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About mockturtle

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    Double Shot

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  1. Got an RA position in my absolute dream lab last fall, planned to apply to grad school this year with all the ~new insight and experience~ I'd supposedly have gained by this point... and right now I'm still struggling to get even the most basic introduction to the lab's research methods, like any training whatsoever, much less a project of my own to sink my teeth into. I was warned by multiple people that this lab's environment was crazy, so maybe I don't get to complain, but didn't think it would amount to having to beg and plead to be given the opportunity to do any research. For the first t
  2. I'm on great terms with my undergrad thesis advisor, but she has a history of dropping the ball with recommendations. I have no reason to think it's personal, and her graduate students have all attested to experiencing the same thing. Over the years she's sent more letters of mine late than on time, or else completely neglects to send them at all, even after ample time to prepare, regular reminders (both emailed and in-person), and promises that she would get to them "by the end of the day" or "definitely before leaving the lab tonight", etc. I of course understand that she's an extremely busy
  3. Two days ago I told my prospective advisors I was worried about this possibility, a few minutes after midnight I posted a comment on the application portal saying I had been assured that the letter would be on its way & asked how negatively this would impact my application, but I can't sleep and I just don't know what else to do. I can't believe this is happening.
  4. My PI just missed the deadline of LOR submission for my top choice school. I've followed up with her repeatedly in the last month, asking if she needs any more materials... The graduate department in question has an automatic email system that also issues reminders to recommenders repeatedly, every 2 weeks, until they submit... I physically sat down with her today and was told with confidence that it would be done before the deadline.......... What more should I have done here
  5. I just had the most exciting interview day with two prospective advisors at the same school. They took me out to lunch, and were just all-around helpful, disarming, and informative. I was super nervous about our meeting, but it flew out the window as soon as I sat down with them. My conversations with their graduate students were equally great, and I've learned a ton about the research process, expectations, and atmosphere of the two (collaborating) labs. I couldn't be more enamored with the school, and I really feel like both PIs are gunning for my acceptance. .............Except for th
  6. It's because adding an extra line on my CV seems a good bit less invasive, and because of the "eh, what's the worst that can happen?" at the back of my mind. I really just wanted a picture of exactly how obnoxious the extra information would be, weighed against the strength of my scores, and when presented in a way that doesn't demand a lot of extra attention in the way that an entire additional document likely would. And it seems like while opinions are at least somewhat split, including them would probably hurt more than it helps. Haha, thank you, that's what I needed to hear. It mak
  7. I only have two applications in the works right now... which was not the plan. To be fair, it's about 30% personal choice (they're MS applications, and I'm comfortable with casting a net now and also looking for post-bacc jobs in the spring), and 20% circumstance (the pool being narrowed by prospective PIs retiring, lack of funding, etc). But that remaining 50% was me just dropping the ball, with applications taking a backseat during what in retrospect was a sort of mini-burnout. The inevitable "where else are you applying?" question is weighing heavily on my mind. I just really h
  8. The two of you have completely summed up my own personal conflict over this question, as it happens I'd definitely send in official reports if they didn't explicitly say on their website "Please DO NOT send us any unsolicited documentation". I'm afraid doing so in spite of that message would seem even more irritating and thoughtless than a spare line or two on my CV... As silly as it may be, I would almost hope that they'd see my self-reported scores on my CV and subsequently request an official copy (because they're just soooooo impressed, of course!!). But that's just optimism talking.
  9. The CV is not a place for GRE scores, that I know. However, with an application in progress to a program that not only doesn't require the GRE, but claims to outright ignore any non-required documents that may be submitted, is there any harm (or value) in listing my scores somewhere on my CV? I doubt scores of any magnitude are likely to rock the boat very much for a department that doesn't even care enough to request them, but they're in the 93 - 98% percentiles, and I'm proud of them. Would it be a feather in my cap, or just tacky?
  10. I was thinking 'repugnates' or 'abhors'... Because if the opinion of the majority is to disagree with the debunking of the effort to expose Project X, shouldn't that mean they do want Project X to be exposed as frivolous? What a wild sentence...
  11. The one school I'm almost certainly applying to is McGill. As for the rest, I'm still figuring that out, since it depends on responses from POIs that I haven't had the guts to initiate conversation with yet..... which is part of what makes this such a problem.
  12. I'm already well into communication with one POI and am incredibly excited about the project he's proposing, the city I could be living in, the field work I could end up doing, etc. We've skyped once, plan to do so again soon, and he's definitely recommending that I apply to the department. The vent: I'm scared out of my skin at the prospect of starting a program and only then realizing I'm not cut out for it, or the difficulty of the research process, or the atmosphere of academia, or life in general, etc. I'm switching so nauseatingly fast between excitement over the prospect of graduate res
  13. In retrospect, those worries were definitely stemming from the somewhat-bewildered reactions of my (neuro/psych) coworkers when I told them I wanted to move towards ecology I don't know if it just isn't on a lot of people's radar, or what, but I guess from their perspective it could be a bit of a crazy direction. But having now contacted a few possible PI's (to positive replies), I can certainly confirm all of the above! .....Unfortunately they're also urging me to apply as a PhD student instead, for greater ease of funding. Time to do some soul searching?
  14. I feel like I half-belong in this thread, and half in the other. I'm interested in evolutionary neuro, sensory ecology, and behavioral neuro which takes ecology into consideration (if that makes sense), and I particularly love marine/aquatic model organisms..... so I'm straddling a few lines. My favorite labs incorporate both field-work eco and bench-work neuro! Some of the schools I'm interested in would have me applying under the EEB or Zoology banner, and others under Neuroscience or general Biology or even Psych. Does anyone know people doing this kind of work, or who have previous exper
  15. Aw man! And here I was trying to be slick, getting these emails out early.
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