all of September and a week plus various other days in mid-October doing consulting or whatever the hell he does when he isn't around (we never know when/where he'll be). We're supposed to apply for jobs and work on our group presentation in our spare time (after working 12 hour days in the lab), which is just total BS. I'm not even getting paid my stipend anymore and he's holding my degree for ransom, so since I'm basically working for free I feel entitled to take a few days off to apply for actual paying positions and to write my thesis. The way he sees it, he's doing us a big favor by allowing us to work for him and regardless of what's going on we're required to constantly produce publishable results (my whole month of September was lost trying to problem solve why all of my reactions stopped working. It was a very stressful time, but he doesn't care because it's not forward motion!). No thesis writing, no job applications, no job interviews, no research proposal writing (required by the department for graduation) during the day. My husband's prof was understanding of him spending months applying for jobs and writing his thesis but chemistry is just not that way. I know it sounds like whining but I can't emphasize enough how negative this workplace is. There is no positive encouragement from my prof, no recognition of difficult research issues, no acknowledgement that we can't be grad students forever and don't want to live on a grad student salary into our 30s; this attitude persists because students rise to those expectations, to the detriment of their own health, because they're afraid to speak up.

I feel backed into a corner. He's gone today and I don't know when he'll be back but I'm expecting a big drama-filled "I'm disappointed in you" lecture when he returns. I am almost 30 years old but our conversation is going to be emotionally abusive like a parent chastising a child. I'm feeling really burned out and depressed.

On the bright side, I have found a lot of really cool startups to apply to that are doing awesome sustainable energy projects. I'd love to work in that sort of environment! I also got a call back from a company I applied to about an internship. I'm super excited about that and hope they decide to interview me!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:59 pm 
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Is there someone you can talk to about this? The chair of the department or the ombudsperson or something? That is just unreasonable and unfair.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:17 pm 
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I'm studying for the GRE! I don't think I'm in the right thread, haha.


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:31 pm 
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Its ok, good luck! I'd try to offer advice but I think they changed it twice since I last took it.

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