The Great Grad School Thread

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by Saro, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    Are you in grad school? Are you thinking about being in grad school? Just interested in the process? Want to see how the sausage is made, as it were? Do you want to complain about the state of academia as a whole?

    Then you've come to the right place!

    Here in this thread, you can do many things!
    • Scream about how tired you are
    • Ask for advice with the application process
    • Gush when you've finally found Just The Right Paper for the thing you're currently working on
    • Bitch about how little free time you have
    • Get advice about many things (advisors, lab mates, students, classes, scheduling, choosing a school, etc....)
    • Discuss the current/future state of academia and how it's failing at supporting its grad students and worsening college education
    • Share any tips you've found that make your life easier
    • Have an absolute breakdown at those times when it's just too much
    • Cry about the state of funding in your field
    • And much, much more!
    Also welcome: people going to/applying for med/pharm/dental school, etc., people who've been through the process, people who are just curious, people who've wondered why their grad student TA acted Like That
     
  2. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    To get started: There is not a thing in this world that sets me on edge quite like students complaining about their grades. Especially when WE HAVE ALREADY DISCUSSED HALF OF THIS BEFORE. I can't help but feel that the student is hoping I've forgotten and so will just be, "Okay, I'll give you the points" because I don't remember what the situation was with the assignment. Joke's on them thought because I distinctly remember that particular discussion. (What part of "this article was not written by a researcher at [my university], which was one of the requirements, so I can't give you points for it" is that hard to grasp?)
     
  3. rats

    rats 21 Bright Forge Shatters The Void

    hey my grad student ta told me to give up the other day when i asked him a question, is that normal
     
  4. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    Hmm. That sounds pretty rude and abrupt of him, which unfortunately can be par for the course for some people (and probably especially grad students, who tend to be stressed as fuck). It's not something I would do except maybe jokingly in response to a student jokingly asking to skip lab or have class outside or whatever. Not an answer I would give to an actual question.

    So, I would say this shouldn't be normal behavior, but might be for him. Or, some alternatives:
    • Something like a committee meeting coming up, stressed and distracted and maybe resentful about teaching
    • Research not going well
    • Classes of his own have assignments coming up
    • Just hates teaching
    • Might be applying for grants or trying to get a paper published
    • Not enough sleep
    • Did not eat recently
    Which I don't think excuses the behavior, but maybe explains it.

    This probably isn't useful, sorry :\
     
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  5. fractalLettuce

    fractalLettuce a disaster cabbage

    I am in the application process and dying because of having to expedite the CSET by a year. Like I am in the tailored track to go to the MEd+double credential program at the university I'm at for undergrad but HOO BOY. Trying to balance when to apply with not dying due to not having exam accomodations and recouping my GPA is not a Good Time.
     
    • Witnessed x 1
  6. latitans

    latitans fake fan

    i don't know how many people here are in school in the US but wow i am SUPER WORRIED about this:

    https://twitter.com/ClausWilke/status/926454752136892416

    I'm not in STEM but my funding is structured similarly, and the idea of paying taxes on 75k of income when I actually make less than half of that is terrifying
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
    • Witnessed x 1
  7. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    Holy fucking shit, I would have to drop out of my program if that were to happen.

    (what are they hoping to get out of this? More money? Like, I imagine the pool of grad students getting waivers would drop drastically because there would be less grad students, so I don't know what the driving motivation is. Hey guys, you could stop giving taxs cuts to the rich and make way more money than by taxing us incredibly poor grad students)
     
  8. latitans

    latitans fake fan

    I'm hoping that this administration will continue to be completely and objectively terrible but also very ineffective, and that this won't make it through the pipeline.

    Cuz like, it would end up completely restructuring college education in the US. Because we teach all those freshmen seminars, and we grade all those papers and tests for those 200+ student lectures, and we run labs, and we teach language courses. We do so much stuff to keep these universities running. The universities that these shitbags' kids will probably one day attend.

    And that's not even to mention the horrible effect that this would have on the quality of scholarship in every field.

    Also yeah it's completely inexplicable. As far as I could tell from the Chronicle article, the Republicans think that they've found some redundancies in the tax code that they could eliminate, and either don't know or don't care about the catastrophic effect this would have on higher education.
     
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  9. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    Paul Ryan can get fucked.

    Also: I finished one paper yesterday, but it was not the one I should have been working on, which is my white paper, which is the one that I maybe need to actually call people about. It's also currently 10 pages of semi-coherent trash and I hate it.

    Also I need to get at least competent at agent-based modeling by January or my funding might go away.
     
    • Witnessed x 1
  10. Secret Squirrel

    Secret Squirrel certainly something

    Haha wow, have fun having no one to teach your future nurses! I'm an A&P TA. First semester we have EIGHT LAB SECTIONS, all at max capacity, six of which are taught by TAs with just-above-the-poverty-line stipends, assuming you have little/no debt. We are already cheap yet highly trained and specialized labor. (The other 2 sections are taught by the lecture professor.) Greatly reduced grad students = greatly reduced capacity for the nursing program = WAY LESS DOLLARS FROM THE TUITIONS OF THOSE NURSING STUDENTS.


    *sigh* In better news, after much delay from health issues and research set backs, I finally gave my thesis proposal Friday! So relieved.
     
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  11. Secret Squirrel

    Secret Squirrel certainly something

    I agree with Saro's points, but I'd like to emphasize that saying something like that is still super inappropriate. If you feel comfortable doing so, I'd recommend telling the professor for that class about it, or the head of the department if you can.
     
    • Agree x 1
  12. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    If you have evaluations at the end of the course, you could mention it there, too. I've changed my teaching behavior based on student evaluations. Might help, might not.
     
  13. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    I finished a Ph.D. in mathematics about three years ago, and I think the one lesson that I wish I'd learned earlier is that you need to start telling people about your big paper before you've even started writing it. The speed at which other people do things in academia is slow enough that in order for a thing to get done for you by the time you need it, you need to get people on board before you actually have any writing to show them.

    Also seconding both the evaluations and going to the professors or the head of the department. The professors might not care; the head of the department might actually care more because they have to convince the university to keep giving them money(though this depends on the department; departments that have a lot of industry ties might care less). Depending on where the grad student gets funding, the department might be able to put pressure on them (same caveats apply to the grad student as apply to the department). I do know of one student in my department who got his teaching fellowship revoked because he was such an awful TA, and only survived because his adviser had a grant, but my department cared a lot about its image within the university.
     
    • Informative x 1
  14. rats

    rats 21 Bright Forge Shatters The Void

    already complained to the professor :") it doesnt help that we're about a month from the end of the semester and we have gotten only 1 lab back, which was also the bullshit lab, so none of us know exactly how we're doing

    (the prof was very mad at that also)
     
    • Witnessed x 2
  15. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    Oof, I'm sorry.
     
  16. fractalLettuce

    fractalLettuce a disaster cabbage

    Successfully registered for subtest III of the multisubject CSET and my subtest I still says pending so I have to follow up on that one, but I'm not taking the PE&Fine Arts one with any accommodations, so that is processed and scheduled for the 21st, which I figure gives me enough time to study the practice tests. Fingers crossed that I pass each subtest in one go, or application is gonna get TRICKY.
     
  17. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    Good luck!!
     
    • Like x 1
  18. fractalLettuce

    fractalLettuce a disaster cabbage

    Thanks! In theory to apply in time I have to have attempted all 3 and passed one of them by the beginning of March at the latest, January for priority for funding. Should be doable, but is still a little nervewracking. I'm just glad I don't have to GRE because if I had to consciously not compare myself to my husband apples to apples i would surely die.
     
  19. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    I really hope it all goes well!

    My husband did better than me on the GRE :') and I had to take it twice too
     
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  20. latitans

    latitans fake fan

    Man I am in the part of the semester where I have to get approx. eight thousand forms signed for next semester and it is Not Good

    playing that horrible game where I email people to ask to meet with them to sign a form that I then have to give to someone else whom I may or may not have to also set up a meeting with
     
    • Witnessed x 2
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