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Sigaba last won the day on August 17

Sigaba had the most liked content!

About Sigaba

  • Rank
    Cup o' Joe

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  • MSN

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  • Location
    Southern California
  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    History, ABD

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  1. Sigaba

    What are your 4 dream jobs? Are you qualified for any of them?

    I can make no promises nor offer any guarantees. That being said, send me an email in the event you want to explore opportunities outside of the Ivory Tower. Have you looked at opportunities at consultancies that specialize in planning services and operations management? Based upon my (very limited) understanding of your skill set, you might be a good candidate for positions that have a lot of client/stakeholder facing responsibilities. Thinking aloud here. I am imaging you reducing a technical report or memo or slide deck and an accompanying presentation that will be accompanied by the sounds of heads hitting tables into something that is informative, memorable, and enables a productive conversation about exceptionally controversial issues.
  2. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    On the other hand. if one is going to pick a graduate program with one long term objective in the forefront, why not two? FWIW, my recommendation is to find a balance between conveying a clear understanding of relevant primary resources, especially those close by, without necessarily committing to a dissertation topic. Qualifying words/phrases can achieve this objective efficiently. In my mind's eye, this task very similar to explaining how one's research interests align with parties of interest in a department without mentioning a single name. YMMV.
  3. Sigaba

    Lack of autonomy

    Every graduate program is different. A department is a collection of black boxes. Some of which are inside of other black boxes. Thus far, you've been an outsider looking in. From such a vantage point, talking about the way things should be is easier because one doesn't have to focus on the way things are. Among other things, you've not experienced first hand, as a graduate student, the subtly with which professors can communicate, the pressure which makes decoding comments from professors difficult, or the sweep of emotions that graduate students can experience. It is your prerogative to privilege your experiences and opinions to the point where you feel comfortable giving a graduate student potentially career-altering advice with, based upon the time stamps of your posts, very little reflection. However, IMO, your practice, no matter how well intended it may be, is ill considered. The OP is having difficulty completing assigned tasks. The OP argues that the cause of the problem is external; the inability to complete the assigned tasks is due to the professor's instructional methods. The OP argues that the solution is to be given the freedom to perform more complex tasks. The supporting evidence that is being offered is from outside the program and in different fields of knowledge. That is, a graduate student who is admittedly under performing should be given more latitude because the student knows a business owner who was a bad manager. Is it a realistic to expect the argument the following argument to convince an advisor? "Although I've not done what I've been tasked to do, I would do better work if I were allowed to do want, and if you don't accommodate this request, you're taking away my autonomy." Is this OP's situation really about autonomy or is it about accountability? IMO, the greatest obstacle in @GingerNeuro's way is GingerNeuro's anxieties. While it is certainly reasonable to expect an advisor to support a graduate student's efforts to navigate obstacles, IMO, it is not reasonable to expect an established professional to give a student the keys to the car. Going to talk to other faculty members without having heart to heart discussions (that is, more than one) with the advisor is, MOO, irresponsible guidance. YMMV.
  4. Sigaba

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

  5. Sigaba

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Square the circle. Redo your due diligence on the programs to which you're applying. Look for opportunities to do your outside field in the school of education in a department or field that emphasizes teaching. As education programs are not known for their rigor, you'll have to keep yourself motivated to work as hard as you can to get all you can out of the classes. During your first couple of summers, find teaching/mentoring programs that will welcome your participation (as you work on your language skills--and why not find a program in which you're tutoring a community that is an inheritor, if not originator, of the dynamics you want to study). When it's your turn to work as a ta, you'll have plenty of opportunities to slack your thirst as a teacher. The thirty second time you hear "Will this be on the midterm?" will be your first of many opportunities to assess your commitment to teaching young people.
  6. Sigaba

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Ever been to Letterkenny?
  7. Sigaba

    Is getting a PhD worth it?

    If you're an aspiring or new graduate student and you think you may end up in the private sector, I recommend carefully researching the industries in which you might want to work, the potential impact of AIs and ASIs on those industries, and then using your outside field to develop skills that aren't going to be replaced by an app on a cell phone in the next twenty years. Simultaneously, I recommend that you locate and read the (in)famous STFU thread over at the CHE fora as well as other resources that will help you learn the fine art of drinking STFU and staying in your lane. Ultimately, work in the private sector is about generating revenue while cutting costs and keeping your bosses happy. Often, the historian's skill set can collide with those objectives, especially when you're convinced that you're right and that your bosses just need to understand where you're coming from so that you can save them from themselves. In these situations you'll be Cassandra to Mr/Ms. You Can't Tell Me Shit/Figure It Out and Get It Done. What then? On top of that, there will be the tension between your political/philosophical viewpoints and the hard reality that vast swaths of the private sector are right of center because Republican politicians promise tax cuts and deregulation. And did your CEO just quote the Great Orange Overlord? Did your managing principal just go on a rant with racist undertones about Americans exercising free speech during the playing of the national anthem? Did the Galadriel of your organization just make a nativist statement in an email to everyone in your division? Yes, yes, and yes and yes! Now, get back to work, and don't forget to fill out your time card project tracking report .
  8. Sigaba

    Writing Sample Swaps?

    A way to keep the process on track would be to use tactics similar to those used by panel moderators/reviewers. Person A gives Person B a writing sample. Person B writes a summary of A's sample as a form of read back. This summary would allow both parties to understand if the sample's basic argument was clearly written and rested on a good foundation of primary sources and secondary works. Person B then would offer feedback in an agree/disagree format. The key here is to avoid sharpshooting or brawling. The objective is to enable Person A to make the best form of an argument, even if that argument is antithetical to Person B's take on the topic at hand. Person B would end with a handful of general recommendations that would enable Person A to write a stronger piece. General recommendations for this exercise are appropriate as it is, IMO, better to avoid by miles any potential boundaries of academic/intellectual integrity. An example of a general recommendation is that rather than striking out word-limit killing prepositional phrases and passive verbal constructions, one instead recommends "finding ways to write more efficiently and use the savings in words to detail crucial arguments." The crucial elements here are trust and professionalism. If Person A wants to take an "orthodox" approach to the origins of the Cold War, then Person B needs to act in good faith by bellying up to the bar and supporting that effort, even if Person B agrees with everything Bruce Cummings has ever written or said about John Lewis Gaddis. Concurrently, Person A needs to approach the exercise with a level of sensitivity to the ongoing historiographical debates over the origins of the Cold War with a commitment to professional "objectivity" (what ever the heck that is). Still, there will be risks to both parties, especially if there's a great disparity in levels of skill. What then?
  9. Sigaba

    Lack of autonomy

    It's my understanding from reading your posts that you've been admitted to programs and you're about to enter your first year. Is there something I am missing? In any case, it's Nisei Week, so in honor of Noriyuki "Pat" Morita...
  10. Sigaba

    Lack of autonomy

    Are you currently in a graduate program that gives you insight into how the training is done?
  11. Sigaba

    Lack of autonomy

    You are assuming that you're as good of a scientist as you are as a musician. However, your own posts in this thread suggest that's not quite the case yet from the POV of those who matter the most. Every moment you spend recycling the same argument is another moment spent going down the same path that is causing you unhappiness. I think that you need to find a way to subordinate yourself to the training you're receiving, complete the tasks you have on your plate, and hit pause on the loop saying that you're not free.
  12. Sigaba

    Lack of autonomy

    When you were a musician making a living off your craft, would you have put your reputation at risk on the say so of someone claiming to be ready to play an extended solo during an important gig but unwilling to perform basic tasks you had set forth to establish his ability to play unaccompanied? You are receiving professional training in a complex domain of knowledge. You are resisting that training because it's not tailored to your individual preferences and needs. You can either figure out how to get around that rock in your path or keep walking into it.
  13. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Budget for twice as much Imodium.
  14. Sigaba

    Lack of autonomy

    MOO, @GingerNeuro, your advisor has given you a path to secure a higher level of autonomy. You have before you the opportunity to get what you want. The challenge you face is that the path appears rocky. What skills do you need to improve to navigate the obstacles? How might realigning your constellation of motivational factors improve your effectiveness. I don't agree that bringing additional members of your department into this situation as suggested above is a good tactic at this point. "I don't tick that way" is likely to get a different response than one prefers.
  15. Sigaba

    Is getting a PhD worth it?

    I would recommend the relevant essays in Peter Lowenberg, Decoding the Past: The Psychohistorical Approach 2nd Edition. IRT the hardships of graduate school, I don't know that they're necessarily worse/better than those in the private sector. My friends who are veterans of the armed services have shared first and second hand experiences that make the most dispiriting day in the Ivory Tower look like an all expenses paid vacation to Disneyland. As long as interpersonal relationships are a component of human activity, there are going to be plenty of opportunities for disappointment, humiliation, and other wonderful feelings.

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