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About geologyninja13

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    groundwater, geology, maps
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  1. @1PhDplz ugh, I'm sorry you have to deal with that professor's attitude. It's unfortunate that some think their job is to gatekeep, not to teach. I second Hope.for.the.best, but in addition is there tutoring on campus? And definitely don't feel ashamed to ask your department head or advisor to clarify "satisfactory progress" requirements. They're often deliberately vague in print to encompass a variety of situations.
  2. Are you expected to be taking classes and doing your own research on top of that? If so, no way it's OK. I'm not in your field, but at my university we're expected to do 19 hrs per week of RA or TA work to earn our keep on top of a 12-credit courseload that includes thesis hours - additional work for the advisor not directly related to the thesis would be a labor problem we could complain about to our grad student union. Before confronting your advisor, is there a department head, union rep, or graduate school representative you could discuss your situation with?
  3. Hi there! I'm TAing geography classes this term and have several international students who are struggling with English - extensive misspellings, odd turns of phrase, and grammatical errors. Should I grade them to the same standard that I would punish native English speakers for writing so sloppily, or cut them slack? Would it be seen as picking on them to offer corrections, even if I don't take points off? The professor just told me to "use my best judgement" but I need some help calibrating it. Opinions from people who had to learn English in school or as adults are appreciated!
  4. Hi everyone, Is it ethical for a professor to make my grade in his class contingent on doing free work for one of his personal paying clients? His class teaches data visualization techniques and it started out with him expecting us to learn 5 coding languages in 2 weeks from Google! There was no prerequisite for any computer science either - I'm a geologist. And now he's said that he's giving me such a "great opportunity to hone my skills" by being assigned this job as my final project, but I know from his advisees that he bit off more than he could chew on this commission. I'm confused and frustrated because I'm barely keeping up in his class, he's promising the client that I can do this great work. He has told me that I need to teach myself class materials in advance of the rest of the class to do things for this client and that he has faith in me to learn this with "suitable effort", but I want to reserve my right to not devote my life to the project. This is supposedly a 3 credit course which I am taking on top of 2 other courses, TAing 2 classes, and my thesis work. Additionally he's assigning us lab projects expressly for the purpose of exhibiting our work on his private GitHub repository and portfolio to advertise what he can do and attract new clients. He's giving us credit, but it bugs me that refusing isn't an option. Again, "it's great exposure for you all!" </rant>
  5. I had a Moto G 4 that worked well in a small package - sound quality was OK but not great, but it did everything I needed!
  6. Hi @ceterisparibus9 Welcome! If you're in good shape nowhere in town is more then a 20 minute bike ride from anywhere else. I'll second Halek, the bus system is OK (but honestly, great for a small town) but runs on the hour and if one bus goes off schedule the entire system starts running late. Good for groceries and general commuting, not great if you urgently need to make a meeting. Downtown can be pretty happening if you keep up with the town's schedule of events, and has a good variety of food and pubs. In addition to being a college town Corvallis is also a retiree town so the tone is a bit classier than you might expect. Grad students gravitate to Squirrels Pub, but Block 15, Sky High Brewing are also local brewpubs. Decent variety of ethnic, american, and "hippy" dining options. I just went to a world-class folk band concert at the Whiteside theater last night, the Majestic theater downtown has plays and performances, and the Darkside Indie cinema usually has a lot going on. Downtown also has three great independent bookstores.
  7. I've the lead TA for a 100-level lab geography science class at a state university, in change of about 160 students in on-campus and online sections. My question is, once I've noticed that a student has poor grades and I've sent them an email or two inviting them to office hours and reminding them of course expectations, and they never reply and barely show up for class, am I a horrible person for not chasing them down further? Because I grade 110 assignments per week I have to admit that I'm not the best at noticing what concept each student is struggling with over multiple lab assignments (although I follow class-wide trends). I'm torn because I love my subject and want my students to enjoy exploring it, but if I actively reached out to all of them all the time I wouldn't have time for my own class work. My professor told me to just do my best but I'm not sure what that needs to be. How far to you go to reach out to students in huge classes? What can I do when my students don't give a "dam" about my class? (the number who spelled that structure with an "n" at the end during their hydrology assignment gave me a good giggle)
  8. Since they're a visiting professor, I would recommend that you bring in an admin (under the guise of "let's make it easy to answer questions!") and a tenured or tenured-track professor (defendable along the lines of "Let's make sure your (Mx. Prof's) expectations are in line with this institution's"). I'm so sorry you have to put up with this, I'd be tearing my hair out. And yeah, take all the notes! Maybe even ask to record the session on your phone so you have review and make sure you didn't miss anything. It sounds like Prof has ghastly time management habits, and you can't be expected to reply at all hours. You're not being unreasonable. Best of luck!
  9. I did the same long-distance thing, and I'm hoping it won't backfire on me! I was looking on craigslist for rooms for rent in a house. I only considered ads for place with all female housemates, plentiful photos, and well-written descriptions. I set up Skype interviews with the potential housemates, and they gave me a video of the house. I'm feeling pretty confident about it, especially with google earth to scope out the neighborhood and Facebook to research my potential housemates.
  10. Peanut, I'm sorry that the universe threw you such a crappy dice roll two admissions cycles in a row. There's still hope! I got admitted to 0/2 my first year, 0/5 last year, and 3/4 schools this year. The good news is that you have time to make yourself that much of a better candidate (and, heck, to through-hike the Appalachian trail if you feel like it). There's been some great advice so far on this thread. I found it most helpful to start a blog on my two involuntary "years off", where writing could force me to think critically about news and scientific papers in my field. The process of writing responses to ideas that caught my eye was a great way to refocus my interest and remind myself why I love my subject. It also showed professors that I was motivated and a halfway decent writer, which doesn't hurt. You are NOT any less of a brilliant person with great potential because you didn't get into grad school. There are so many factors that you have no control over. Maybe the school was swamped with applicants and they "eenie-meenine-minie-moed" which applications to throw out in the first round. Maybe key professors lost their NSF funding and couldn't take on any more students, even if they loved their applications. It's all so random. Take a few weeks to get back into an old hobby, spend time with friends, or anything else that reminds you that you're a competent person no matter what admissions committees thought of a small packet describing your academic life.
  11. Hello there! I'm going to be starting my M.S. in Geography at Oregon State University next fall, and was wondering if I'm going to meet anyone else on the forum there! I'll be working with Dr. Michael Campana on transboundary groundwater issues.
  12. Hi all, I had the wonderful problem of being accepted to more than one program for a Masters in Geography and I had to make a very, very tough decision. I chose Oregon State over San Diego State based on funding, breadth of interests, location, and support for graduate students, despite the fact the San Diego State had a professor (let's call her Dr. M) who seemed to me like she would be an excellent mentor. I also found a great mentor at OSU, just with a slightly different research concentration. Unfortunately SDSU couldn't offer me enough funding, and I felt like OSU would be a better overall fit. I really enjoyed talking with Dr. M., though, she's SUPER competent in her field and her students say that she is a patient and involved advisor. I'm also thinking that if I end up wanting a PhD, where advisor fit is more crucial anyways, I might re-apply to SDSU. Would it be appropriate to stay in touch with Dr. M.? I feel like I developed a professional relationship with her during my interviews and campus visit, and feel like burning that bridge would be a waste. However I don't know if that would be rude since I rejected her school's offer.
  13. I agree with @OhSoSolipsistic. Also, I took non-degree courses in statistics and programming before applying to Geography programs, and professors looked on that very positively. It's not looked down upon at all! It shows dedication to your studies. As for the application process itself, its superficially similar to the undergraduate process with the transcripts, scores, and LORs. However, there is one crucial difference - academic fit. In your application you're going to have to demonstrate that you've contacted professors, scoped out their research, and then argue why you are uniquely well-suited to work with them on it. You can have great scores and LORs but a department may still reject you if there is not a funded professor to sponsor you. Your research interest and statement of intent (aka. why you want to switch from philosophy to economics/psychology and why that background will make you awesome) are almost more important than your scores.
  14. Hi Wolven, I can sympathize! I'm also an anxious, scatter-brained introvert and the whole grad school application process was out of my comfort zone. The GRE is very much like the SAT or ACT, and wasn't as scary once I was sitting down taking it. I had to bribe myself through two chapters a weekend of the study manual with chocolates, but I made it. It looks like you're in a tough place with finances and self-doubt, but I hope you know you are far from alone. Don't compare your worst moments to other people's best ones. I know it sounds cliche, but it's never too late to start a new path. Even if you've fallen out of contact with your professors, I'm sure they'll be glad to hear from you again. They may or may not be comfortable writing you letters of recommendation, so I agree with the other two posters that you should look into volunteer work. I volunteered at the US Geological Survey, and got a great recommendation out of it. You could try reaching out to local clinics, autism support groups, and shelters to see if you can work alongside professionals there. This might sound like useless advice if you're working long days, though. Is there any way to change jobs? I have a friend who was in a situation like yours who applied for receptionist positions at clinics now that she's looking in to medicine, just to get into that "world", and has gotten rewarding contacts from working there. When I was applying to schools I initially set a goal of 2 people contacted per week, via email or telephone. In the fall when I was applying 9and once I had some practice prying myself out of my shell), I amped it up to 4 people per week. These could be recommendation writers, people working in my field, professors doing work I was interested in, or grad schools at my target schools. I would encourage you to apply to more than one school - putting all your eggs in one basket is risky. There are reason completely unrelated to your merit that could cause you to not be accepted, like a program losing funding or your professor-of-interest having a life crisis. If you are in stressed financial circumstances it's possible to ask schools for a waiver for the application fee. Best luck, and PM me if you need help!
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