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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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    Pacific Northwest
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  1. This is unfortunate but not as uncommon as you would expect. I know quite a few people who came to our university and ended up with a toxic advisor. Some trudged through, some switched advisors early, and some switched pretty late. I also had an advisor who I wouldn't describe as toxic, but I would definitely say that she was not entirely supportive and was a terrible communicator. I was especially frustrated with two things: 1) she frequently backtracked on things she said to me and I was perpetually confused about what I was doing because she kept changing her mind, and 2) her feedback on an
  2. I'm not sure that it's true across the board, but it appears that if a school really isn't interested in you, they send out the rejection letters pretty quick. If you don't hear anything from them, you were most likely put onto some kind of waitlist. This happened when I applied to the University of Tennessee (my top choice). I wasn't invited for an interview and my POI didn't know anything. However, I had heard back from my second choice and needed to give them a yes or no, so I emailed the department head to ask about my status. I was apparently at the top of their waitlist and they were sti
  3. Both 1 and 3 are good options. If it's been about 2 weeks (or longer) since you sent your first email, then you should politely follow up. Professors are busy. They forget things sometimes. Sometimes they delete things, too. Approaching him at an event would work if it's happening soon and you can actually get access to him. Do be aware that when people give talks, however, they are often inundated with people afterwards asking questions. It could be difficult to pin him down to have a good chat! Of course, the opposite might be true as well.
  4. Way back when, I remember this happening with Drexel University. I logged in to check my status because that's what you do when you're anxiously awaiting decisions, and there it was! I didn't actually get a letter or email from them for maybe two weeks. For my current program, I received an acceptance in like March from the department and the grad school sent me something else maybe 3 weeks later (at my school, the department notifies you of your acceptance first, then the grad school processes everything and makes sure you are eligible for admission and all that afterwards). I don't think I h
  5. Hey, another person who maxed out on credits! I did the same, myself. It was actually incredibly annoying, because when I started undergrad, they measured these things by time rather than credits. So you had to complete a 4 year degree in 6 in order to get financial aid. Strictly speaking, I did attend for more than 6, but not at the school I got my degree from and that's all that mattered. So I was in the clear until they changed the policy to be credit-based, which messed up my last year. But I found money. Anyway, to actually answer your question, the whole number of credits thing goe
  6. My current school offers amazing health insurance that includes vision and dental for its graduate employees. It's probably the best health insurance I've ever had in my life and I pay a very small amount towards it each month. My union rocks. Where I did my masters, they offered nothing at all, not even the most basic health insurance. So it really depends on the school.
  7. I use ResearchGate for three things: 1) to find full-text articles that I do not have access to digitally (usually 1990s and earlier are only available in physical form for me, with some exceptions, although I rarely need access to these), 2) to make my work more visible and accessible to others, 3) to ask questions that I can't find the answer to elsewhere (e.g., request info on a certain topic, troubleshoot software, etc.). It's also been suggested on here in the past that having a good web presence is helpful for admissions because your advisor and the admissions committee look you up.
  8. I have my research project set up except for actually planting my seeds. I have 120 20-gallon nursery pots filled with soil inside two greenhouses that I built. It took over a week of hard physical work to get all that done, and mostly by myself. My committee approved my methods, which were detailed in my proposal and also discussed in several email threads, and authorized me to use my startup funds to buy the supplies and get things set up. Yesterday, all but one basically said they had no idea that I was using the type of soil I had purchased. Two suggested that I dump the pots and buy
  9. I don't care for Macs, but that's a personal preference. So my suggestions will be PC-based. I just upgraded to an Acer Aspire E15 (specifically this configuration). It was a little under $600, which was more than I wanted to spend, but it was actually the least expensive laptop that had all of the features I wanted. This includes a solid state drive, 8 GB of memory, a speedy multi-core processor, a DVD drive, a card reader, and an HD display. The battery life is also pretty good - it's advertised as up to 15 hours. I haven't really been keeping track to find out how accurate that is, tho
  10. My PhD journey has been fraught with self-doubt, several hiccups, an advisor change, and often feelings of dread and poor self-worth. However, things have really been coming together! My current advisor makes me feel like an intelligent and worthwhile person. I love my new(ish) GTA position (although I loved my old one, too). I completed and passed my oral prelims yesterday and was informed that several committee members voted that I exceeded their expectations. I also found out today that my grant proposal for my research is being funded. It's not a mega amount of money, but enough to do
  11. Neogenesis has covered the basics, but to elaborate: Some conferences offer grants/scholarships to cover fees - check out the conference's website to see if they offer it! If it's far away and you need to fly, that gets dicier, as it's very unlikely that the conference can foot the bill for that. Getting a part-time job may or may not be a possibility. If you currently have an assistantship, sometimes your contract forbids you from obtaining additional employment. Sometimes it doesn't. You'd need to look into that if you don't know, although if you can earn enough money before the co
  12. If I'm reading between the lines correctly, I sense that you are worried that your advisor is unhappy with you for unknown reasons and is sticking you with this assistantship that you don't want. I doubt this is the case, but it's always a possibility. When they told you the initial decision was political, that was probably true. Maybe this other student knows somebody and had a favor done for them, maybe somebody in the department just liked something on their CV and wanted them, who knows. Maybe it was actually completely random, but they didn't want to tell you that they flipped a coin to d
  13. I made many horrible mistakes as an undergrad. My biology GPA was 3.8ish, but my overall was sub 3.0. Although it was a weird situation where I had a 3.59 at the college I graduated from, but when you added in the other three schools I attended, it was baaaaaaaad. My GRE scores also weren't bad, but not amazing either (something like 84th percentile V, 63rd percentile Q). On my first go, I was rejected from all of the PhD programs I applied to and accepted to all of the master's programs. I was even offered funding. At the school I chose, the program director had a chat with me one day and tol
  14. I actually do put a late assignment blurbs in my syllabus. For this class, it wasn't exceptionally detailed, but did require students to contact me before the deadline if an assignment would be late. Which is why it's so frustrating.
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