orange turtle

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orange turtle last won the day on August 4

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  1. Spending most of the stipend on housing?

    That's what I mean. Because of the cap on the number of hours, I couldn't take on work outside my hours in the university. Sorry, I should have said "So any thought of working *outside my RA/TA hours* to supplement my income was not as "easy'" as I had hoped for."
  2. Spending most of the stipend on housing?

    I'm not sure if this will help, but I was an international student living on a very tight budget. For what it's worth, I hope this helps: 1) Like @fuzzylogician, I wanted to say you need to take into account you're an international student. When I came to Canada as an international student, I had several costs I didn't budget for. One example was needing to renew my passport so that I could get back into the country if I had an emergency at home. I also had to budget for students visas and permits (entry and work). I don't know what the US system is like, but in Canada, international students have a limit on how much they can work, especially during the school year. So any thought of working to supplement my income was not as "easy'" as I had hoped for. 2) @fuzzylogician raises a good point about climate. I don't know which country you are coming from (if you mentioned it, sorry that I missed it!), but I came from a country that had a drastically different climate than what I moved to. Many of the clothing items I had thought I could live without, but eventually, after weeks of suffering, I had to cave and buy them. By that time, of course, I had little choice and just had to buy what was there (which usually means they are also very expensive). If you are moving to a winter area, I suggest buying a multilayer winter coat in a solid colour, like black. It is more expensive, but having the option to remove the layers during the fall and piling them back on in winter will save you money in the long run. I would also invest in a good pair of boots with a solid sole. I would also invest in some form of sun-glasses as snow can be blinding. Clothing in a different climate is not just about "fashion." I had to learn to wear different pants and dresses during the different seasons or I would either freeze or melt. The same went for my blanket! Both points 1 and 2 aren't meant to scare you. I just want you to be prepared that there are costs you might not foresee. I agree with the other posters that spending 75% of your income on housing is too much. However, sometimes you don't have a choice, like the examples @Lycaon pictus suggested. If this is you (i.e., no choice), then you have to find ways to save in other areas. My university has an internal version of The Grad Cafe that students can post to post items that affect them, like finding shared housing and places to eat for cheap. They also have a "swap" program that students can use to exchange services or items, or buy items for cheap (e.g., from students graduating). Nobody really tells you these exist, so you might have to poke around. If you are comfortable, perhaps you can also try speaking to your supervisor, especially if they are of the same gender? I mention this because sometimes, supervisors have stuff they can lend to you (e.g., a winter same gender helps), or can put you in touch with other students they know who had similar issues so you can swap items. Mine let me use her old bike to get to the lab while I was saving to buy one. I also knew one supervisor (not mine) who generously bought a simple study desk and chair for her student when she found out her student couldn't afford one. Some labs also have emergency funds their students can access, to be repaid in an agreed on date. IF you can get away with it, take public transit (in Canada, you can claim transit on your taxes), bike, or carpool. Parking is a b**** on many campuses, and you also have to factor in gas, car maintenance and repair, and insurance. Some universities also have shuttles and carpool programs, so ask. Somebody somewhere can usually tell you. You will be tempted to eat very cheap and stuff yourself completely with "bad" carbs to stay full. Unfortunately, that usually also means not so healthy. That won't help you finish school with the right frame of mind. As much as possible, avoid doing that. You don't have to eat organic and from high-end stores, but make simple, healthy choices as much as possible. I start my day with a good bowl of oatmeal and eggs--cheap and gives me my fiber and protein. I also make energy bars every week at a fraction of the cost of buying bars outside (look up energy bar recipes; many use dates as the base and a food processor). Usually, I can make bars for about $5 that last me the entire week. I vary it up by what I mix in, like peanut butter, coconut flakes, etc. Usually this means whatever is on sale. I eat fruits that are in season as they are cheaper. I sign up for the community garden and grow my own vegetables. Stuff like that. To figure this out, give yourself a few months where you scout out places to buy or make food at a fraction of the cost and what nourishes you in a way that lets you do your best in school. Apply for all and any money you qualify for. The worst they can say is no. I understand this can be difficult. But know that you are not alone. Also, going in with eyes wide open helps because there is nothing more stressful than being hit with something you weren't expecting. And stress does not help a student. Good luck, from one international student to another.
  3. sexual harassment?

    Update for those following this: I went for my morning meeting, and sat somewhere else. I purposely placed myself near the female professors. Got a raised eyebrow from one but I just shrugged it off. After the meeting, one of the senior PIs I sat next to asked if everything was fine. She said I hadn't said a word during the meeting and had moved to sit with the "older and more senior people" instead of hanging out where the grad students tend to sit. She also mentioned that I had uncapped and capped my pen "over a hundred times" throughout the one hour meeting and hadn't taken any notes, which seemed to her like I was terribly anxious (she's a psychiatrist) and I was usually pretty chilled. She said she was annoyed at the pen uncapping and capping at first but when it continued she thought this was more than just "usual graduate student tics, idiosyncrasies, and anxiety." I pretty much wanted to cry right there. Mostly because I have been dreading this meeting. I think she is probably very well-trained to know when someone's going to cry so she asked me to go to her office with her. I told her pretty much everything. And she flipped. She started cursing. I've never seen this professor frazzled. But she then said she would talk to the other PIs/co-investigators if I was fine with that, and would move towards removing him from the team and said "We can always get another investigator from that area. There's several other guys I know." In the meantime though, she said I didn't have to attend the meetings until he is gone. They won't penalise me. I am so relieved! And I ate about a pound of chocolate so I'm now sick to the pit of my stomach and sugar high. But that's okay. :-)
  4. sexual harassment?

    @serenade, @avflinsch, @NoirFemme,, @Pandas, @aberrant, @Comparativist, @TakeruK, @Concordia, @fuzzylogician, @telkanuru @cowgirlsdontcry @Sigaba, @EliaEmmers I have read all your advice, suggestions, possible departments /individuals to approach, sympathies, and thoughts. Thank you. I have a meeting tomorrow where CreepProf, as Fuzzy christened him, will attend. I am going to take it step -by -step for now. And start by seeing if I am too uncomfortable attending the meeting. And if I am, then I will consider approaching another PI who is younger and seems quite motherly (I know I'm completely stereotyping here and it's unfair that women often get burdened with more disclosures). I think I'm gonna make an appointment with counselling, too, just to see if they might have ideas as professionals. For now, I think I will try and "move on" and try not to let him affect my work. It just doesn't seem worth it. And this board / forum has been immensely helpful in helping out things in perspective, including the *initial* questions about context @rphilos and @Comparativist. I appreciate (very much!) that women and men who are uncomfortable with a proposition should not have to provide context, *but* I can also appreciate that if I am asking for advice, I should have to contextualise it for more complete advice. Thank you. This has helped clarify the yes-it-is-no-it-isn't thoughts. And I'm gonna bring lots of chocolates for the meeting tomorrow. A female friend in my department always reminds me for all stressful days that "chocolates help when dementors are nearby." (Harry Potter fans will understand) :-) P.s., if I left anyone's name off the list, my apologies.
  5. sexual harassment?

    I wasn't referring to the USC player at all. I'm referring to all the people who would potentially reported. Read the context of what I said and what I quoted from your posts. I never mentioned the USC person. I said "the person" (any person) not "that/the person you mentioned" or "the example you quoted" in any sentence. Rphilos: "...feeling "uncomfortable" is not, per se, a justification" I said "unfairly" in quotes because, you know what, people who don't know social norms and the like could also be predatory and / or inappropriate. So yes, "unfairly" because it is dependent on a case by case basis. And to borrow your train of thought, not knowing social norms is not, per se, justifcation for making another person uncomfortable. Also, you used "uncomfortable" in quotation marks, so you know how it is used. Unless you meant that all women (and men) who feel uncomfortable are definitely not valid to feel uncomfortable. You have spent all this time defending the person (Note: NOT the USC player or the neurodiverse prof in the article you linked) who might or might not be "unfairly" accused. What say you about the people who are on the receiving end? I am asking you what should people do when they need advice on their experiences. Because having to explain my context to you and then have you derail it repeatedly with all the other examples seems like a nefarious attempt to just shift the focus from the main question.
  6. sexual harassment?

    @rphilos: Let's ask this another way. If a person was uncomfortable and feeling unsafe, what should they do? From what I read from the US Department of Education (Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence (PDF) - US Department of Education), "responsible employees" have an obligation to report if a disclosure was made. Students or other persons can request the *school* keep it confidential and the school will consider it, but it seems the report still has to be made. ?Some exceptions? apply like if disclosure was made to counselling or if the person was not a "responsible employees" (e.g., janitorial staff). I'm not sure if I interpreted it correctly, so if someone knows otherwise, please feel free to correct. What I'm saying here is that the student or employee themselves don't have to go to the Title IX office for a report to be made. All the student or employee has to do is confide in a person of authority. If students and employees then worry a lot that the issue was unjustified and might get the person they were uncomfortable with into trouble, the number of people coming forward and asking for help will decrease significantly. So what should a student, or other members of the university community do if something had *possibly* happen? Going to friends *almost* always hypes it up as your friends are usually on your side as friends like their friends and are not necessarily objective. There is also a possibility things get more sensational as among friends, other discussions happen, like "OMG, u remember what X did to Y? This is like that!" In actuality, it might be completely different. Not everyone has access to counselling or forums. Maybe they don't know it exists, or the wait list at counselling is long. So what should people do? How do they determine if their gut feeling is wrong? They can't talk to a trusted person like a faculty member as that person has to report. So what should they (I, if I were in the US) do? I understand your concerns, but I think many people in my situation are at a loss as to what to do. Practically do. We can argue about the semantics of what is appropriate and what isn't. But at the end of the day, these arguments will have someone going around wondering if they had over-reacted and worrying about the consequences to the person they were uncomfortable with. I have not slept properly since these encounters. I have to see the guy again tomorrow. Worrying about whether I was unfair to him just makes it more difficult to speak to someone in person. Yes, I'm aware you have now said it was justified given my disclosure of context, but now I'm also walking around worrying that another person of authority or peer will react by saying things like "it was a compliment" or you should "justify" why you were uncomfortable because the other person might be on the spectrum or something. So what should I do? What should people in my shoes do? Because just like the person who was "unfairly" brought to the attention of the Title IX (as you repeatedly say is unfair), people like me have to live with it, too.
  7. sexual harassment?

    @TakeruK: thank you for a very in-depth explanation of the process. I had no idea. I bumped into my advisor today and she started telling me all the harassment she saw and experienced as a grad student and she named all the culprits. And she finished with a general off-hand comment that went along the lines of "yours isn't bad; other people got it worse and survived." And the conversation ended there because she told me to get back to work. So as @serenade said, to her, it is a rite of passage. I'm going to read all the other comments and suggestions and take what wisdom I can from it. Thank you, EVERYONE. Your answers have given me much to think about.
  8. sexual harassment?

    I was hoping not to have to divulge the whole conversation as it was hard for me to say them out loud. As for one instant, it was twice (see post on context). At different meetings. I see him every week. And I have to see him again on Thursday :-(
  9. sexual harassment?

    I don't know how old my supervisor is, but she got her PhD from an ivy league in 1975. And I don't think your situation is not as serious. Assault is assault and it's horrible, at least to me. Thank you for sharing.
  10. sexual harassment?

    Hi everyone: I wasn't actually of reporting him, even before I posted here. I was just trying to figure out if a line had been crossed and what I should do (e.g., quit the project). That's why I wanted to talk to the chair as he would probably know the best thing to do. In Canada, there is no "duty to report" as I understand Title XI has. I can disclose, like for advice and so the department knows in case someone else reports it, without wanting to file an official report. Thank you for the support and for helping me clarify this in my head, all.
  11. sexual harassment?

    OP here. Here is your context: The man is married, with children older than me. We had a meeting in a meeting room with a group of people - - he isn't in my department but he is an investigator on a project I work on. After the meeting, he asked me to go with him because he had additional paperwork for me. He then said he wanted me to go home with him or he could come to my place, "just to explore." I told him no. At the next meeting, he said he wanted to have sex and said it turned him on that I will have his children because that is what happens when he, you know. My advisor said that was the highest compliment a man could give you as he wants you to "pass on his genes" (her words).
  12. sexual harassment?

    So I confided in my supervisor that a faculty member in our faculty (different department) asked me to sleep with him and that I was upset by the offer. My supervisor responded that I was over reacting and that he meant it as a compliment as he was attracted to me. She went on to say that if I want to progress in academia, I should learn that working below men was normal and that I should get used to being hit on and recognize a compliment when I was given one. She then reminded me he didn't actually attack me, so "get over it and stop being so sensitive." I was so upset by her comment I had to go home, and then I just cried and cried. I couldn't come to work for a few days because I was just dejected. Now I'm just confused. Am I over reacting? I thought it was sexual harassment before I spoke to her but now I'm just confused. I was thinking of talking to my graduate program head and that's why I approached my supervisor for advice. Now I'm scared of talking to the head as I'm worried he will just behave exactly the same way. If it matters, my program head is a man and while he is nice, I am uncomfortable and afraid to tell him. The deputy chair is also a man. Both don't know me well except that I am in their department. I was hoping my supervisor would go with me, but her response was so unexpected. My supervisor is also well liked and popular with the faculty and students, and I am worried this will make her response more accepted and credible by the faculty. But I don't think I could take another faculty member tell me I'm just being emotional for no reason.
  13. Book recomendations re: academia

    A colleague recommended this and I bought it about a month ago. "At The Helm: A Laboratory Navigator" by Kathy Barker. p.s, I was told not to buy the other book "At the Bench" by the same author. However, "At the Helm" is more comprehensive (and repeats much of the info found in "At the Bench").
  14. Faculty perspectives

    I am intruding here, as Political Science is not my field... I wish there was a faculty perspectives' thread for other fields, and also not just for those who are applying. I am already in a program (first year masters, hoping to fast-track to a PhD). Sometimes I worry about disappointing my advisor with my performance but I don't know how to bring it up in a way that is constructive vs I want a pat on the back. I do think it's great the Political Science faculty have this thread, though. Such a great service to the student community. Thank you.
  15. Youngest in my program. HELP!

    One of my professors noted that graduate students are usually pretty preoccupied with their own problems that they don't usually notice much about other students if it doesn't directly involve them. It is true. I bring this up not to make you worried but to hopefully reassure you that most students won't even notice. I am the direct opposite of you. I am the oldest in my cohort. I am older than the youngest in my cohort by some 15 years. Nobody in my cohort even noticed until one day some random conversation where age came up as a side note. Everybody looked at me in surprise, some even complete shock. Like the others here said: Just be yourself. Unless you go in there telling everyone "I am very, very young!!!" chances are, most won't even notice. Take a deep breath. Everybody is probably just as nervous as you are and just as worried as you are, all for very different reasons, and that's ok.