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Poster awards

After waking up early to attend our annual departmental symposium yesterday, I was left feeling exhausted at the end of day. The symposium is entirely run by graduate students in the department, starting from deciding who to invite as speakers, down to the location of the symposium dinner. Overall, it's a great thing to participate. But one thing that really bothers me every year is the award session. Each year, the department gives out awards in best poster presentation and oral pres

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

I feel my PhD has been a waste

I'm not sure what's got hold of me lately. I feel my PhD has been a waste. I'm close to the end of my fourth year. By September, it will be my fifth year in the program. When I started in the lab, I was assigned four different projects, all were outside of the lab's expertise (and of course I wouldn't have expertise either). I didn't really think much of them besides seeing them as brand new challenges, new opportunities to learn and explore. As time goes on, things were tough, and inevitab

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

Let's do it!

It's the season to come down with a cold. Meh, pay back time from my body... Things in the lab are as sluggish as ever. I wonder when is anything going to pick up the pace? I have yet to become efficient, surprises this place throw at me constantly put me outside of my comfort zone. It's annoying to often slow down and figure things out. My boss suddenly said to me the other day that she cannot do my readings for me, that she has many things on her plate, and I need to be independent

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

Conflict

We arrived at another Monday. Before it leaves us, I would like to take a moment to reflect what happened today. Today started out as a fairly typical day. I ran into my boss in the hallway and asking her whether an individual meeting was scheduled as usual. She replied yes, so I showed up at her office. The meeting came down as we were not on the same page, with this week being the third week in a roll. I felt like I was speaking calculus while she was saying greek. She insisted on whatev

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

4th year

It's been a while since I blogged on the gradcafe. Last time I blogged, I was in the midst of the never-ending rotation streak, and it felt like I would never manage to land anywhere in the program. My program is an umbrella program, I rotated through FOUR DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS! Well, I did find a lab home to stay, passed my prelim and became a candidate, and now arrived in the middle of my fourth year. Many research-related ups and downs happened, projects initiated and terminated, and time wen

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

Back for an entry

Hello GradCafe, In this somewhat chilly afternoon, I am trying to produce some progress before I head home for thanksgiving. I haven't visited this site (and the blog) for a while, it's a good time to take a moment and write something. After my journey with numerous rotations (let's say, more than 3, to remain anonymous on the internet), I settled down in a lab. During the course of my super rotation journey, I also picked up running. This morning I just completed my first 5K run with

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

Finally committed.... I guess?

First year of grad school is almost over. Although I don't like the class I'm taking (ugh what a passive aggressive prof... whatev just let me pass), things are alright. Comparing to the first semester, It seems we are more on track. Rotation project accomplished, boss man has no complaints, looks like we are good for the next 3-4 years (I hope). But I can't help wanting to go home. I just want to spend a little time home when semester ends... I have no idea how to bring this up to the bos

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

Another dilemma

So I'm writing once again to vent. One more month until the end of this semester, our program already sent out information regarding declare a thesis lab and a home department. Things did improve a lot compared to the last semester, which I'm glad. While fully engaged into science, what's lacking this time is the human interaction. A brand new lab, a brand new group of people, starting all over again... I like how productive and diligent people are, somehow I am not entirely assimilat

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

First semester blues

The first semester as a grad student has come and gone. Seeing another round of application season coming upon us just made me realize how fast time flies, I was just in these applicants' shoes last year! Honestly, I didn't like my experience this semester at all. I followed the recommendation of our program director to sign up for 3 courses, without knowing that how much more work one graduate level course is compared to undergrad. Assignments are endless, literature reviews, discussions..

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

Slowing down

10/7 marks the first month of my grad school career. Over the past month, I saw a lot of things and experienced a lot of things. One of those is speed in research progress. My fellow scientists on this forum probably understand well that research is never a speedy process. Rather, it's an iterative process of observation, hypothesis, trial and error. It all takes time before you finally conclude anything, but... the boss man wants progress, fast, and publish those progress, fast. The

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

Uh... ok

So school has started for two weeks. Settled into my apt, getting familiar with bus routine, talked to perspective rotation mentor... ok, sounds like we are moving along. This is my first rotation. First day in the new lab, I was asked to do a 5 minute presentation on what my project will be, given short notice. Within the following four days, I found that the most relevant senior post doc to my project is leaving the lab in about a month. Okay, I admit I know how to carry out the task my

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

Today was an emotional day

It has nothing to do with graduate school admission, but that tension accumulates to a point that I can't hold it in anymore. The trigger of this emotional day was a scenario happened last Friday. I don't want to revisit the scene, but what happened was I took the ironic humor of my boss personal. It hurt. This is a lesson: how to take work as work ONLY. When you care about something so deeply, it could backfire.

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

A lot of perspectives

I know people in my immediate surrounding are nice and wanting to help me with this decision of which school to attend. But it's getting too much, it really is. Can you guys just give me a break? I really haven't made up my mind yet, okay? I wish April is here.

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

Back to waiting

It's been a while since I heard anything from schools. I've begun a series of emailing to different PIs, engaged in different conversations with PIs from my two admits so far. One reject but no big deal, the rest is... silence. On the result page, I did see someone posting interview notices to the places I'm still waiting to hear back. I wonder what's going on.... My online applications have technical glitch or something? Seems like they are frozen in time. Hello? Anybody there? Rejec

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

A little summary of events so far... and many thanks.

Grad school application process has been a roller coaster ride for me. Before I began filling out the apps, I had a huge fear that I might got rejected across the board because of my close-to-minimum-requirement GPA. I was totally aiming at my safety school, nevertheless, I picked a couple ambitious choices and notified my recommenders in mid september. The first deadline was NSF GRFP. It took me a while to gather information and began writing the required essays. Surprisingly, I could not

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

 

UC Davis

UC Davis is one of my seven schools I applied to. Although I am going for Pharmacology and Toxicology, I still have vet school in mind, and UC Davis happened to have one on campus. Maybe I will make the switch in the future? Not sure. The writing prompts of UC Davis are just as confusing as Michigan's... And I had to enter grades of the classes I took one by one! After the LOR crisis, I got an email saying that my application is now complete. Phew. But guess what, I forgot to change th

Tall Chai Latte

Tall Chai Latte

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