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Laura Garnham

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  1. Dear lovely people who I hope can help me. I had a Skype interview for a paid PhD placement in Sweden a few weeks back and have recently been invited to come and meet the supervisor and see the department/ university/ city in person. I know that other people have been invited to do likewise so this seems like the next stage of the interview process. I will be there for over 2 days, which is quite a long time, I think, and staying with the Supervisor. I would be hugely grateful if any one can give please me advice on how to prepare for this, or some information on what I should expect, I have never done anything like this before, so any advice will be useful. Thank you so much for your help, it is very appreciated. All the best with your PhD hunt/ your PhDs. Laura
  2. Dear all I am taking the GRE in less than a month (and I did not even know of this tests existence a fortnight ago) and I really need someone to critique my essays. I have so far written 1 issue essay. This was done withing the time limit of 30 mins. I will paste it below. I would be so grateful if anyone could have a look at it and give me a score (and if possible some advice on improving). I'm sorry that I am a poor student and can offer nothing but my appreciation and happy vibes. Thank you Here is my essay Title :All parents should be required to volunteer time to their children's schools. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position. The idea that parents should be required to volunteer time to their children's schools is not a practical one. While initially it may seem like a good thing (the parents getting involved in the school community) and contributing to their children's education) in actual effect this rule could have a detrimental effect both on the parents, on the schools and consequently on their children. First if parents are in full time work they may find it very difficult to find time in which to volunteer. The times at which the school is open and therefore able to take volunteers is the same time at which the parents will be expected in work. If the parents rely on a full time job in order to make enough money to support their family (money that will at least in part go towards their children's education) then their job will have to take priority over volunteering at their children's school. Of course some parents may be able to reduce their work hours but, as this is not an option for all, voluntary work at schools should not be required. Secondly in order to volunteer parents will probably have to undergo some form of training based on the area they want to volunteer in. This will undoubtedly take up time and resources that, most probably, the schools will have to provide. This could add unwanted pressure if these resources are already limited. There is also a limit as to what parents would be able to do. Obviously they cannot teach classes as they have not had any teacher training. This could result in a case in which there are more parent volunteers than there are available jobs for parent volunteers. Additionally there are already people, such as teaching support assistants that can do the same jobs that volunteer parents can do and, being already experienced in working in school and having already the required training may be a more appealing choice for schools than volunteer parents. Therefore requiring parents to become volunteers is impractical as it will inundate schools with volunteers that are not required. Of course one of the major benefits of having parent volunteers is that the schools would not be required to pay them. However parents, if required to volunteer, may not make the best volunteers. A person that is made to do something against their will, especially if they gain nothing from it (not all parents will see volunteering as a way to help schools and thus help their child's education), may put only the minimal effort required into the task at hand. Rather than helping the schools these forced volunteers may in fact be detrimental to both schools and children. Volunteering is one way for parents to get involved in what is happening in their children's schools. This knowledge may help them help their child to get a good education. However they can obtain this knowledge through other means, for example by attending parent teacher meetings, or creating a home environment in which their children feel comfortable about talking about what they did at school. In conclusion requiring parents to volunteer is not a practical idea for either the parents or the schools and will probably have more negative than positive effects. If parents want to volunteer then schools may be able to make opportunities for them but voluntary work should not be a requirement.
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