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About qkhitai

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    MA East Asian Studies

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  1. qkhitai

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Moved to my new city to start my degree. Had a house lined up for a while, but landlord is taking forever to get things sorted. Burning a massive hole in my wallet extending my stay at a hotel, which is really eating into funds I just don't have. Was hoping to have moved in by now.
  2. Someone I know tweeted about a course on Futurelearn.com, which seems to be a website where anyone can go and study a short class online for free (or pay and get a certificate upon completion). The courses are - as far as I can tell - taught by professors at decent universities, which piqued my interest. I actually signed up for the course, because it does look quite interesting and actually somewhat relevant to what I research. Aside from asking whether anyone has any experience with this site, my question is: as a grad student, would putting something like this on a CV look tacky? I've seen people in my field put down similar things (brief classes or courses) in their own CVs, in sections such as 'Other Study', 'Extra-curricular Activities', 'Professional Activities', but I can't remember the last time I saw an online course - and not one free and open to the public. Any thoughts?
  3. qkhitai

    Short Name vs Long Name

    Indeed, I have my own I was always particularly jealous of Stephen Owen's, it's really classy. However I still often see people, grad students and professors sometimes, publish under a phonetic transliteration; so someone called Elizabeth Lloyd, to take a name at random, could publish as 伊丽莎白・劳埃德 (Yi Li Sha Bai・Lao Ai De). My question about which one to use was somewhat rhetorical (although thank you for the reply), but I am actually a bit unsure about the etiquette surrounding publishing under a 'fake' or 'unofficial name', such as the examples you give - which I'm sure also applies to people like Chou Li who publish under the name Jack. As far as I'm aware nobody vets these names beforehand and I'm not sure there are any legal procedures to go through. Do journals and publishers just accept whatever 'unofficial' name you give them? Could Elizabeth Lloyd turn around and say she was called Luo Aili 罗艾丽 or something, and then everyone would accept it? Does Chou Li just call himself Jack and that's the name he can publish under? I don't know, I find the dynamics of 'fake names' in academia really interesting; I've yet to publish under mine. I assume it would be fine, but there is still something unnerving about it. (I'm also not too sure what the link is between Keight and Ji 吉?)
  4. qkhitai

    Short Name vs Long Name

    I use the shortened 'nickname' version of my full given name (like Dave instead of David*), followed by my last name. Although my name is really common, everyone else seems to be in the sciences, so fingers crossed it won't confuse anyone in my field. *Not actually my name. Eh, I don't see that very often in my field. I can't recall anyone who puts their English name in parentheses; it's much more common to see it placed before their given native name, such as Victor Cunrui Xiong. It's also interesting when Western scholars publish in foreign languages such as Chinese or Japanese, which opens up a different can of worms: do you use the phonetic transliteration of your English name (David becomes Dawei 大伟 for example in Chinese), or do you use an 'unofficial' name that you've chosen yourself? I think there's typically a bit more shame attached to the former, because it always sounds foreign and inauthentic, but I guess that's a somewhat different conversation.
  5. qkhitai

    What kind of history do you prefer to write?

    I guess I'm somewhere between themes and theory: I look at acculturation and identity construction in China from the angle of literature. But within that general framework it's easy to tap into other histories, for example I'm preparing a conference paper at the moment that is more event based. I think source and event kind of histories provide interesting opportunities for 'micro-projects' that can help to answer the broader questions I want to tackle with my research. I'm quite interdisciplinary though, and do a lot of comp lit work, so specific source work (poems, books, etc) in particularly comes naturally; I see it as more of a means to an end however.
  6. What did folks do when they had multiple proofs of funds? For example, I have savings as well as my TA offer. It says I should upload 'as many documents as possible', but the system only lets you upload one. Should I merge things into one pdf?
  7. Maybe others with more experience with the application cycle will know more, but mid June seems quite late to still be sorting applications out. I'm going through my own visa processes now as a fellow international grad and it seems like I'm looking at nearly a month minimum to get it sorted out. I'd feel more comfortable with a bit of a bigger cushion though, in case anything goes wrong, so sorting out a visa is probably something you need to do asap (let alone finding accommodation and booking flights etc). I'd probably lean towards cutting your losses with McMaster if I were you and coming to UoA (not biased!). The more you wait, the more stressful your summer will be and the more risks you run. Yeah I'm off to do East Asian Studies, should be fun!
  8. I'm off to UoA myself, albeit in a different program. Can't offer much advice as I haven't arrived yet, but there aren't many of us around here, so it's nice to see someone considering it. What's the deal with your UoA admission? How long do you have to accept the offer? Or have you accepted it and you're considering rescinding it if you get a McMaster admission? Also, have you gotten in touch with McMaster to ask what the delay is - or if they can clarify the situation?
  9. qkhitai

    Academic articles

    Check the specific journals they were published in, many journals host articles for free online on their relevant websites. Also a lot of people throw up their own articles on places like academia.edu, so worth searching there too. Feel free to ask your professor if you can't find something he wants you to read, chances are he has pdf copies of his own anyway. Everyone I've met in my field certainly seems to at any rate.
  10. qkhitai

    How did you discover your research interests?

    I had a process of bashing different things together to see what stuck. For example, I might read a book and go 'oh, x theme is really cool', then read another book and think 'wow, y setting is really up my street', then I'll look at putting x theme and y setting together. Then I just kept going further down the rabbit hole, as it were, dissecting x theme and y setting and getting more specific until I found what I really enjoyed researching. So it started out for me by broadly mashing together literature and history, but then going forward and looking at specific kinds of literature, different periods of history etc, and repeating that same process of throwing interesting combinations together until I found something really cool. So yeah, there is definitely a lot of trial and error, and I agree that stumbling across that one thing that nobody has really studied before can really define your interests.
  11. qkhitai

    Feeling left in the dark

    There's also been an 'official' silence with my new department and I've not really heard anything since I accepted my offer. I speak to my advisor-to-be regularly enough, but our chats are relatively informal. I've received no information from the school or department administration or anything. I don't even know when I have to arrive there for orientation yet. So yeah, it seems like this is quite normal.
  12. qkhitai

    How to narrow field of interest?

    When narrowing your field, I think the best thing you can do is just keep reading and writing, as others have said. I started my BA broadly interested in early medieval China (c.200-c.600 AD). As I read more, I began to discover that I really enjoyed tackling themes such as ethnicity and identity, which led me down a path towards a specific dynasty that had a proliferation of related issues. I could probably give a breadcrumb trail list of different books and articles that helped to get me where I am now, research interest wise - in terms of what inspired me or grabbed me and made me go 'yeah, I want to do this kind of stuff'. Everything you read, good or bad, helpful or useless, contributes to shaping your interests; you can cross things off the list, focus in on specific themes, discover things you'd never thought about before. Unless you go and make that effort, you'll never find out what you're truly passionate about.
  13. qkhitai

    ESL Teaching in Asia or Middle East

    I lived in mainland China and taught sporadically part time. Happy to answer any questions. Cost of living is probably the cheapest out of the East Asian countries, but it's generally harder to get by without speaking the native language. I think that depends on the person. I know people who went from nothing to HSK 4 in less than a year.
  14. qkhitai

    Pressured into a research area by advisor?

    I agree you should definitely go into your studies with an open mind and would add that you don't want to necessarily pigeonhole yourself into one thing or another so early. That being said, you obviously have your research interests and a broad area you want to work in. If my supervisor turned around and said I would be doing research totally unrelated to what I applied to do and completely divorced from my interests, I would certainly feel not only incredulous, but also quite angry. But it doesn't sound like your case is that extreme. Like fuzzy I have no idea what goes on in your field, and I also don't know what you signed up for as it were, but from what you've said it does sound like there is some crossover between what you want to do and what your advisor is proposing? Are you still doing remote sensing(?) and using other tools that you can carry over to another area (intertidal) in the future? Will you get valuable methodological/practical/whatever experience from wetlands work that relates to other areas you are interested in? For example, I have to do some work in areas outside my own field of interest from my own MA (I do medieval history, but I'll be taking classes in modern lit and ethnic theory), but from this study I'll pick up a new set of tools with which I can go back and use in my actual area. Is yours a similar kind of case?
  15. I generally schedule research days or blocks of time, where I can alternate between reading, writing and editing depending on my mood or what stage of the project I'm at. I'm very much someone who writes on the fly and I've never been one for meticulous planning. Having a more fluid approach works well for me, as I tend to write a lot in short bursts, rather than a little bit every day. Being able to more freely swap between all the various things I need to do tends to keep me on top of my projects and maximises my available time. Cool to see another Nano writer! I failed a few times, but finally got a win in 2015. Keep at it!

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