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Everything posted by fuzzylogician

  1. What happened after the students went to the head of the department? Is there a chance you can refer all complaints to the professor and let them deal with it? It's not worth getting into fights in this situation, as the person with the least amount of power in the situation. Even if you think someone is getting a grade they don't deserve, it's not your problem if someone else decided to give it to them. I'd find a way to farm off problem students to be someone else's responsibility, if possible. If not, this might be a good time to start documenting everything and running everything past your professor (do they give you a rubric or do you make one -- either way, maybe you want to run what you do by them to get their approval, that way you can't be blamed for anything). However, before taking more drastic measures, it'll help to know if they had your back given these students complaints -- they might have, but just didn't do a good job communicating it.
  2. People go through graduate programs at the same time as working, raising a family, taking care of elderly parents, commuting long-distance, etc. You choose how much time to invest in your education and how much time to spend on other things. There may be busier times and not as busy times during your program, but like anything else, it's all about prioritizing. If pursuing a hobby is important to you, you should be able to make time for it.
  3. I'm confused about your situation. You've gone through a 5-year PhD program, can't finish, and you want to start a new program? That might be hard without getting letters of recommendation from your current professors or having much to show (research-wise) from your current program. It's also unclear how that could take less time than working to get your paper published, since you say that work has been done and the paper already exists. Maybe this is the time to look for school-internal remedies for how to deal with an advisor who won't let you graduate but also isn't taking the steps to get your work up to par to where it could be defendable (the ombudsperson comes to mind). Overall, though, having a PhD based on just one paper that you can't get published doesn't sound like necessarily the best position to start a career from. Maybe it's worth improving the work, like it sounds that your advisors want.
  4. As always in an interview situation, don't volunteer information no one asked about. If they ask about a potential start date, at this point you probably want to repeat a version of what you put in your application, assuming it's actually doable. (It might not come up until later, if and when they want to make you an offer; salary might also only come up later, but you should have some thoughts about a range now.) You can also definitely say that you are flexible, and play that up as an advantage. Be aware that committing to a start date before you can finish your dissertation could cause delays in getting it done; I personally would prefer to finish the degree first, but I also know people who took a job early because one came along, and finished the dissertation later in their spare time. It almost always took longer than otherwise, but it's still doable. If you can suss out when would be a good start date for them, you can play up your flexibility to suit their needs. A job that's a great fit doesn't come along every day. This also probably goes without saying, but you should have ways of talking about your dissertation that aren't too technical for your interviewers. If they ask about your progress, you can feel free to tell them how many chapters you've written/plan to write, and offer to give more details of the content of each and an overview. I generally always prefer to give the bigger picture and invite them to ask more questions. Depending on the job, they may or may not have any idea what's involved in getting a PhD, and you don't need to educate them beyond some generalities to give them an idea of what you do and how long it should take you, unless they want to hear more.
  5. I strongly advise you to talk to the International Students Office at your school about these questions. This is too specific for us to give general advice, and we are not immigration lawyers or specialists. I think you have to enter the US within a certain date after whatever is stated on your I-20 (30 days, I think? but in the Trump era, who knows anymore), so if you defer by a semester you may have to redo the entire process, including SEVIS and visa (but again, you need to check this with a professional). I'm pretty sure you can't just get a visa and then not attend starting whenever the I-20 says you should, and be able to use the same paperwork for what would then be a different course of study as far as immigration is concerned. I would suggest not telling this story to anyone when you have your interview, simply because it's not relevant. Unless you've decided to defer, in which case going for the interview is a waste of time and money, you go because your current plan as of the time of the interview is to start school in the fall. The complications with housing and your job aren't relevant to the interview. That's for you to figure out. Most international students can figure out housing from afar, and hopefully you can do the same, even if it's not ideal for the first year. There's subletting, university housing, paying a realtor to help, using local connections through your future department/university. I'm not saying it's easy (been there, done that, I remember the stress it came with), but it's doable. You just need to make a decision and start making a plan.
  6. Not to repeat the advice you received above, which I agree with -- I just want to add that changing your interests will not look bad at all. In fact, it's entirely common, even expected, that students (any academic, really), will evolve and change their research interests with time. To the extent that anyone will actually see your first-year bio and remember it, no one looking at it again in your 3rd year would be surprised to learn that you might have grown and redirected your interests elsewhere.
  7. Ah, in that case I suggest that you take a step back and simply take more classes and get involved in research. Find out what you like more specifically, because your list is very broad and very vague. A PhD is about depth, not breadth. You do take courses for two years and there is place to learn and grow (in fact, it's necessary!), but you need to have a much better idea of what you want so you can apply to the right schools and get the kind of education you need to pursue your research interests. Yeah, did I mention you're vague? That's pretty much everything in experimental linguistics. But my point above is this: you use these tools to study a research question. What is the question (or set of questions) you are interested in? My perspective is that you pick the right tools to get at informed answers to research questions; you don't simply pick up tools and throw them against the wall and see what sticks without a purpose. Brain imaging, in particular, is very expensive. If you don't have a goal in mind for putting a bunch of people in the scanner, you'll be wasting a lot of time and money. So again, you start from the research interests, then you develop the tools to study them (both experimental and theoretical, by the way). You need to figure this part out before we can tell you what schools are right for you.
  8. More info is needed. If you're looking to study psycholing at a top theory school, you'll want to study some problem from an experimental perspective, but you didn't tell us what subfieds/questions interest you. If you are on the applied side, you need to tell us that too. While we're at it: is there a particular methodology that appeals to you?
  9. If you can condense your 50-page paper into a 35-page paper without significant loss of content, you should absolutely do that. Never make your readers work harder than they have to. If that's not possible, I would personally opt for the whole thing + designated pages. My take on submitting the whole thing with instructions to read Part X is that it's worth taking the extra time to create a kind of (short!) summary or abstract of the rest of the work, to situate the excerpt in context. I assume that at least some readers will only read the designated part; some readers may read more, if interested, but most probably won't read the whole thing. So to avoid the cons of Option 1 and maximize the potential pros of Option 2, providing a short summary can help provide the broader frame and direct readers to where they can read more if they're particularly interested in X or Y, so it's not too choppy when they go to the excerpt. That said, a 35-page excerpt out of a 50 page paper could be kind of awkward, if those are the parameters. If you can find a way to make it a standalone piece, that would be best.
  10. I went to a different school but one that also required its own exam of all international students regardless of any other credentials. Talk to the professor about holding the position for you since there is no way for you to do anything else about it.
  11. ^This. Most often this is just straightforward bureaucracy and means nothing about the status of your application one way or the other. HR is trying to collect stats on who is applying for positions, and this most likely won't factor into the search committee's decision.
  12. If students are too young for you, you might try to find events that target postdocs and junior faculty, who are more likely to be in the right age-range for you. Not all events will be open to grad students, but some social events might be.
  13. 1. Writing the school's address seems reasonable to me, if you don't have something more permanent yet. 2-3. To my knowledge, there is no way to update the DS-160 once you submit it, so you'll just explain that your address has changed in the interview, if asked (I doubt it'll come up, though). You won't the first or last person not to have accommodations pre-arranged, so don't worry about this too much. 4. After the interview the DS-160 doesn't matter anymore and you don't need to update it. 5. If anyone asks when you cross the border, you simply explain that you didn't have permanent accommodations so you gave your school's address because that's where you could be reached. Simple as that. Again, I doubt anyone is going to ask. Disclaimer: I am not an immigration lawyer. Ask your school's ISO if in doubt.
  14. Unless they flag you for administrative processing, you should get your passport with the visa stamp back within a few days following the interview. In that case having an interview in the last week of July should be fine. The main difficulty might be with logistics, if you want to wait with booking a flight and figuring out housing until after you have the visa so you're sure you can move. It's not impossible, but it might be somewhat stressful.
  15. I've done this when I had someone I trusted see the place in person and take pictures or a video. It worked out, but there are obvious risks. There was always a reputable management company that I could read up on online, not just a private person. First time I signed electronically and gave the deposit when I arrived (I was overseas). More recently I signed electronically and mailed the deposit check and first month's rent.
  16. You've most likely fallen in the Technology Alert List (TAL) trap. Nothing you can do about it now, though you can read about it online. Unfortunately it can take several months for the process to finish, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it but wait. You may have to miss the beginning of the semester, unless you're very lucky.
  17. Congrats on the interview, and yes, definitely go. If they make you the offer, you can negotiate the start date. We're talking TT, right? That means it's a long-term investment, and they should be willing to wait for you for one term, especially when your materials also made it clear that you'll need it. Either way, it's good practice. If they do pick you, and they can't push the start date to a time that works for you, you can always decline. Better have that problem than turn down the interview before trying. As for vague questions.. I find that they are helpful because they allow you to steer the conversation in a direction that you're comfortable with. This was one piece of advice I got from a trusted advisor that took a while to figure out but I now think is extremely helpful: answer the question that you want to have been asked, not necessarily the one that you were asked. So take their question and work into the something that you are comfortable answering (obviously closely related, but find a way to bring out your strengths, even if they didn't precisely ask about them). Vague questions are good for that, because they allow you a lot of leeway to do that.
  18. No such thing exists. Academia is a risky business. You'll need to (a) figure out the schools in your field that have a good placement record and are a good match for your interests, and (b) figure out their GRE requirements. Come back with questions about specific departments and you'll get better answers than anyone can give on your current vague question. (Overall, quant isn't going to be high on anyone's worries when choosing applicants, but beyond that it's hard to say anything specific.)
  19. ^ In addition, since your advisor seems to have some knowledge about this, if s/he has former students in the kinds of jobs you're looking for, ask them to put you in touch with those students. You can gain some first-hand insight and maybe those former students can help you get something in their company.
  20. Caveat: an outside perspective. If you are fairly immobile, have a job, and are looking for a career move within the same location, I would imagine that having the right connections is even more important than having the official credentials. I would probably start from finding a way to become better known within the arts community in your town, to get to know the right people in the scene and to become friends with the decision makers. From there it's a matter or figuring out what credentials they are looking for in someone who is doing the job(s) you want. If it means a degree, that would be the time to do it. Otherwise, there might be other less expensive ways to stay in touch with the arts. Either way, I don't think that explaining your choice to return to school should be that hard, what you wrote above seems straightforward and honest and I suspect you're not the first one who's gone down this path. Being able to demonstrate your actions to get back into the scene and get involved should go a long way, together with being able to discuss concrete post-degree plans.
  21. 1. I wasn't assuming otherwise, just suggesting you keep this up. 1'. I (and a couple others) are trying to show you what the situation might look like from the professor's side, since you presented a fairly one-sided story. It may be hard for you to see the other side, and that's fair, but those of us with a bit more experience are trying to put it in perspective. You can take that as "taking her side" or simply providing context. 2. Her wanting to pick a publishable project is inconsistent with what you describe about project C, so I'm not sure what to make of this. Sounds like it'll be more work than you want to put in, though. That's fair, if that's what you decide, but she is within her rights to require a certain amount of work for what would count as a thesis she will pass. 3. No, the failure in communication started much earlier than this, that's my point above. She might easily think that she's already communicated that a couple of times and you're not understanding. But that's just a guess, since we don't have access to the correspondence and we weren't in the room when you had the conversation. 4. You are the one who brought up her tenure case with relation to a complaint. Of course you directly can't deny her tenure, but you have to know that negative complaints can't help her. Possible effects would obviously therefore range from "negligible" to "bad", but nothing good will happen. Venting is fine, but you should calm down before you make any further decisions. Even if you do decide a complaint is warranted, do it from a calm place.
  22. Frankly, if the whole thing is 10 pages and you just want to be done, the best course of action is to suck it up and do what you're asked. Shouldn't take that long, and if you don't throw a tantrum she might still take you on and let you finish faster. This, though, points to what is probably a failure in communication: It seems to me that what she thought happened is that you brought up A and B, and she told you to do C instead. You, however, thought A and B were still on the table. You wrote a proposal for A. She said, please do C. You then wrote a proposal for B. So now I don't know why she hasn't responded to your emails, but from her perspective she might think she's dealing with a problem student who isn't responding to advice and is also being demanding at the same time. It sounds like you have two choices: you can do C and finish more quickly, even if it's less interesting to you (provided you don't blow this with inappropriate behavior toward her), or you can take more classes and drop the thesis option, even though it will take you longer. That's up to you. If you want to complain to someone, feel free, but I don't think you have grounds for a complaint here, based on the details you've given so far. And I think that going out of your way to hurt her tenure case is just wrong.
  23. Now who's fighting straw men? We are trying to explain to you what things look like from the other side, and to provide some rationale for the professor's behavior. No one here (or anywhere, for that matter) claimed that there are no bad advisors. But in this particular case, we can easily see an explanation for the sequence of events the OP describes that doesn't involve malice, incompetence, or really any wrong-doing on the prof's end. I don't think this conversation is helping the OP at this point, so for me, at least, this is the last reply on this topic.
  24. See here, for example. Some of us who have been on this site longer have actually helped OP with other questions in the past and remember their story.
  25. Yeah, this is not uncommon at all. I don't think I had any contact with my program until about a week or so before the start of my first year. It was indeed anxiety inducing for someone like me (and, I would assume, you), who likes to plan ahead and know everything... but it's how they operate. I promise you, it'll all work out fine.