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orange turtle

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About orange turtle

  • Rank
    Caffeinated

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Canada
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Neuroscience
  1. A colleague recommended this and I bought it about a month ago. "At The Helm: A Laboratory Navigator" by Kathy Barker. https://www.amazon.com/At-Helm-Laboratory-Navigator-Handbooks/dp/0879695838 p.s, I was told not to buy the other book "At the Bench" by the same author. However, "At the Helm" is more comprehensive (and repeats much of the info found in "At the Bench").
  2. I am intruding here, as Political Science is not my field... I wish there was a faculty perspectives' thread for other fields, and also not just for those who are applying. I am already in a program (first year masters, hoping to fast-track to a PhD). Sometimes I worry about disappointing my advisor with my performance but I don't know how to bring it up in a way that is constructive vs I want a pat on the back. I do think it's great the Political Science faculty have this thread, though. Such a great service to the student community. Thank you.
  3. One of my professors noted that graduate students are usually pretty preoccupied with their own problems that they don't usually notice much about other students if it doesn't directly involve them. It is true. I bring this up not to make you worried but to hopefully reassure you that most students won't even notice. I am the direct opposite of you. I am the oldest in my cohort. I am older than the youngest in my cohort by some 15 years. Nobody in my cohort even noticed until one day some random conversation where age came up as a side note. Everybody looked at me in surprise, some even complete shock. Like the others here said: Just be yourself. Unless you go in there telling everyone "I am very, very young!!!" chances are, most won't even notice. Take a deep breath. Everybody is probably just as nervous as you are and just as worried as you are, all for very different reasons, and that's ok.
  4. I second the suggestions about seeking some professional help. I speak as someone who developed a language problem as an adult (neurological, acquired) and basically went from being an award-winning orator to struggling with speaking. Most days you won't be able to tell I have a problem, but some days, I struggle with finding simple words like "bird." I might come into the room and name everything that flies except "bird" (flies, geese, aeroplane, bats). But like everyone says, this is academia. If you accept the "job" of being an academic, even if temporarily as a graduate student with no intention of being going further beyond your PhD, then you accept the mores of academia. So, temporarily, you accept this. Even for students with disabilities (like me!), standards are not lowered. We have to show we can meet the essential requirement that everybody else meets, with accommodation. What this means is sometimes, if I say, bat instead of bird, and I tell my professor that is not what I mean and ask for a second to find the word I want, they understand. But for them to understand, a conversation needs to take place (preferably with the disability office helping). I'm sorry this is an ordeal for you. It is an ordeal for me, too. But I gotta do it anyway. Unfortunately, so do you. You can do this. I know you can.
  5. Sounds good, @fuzzylogician and @TakeruK. I wanted to check it sounded to others the way I intended it to (respect for the administrator) and not as bad judgment from a student unsure of the "correct" way to do things in academia.
  6. All my female advisors, past and present, but one, hug me quite regularly. The 'but one' hugged me if she hadn't seen me in a while. I have had only two male advisors. One is homosexual (this is perhaps the ONLY context I would mention this, because of the question). He hugs me, too. Honestly, I actually don't mind. Just in case: I'm also female.
  7. I have been working for a few years with a faculty member who is retiring from his position as administrator and returning to his regular research position and I wanted to convey my gratitude to him for his mentorship, leadership, and the change I felt he put in place during his tenure as administrator. I was a university worker when I met him and am now a graduate student in the department he administrates. (the university rotates administrators by cycles--the guy wasn't "let go" or anything) I wondered if it would be appropriate, after he steps down, to send an unsolicited letter of support to his boss saying exactly that? Don't faculty get reviewed for pay raises and stuff? Once he is no longer administrator, we will not be in the same department, he has zero power over me, and we will essentially never meet except for random coincidences because our university is huge. So my writing the letter won't get me any favours or unfair advantage. My writing the letter will also not get me any LOR from him because he has never overseen my research and we are in very different fields. I just wanted to express my gratitude that would let someone else know what a good job he had done that was more than just my writing a card that is only read by him, and I didn't think buying a huge gift was appropriate. Also, I'm now a grad student and quite broke.
  8. @fuzzylogician and @thelionking: the orange turtle is sitting in her shell contemplating her future in this professor's lab. He, quite honestly, scares her a little. And the ethics part troubles her. Priority right now is to get funding (LOR hinges on this PI's support for now as several letters are needed) so still stuck at the moment. Luckily, I think...I have another supervisor. Although she can be interesting as well :-) Thank you, both, and @TakeruK, for suggestions and advice.
  9. I think @fuzzylogician hit the nail on the head. Another student in my cohort is in an almost similar boat, although her PI doesn't say "personally" on the (PI's) CV, so it quite changes the dynamics and allows a wider range of interpretation of who has done what. And reading the PI's CV, one can usually assume, correctly, that there has been delegation for some tasks, even though everything in the PI's CV says "I train X and I did Y." That PI also, apparently, told the student that she does mention in her LOR that she does say that the student trains other people.
  10. Ah, yes, I just wanted to make sure I didn't look like a liar, that's all. Thank you for sharing this perspective! (I have to append my supervisor's CV with mine when I submit the application. I wanted to make sure it didn't look like I was misrepresenting myself by making the reviewers think I was claiming I did more than I did cause his CV would say he did all the work, and then here I am saying I did some of it...The forum had some excellent ideas for how to navigate it!)
  11. I can second the definitely not too late part. I published my undergrad thesis 7 years after my undergrad :-)
  12. @TakeruK and @fuzzylogician: I asked a professor (different department) somewhat off-hand what does one do with "this type" of work generally and she said it was quite unusual for someone of my level to train people although she says she agrees it was definitely training. She suggested I put it under "knowledge translation" or "volunteer work" under the Canadian Common CV (CCV) as that would make it raise less red flags of what is going on in this lab. Also "training" under the CCV often implies also having financial responsibility (as @TakeruK said) and overall responsibility (i.e., if screw up = point gun at you). At my stage, if I screw up, I can still look meek and somebody else has to answer for it :-) Which section I ultimately choose would depend on where I have less entries or where it might look more impressive. I guess I could lead my discussion with the PI somewhere along those lines...and try and gauge, as you both say, what he might say in the LOR. Thanks, both!
  13. By the way, for anyone interested and for those who still handwrite... I use a LiveScribe pen for notes, meetings, lectures. It records voice/sound and allows me to organize my notes. It's actually pretty awesome for those days when my medication fogs me up terribly--it allows me to store my handwritten notes online and as I relisten to it, I can add notes I missed, and the Livescribe will be smart enough to link it to the recording. Also, for a minimal one-off fee ($20), I can get a software to convert handwritten notes to computer text. The big downside is you need special "smart" paper for this--the special paper costs like $35 for a set of four (4) 8.5 x 11 books. So if you get slides for class, it's a bit tricky. And it doesn't work if you're reading a book or something. The LiveScribe pen is supported by my university's disability office. I get it on loan from them.
  14. @fuzzylogician and @TakeruK: the two of you are always such sound lifesavers on this board! Thank you. You are both right, of course. I will have to somehow bring this up, but ultimately, there isn't much I can do as I can't burn the bridge. (I didn't want to check though!) As for Takeruk's question: the credit claimed is on the Canadian Common CV, the "normal" paper academic CV, and the professor's CV on his website. So essentially, in every public and non-public domain of his work, he has claimed credit for the work my lab partner and I and other predecessors have done, without any hint we did it with him. We have just been written out altogether. All of them say "I personally train and (insert the rest...)" as opposed to "my lab and I train..." which would hint that there were other people involved. As for what stage I am in, I am starting out in my career in terms of graduate training. However, I have been training people for several years as I worked in this field coordinating this professor's research and using his technique before going back to school. That's why he uses me to train people in the proper application of his technique.
  15. I started 1st year last year with a chronic illness myself--neurological, can get epic. It sucked major amazeballs. I was so stressed out from the move and the big city and trying to make sure I didn't fail. On retrospect, I learned several things I wish I knew earlier, including that I should have asked questions here on Grad Forum. What I learned this last 8 months: 1) Your department chair can make or break your experience--find out which camp your chair belongs to. Mine was and is a lifesaver and had many great tips on navigating the system. When I finally confessed to him I was on the verge of collapsing from an ongoing chronic health problem, he looked at me and said "Well, what took you so long to ask for help? I'm paid the big bucks to help you through this! That's why I get the fancy office and wear the fancy tie!" 2) Ask for help, but be careful who you ask for help from. You will need people to support you, but not everyone will be your ally. Find out who your lifesavers are, treasure them, and always remember to say thank you. Learning to say sorry doesn't hurt either. Never apologize for your disability and/or health condition, but it's never too late to learn to say, say "I'm sorry I'm running late." Better to not run late, but being sick sometimes affects the space-time continuum. :-) 3) Know your limits, and know when to say, well, f*** you, I come first. 4) Do not overdo classes, no matter how tempting it is. 5) Talk to the disability office. They have some amazing services; maybe they have some suggestions on how to get diagnosed, or services they can recommend. Like I have a program that reads to me so when my neurological condition acts up, and I am quite ill, and can't read well. Like whaaat? The program reads to me. Yes, it gets pretty hilarious when it tries to read scientific words, but it still reads to me. 6) Learn to laugh at yourself. 7) If you take medication (I do), don't forget. Always have some at home, on you, and in your office. I needed the emergency room because I, of course, forgot mine on exam day, and landed in the hospital. Got a nice lecture from my neurologist and paramedics. (if my drug levels drop, I'm in trouble) 8) Do something outside your program. Doesn't matter what it is. Run, swim, bake, see family, see friends, garden, party, volunteer, go to church/mosque/temple, watch movies, have sex, rock climb, travel, knit, play music, campaign for something, have a pet, paint, collect something, judge others, shop, repair cars, paintball, do yoga, whatever.