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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. Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Working a summer position that requires waders and boots. I gave my supervisor my shoe sizes in both men's and women's sizes (since that's what he asked for). He ordered my waders using my women's size number, but ordered men's. So the boots on the waders were way too big. Someone else who he didn't order gear for yet took them and we got the right size. He then ordered me some knee-high waterproof boots the same freaking way. The boots run a little big to begin with, so it's like wearing boots that are two sizes too big. He wouldn't return them and told me to just wear several pairs of socks. Gee thanks, I love wearing four pairs of socks in 85 degree weather. My ankles keep rolling in them because they're so big and I have blisters on my toes from my feet sliding around. This morning one of my other supervisors asked if the label on my gear shelf was spelled right, since they had made a few spelling errors with others. I have a double barreled last name with no hyphen. They put a hyphen on the label, so I told her it was wrong and she made me a new label. I wasn't mad about it, but since she was offering a new label, I took it. Then the first supervisor basically told me that it wasn't a misspelling to add a hyphen. I informed him that my legal name has no hyphen. Then he got really pissy about it and started complaining that you can't have a hyphenated name with no hyphen. Whatever, dude.
  2. Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Well all right. If any readers are easily offended, look away now. After he said he replaced her with a younger woman, my friend replied with "she may be younger, but my vagina hasn't pushed out two 10 pound babies." OUCH.
  3. Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    WOW my best friend just told me the most ridiculous thing about her ex. She was with this guy for 7 years or so, and they were married for maybe 5 or 6 (can't remember). He's been cheating on her for pretty much their entire relationship (she found this out in the past year), and a few months ago she decided to cheat on him since he obviously had no interest in monogamy. Long story short, he got pissed off that she cheated, tried to make her feel like she was ruining her life by not staying with him, and has been sabotaging her efforts to move out. So he finally lets it go and decides to date a friend of theirs who lives a few hours away. This woman is 3 years younger than my bestie, and he apparently told my friend that he "replaced her with a younger woman." Like dude that's hardly a significant age difference. If you're going to be an asshat about it and play the trade-in card, you're going to need a much bigger age difference. As is, you just sounds like an idiot. My friend actually had a magnificent response, but it's not really appropriate for polite conversation.
  4. Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Today started off as a good day. The sun was shining, my morning meeting went quickly, I wrote a quiz for my class tomorrow... I even got in some exercise! Then I got an email that pretty much ruined my day. My program has slowly been progressing from a place where most students were funded and the program head was actively trying to make sure everyone in the program is taken care of, to a place where the focus in on recruitment and screw everyone already in the program. I didn't realize the program was headed this way until recently because I was one of the newer recruits that were financially taken care of - my first year due to a bit of luck, and this year because I was still new enough to warrant giving funding to. However, over the past year as I've met more of the older students, I discovered that many of them have basically been ignored in favor of driving all funding to new students. A few have taken jobs outside the university to support themselves as they try to wrap up their research and get out. One even told me that the program head told her to get a job bartending when she tried to discuss funding options. Two have moved back to their home states to work and are finishing their PhDs remotely. Our department assistant has traditionally helped students find TA positions in related departments as there are often excess TAships due to lots of grant money for RAs floating around, but today in response to an email I wrote her about funding opportunities for next year, she told me not to bother her with funding requests because the program head will decide who gets a limited number of TA positions our program has available and doesn't want students waitlisted for positions elsewhere because the funding isn't guaranteed. In any event, I've gone straight to the departments themselves to request placement on their lists for next year, but I'm very annoyed that our program head seems to be trying to block access to funding for older students. What good is bringing in new students if you can't fund them later in their degree? Just another reason why I kick myself for taking an offer with shaky funding.
  5. Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    I'm starting to get annoyed with one of my advisor's colleagues. My advisor is away until late July. He has a joint appointment between my program and a university-affiliation organization, with a bit more of his time spent working on projects for this organization. While he's away, one of his colleagues has been responsible for going to meetings and doing a few other things that he normally does. She does a great job, but for some reason she refuses to respond to me if her response is going to be negative and she has been keeping me out of the loop on things that are directly related to my research. For example, we went to a meeting together earlier in the year and I thought I left my water bottle in her car. I texted her asking if she could look for it and drop it off at the office next time she was in. She didn't respond and about a day and a half later I found it in my apartment (it had fallen out of my backpack and rolled under the couch). I texted her that I found it and she immediately responded with "great." Why couldn't she text me to say that she didn't have it? More recently, my advisor told her to order something that they would be using for training activities and for my research. She didn't immediately get back to him about it, so he asked me to check in with her. I emailed her asking if she ordered it and let her know some other info related to the project, but she didn't reply to me. A week and a half later, my advisor emailed her (and I was copied to the email) and she finally replied that she didn't order it because it wouldn't arrive in time for the training session, but that she'd order it now. Now I need what she was supposed to order for some public outreach in a week and I'm not going to have it If she had just communicated with us, I wouldn't have this problem!
  6. My advice is to have a heart to heart conversation with your advisor about your limitations when it comes to social interactions if you are comfortable with it. My husband has Asperger's syndrome and he comes off as angry and standoffish to others who don't know him well, and he has trouble reading the emotions of others - he usually thinks everyone is annoyed with him, even if they aren't! I think this conversation would help alleviate some of your anxiety as well as let your advisor know that you are not just ignoring his feedback, not following conversations, etc. It would also be a good idea to discuss with your advisor how it would be best to give you feedback or cue you into when it's appropriate to talk during lab meetings. Also, I've found that communication with my husband got way better once we had a conversation like this - there were lots of times during our relationship when we had communication issues - him because of his Asperger's and me because of my social anxiety. Working on communication really helped our relationship!
  7. Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    That sucks! It's so obnoxious when an employer backstabs you and depending on the relationship with your employer, it can be really emotionally hurtful, too When I was an undergraduate, I worked full-time at a sandwich shop. The pay was crappy, but the full-time hours made it work. I bent over backwards for this employer and came in whenever anyone called off, did all kinds of extra work that no one else would bother to do, and basically had no life. The owner got a new girlfriend who owned a few apartments and one of her new tenants needed a job. Guess whose hours got cut in half so this new woman who zero experience in the food industry could work full-time? I was so upset about it. About 2 or 3 months later, a friend told me about a server position that was opening where she worked and I was offered almost full-time hours there. The sandwich shop was so pissed that I was leaving, but I was like "you shouldn't have given away my hours if you liked my work ethic so much!" My advice to you is to try to find something seasonal if you can so that you can keep your savings. Amusement parks, water parks, summer camps, wedding venues... even places like movie theaters often need extra help in the summer. Temp agencies may also be able to help you, too, and sometimes you can find short-term jobs cleaning dorms or doing landscaping posted on Craigslist.
  8. Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Sometimes I get a little annoyed with two core beliefs my parents have: 1) that I can get into any job, program, whatever regardless of whether or not I am qualified, and 2) always chose the job that pays more money. I am seeking summer employment because summer funding is pretty much nonexistent at my school. Last year I did an internship that was really aimed at undergraduates and while I enjoyed some of the work, a lot of it was manual labor that anybody could do, not just those in the natural resource/environmental fields, so I didn't really get a lot out of it and sometimes the work was hard and exhausting, especially when the temperatures got into the upper 90's (over 35 C for people living in the rest of the world). However, it actually paid better than my GTA stipend during the school year, which made it worth it in the end (yay money!). So this time around, the same company that I did my internship with offered some more advanced positions that we much better aligned with my interests and skills - however, I didn't quite meet all of the qualifications and my schedule didn't really match up with what they needed. I applied anyway and got interviews, but ultimately was turned down. My parents were in complete disbelief even though they really didn't know anything about the work. My mom kept going on and on about how because I worked outside in previous jobs, it should count towards the experience this job required because it was also an outside job, as if somehow just working outside makes you qualified for any outdoor work. I'm also interviewing next week for the same internship as last year and I think they will probably hire me again. However, the possibility exists that I might also get a summer GTA position. It depends on the schedules of those "ahead" of me on the list of students who want summer funding, and this year a lot of students will be out in the field and unable to commit to teaching. My parents asked what I'd do if offered both, and without hesitation I said I'd teach. Then I was lectured for about 10 minutes about how it's not very responsible of me to turn down a better paying job (even though the difference is maybe $300 or $400 per month and my husband works so it's not like I need that extra money). I tried to explain that teaching is really more appropriate for my career goals, I won't have to bake in the sun, and I'll end up with some free time between summer sessions to do things. However, they didn't seem to like my reasoning!
  9. Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    @Need Coffee in an IV I bet your cat is just hanging out in someone's house! There used to be a cat in my neighborhood who was so friendly and would always come begging for food. She had a cute little bobtail, too. However, she was really dirty and scruffy from living outside so I assumed she was a stray. If I didn't have my own indoor cats, I might have taken her in! However, after several months, a collar appeared on her, so somebody obviously owned her! It ended up being the people on the other side of my duplex. When they moved, she went with them. Anyway, the moral of the story is that if someone perceived your cat as a stray, he might just be chilling in someone's house right now, maybe even just down the road! People are really clueless sometimes and may not see your flyers for a while, just like my friend and her cat who lived with a neighbor a few houses down for several months until the lady finally saw a flyer. Have you tried knocking on doors and asking if anyone has seen your cat? It's awkward to walk around knocking on doors and some people might not answer because they think you're trying to sell something, a Jehovah's witness, etc., but you could always leave a flyer with a note!
  10. What do you do while proctoring an exam?

    When I was in my masters program, I was basically forced to walk a continuous loop around the lecture hall (with about 150 students) along with the professor and our lab coordinator for an hour. I was specifically required to scan the crowd for any signs of cheating and I was allowed to answer student questions (however, I usually deferred to the professor, as I was proctoring for a class that I had very little experience in and typically had no idea how to clarify questions). I did the same thing for the 2-hour final. The professor would always make a statement about cheating at the beginning and make everyone remove their hats. Students also had to "check out" if they wanted to use the bathroom - they had to leave their exam with me and show that their pockets were empty (so they weren't just going to the bathroom to look up answers on their phone) and were given 5 minutes. So the pacing behavior of your co-TA is perhaps not entirely uncalled for, particularly if he/she went experienced this kind of proctoring as an undergrad. However, the constant time reminders and weird statements would be a bit distracting, along with the pencil grabbing. Providing a statement about cheating at the beginning of the exam also isn't out of the ordinary, but turning into something weird and uncomfortable is. I would probably let the TA know that students are not responding favorably to this and that they could try limiting their announcements and pacing. At my current school, I do not pace at all and instead hang out at the front of the room. I also only have about 40 students to proctor, although last year we had closer to 400 students in one room with 8 TA's co-proctoring - however, the professor decided that was terrible and spread out the students this year. I have to read some announcements at the beginning and make students have their belongings tucked under their desks, hat brims turned backwards, and are seated with empty seats in between them. I also cannot answer any questions aside from English language questions. I am also not supposed to let anyone use the bathroom. I bring up a clock on the big screen and remind them of how much time they have left at about 15 minutes and 5 minutes. I generally spend my time working on my laptop while occasionally checking on them. Last term, I co-proctored with someone who insisted on talking to me the whole time. She whispered, but I'm sure students could still hear her sometimes. She also brought her dog and left him in the car during the exams, so she would be constantly worried about how he was doing. It was really annoying and I'm so glad to proctor alone this term.
  11. Why Grad School is Fucking Awesome

    This whole "9 to 5" conversation is completely unwarranted imo. In fact, it seems like the people taking a dump on this thread have completely missed the point. This isn't about why we chose to go to grad school, it's about what we like about it now that we're here (or if graduated, what we liked while we were still there). If I wanted a job that involved travel, living in a cool place, meeting interesting people, etc., there are many routes I could have taken, including getting a PhD. If you want to get into the why's, at least a masters degree was really a necessity for me if I wanted a decent job in my field. While there are exceptions, most people I know in my field who only have a B.S. are either working seasonal contract jobs (albeit in some pretty awesome locations around the world) that pay less than my GTA salary or are working full-time jobs that pay the same or only marginally better than my part-time GTA salary. I'm sure over time, their experience will lead them to a well-paying job, but for now, I'm getting the better deal, and when I graduate, I'm going to be qualified for much better jobs than them. There are a few people I graduated with who are making some pretty good money, but they actually aren't even working at jobs they went to school for, which is an unfortunate reality that many people face after graduation. My own personal take on the 9 to 5... I am not generally opposed to working a block of 8 hours, but I hate having the same hours everyday and I hate mornings. Right now, I start at 8 am on Mondays, 10 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, whatever I feel like on Wednesdays, and 11 am on Fridays. I love that it's different from day to day and that I don't have to drag myself out of bed early everyday. It also varies from week to week. Some Wednesdays I do nothing related to school, and others I spend a good 12 hours working. The activities also differ from day to day... I worked for years doing the same thing over and over again, and it's crap. If I stay in academia, I won't have to worry about that, because classes and schedules change from term to term, and even new professors often have some degree of freedom in scheduling so that they don't have to work the same exact hours every day. If I don't stay in academia, a lot of people in my field have varying schedules. So yeah... the career path I'm on will probably keep me clear of boring repetitive work locked into the same time slot every single day.
  12. Babies and PhDs

    I'm not a parent, but I just wanted to mention that you should definitely check out the resources at your new school. I've thought about the idea of having a child before finishing my PhD and found that there are some great services available at my school to graduate students. Probably one of the better ones is free daycare service for 3 hours or less during the daytime hours... perfect for when you have a class or have to teach. Not so useful if you have to be in the lab all day doing research, though. The people I do know with children are able to plan their schedule around their personal needs for the most part, such as coming in to work when their SO is home to care for the children or doing work at home. I think this would be more difficult with a very structured program or when doing research that requires long hours on specialized equipment. With luck, you will have a flexible program!
  13. Taking up a martial art - seeking advice

    Thanks for the advice, @fuzzylogician and @rising_star. Once this crazy week is over, I'm going to start with the Shotokan place and do the trial lesson. I've been doing a little more research, and I do have a little bit of a concern about it, though. In all of their photos around the dojo and at events, there are so many men and maybe two women. I wonder if that's just because women happen to be studying at other schools in the area (also discovered that there is a kung fu school in town as well that is owned by women and seems to have a large female clientele) or if they aren't too keen on women. Or maybe women just don't do karate as much as men (although my past experiences at tournaments suggests they do)? I guess I'll find out.
  14. Hi everyone, I've been thinking of taking up a martial art for a while, and I have a few options available to me around my school. I studied Goshin Jutsu karate as a teen and enjoyed it for the most part. It is a style with murky and apparently controversial origins, but it is a Japanese style of the "one strike" philosophy. We met twice weekly for regular class and classes were an hour and a half. I lost a lot of fat, gained a lot of muscle, and generally was in amazing shape as a result of these classes and I enjoyed the comradery with my fellow karateka. I also took a weekly aikikai class. However, at times I felt like it was too military-like, and the belt tests became rather cruel as you advanced in rank. This style is not available to me now, and I'm not sure if I want to try something similar or not. I have the options of Shotokan, Taekwondo, and American Kenpo. The Shotokan and Taekwondo schools both advertise "traditional" classes, which I assume follow the general format of my previous karate experience which involved warming up and stretching, followed by technique practice, and finally the activity of the week (kata, sparring, etc.). Style-wise, Shotokan would probably be the closest as well. Both of these schools offer class three days per week and are an hour and a half long, although there is no flexibility in the class schedule and the schools are not open for use outside of class hours. All belts also have class together. The Kenpo school advertises itself as a place to build character and fitness and for everyone to get their black belt. It has a very flashy website and is also the most popular martial arts school in the area. Classes are three days per week and are much shorter - only 50 minutes long. Classes are also divided up by experience rather than having all of the adult students take the same class. It's also the type of place that gives talks on various topics during classes (e.g., respect, dedication, effort), which cuts down on time available to train. The schedule is super flexible with multiple offerings on different days, and the school is also open beyond class hours for use by students. Kenpo is also quite a different style and perhaps is more practical for actual self-defense, although my goal is fitness. So I'm trying to decide which school I should try. I am fat and pretty out of shape (although I have been doing bike riding lately so I'm getting better), so I'm probably going to feel a bit miserable and sore at first no matter which I choose. I'm a bit turned off by Taekwondo because I associate it with high kicks and jumping, which might not be an accurate impression, but at this point it would be very hard for me to do. I am drawn to Shotokan mainly because I perceive it as familiar, I enjoy learning and performing kata, and I think the longer class time will be good for me. The short classes of the Kenpo school turn me off, as do the talks, but it seems like it might have less of a military flare to it and the flexible schedule is really convenient. Price-wise, the Shotokan and Taekwondo schools are completely transparent. $45 per month at the student rate and you get to try a class for free. The Kenpo school does not advertise it price, but they do offer a two-week free trial with 50% off the membership fee to new students. I assume this means that there's some year-long price that must be paid up front, which is not very convenient, although I don't know this for sure as I haven't called them up to ask. I'd love to get some input from anyone with experience with these styles and what I can expect. Is any particular style better for someone whose out of shape? Are there kata in Kenpo? Is Taekwondo really as kick-driven as I think? Do you just have a suggestion of which of these school seem like the best bet for a plump grad student on a budget? Should I just do the free classes at each and then decide?
  15. Why Grad School is Fucking Awesome

    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.