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shadowclaw last won the day on March 30 2015

shadowclaw had the most liked content!

About shadowclaw

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    Latte Macchiato
  • Birthday 04/24/1985

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  1. There are plenty of days when I am filled with self-doubt or there is a crushing amount of work to do, but graduate school is awesome and the good days way outnumber the bad. So my list in no particular order: 1. I get to travel to interesting places either for research or for presenting research. 2. I got to move to a cool part of the country for my PhD, and I have access to amazing places for outdoor recreation and sightseeing. 3. I have more free time than that article suggests I should have. I can do things on the weekends and go on vacation during school breaks. I even have time during the week to ride my bike or go for a quick hike if I want to. 4. I'm not locked into a 9 to 5 schedule. My schedule varies each day of the week, and I like it that way. 5. I get to go to talks or have guest lectures from amazing researchers in my field. 6. My school is huge, and therefore I can take classes in an extremely wide variety of specialized topics (sorry to those at small schools, but you no doubt have other benefits that I don't). 7. I get to teach. Not a plus for everyone, but I personally find teaching to be extremely rewarding. 8. I'm exposed to a lot of cool research in a lot of different disciplines either through interacting with classmates, fellow TA's, or checking out events on campus (this isn't necessarily limited to the grad student experience). 9. My research will increase human knowledge of environmental processes and my particular project will actually influence some environmental policy in the region. 10. I'm building up practical skills in communication, leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, etc. which are widely applicable beyond academia. I'll also add that drinking is nowhere on my radar (and hasn't been since I was 21 or 22), but even if it was, grad school would not stop me from enjoying a beer/glass of wine/cocktail/whatever at the end of the day.
  2. This is a super annoying problem that I think ends up plaguing numerous grad students. The general policy at most (if not all) universities is that the university owns all research being conducted by its employees, and PI's are sort of the stewards of the data for the university. So assuming there wasn't a special contractual agreement between you, your former PI, and the university, your PI is allowed to do what they want with the data you collected and analyzed, as well as your code. That being said, your post implies that PhD student # 1 took graphs you made that are printed in your thesis and passed them off as his own. If that's the case, the PhD student and everyone else on the paper are guilty of plagiarism since you were not consulted about it and your thesis was not cited as the source of the graphs. If reported and investigated, your former lab could be in trouble. If, however, they are graphs that never made it into your thesis, then you're out of luck since they weren't published. Whatever the circumstances, it was a dick move not to include you as an author on the two papers if you made a substantial contribution to the data analysis (didn't matter if you did much writing or not). However, there's not much you can do without stirring up a lot of negativity in your former lab. It may be worth it, though, to make a case to your former PI to include you on future publications using your code and the dataset you collected.
  3. For a masters degree, no, I don't think it's that unreasonable since you'll only be there about 2 years. For a PhD program, I think you'd get real tired of that drive after a while - but then again, there are people who commute to New York City daily who have over an hour of travel time. I personally stayed at home with my parents while doing my masters about an hour and fifteen minutes away. It was way cheaper to pay for gas than to pay for rent in my school's city. The first year I felt went really well. I was on campus two or three days per week for classes and meetings and worked part time near home on the other days. My research was done off-campus over the summer. The second year I got a graduate assistantship and had to be there five days a week. That got old very fast, but at least it was only two semesters. In terms of social life, my program at the time was pretty small (under 20 students) and students didn't really interact with each other all that much outside of the classroom aside from our monthly get-togethers. So lack of socialization wasn't really an issue, since it wouldn't have happened if I lived closer anyway. I personally don't see socialization as a big issue in graduate school anyway - even now in my PhD program, I rarely see anyone in my program or friends from other programs on a daily basis (unless I have a class with them) because we're all much too busy with class, research, studying, etc. We do like to go out on Friday nights for dinner or some other activity (we went bowling last week), and that isn't something that would be hindered by living far away. However, I think this would ultimately depend on your program and the people in it. I'm sure some graduate students spend more time together than others. I will say that having an excessive commute can affect your academic life depending on what your workload is. In that second year, it was at times a struggle to get everything done. My assistantship took up around 20-25 hours of my time each week and driving ate up 15 hours per week (plus any additional driving besides commuting to school). I then added one or two classes per term on top of that along with working on my thesis and it could get rough. But I did it, and I also finished my masters on time, unlike the rest of my cohort who took an extra term or two, despite living right down the road from school. So to sum up, living an hour away might not be a problem, but there are multiple factors at play and you will ultimately have less time available to you each day to get things done.
  4. Oh no! I hope you find it soon. When I was a teen, we moved about a mile away after my parents sold the house to a temporary apartment while they built a new house on some land they had purchased. One of my cats would constantly bolt out the door and walk to our old house and we'd get a phone call from the new owners to come get our cat. Once we moved into the new house, she stopped doing that. One of my best friends also had her cat disappear in a storm one night. He occasionally went outside and on this night he must have gotten a little lost in the storm and didn't come back in the morning. She put up flyers, visited the shelters, posted to cragislist, etc. and after several weeks, she accepted that he was never coming home. Fast forward about 5 months from when he went missing, and the lady who lived about 5 houses down from her saw a flyer still hanging at a store and called her. She had the cat the entire time and somehow never noticed any of the flyers. So don't give up! Arrrg, this makes me so mad for you! I assume you didn't have the professor's promise to split the royalties in half in writing (email or otherwise). I know you don't think it was worth the fight, but I feel a bit sad that you let it slide so easily. From your post, it doesn't even look like you approached the professor to ask him why he went back on his word. You could have even phrased it as, "the publisher seems to have made an error in the contract. How do we go about correcting this so I get my portion of the royalties like we discussed?" However, you know what's best for you. Although I would still ask the professor what was up that - maybe wait until you've graduated and on your way to grad school so he doesn't get huffy and screw you over further. As for the free book, personally, I'd burn it.
  5. I'm a little annoyed with two of my students right now. I gave a quiz and these two students completely missed how I wanted them to answer a question. So they basically lost over 1/5 of the points on the quiz because they didn't understand that I wanted them to circle one of two choices next to each statement in a list (instead they just circled one of the five statements in the list and I'm not entirely sure why). I emailed them through our online course system so that they'd both get an email and see a notice that they have a message when they login to the course system (which they have to do multiple times per week for their classes). I asked them to come to my office hours to reanswer the question, but neither showed up. They also didn't email me back and it's been two days, and I can also see that they've visited my course page since I sent the email, so they should have seen it. Maybe they just don't care.
  6. @Cheshire_Cat I'm not sure Illinois counts as the frozen north! I'm very sorry to hear that you have the responsibility of putting your dog to sleep. Although from personal experience, it's better to be the one who takes the pet in. My parents put my first dog to sleep without even telling me AND they didn't even stay with the dog - just dropped her off. I held it against them for years and I felt very guilty about not being there for the dog in her final hours for quite a while. When it came time to put down our second dog, neither of them wanted to do it, but when I stepped up, I think I shamed my father in going with me. I ended up taking my old childhood cat to be put to sleep myself. It's extremely rough, heart-breaking, and otherwise painful beyond belief. On the plus side, the vet does give your dog a sedative to calm them beforehand, which hopefully makes it a little less terrifying for them, and they have you to hold them as they slip away. However, it was hard to think of them for a while because my mental image immediately went to their death, but after a few months I could look at photos without weeping and I could think of them in their youthful glory instead of in their old, sickened state. Although to be honest, I'm balling my eyes out right now and it's been 7 years since my cat died and almost 12 years since my second dog died. My parents are moving also (or at least are trying to move). However, they are taking the warm weather route!
  7. I agree with Fuzzy - I don't think that undergraduates often publish their senior theses, but certainly some do. If you did a good job on it (did an adequate literature review, wrote it well, have good clean figures, etc) then packaging it up as a manuscript to submit to a journal (or wherever else you might be publishing, depending on what it is exactly) should be quick and easy and not deter you from putting effort into new projects in your MA program. Fuzzy makes a great point, though, about the maturity of your ideas. Even a well-done project might not really be a good choice for publishing if it doesn't really make a substantial contribution to your field. However, if your advisor thinks it is suitable for publishing, then there's a good chance it is. Do be aware that graduate school can represent a big shift in workload compared to your undergraduate program - there's lots to do and not always enough time to do it! This will certainly influence the amount of time available for you to pursue working on getting your paper published. Personally, I did publish my undergraduate thesis while I was in my masters program. It didn't require a lot of effort on my part and my masters advisor was quite happy to see me working on getting my stuff published. Likewise, my PhD advisor was quite happy to see me work on getting my masters thesis published.
  8. kayyyyy made a great suggestion in figuring out what's cheaper - shipping your current stuff to your new location or selling it/storing it and buying new stuff. I recall when I was applying to various programs, I estimated moving costs to each of my top choices. For a move similar to yours, I got a quote for one of the smaller uhaul trucks (I think it was the 15' truck) for around $700-$800 (plus the cost of gas, of course) and a shipping container for around $1200. When you add in the gas, the price for the uhaul ends up being a bit less and the uhaul fits way more. However, the move I actually made was east coast to west coast, and a uhaul truck and a shipping container were about the same price ($2000), but then I had to add the gas for the truck on top of that plus driving a uhaul over 3,000 miles was not very appealing to me. So I went with a shipping container. So let's say that whatever method you choose to transport your stuff by costs around $1000 - is your current furniture and other belongings worth that much (or has enough sentimental value that it's worth it if it's not)? Right now if I were to make a move that costs that much, my furniture and my washer and dryer are pretty new and cost enough that replacing them would cost a lot more than $1000, so I would go with the moving truck/container. However, before getting married, I owned a bed, an old hand-me-down dresser, and a cheap Walmart nightstand, plus assorted small items. Not really enough to justify spending that much money to move it and things that really mattered to me could fit in my car! Something else I'm wondering about - why are you shipping your car when you could just drive it? East coast to the Midwest isn't terribly far (although this depends on where on the east coast you are coming from) - you could make the drive in two or three days (or even one really long terrible day) depending on how much driving you want to do. I don't know how much it costs to ship a car, but I feel like the cost of a plane ticket plus the cost of shipping a car costs quite a bit more than paying for the gas to drive plus a night or two in a motel.
  9. I feel like the universe is currently working against me. I keep getting screwed out of fellowship opportunities. About two month's ago, my program head arbitrarily decided to nominate an incoming student for a fellowship from the graduate school, despite promising that if she had multiple students interested, she would form a committee to review the nomination packages. This is either because a) she waited until the last minute to send in the nomination and didn't have time to form a committee, or b) went with the new student because she's obsessed with recruiting. I had a fellowship application due yesterday, and I spent the last two weeks putting in a lot of effort into my essays and getting everything looking really nice. My advisor, on the other hand, waited until the last possible moment to write a recommendation letter. He literally waited so long that he had to send the letter overnight for it to get there on time (and it's a hard deadline for all nomination materials to be received). However, either he or Fedex screwed up something, because instead of delivering it on Saturday, the letter is marked for weekday delivery only and won't get their until tomorrow (even though it arrived in the city in the wee hours of Saturday morning). I sent an email explaining that there was an error with delivering the letter in hopes that the fellowship committee will still consider my application, so fingers crossed.
  10. Honestly, I owned very little that couldn't easily be replaced after the move, and what I did want to bring could easily fit in the car or be mailed relatively inexpensively (like my books). In fact, if it was just myself moving, I would have most definitely packed the car and drove. It probably would have been cheaper to replace everything than ship it, too. However, I have a husband who has a large and heavy collection of insulators that could not fit in the car (too heavy, plus no room for my stuff). Leaving it behind or selling it was not an option, so we had to get some sort of moving container.
  11. @Cheshire_Cat Your professor sounds like one that my teaching intern last term had for one of her classes. She showed me some of her tests, and the professor took off points for "not enough detail" when her answers were correct and adequately answered the question he was asking. I recall a policy class I took that really aggravated me when it came to our exams - we were learning about different laws and were given a situation and had to explain under which laws the people in the case study could sue each other. It ended up that we had seven or so laws to choose from, and one didn't apply. So I didn't address it in my answer and I lost a lot of points because I didn't write "this law doesn't apply." At least I still did well in the class. I'm a little annoyed today because I've been working on a side project with several other people for over a year. I did all of the data analysis in February of 2016 and basically had the bulk of the paper written up by the summer. The other people on the project were responsible for putting together an introduction and adding some information to the discussion section. The literature review was basically finished before last summer started, but it's taken them this long to get everything typed up and to make a few conceptual diagrams. The person leading the project basically ignores it for weeks on end and occasionally sends out emails asking everyone to hurry up, even though she is working on the part of the paper we're waiting on! I will be glad when this finally gets out the door so I don't have to deal with it anymore.
  12. I used the ABF ReloCube as it was the most affordable at the time. Other options include the U-haul U-box and PODS. There may be others! Both the ReloCube and U-box only come in one size (and the ReloCube is slightly larger and holds 500 more pounds). PODS come in a few different sizes. Both the ReloCube and PODS can be delivered to your apartment where you pack it up, and then they ship it to your new place and drop it off for a few days. The U-haul box can only go from one U-haul place to another rather than to your door. They set it up in a trailer so you can rent a truck from them to pull it to and from your home (which naturally adds a little bit to the cost). The ReloCube also has a similar option to this where you can bring all of your stuff to an ABF center and pack up the container there and then unpack it at a center near your destination. However, you can't actually bring the ReloCube to your apartment like the U-haul box, so you have to use a moving truck of some sort to bring your things to and from the cube. This is actually what I did, because it was about $1000 less to ship from ABF center to center rather than door to door, and renting a U-haul van cost me about $50 on either end, so I saved $900. However, this might not be a good option if the nearest ABF center is really far away (their website will help you figure that out, though). Another thing to consider with a shipping container being delivered door to door is if your new landlord will be ok with a big container outside of your apartment for a few days. The ReloCube and U-box both fit into a parking space, so they might not be an issue (unless of course you only get one parking space and have nowhere to park your own vehicle - assuming you have one. Obviously not an issue if you don't). All of the PODS I've seen are a bit bigger, but it's possible they make a small one that also fits into a parking space. Packing one of these containers is also a bit of an art form. They look small on the outside, but actually hold a lot of stuff. However, it's really important that everything is tightly packed or things could be broken as the containers are loaded onto the trucks. Oh, and ABF also offers a portion of a big truck trailer for shipping which ends up being more space than their ReloCube, but costs more. Basically, a big truck will pull up to your house and you have X number of hours to load up your portion of trailer space and then it drives away - same thing happens at the other end (but for unloading). Definitely look into price quotes now and check all of the companies (it also doesn't hurt to check regular moving companies, too). I highly recommend making your reservation early, even if you don't know your new address yet. You can give it to them later when you know.
  13. @geologyninja13 As someone who spent their whole life in the northeast, the rain in the winter can be really annoying. This is my second winter here, and by most accounts, it's actually been exceptionally rainy and not normally this wet (however, the most recent reports on climate change for the region suggest that this is a trend that will continue in the future). I believe I saw the sun three times between October and February. The good news is that generally, it isn't a terrible downpour or anything like that, just soft gentle rain. I actually very rarely wear my waterproof jacket to school - if I wear it, it's typically because it's a bit chilly out rather than particularly wet (and it's a much warmer jacket than my hoodie). I actually spent my first winter wearing hoodies only - it wasn't a very cold winter and the sweatshirts were fine in the rain for going between buildings and whatnot. If I were biking to school, I would probably wear the waterproof jacket more often, though! I think your rain gear will more than protect you from the eternal wetness that is the winter. But to answer your actual question of how not to go crazy - you can actually check out some sort of sun lamp from the library to shine on yourself if you're feeling bad. Seriously. Another option is to take advantage of the occasionally sunny day (and days where it's just overcast) and get outside. The coast is a great place in winter. A bit windy, but beach combing is great (you can find some pretty awesome marine fossils, too) and there are lots of little places to visit in the different towns. The aquarium and the marine science center are only an hour away, and you can even go to a cheese factory if you don't mind a three hour drive. There's also snow recreation in the Cascades - plenty of snow parks and ski places if you like winter sports. I will add that the constant winter rain is perhaps an acceptable tradeoff for the amazingly dry summers (although maybe not so acceptable since water appropriation is a problem... I highly recommend taking FOR 562 if you'd like to learn about water laws in the west). Anyway, summers are beautiful and dry... which is awesome for all of the great outdoor activities available. Although if you were hoping to swim in the ocean, you may be disappointed. The coast is pretty cool during the summer (60s and 70s) and the water is frigid (not to mention a bit rougher than east coast waves). However, if you enjoy looking at the ocean and beach combing, then you're good to go. Also, there is surfing! I can't really speak about party life in Corvallis since I live in Albany. I imagine that the closer to campus you are, the more likely you'll be to encounter the party attitude. Most of the grad students I know live a reasonable distance from campus and their apartments are pretty peaceful. Meanwhile, as I'm typing this in my apartment in Albany, my neighbors are partying with their windows open and I can hear it even though all of my windows are closed. My neighbors are actually all pretty chill, although the ones on the other side of my duplex are awake at weird hours of the night and make some strange noises. Anyway, I'm pretty happy being a grad student at OSU although sometimes I get very aggravated with my program head. Your experience will largely depend on the culture of your program and the personalities of the grad students you encounter most frequently, but you are of course not limited to spending all your time with other geography students! I TA science labs and for the most part, students do care about what they're learning and they respect their TA's. There are always exceptions, though, but I haven't had any major problems yet *knock on wood* I think students really appreciate it if you make it clear that you actually care about them and their performance in your class and put an effort into being a good TA. Also, if you have an interest in teaching in academia after grad school, I also highly recommend looking into the Graduate Certificate in College and University Teaching. It's an 18-credit certificate, which amounts to one course per term over two years, and it is very much worth it if you have an interest in teaching. It can be be done concurrently with your regular degree program. It has dramatically changed the way I viewed teaching and learning, and my students have definitely been a lot happier and seem to get more out their lab since I started applying the things I've learned so far. It's extremely rewarding to have students email you and talk to you after class to tell you that you're the best TA they've ever had and want to know what lab section you're teaching next term. Last, about pot culture - I again don't know a lot about what goes on in Corvallis on the weekend, but I imagine it's like alcohol. The underage students get older ones to buy it for them, they go overboard at first, and eventually the novelty wears off by the time they're old enough to buy it themselves and they use it responsibly for the most part. I haven't heard any complaints about it, and to be honest, I'd rather be around a bunch of stoned undergrads than a bunch of drunk ones. Stoned people are usually much more pleasant I'm pretty sure I've had some of my students show up to class a bit stoned, but they still did their work. I also know several grad students who smoke pretty much everyday because it helps them manage stress and anxiety and they do just fine. However, if you do chose to partake (there are lots of options for both smoking and eating), do remember that officially, grad students shouldn't be using it since the university receives federal money. In other words, don't broadcast it to the world.
  14. Something funny happened last night. I was browsing AllTrails for some hiking ideas and discovered that you can hike up to the summit of one of Oregon's tallest peaks without doing any actual mountain climbing (if that makes any sense to you). So I told my husband that I wanted to do that hike and another nearby before we move. He then asked me what I meant by move, and I was like, "when I graduate and we leave the PNW." Very seriously, he said that he didn't think I wanted to ever leave, and when I told him I wouldn't make him stay here because I know he hates it, he replied with, "I only hate parts of it." So now I'm sitting here wondering if this area is growing on him. Maybe I'll get to stay out here after all! Although I'm pretty sure my parents would freak if I told them I was staying on this coast. Every so often, they like to remind me that I need to try to find a job on the east coast so that I can visit them more. That's another concern in the back of my mind. My mom retired about a month ago and my dad is retiring in a week. They are trying to sell their house and move to a warmer climate by the beach. My three brothers have little to do with them these days (although one is a violent drug-addicted asshole, so it's best that he's out of everyone's lives) and my sister is finding more and more excuses not to come around. If they move, I'm probably the only one who will visit them and I'm 100% certain that I'm the only one who would be willing to care for them if their health degrades in the coming years. It will be much harder to make the changes necessary to care for them if we're on opposite coasts! PS - congrats on the conference!
  15. I was in your position when I was accepted into my PhD program. I had to move 3,000 miles from the east coast to the west coast! Everyone has given you great advice, but here is my experience with long-distance moving: First, I had a tough time trying to rent from independent landlords. They had the most affordable housing in my area and all of the features I was looking for. However, none of them would rent to me unless I was willing to fly across the country to meet them first. They were "uncomfortable renting to someone so far away." I didn't have the funds to make a trip like that, so I missed out on some potentially good apartments. Second, even some of the bigger rental companies and complexes would not rent to me unless I saw the apartment first. One company was willing to let me have someone else look at the apartment for me. However, like you, I felt really weird about emailing students I never met asking them to go look at an apartment for me. In retrospect, this was an error, because there are lots of cool people in my program and several of them would have been happy to do this for me had I asked. What I ended up doing was renting from a complex. Several of them had apartments available for when I would arrive and were willing to hold it for me with a deposit. This could have ended poorly... my apartment could have ended up being a complete dump. However, none of the complexes actually wanted me to sign a lease until I got there and did a walk-through. So if it was truly terrible, I did have the option of saying "nope" and heading to a motel, although I would have lost the holding deposit and been stuck without an apartment for a bit. Truth be told, I was a bit disappointed with my apartment. The website and craigslist ads for the complex make this place look like a beautiful park filled with beautiful townhouses with private yards. Turns out there's only one tiny spot that looks park-like and the interior of my unit left a lot to be desired. The private yard is actually decently sized, but it's surrounded by a crumbling brick wall. Yet I'm still here, so it's really not that bad Some other strategies used by other members of my program who moved across the country: One had a friend living about an hour away. He put all of his stuff in storage and stayed on his friend's couch until he found an apartment. Another found someone looking for a roommate for the fall term only and decided to do that so she could look for apartments when she got here. However, her roommate turned out to be a demon, so she found an apartment really fast. My only other comment is that it's really early for apartment hunting. You're not likely to find anyone advertising leases for the fall until June or July. Also, if you are planning on bringing a lot of stuff with you, look into different options for moving trucks and shipping containers. For me, a shipping container was the most economical and I originally could get two of the u-haul containers for a very good price when I checked into it in early June (for a September move). However, when I actually went to reserve the containers in August, the price had more than doubled, so I could only afford one from a different company (ABF) and had to leave some things behind. So the moral of the story is reserve early!