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orange turtle

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orange turtle last won the day on August 4 2017

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About orange turtle

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    Canada
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    Neuroscience

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  1. orange turtle

    Helping struggling student in class

    @fuzzylogician and @rising_star Thank you for the thoughts and suggestions! I'm going to go look into this. End and beginning of term comes with a lot of work, thus my late reply.
  2. orange turtle

    SSHRC Doctoral Award/CGS (funding for 2018-2019)

    Hey SSHRCers, I just wanted to send a note to say if you have been awarded the fellowship, congratulations! If you were not successful this time around, try again. There is a huge amount of many unknown variables, and as sucky as it sounds, there is a huge amount of luck involved. Don't take it personally if you were rejected (been there). You (We) are better and more valuable than the score on your (our) application. We are all out there doing work we believe in, putting our blood, sweat, and tears into our fields, and we go back over and over no matter how many times we fail because we believe we have something to contribute to society. That's something to be proud of. I am so proud of all of you!
  3. orange turtle

    Helping struggling student in class

    Hi. I have noticed that one of the students in the class I TA has been looking progressively more distressed over the winter term. She has not been participating in discussions as much, lost quite a lot of weight, comes to class with dark rings under her eyes, and I can see her collarbones when she takes off her jacket. At the end of classes last month, she asked me if I would be TAing another class she was interested in in the fall, and when I said yes, she said she was going to take it. I will be seeing her again in a few months. Should I say something if I notice that she still looks distressed? Should I say something now? I can't quite tell if the distress is stress from school, life, illness, or drug abuse, and I don't want to guess. I feel responsible to say something, but I don't know how. All the web pages I googled say to approach her in private, ask her how she is doing, express concern, listen, acknowledge my limitation in expertise, suggest resources without forcing her to use the resources, and follow-up. What do you think? Has anyone here tried it? What strategies worked? I struggled and am still struggling with my own life. I do wish professors had approached me to ask how I was doing because as I learned, several noticed. I don't want the same to happen to her but am not sure if she would feel the same way I did about being approached. Advise, please and thanks.
  4. I can't say anything about the MS/PhD bound aspect as that is a tough one. You might want to speak to people in the program about how this has worked out for them. If it were me, I would also speak to the program about what happens if you do decide to drop out before you complete the PhD. Do they make some kind of allowance for finishing with a masters? I do second @throwaway234535 point about adviser, though. I thought I would leave you two parables about the importance of the adviser that resonated with me personally. https://www.cs.hmc.edu/~fleck/parable.html
  5. orange turtle

    anxious over the only grad school offer in US

    Speaking as a former international student, I would suggest you look into several other factors you might also want to consider in your decision. I have no idea which country you are coming from so some of these might not apply. 1) Currency Conversion I come from a developing country so our currency is dwarfed by the strength of the Canadian (where I did my undergrad, and now doing my PhD) and US Dollar. When I was an undergrad, the exchange fluctuated quite a bit over my time in Canada. This meant that my finances and budget did change quite a bit, too. As a pretend example, I had budgeted spending 30,000 dollars of my home country's money, and ended up spending 35,000. You might want to consider how much the exchange rate is between your country now, how strong is that currency, and can you afford it if there is a change in that conversion rate? I was on a full scholarship, and I only had to pay living expenses, and it was still very, very hard during those years. 2) Suburban Living Benefits I, too, went to a suburban university. The benefits of that, financially, might outweigh the possibly slow life. To give an example, I could have bought a decent house in my undergrad university town for about CAD$ 300,000. Where I am right now (also Canada), a simple one-bedroom apartment goes for about CAD$500,000 unless I plan to commute ridiculous distances. Professors who make >= CAD$150,000 are bemoaning how they can't afford a place they can buy. Now imagine what it is like on a student budget. 3) Extra cost As an additional point to #2 above: I told myself I was willing to live further and just commute to my current university. It became quite obvious that that was a bad idea within a month of starting. I have a neurological condition that is severely affected by fatigue. I.e., the more tired I am, the more likely I will end up in the hospital. About 3 months after starting, I collapsed in the lab while no one was around. My lab partner found me lying on the floor, dazed, and struggling to breathe properly some (she estimates) couple of hours later; I was too out of it to reach for the phone just a couple of feet away. Needless to say, I ended up in the hospital which took a significant amount of time away from work which then had me madly playing catchup. I bring all this up because you would need to consider how far you can and/or want to commute if you decide you want to go to a university in a big city. The farther from the city you live usually = cheaper rent and cost of living. In a university in a big and expensive city, that might mean commuting for a long time. In a small town university, well, you're away from the city and rents are usually cheaper. 4) Suburban Living Affecting Jobs From my own experience of a sample size of n=1, I had no trouble. It doesn't mean you won't, but I suggest you try to not allow that to affect your mindset. My university town was tiny, but I got a job within 2 months of graduation in a major city because I focused on developing strong, usable, transferable skills during my undergrad. I connected with every person I could think of in the university (helps when it is small!), volunteered in the community, did community-based research, and made it a point to get to know Canadian culture, norms, and expectations to strengthen my skills. By the time I graduated, you could throw me into virtually any Canadian community and I would be fine because I could communicate with people of all backgrounds. The professor who hired me ~ 2 months after graduation was so impressed, she paid for my return flight to meet her, her lab, and see the university and city to see if I could see myself working there. 5) Global Affairs There is a huge contribution of privilege, luck, being in the right place and time, opportunity, and global affairs timing in getting jobs. But what you do and how you do it also plays a role. Sadly, you might also want to consider if your country of origin, ethnicity, and religion might or will play a role in what you do. It's not fair, it's egregious, it's disheartening, but the reality at this point is that it happens. Thus, my comment about privilege and global affairs above. Keep in the back of your mind also that rules on immigration change repeatedly. I tracked the Canadian Immigration department religiously because I was determined to stay in Canada to work. Many of my friends didn't, and missed out on several things. For example, in Canada, the government (at that time, anyway) allowed recent graduates from Canadian universities to apply for an open, non-employer tied work permit that is valid for three years. Within that 3 years, if you worked full time in a profession that is considered somewhat professional and skilled (i.e., serving coffee does not count), you qualified to apply for landed immigrant status (some restrictions applied, of course). There was a huge caveat that many didn't know of, however. You could **only** apply for the open permit within 3 months of graduation. You miss that boat, and you are like any other immigrant applying to work in Canada. Which means: 1) you might not get in, and 2) if your employer fired you, you quit, and/or made redundant, you have to leave the country as that permit is tied to your employer. 6) Age I'm much older than my peers, too. And much of it is because I made sure all the above were in place (e.g., job experience and landed immigrant status) before I went back to school. You might find age a benefit, in fact. You're a little bit, hopefully, more wise emotionally and street-smart as well. My chair even commented he loves mature students as they come in with their head more firmly screwed on and tend to be more focused. It doesn't mean I dont regress to my "less mature" problems every now and then (like worrying incessantly about grades and what my professors will think of me) ?. So, think about it carefully. If this is what you really want, then plan for these. And then, go wholeheartedly into it with your eyes wide open and make sure to use all the opportunities available to you so that when the opportunity does knock, you are ready. Good luck!
  6. orange turtle

    SSHRC Doctoral Award/CGS (funding for 2018-2019)

    @CrazyPugLady You're not alone in concluding it is a crapshoot and that it is not logical. I scored in the top 1% for CIHR Doctoral but ranked >100 in Vanier. Research-Academic score for CIHR Doctoral from both reviewers was a perfect score (4.9/4.9). Research and academic score for Vanier were "not recommended" (<3.0) and "could be recommended" (3.0-6.0) respectively. How does one get a PERFECT SCORE and "NOT RECOMMENDED" (lowest tier of scores) in the same agency in the same competition year with the same research proposal? And CIHR doctoral has half the space to flesh out your project so you are just throwing disjointed snippets at them compared to the Vanier. Sure, the weight for the sections are different, but you would think there would be at least some correlation. A similar issue happened with the leadership and characteristics section! Not sure what the fudges to make of it.
  7. orange turtle

    SSHRC Doctoral Award/CGS (funding for 2018-2019)

    840?!?!? I applied for CIHR and this year there was 1,205 applications and only 154 spots! That's a 12.8% success rate!
  8. orange turtle

    Asking to read letters of rec after acceptance?

    I wouldn't ask either but you could thank them for their letter and ask if they would share some insights into your potential, ability, and weaknesses. I would frame it such that you are looking to improve on your weaknesses and also learn to solidify and maintain your strengths. note to self: should probably try my own advice ?
  9. orange turtle

    GPA for Canadian scholarships

    Oh, yes, of course. One of my referees said they look at how challenging the courses were, and course load, too. I don't know what they use as their yardstick for challenging, though. If you qualify to reapply, I would try. I know it's disheartening and it feels like a personal rejection, but even the best people get rejected. And it might just be your reviewer having a bad day. I know that sucks to hear, but just wanted to point out it is rarely personal.
  10. orange turtle

    GPA for Canadian scholarships

    I am sharing what my chair told us: "In grad school, everybody gets good grades (i.e., >=80%). If you get a good grade, nobody bats an eyelash. It's when you don't get that good grade that you need to explain." I don't know if it helps in your situation because I don't know your transcript, but if this applies: Many Canadian scholarships mention that reviewers should give credit to an applicant who has maintained their high GPA throughout or has shown steady improvement. I would encourage you to apply regardless unless your grades completely suck. (if you have extenuating circumstances, then you should probably explain). You have nothing to lose applying, and everything to lose if you don't. Good luck!
  11. orange turtle

    Incoming Students for Advisor

    I don't quite understand your question, so I thought I should ask. Are you: 1) Worried that because the other 3 have "more clinical-oriented career goals" that your advisor might favour them over yourself? (You mentioned "...may have an impact on my relationship with said advisor.") 2) Are you worried that because there are more students than you thought, you won't shine as much and will have more competition? (".....I stand out amongst the other 3, as I have more academic-related career goals whereas they have more clinical-oriented career goals. So I know I have something to stand out with...") 3) A combination of both?
  12. orange turtle

    Gender Discrimination

    Troll or not, if anyone is still interested, here are Canadian websites of gender bias in two of the highest research chairships: http://www.chairs-chaires.gc.ca/program-programme/referees-repondants-eng.aspx# https://www.universityaffairs.ca/news/news-article/new-crc-guidelines-aim-reduce-unconscious-hiring-bias-women/ https://www.ideas-idees.ca/blog/gender-gap-distribution-canada-research-chairs-and-canada-excellence-research-chairs From Canada's Tri-Council Research Funding Agency's evaluation of those two prestigious awards, which supports @fuzzylogician's post (I can't tag fuzzy for some reason): @fuzzy Emphasis mine: "Some of the potential explanatory factors identified by the panellists relate to the CERC program design, while others relate to the wider university context (given that universities did not submit any female candidates)...The CERC program focuses on the most senior international researchers with “eligible nominees required to be, or soon to be, full professors” in a context where approximately only 20% of Canadian and 19% of US full professors are female....The CERC program focuses on the S&T Strategy’s four priority research areas and the STIC sub-priorities, in which women are underrepresented." http://www.cerc.gc.ca/about-au_sujet/publications/evaluation_2014-eng.aspx#3_0 Emphasis is mine: "In this regard, the inaugural competition of the CERC Program has been a great success, awarding 19 Chairs to an array of truly outstanding researchers within the four S&T Strategy priority areas. However, all of the 19 Chair winners are male. Given the leading contributions of Canadian and international female researchers across the range of research disciplines and fields, this outcome is troubling and requires an examination and redress. Excellence in science, technology and innovation necessitates the insights and contributions of the best minds. The full contribution of all, regardless of gender, is not only an equity imperative, but also a pragmatic reality. In a global competition for talent, and with an aging workforce, Canada needs the contribution of everyone." http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icgc.nsf/eng/h_05589.html S&T: Science and Technology; STIC: Science, Technology, and Innovation Council These aren't made up by my own perception of bias. They're actual official evaluations by Canada's Tri-Council agency, which oversees funding across all research fields in Canada. Personally (and, yes, I'm not in math @justwonderin), I have had personal experiences in my STEM field where faculty have made derogatory comments that would appear to be re. my gender. And, yes, I am making a subjective judgement about being about my gender thus the word "appear." And, yes, my sample size is 1. Like "get used to being under men if you want to progress in academia and get a job," and just recently "nice boobs" which was especially disgusting because I was talking about my work and this prof some twice my age was just staring at my chest. Apparently, what was in my head was overshadowed by the size of my chest and my gender. As @samman1994 notes above, it's rare for two applications to have a similar application. Just because a person does not go about talking about their achievements does not mean they don't have them. I am ranked one of the highest in the country for one of the federal scholarships in Canada (I know because I got a a special citation), but I have never mentioned it to anyone in my cohort. My recent federal scholarship application, the feedback from one of the reviewers included "In addition, exceptional letters from referees make this a remarkably stellar application; applicant is well deserving of this award. I am thus awarding this application a perfect score." But to anybody else, I might look like I have the same exact accomplishments (i.e., I got the same awards as X). My point is that sometimes things aren't as black and white as they seem. And, yes, again, I acknowledge my sample size is 1. Give yourself a chance to engage your female peers in conversation. You might just discover that they could make your experience in university a better one. And lest I sound like a hypocrite, let me share my side as a woman: despite some bad experiences since starting grad school, I refuse to paint all male peers and faculty with the same brush. One of my most valuable mentors is a (male) full and very distinguished professor and he has been a much trusted ally who has always fought for me; I actually cried when I learnt of the level of his support for me very, very recently, which he never explicitly stated. I do know, though, that I am a much better academic and person because of him.
  13. orange turtle

    Emotional Support Animals in Graduate Housing?

    @Bodhicaryavatara I think the best thing at this point might be to go directly to the disability services office, or whatever they call it, itself. As you can see from the answers, different schools and places have different policies, and people have different opinions and experiences about policies as well. For example, myself. I didn't know about the vast types of accommodation that was available to me until I asked. My official documentation had an extensive diagnosis and test results but the recommendations were quite general. The office staff sat down with me to go over other options available based on the diagnosis and functional limitations and also my own personality (e.g., coping mechanisms). I do recognise that I don't have a condition requiring and/or aided by a service animal or emotional support animal, however, so your situation might be entirely different. Columbia's office should be able to tell you their policies, documentations needed, and how to go about the system. In fact, somebody might even do it for you if they had such a staff member (e.g., campus liaison). However, you won't know until you ask. If the staff don't know, there might a student advocacy group on campus that might also be able to help. Also, congratulations on your acceptance to Columbia, and good luck!
  14. orange turtle

    [Psych Students] IRB Approval

    Actually, not all studies require review. I can't tell you the specific details now, though. Interesting you should mention Canada has more restrictive guidelines, though. I had felt / thought it was the opposite! For example, if the NIH funds a grant, Canadian REBs are required to review the study at the full board meeting (i.e., it has to be discussed with quorum and not just assigned to reviewers x and y). OP: I think the take home message is that without knowing the exact details of your study and the exact details of your international country and the actual work you will do there, it is hard to say exactly what you would need to do. That is something your university's IRB staff can work with you on. It is probably beyond the scope of most of our expertise. Be prepared, though, that you *might* need to apply for additional approval than the IRB of your home university. And, again, the how's and all will be something your IRB staff can help with. Good luck!
  15. orange turtle

    Furnishing an Apartment on a Budget?

    Yep!!! I knew I found the mattress I wanted when I got into one of the stores and while trying out one particular bed, I actually fell asleep in the middle of all these people. Bought it on the spot. Also, try and look for a store that has an exchange policy. Some stores allow you to exchange (within 30 days or something) if you find you don't like it as much as you thought. But, yeah, wouldn't go with a cheap mattress if at all possible.
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