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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:55 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Yeah, I can't really talk to the department chair because my advisor is too powerful. No faculty will stand up to him (as evidenced by all the students who have had to drop out of this lab or do a 6-7 year PhD instead of 5). I'm planning to talk to the ombudsman after I've secured a job because I know these companies are going to contact my advisor and he will sabotage my efforts if I report him too early. I'm also a little afraid because he's going to do what he does to any student he has an issue with--call me worthless, a bad chemist, lazy, etc.--and I don't know if I can deal with that blow to my self confidence quite yet. My plan for the next few months is to submit my next paper, get a job, make a little more progress on my second project, deal with him as best I can (i.e., complain on the ppk!) and then seek outside support in January. Thanks for reading my rant!!!

oddspongeout wrote:
I'm studying for the GRE! I don't think I'm in the right thread, haha.

Welcome and good luck!! Get one of those GRE vocab books and study the crepe out of it. It helped me so much on the verbal section! The math is mostly tricky more than testing your knowledge. Do a bunch of math practice tests to learn all the shortcuts.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:52 pm 
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Yikes. I just talked to some labmates and they said someone in our lab (who is the same year as me) had to get the ombudsman involved because she's already written her thesis and defended it but our advisor won't sign it. I guess despite outside intervention she is still being held captive. He keeps wanting work from her. She is supposed to start her postdoc next monday but can't because she technically doesn't have her PhD until he has signed her thesis and it's submitted to the university. FML.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Couroupita, I've said it before but once again... jesus, your advisor is the worst. Sorry you still have to deal with that guy, but good luck with your job search. It sounds like you have a good plan in place!

My thesis topic has gone sort of sideways from what it was, but not in a bad way. Last week like eight students sat it on our lab meeting and my advisor called my project "really interesting" and "cool". I don't know if he was just trying to make up for ribbing me a little bit the week before (when things were going really badly with my project) but it made me feel a lot better.

On the not as great side, I accepted a full-time job offer from the company I've been interning at since May, so now I really REALLY have to graduate in the spring. The pressure is on and I'm having a really bad week with anxiety on account of it. I'm so close to seeing my "go back to grad school, regain employability and self-esteem" plan to fruition, I'm scared I am going to fork it all up at the last minute.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:49 am 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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I have a meeting with my supervisor tomorrow and am not looking forward to it. I'm way behind where I wanted to be just now (even though I've now gone part-time) after a year of travel, non-PhD commitments rearing up and now illness. I just feel disappointed in myself and that she will feel the same way. I have plans to drop some of my non-PhD commitments in December but I feel pretty crappy just now. I'm writing my work plan for the remainder of my PhD now and looking back on where I originally planned to be just now is so disheartening.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:38 am 
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Flounceiad 2011
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couroupita wrote:
oddspongeout wrote:
I'm studying for the GRE! I don't think I'm in the right thread, haha.

Welcome and good luck!! Get one of those GRE vocab books and study the crepe out of it. It helped me so much on the verbal section! The math is mostly tricky more than testing your knowledge. Do a bunch of math practice tests to learn all the shortcuts.
Yes! And do as many of the online practice tests as you can stand; I found that really helped me limber up my "test-taking" muscles, if that makes any sense. Good luck - soon it will be over!!
couroupita wrote:
Yikes. I just talked to some labmates and they said someone in our lab (who is the same year as me) had to get the ombudsman involved because she's already written her thesis and defended it but our advisor won't sign it. I guess despite outside intervention she is still being held captive. He keeps wanting work from her. She is supposed to start her postdoc next monday but can't because she technically doesn't have her PhD until he has signed her thesis and it's submitted to the university. FML.
Ugh. This person sounds like a complete nightmare. I'm so sorry you have to put up with that kind of meshugaas on top of everything else.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:31 pm 
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Thesis proposal and associated presentation and grilling in less than two weeks aaaahhh I'm going to die.


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:25 am 
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Finishing a ms. on google docs with my supervisor. He just discovered the chat function, and is being so sweet and silly, it hurts.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:32 pm 
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I didn't make it to graduate this semester. I actually got a full all the parts and formatted draft off in time but the committee thinks it needs too much work to defend and print this semester, it needs more editing, etc.

I got a draft! Even my defense ppt is pretty much all done! But nope, and my committee seems so over it because it has taken me for-ev-er. I am thinking of getting tested to see if its ADD that has made it hard to finish. Might be, because focusing on something where I have no confidence in is excruciating. So maybe its anxiety and not ADD. Well whatever.

So, not finishing this semester, and I will need to take a class to finish up (first semester expiring!), if my committee doesn't give up completely. I might actually get a waiver on the class though, if I talk to the dean.

Anyone else take so long they feel like a failure? Because I sure do. Mostly though, this time-length is making it so that I may lose my job (student hired), which sucks because I love my job and keep getting better at it and such.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:21 pm 
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Aw lycophyte. I'm really sorry to hear you didn't get through this semester.

I am currently living in mortal terror of not graduating on time. I need to finish and defend my thesis by the end of next semester. That's if my candidacy form was even accepted. (It's "in review" and may be for another 6 weeks. If it's not accepted, then there's no way for me to graduate in spring but I'm trying to not even consider that possibility.) If I don't finish that, and I have to take another semester, then two of my transfer classes will expire (they're from 7 years ago! which is the limit!) and I'll have to take two more classes AND finish my thesis. I've accepted a full-time job offer based on graduating in May so yeah. Like i said. TERROR.

If I fork it up I am going to definitely feel like an insane failure. I already struggle with having dropped out of grad school once, I've been trying SO hard to make up for my failures back then, and I'm just so worried it's all going to crumble at the last minute.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:52 pm 
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Sterkte! (Strength! Or, courage!) Big hugs for you both.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:23 pm 
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I'm sorry lycophyte. I know you were pushing really hard to finish.

I'm in my 7th year (almost unheard of in my field), so I feel like a failure every day. I worry too much about what people think of me. When I'm 60, is it really going to matter that it took me a few years longer than expected? I try to remember that each PhD/MS/whatever is its own journey and takes as long as it takes. Hopefully you come out the other side a stronger, better person.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:47 pm 
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Nailed to the V
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couroupita wrote:
Yeah, I can't really talk to the department chair because my advisor is too powerful. No faculty will stand up to him (as evidenced by all the students who have had to drop out of this lab or do a 6-7 year PhD instead of 5). I'm planning to talk to the ombudsman after I've secured a job because I know these companies are going to contact my advisor and he will sabotage my efforts if I report him too early. I'm also a little afraid because he's going to do what he does to any student he has an issue with--call me worthless, a bad chemist, lazy, etc.--and I don't know if I can deal with that blow to my self confidence quite yet. My plan for the next few months is to submit my next paper, get a job, make a little more progress on my second project, deal with him as best I can (i.e., complain on the ppk!) and then seek outside support in January. Thanks for reading my rant!!!

oddspongeout wrote:
I'm studying for the GRE! I don't think I'm in the right thread, haha.

Welcome and good luck!! Get one of those GRE vocab books and study the crepe out of it. It helped me so much on the verbal section! The math is mostly tricky more than testing your knowledge. Do a bunch of math practice tests to learn all the shortcuts.


I wish I saw this earlier! I really should have used one of the practice tests for a dry run. Instead, I started reading the whole official guide, and I've been circling the drain on the math for ages. I haven't taken a math class in over four years!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:56 pm 
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Thesis good/bad update:

Good - I've ascertained that the code I've been working on which forms the core of my project actually works...

Bad - ...just not the way I expected. Basically, I turn something off and turn it back on. It's supposed to do this on/off thing over and over and over again, but with each on/off, there's about a 50% probability that it just grinds to a halt. (For reasons I understand but which are too annoyingly technical to go into right now!)

Good - I might be able to get around it by partially rewriting the driver for this piece of hardware...

Bad - ... which means I have to partially rewrite this driver, which I really didn't want to have to do.

At least I'm making progress? I so don't want to not finish this on time and not graduate in the spring.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Had a long meeting with the dept. statistician today. I went into it expecting him to tell me which tests to do and how to do them, but instead we spent 3 hours re-organizing my data and running (!) several logistic regressions and other models on my data, and I now have heaps of statistically significant (and insignificant) stuff, as well as commented code so I can re-create it on demand. Hot damn.

(I just wish I wasn't still sick, so I could've shaken his hand or paid better attention / asked smarter questions. But still, awesome awesome awesome.)

Everyone having issues: Best of luck! You can rock the tough, tough things! (c&s, when I had similar (but different) issues to yours, I rewarded myself with different kinds of coffee cakes and cinnarolls. Maybe something similar would work for you? Or hikes with your cute kiddos? You can rock this thing!)

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:24 pm 
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Practicing the presentation for the thesis proposal tomorrow (20-25 minute presentation followed by hours of questions). I'm at 25, was hoping to aim for 20 so going longer wouldn't be so bad. I don't know what to cut! Everything seems crucial!


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:45 pm 
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Good luck tomorrow, Tea!

Can you give the presentation to someone else (like, present it to them) and ask what they could have removed and still understand the material? I recently had to do a 5 minute presentation for a term paper and actually found it really helpful because I had to be exceptionally clear and concise.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:04 pm 
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I managed to get it down a bit. I had already given practice talks to folks and was given suggestions for details to add for clarity, but other things could be rolled together to avoid restating some things.

It's in an hour. I think I'm going to puke.


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:07 pm 
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I'm sure you were great!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:09 pm 
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It was awful! I don't think I correctly answered a single thing during the question period. But I guess I was just adequate enough, so I passed! Woo.


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:13 pm 
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Hooray! passing. No need to introspect that any longer -- go celebrate with a pot of your favorite tea and scones (or whatever else you enjoy). Well done!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Tea wrote:
It was awful! I don't think I correctly answered a single thing during the question period. But I guess I was just adequate enough, so I passed! Woo.
I'm sure it went much better than you think it did. And the important thing is that it's over! Now celebrate!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:11 pm 
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Tea wrote:
It was awful! I don't think I correctly answered a single thing during the question period. But I guess I was just adequate enough, so I passed! Woo.


Yay Tea! Congratulations!!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Congratulations, Tea! I'm sure it went much better than you thought!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:33 am 
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lycophyte <3 I'm sorry things are going so slow, but you are definitely not a failure!

I'm having a bit of trouble dealing with the lack of "data" for how I'm doing! I have critiques every week with either my advisor or my group advising folks, but it's hard to read! They seem to be going okay but I have no grades at all until the end of this semester, and we don't have any "big" review until the end of this academic year, I don't want to be all "wah what are my GRADES" but at the same time you can fail out of this program with a b- so I DO want to know about by grades! (though I mean, I've never gotten a b-, STILL)

also, coming to the end of the 1st semester of a short 2 year program makes it seem like it's going SO FAST! I just registered for the spring semester and in a little over a month I'll already be 1/4 of the way done with this entire degree experience and then I have to figure out THE FUTURE and apply for REAL LIFE PROFESSOR JOBS which is SCARY but at the same time if I can find those jobs then I will be REAL LIFE DOING WHAT I LOVE TO DO which is so EXCITING.
I'm very emotional about everything, and I'm totally torn between "I wish I could be in school forever" and "Let me out already! I want to start!"

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:37 am 
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oh also I had a studio visit with a visiting artist yesterday and I made the mistake of googling her before she came by and boring story even more boring she's been featured in art in america a few times and I was a nervous mess and probably made a terrible impression.

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