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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:09 pm 
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finnophile wrote:
Gosh, grad school is scary.

I get that.

It's the weirdest thing.

I just got off the phone with my other best friend, and then my advisor. The theme that came up was a lack of equivalency between my facial expressions and body language and those that I wish to project. This has been an issue I've had at least since high school. As a shy person, it takes me a long time to warm up to situations, and I often come off as being disinterested or aloof when I'm not. They interpreted that as an unwillingness to cooperate. Should I sign up for acting classes? Counseling? Both? Neither? He wasn't able to help me with that. What do you think?

I am EXTREMELY thankful that my supervisor put himself on the line for me and got me two weeks probation instead of expulsion. And I am extremely thankful that my advisor talked me through it tonight and didn't immediately ask me to give up. He said if he has to place me somewhere else, he would, so that I could finish this out.

I just want to thank you all for your support, and your ears (or eyes?) Between you and my in-the-flesh friends, it really helps me to be able to talk (write) it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:17 pm 
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ugghhh sorry SN! I've been told I was unprofessional and nearly booted out of my hospital internship for it. It sucks! In my case, I maybe was being unprofessional because I basically had a breakdown and said I refused to work any more 10-12 hours days with no lunch breaks, but regardless of the reason, someone should TALK TO YOU or to your advisor before submitting a formal complaint. If someone thinks you're doing something wrong they need to tell you about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:21 pm 
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I agree completely.


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:33 pm 
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So sorry SN! That sounds like such a fixable, nonproblem. Basically people are saying that they can't read you well, not that there is any problem with the quality of your work, right? So (1) they could give you the benefit of the doubt until you prove you're not disinterested and aloof, (2) someone could give you feedback, because hey aren't internships all about feedback and learnign? and (3) they could give you time to learn how to read you and for you to relax.

Fwiw, at my first summer internship at a law firm, a few women told me they thought I was a bit aloof and snooty, but really I was supershy about being in an unfamiliar environment, and thought that they were so pretty, white and well-dressed that they would look down on me (I never dressed well until I was working at a lawfirm because I just never learned how to match things to look right for my shape until then) and once we knew eachother better we all joked about it.

I hope things work out well for you!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:34 pm 
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I have a hard time understanding how your body language is even relevant to anything. What does your work involve?


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:57 pm 
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Tea wrote:
I have a hard time understanding how your body language is even relevant to anything. What does your work involve?

I was just thinking this. This seems like a crazy thing to judge someone on! I can be the most awkward person the world, but thankfully it's never been a problem in terms of grades!


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:47 pm 
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I finished writing up my part of the proposal and sent it to my supervisor for criticisms. Instead of critique though... he sent me a copy he wrote himself and asked me to proofread it instead? I guess I'm a pretty bad writer after all...


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:57 pm 
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Thessaly wrote:
Tea wrote:
I have a hard time understanding how your body language is even relevant to anything. What does your work involve?

I was just thinking this. This seems like a crazy thing to judge someone on! I can be the most awkward person the world, but thankfully it's never been a problem in terms of grades!

Heh heh heh, I'm studying to be a therapist. So for a profession so hinged on having good relationships with people, it's actually really important.
If you were to go about it from a psychoanalytical angle, a good psychotherapist has to have an excellent poker face. They need to be able to keep a blank expression so as not to project anything onto the client. I have a terrible poker face. I'm no Lady Gaga! There are so many spoken and unspoken things that can change the outcome of a therapy session.


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:58 pm 
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I feel the the quality of class discussions was better in undergrad. I seriously don't get the point of going to my grad level classes if all we do is spend three hours summarizing the reading. School is soooooo boring. I kind of want to drop out at the end of the term and find a new program (but that means paying more because I get of lot of funding where I am).


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:06 pm 
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starrynight87 wrote:
The theme that came up was a lack of equivalency between my facial expressions and body language and those that I wish to project. This has been an issue I've had at least since high school. As a shy person, it takes me a long time to warm up to situations, and I often come off as being disinterested or aloof when I'm not. They interpreted that as an unwillingness to cooperate. Should I sign up for acting classes? Counseling? Both? Neither? He wasn't able to help me with that. What do you think?


I had this same problem during the first semester of my Master's program! I had a prof that said I was destroying the entire atmosphere of the class because I was always making faces and looking generally miserable. She told me that if I didn't feel like being in class then I just shouldn't come because I was ruining everyone else's ability to learn. I basically told her that I had no idea that my facial expressions were disruptive, but that I have been known to furrow my brow and that people in the past have said that I am not good at hiding my emotions and that I was in fact going through a really stressful transition into grad school. Being honest helped and I wish I hadn't waited until the end of the semester to meet with her. I ended up with a grade in the class I wasn't happy with, but was able to make amends with the prof and she wrote me a recommendation when I applied to PhD programs. What I learned? You are graded on your perceived attitude, so play nice. This has become an even more important practice for me now that I teach my own classes because if I go in and act pissy or apathetic that transfers onto my students and it turns into an awfully long 75 minutes.

I wish you best of luck. It's not easy to hid how you feel if you express yourself physically instead of being more straight-forward (or just acting pleasant).


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Today, I've had my forth meltdown of the semester. In front of my professor. While she was telling me why I failed an assignment. I am so over this semester.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:27 pm 
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However, I am super fortunate to have chosen to attend a school where there is such a focus on individual merits and growth. It was so encouraging to hear my advisor say "you are still a good person" to me on the phone this evening, and for him to repeat it when I responded with an "I guess."
Today went so much better than I thought it would. Honestly, I was terrified. I had picked out my most professional outfit and even went so far as to iron it (I never iron my clothes) and put on makeup (which I'm usually too lazy to apply). I expected to go to my meeting and have them be all "how dare you" and for me to have to defend myself. (I had even brought a list of things to discuss. I didn't really have to use it.)
Essentially, (almost) everything can be chalked up to a bunch of misunderstandings, and everybody has been able to understand that. I am very introverted. It is very hard for me to put myself out there and work with so many people every day, but I can do it. It's just very tiring for me. I would take my lunch period as my quiet time, something I find necessary in my ability to function at my best. We made some compromises, one being that I eat my lunch with the other staff, providing that I get another period during the day to have my "me" time. They were more than happy to allow me that.
Another misunderstanding that didn't occur to me until much later was that, since the recess duty was sprung on me at the last minute, I was unprepared with sunscreen. Now, I have very fair skin, and a history of skin cancer in my family. I stood back towards the building, because that's where the shade was. It could have looked as if I was being defiant, but really, I was just trying to protect myself from the sun!
The other fortunate thing was being able to hear that after the shiitake hit the fan, several teachers did give complements regarding my classroom skills and my relationships with the children. The other day, I managed to coax a very stubborn child into doing something she didn't want to do, and people noticed.


Last edited by starrynight87 on Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:31 pm 
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finnophile wrote:
I feel the the quality of class discussions was better in undergrad. I seriously don't get the point of going to my grad level classes if all we do is spend three hours summarizing the reading. School is soooooo boring. I kind of want to drop out at the end of the term and find a new program (but that means paying more because I get of lot of funding where I am).

I had one class especially where I felt the same way. "Interpersonal relations," and we talked about things like communication over the internet, and how to meet new people. Maybe it was the way it was presented. It felt like a high school class, and the teacher gave us candy every week. It was like, so my 25 years of experience in interpersonal relations isn't enough? (Although, as I've learned this week, it might not be!)

eta: I do feel like a class on how introverts and extroverts can survive in a world together would be worthwhile, however!


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:35 pm 
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Allison, not Alison wrote:
starrynight87 wrote:
The theme that came up was a lack of equivalency between my facial expressions and body language and those that I wish to project. This has been an issue I've had at least since high school. As a shy person, it takes me a long time to warm up to situations, and I often come off as being disinterested or aloof when I'm not. They interpreted that as an unwillingness to cooperate. Should I sign up for acting classes? Counseling? Both? Neither? He wasn't able to help me with that. What do you think?


I had this same problem during the first semester of my Master's program! I had a prof that said I was destroying the entire atmosphere of the class because I was always making faces and looking generally miserable. She told me that if I didn't feel like being in class then I just shouldn't come because I was ruining everyone else's ability to learn. I basically told her that I had no idea that my facial expressions were disruptive, but that I have been known to furrow my brow and that people in the past have said that I am not good at hiding my emotions and that I was in fact going through a really stressful transition into grad school. Being honest helped and I wish I hadn't waited until the end of the semester to meet with her. I ended up with a grade in the class I wasn't happy with, but was able to make amends with the prof and she wrote me a recommendation when I applied to PhD programs. What I learned? You are graded on your perceived attitude, so play nice. This has become an even more important practice for me now that I teach my own classes because if I go in and act pissy or apathetic that transfers onto my students and it turns into an awfully long 75 minutes.

I wish you best of luck. It's not easy to hid how you feel if you express yourself physically instead of being more straight-forward (or just acting pleasant).

I do intend on getting help. After many hours of thinking, I realized that this is probably something that has led me astray in several past relationships (of both the romantic and non-romantic kind) as I've likely been delivering confusing mixed signals. It's also something I've struggled with since high school. It used to come up in my music lessons, actually, as my teachers would tell me that I had to watch out how I was coming off in performance.


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:24 pm 
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I'm finally (almost) ready to submit my first first author paper! I've had the draft written for a year but I was waiting on some results. Now I'm re-reading my paper and it sounds pretty lousy. I'm trying to rewrite it this week. I'm so scared to give it to anyone for editing. What if it's terrible???

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:27 am 
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That's why you give it to people to edit it. If it's terrible, they can help fix it and then everyone wins.


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:07 am 
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couroupita wrote:
I'm finally (almost) ready to submit my first first author paper! I've had the draft written for a year but I was waiting on some results. Now I'm re-reading my paper and it sounds pretty lousy. I'm trying to rewrite it this week. I'm so scared to give it to anyone for editing. What if it's terrible???

I just got my PDF offprints back of my first first authored paper and I still have this nagging sensation of errrrrm, why didn't I write this better? hah! But if all of my coauthors and the two reviewers think it's OK I guess I should just try to get over it (but the sentence structure is so poor in places! sigh).

So I'm sure it's not terrible! It just feels that way because you've spent too much time with it!


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:06 pm 
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Thanks Tea and Thessaly. It's my baby -- no one is allowed to criticize it!! Ha ha!

Exciting update! I'm applying for a postdoc position and the deadline to submit the application is Oct 4. I'm kind of bummed I'll only be able to write "manuscript in preparation" for my 1st author paper under my list of publications. I doubt I can get it submitted in 2 weeks. Hopefully that won't affect my chances *too* much. Ack!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:55 am 
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I'm not *really* in grad school....but oi. Montessori elementary teacher training is whooping my asparagus. That's why I'm not on the ppk so often anymore :(

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:44 am 
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couroupita wrote:
Thanks Tea and Thessaly. It's my baby -- no one is allowed to criticize it!! Ha ha!

Exciting update! I'm applying for a postdoc position and the deadline to submit the application is Oct 4. I'm kind of bummed I'll only be able to write "manuscript in preparation" for my 1st author paper under my list of publications. I doubt I can get it submitted in 2 weeks. Hopefully that won't affect my chances *too* much. Ack!


I'm in the same boat! I have two applications due on the first and I'm still waiting for two coauthors to get back to me with final edits. Come on people! I really want to get under Under Review on my cv. Are you also trying to graduate at the same time as doing all this? It's kind of ridiculously stressful!


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:38 pm 
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I have to submit my clinical rotations requests for my 4th year by this Saturday and it will basically cement where and what I'll be doing practically every single day from May 13, 2013 until May 11, 2014. Final schedules will be out by the end of October. It's stressing me the eff out.


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:49 am 
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Can I vent for a minute about this one professor? (Yes, the email guy!) Today he scolded me in class for submitting my assignment early. By early, he means I emailed it to him the night before it was due. He was like "never do that. Only ever turn it in on the day that it's due. Otherwise it's too confusing for me."

Guy, you have got to be forking kidding me. I don't have a lot of flexibility in my schedule. Sometimes I HAVE to get things done ahead of time or my other option is to get them done late and since you give automatic 0s on anything that's at all late-- and the due date is the start of lecture, awkwardly placed right in the middle of the day-- I don't think it's unreasonable to err on the early side.

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:56 am 
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Okay, so I didn't go abroad. The cool job would have been in Berlin, but I didn't get through the last round of interviews. Such a lot of academics and so few jobs in academia.
On the other hand, I'm giving talks at two conferences this year, which hopefully means two small publications. And I miiiiiiight get a really interesting book deal (fingers crossed!), so I'll have to put my thesis on ice for a couple months (even though it's about my favourite subject in the universe) to work on this new project of mine (which is to do with my second-favourite writer, so yay).

Life is exciting again!!


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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:06 am 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
Can I vent for a minute about this one professor? (Yes, the email guy!) Today he scolded me in class for submitting my assignment early. By early, he means I emailed it to him the night before it was due. He was like "never do that. Only ever turn it in on the day that it's due. Otherwise it's too confusing for me."

Guy, you have got to be forking kidding me. I don't have a lot of flexibility in my schedule. Sometimes I HAVE to get things done ahead of time or my other option is to get them done late and since you give automatic 0s on anything that's at all late-- and the due date is the start of lecture, awkwardly placed right in the middle of the day-- I don't think it's unreasonable to err on the early side.


um...that's nuts! confusing for him? that is dumb!

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 Post subject: Re: Graduate Students of the PPK, Assemble!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:59 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
Can I vent for a minute about this one professor? (Yes, the email guy!) Today he scolded me in class for submitting my assignment early. By early, he means I emailed it to him the night before it was due. He was like "never do that. Only ever turn it in on the day that it's due. Otherwise it's too confusing for me."

Guy, you have got to be forking kidding me. I don't have a lot of flexibility in my schedule. Sometimes I HAVE to get things done ahead of time or my other option is to get them done late and since you give automatic 0s on anything that's at all late-- and the due date is the start of lecture, awkwardly placed right in the middle of the day-- I don't think it's unreasonable to err on the early side.

wow, you must have the worst professor ever.


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