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About Biologic

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    Ph.D. Biomed Sciences
  1. I'm beginning my Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences at the Indiana University School of Medicine this fall. This was my first choice.
  2. Biologic

    Bloomington, IN

    The few times I rode the city and campus buses, it did not take super long to get anywhere I was headed. Bloomington is a small town, so there isn't much distance between where you are and where you need to be most of the time. The thing you need to watch out for is to know the schedule and routes of the different buses ahead of time. They all run fairly regularly (I've more experience with the Bloomington Transit), and there are plenty of stops around town and near campus. But if you get on the wrong one expecting to go a particular direction, that bus route may take you completely out of your way until it finally gets back around to where you need to be. With stops occurring fairly regularly, though, it isn't hard to jump off and find the correct bus and route, or simply walk to where you need to be, which sometimes is easier and faster. Campus bus lines are free (meaning no fees needed to board), I think, for students, and the Bloomington Transit city buses are free if you show your student ID (again no fees needed at the time of boarding). With that said, it actually isn't free, as you pay an upfront fee to IU as an enrolled student to have these fee exemptions. It is a universal fee, but it is handy to not have to buy passes or have ride fees for each ride. Here is a link to the IU transportation website for more information, and it also has links to the Bloomington Transit site as well. http://www.transportation.indiana.edu/index.html
  3. Biologic

    Bloomington, IN

    I graduated from IU in 2005, after having the opportunity to spend 5 great years there. Bloomington is a wonderful town...very unique for Indiana, that's for sure. My wife and I often visit there, making sure to stop at Trojan Horse, a great Greek restaurant and bar. I do not have much advice concerning apartments, as my wife and I owned a house there for much of our stay, but I can second others' recommendations to avoid the Stadium area of the north side. We lived in Stadium View our first year, and it is a bit noisy much of the time, and when football/basketball games are going on, traffic and parking are terrible. Everyone from town and elsewhere who come to the games crowds the north side and it is crazy. That said, as young students, it was much more livable than what I would want out of my living environment at this stage in my life. If you like parties (house, tailgate, and otherwise) then this area is great. However if you want quieter surroundings, many areas of town fit this bill. You can find some decent houses to rent if you take the time to look. Just for reference, if you look west of campus out to about Rogers street, you may run into something. The Bryan Park area has a lot of undergrads living there, but grad students as well, so it is not too chaotic most of the time. If you head east, there are some apartment complexes out off 10th street past College Mall road that get you away from the heart of undergrad living areas. I mean really, there are many options, and Bloomington is just small enough to where it doesn't take you very long at all to get most places you need to be. IU is in the heart of the town. Living on the far west side for 4 years, I could ride my bike to campus in 10 to 15 minutes with traffic. Biking is a good bet if possible, as parking is difficult unless you have a grad parking permit. Even then, it is a crapshoot sometimes. On days where I did not bike to campus, I would park at Scottie's parking garage (maybe 10 blocks west of campus off 7th or 8th street and Walnut I think), feed the meter a buck or two and walk to school. Saved me from tooling around the side roads looking for parking.
  4. Thanks for the advice, tulip. We have been leaning pretty heavily towards the Avon area, so it is good to hear this is a nice area to live. Just curious, I keep hearing a lot of good things concerning places to go and things to do in Broad Ripple...what is the commute from, say, the Avon area to the Broad Ripple area? Like I said, we'll be heading up in a couple of weeks, but is nice to have an idea of these issues before heading up. If I think of any other questions, I'll be sure to post them!
  5. Anyone know much about the housing market in Indianapolis? My wife and I plan to buy a house, probably in the outskirts or one of the small towns outside Indianapolis. I am looking for some input concerning up-and-coming areas for young people to buy a house. I have heard that south of Indy, like near Greenwood is a good area. Also, I've heard west near Avon/Plainfield is also good. I am heading up in a couple of weeks to scout areas and houses, so any input in addition to what I know about these areas and otherwise? I can't believe there is only 4 months until my Ph.D. program starts this fall. Too much to do, so little time!
  6. Thanks! I wish you the best in your studies at Pitt, as well.
  7. I am finishing up my MS degree this summer, so I have much work between now and then. Also, I will be teaching through July, so with all of this going on I won't have much time to slack. That doesn't mean my motivations aren't suffering a bit right now! It doesn't help that it has been 75 degrees and sunny for the last couple of days, either. At least my current grad research involves field studies. I am really looking forward to moving and starting my Ph.D. in August. Between now and then, to keep me moving at the pace I need to, I'll keep my eye on that prize (letting some websurfing/TV watching/outdoor activities fill in the gaps from time to time).
  8. I also will be paying towards my student loans with a portion of my fellowship during my Ph.D. My wife and I will most likely be purchasing a house when we move for my program this summer, and we will be selling our current house (hopefully!). So in that regard, I will be investing in real estate for the duration of my grad studies. Bad time to sell a house, but a great time to buy one if possible. This will be our third house, and I have to say, after selling our first house, we made a nice amount off what we invested in 4 short years. We may not have such luck this go round, but it seems likely we will get what we have in it out (and hopefully more) to put towards the next down payment if all goes as planned. Even in bad times, appreciation of real estate can be surprising.
  9. Biologic

    me? TA?

    I just wanted to second what Minnesotan said about student motivations. Students that do not care if they get a passing D or C won't work any harder than that grade requires. It is definitely true that some students go out of their way to do well in the class, and these students certainly take advantage of your office hours and assistance. This is a big part of what makes it all worthwhile. You can't save those that don't want to be saved, but helping those that need it is what it is all about. The challenging part, and this depends on your responsibilities for your assistantship, is to learn how to target the class appropriately. Early on, I made some tests too hard, tinkered and eased it back a bit, and made some a little too easy. Over time, I found the approach that consistently covered my material at the right difficulty level and this allowed me to start focusing my efforts to guide students through the material. Very, very rewarding when this occurs. It may take awhile, or you find you have a knack right away...but this challenge is part of what makes teaching fun for me!
  10. Biologic

    me? TA?

    As others have said, it will be challenging, and since you have never done anything like this before, you will probably be quite nervous the first few days. My first teaching experience was as an adjunct faculty member at a university, a position I currently hold. I got the call 2 days before the start of the semester, and with no teaching experience prior...well, I am sure you get the point. My responsibilities include lecturing to about 95 students twice a week and instructing several corresponding 2 hour labs of a science course. You, as a TA, will likely have far less responsibility than this. You will perhaps be leading a course recitation, a lab section, or helping out with a professor in lecture. The possibilities of your responsibilities will vary depending on your field of study, and the nature of your assistantship. Bottom line is, expect that it will be hectic but I guarantee you that after a couple of weeks, you will find your groove and quickly adjust. I thought my stomach was in my throat the first week, but this quickly dissipated and it became the most motivational and delightful experience of my life. I will be starting a Ph.D. in the fall, and I will be on a fellowship so I will no longer be required to teach. However, I will likely choose to do so if time permits for a semester or two just to get to experience teaching different courses and get back to interacting with students. Who knows...you may find yourself really enjoying the experience! To add some advice here, as others have said, if you are aware of the position and course you will be teaching ahead of time, use this to your advantage. Obtain a syllabus, start preparing materials, and mentally prepare as soon as possible. I wish I would have had more time after obtaining my position to be able to prepare. If you are lecturing for a course, run through it many times so that you feel like you can effectively pace yourself under class time constraints. This is something I still struggle with from time to time after 8 semesters of teaching the same course! One thing you can do to help with this is to prepare for any questions students may have. By doing so you can quickly and effectively answer such questions without killing alot of time. Sometimes this is ok, but I often find myself more behind my schedule than ahead. Still, after doing this a few weeks it becomes second-nature in many ways. Lastly, again as others have stated in perhaps different ways, if you have to TA then make sure you are getting something out it. What I mean is, that even if teaching isn't your end goal after grad school, find some way to make the most of it and come away a better more knowledgeable person. This may sound corny, but I have grown considerably as a person from my experience, and have gained many valuable skills as a by-product of teaching. I feel the most important things you can take from it are a) you will learn how to effectively interact with students, and in general, others, and teaching forces you to learn intricate details of a subject. Even if you have taken it or a similar course before, you will learn much more from trying to relay the information to others. That said, if you have a chance to choose the course you teach, do so, and choose one related to your interests or in a related field of study. This will broaden your knowledge base and certainly ingrain many concepts which may prove valuable to you in school, or later on.
  11. Hi, all. I am beginning my Ph.D. at the Indiana University School of Medicine this fall. This program is their their IBMG, or Biomedical Gateway umbrella program in the biomedical sciences. Concerning the OP's question about Pitt or Ohio State, I cannot help you out with those programs. Sorry!
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