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About schenar

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  • Location
    North Carolina
  • Interests
    Psychology; Non-professional: guitar, stage drama
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program

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  1. Thanks! The link is broken though. Is it along the line of what is good vs. unsatisfactory for the students?
  2. Hey thanks @Bumblebea and @PsyDGrad90for the input! As OP I have valuable take-aways from both of your posts. I acknowledge that the evaluations I got have revealed some weak points I can work on. Seeking student feedback early on would also be helpful. Besides that not much can be done on the circumstantial constraints other fellow TAs and I observed in the experience, but with time and practice there should be growth I suppose.
  3. Thanks @AP and @Sigaba for your suggestions! Like you said the meeting did go well and focus on specific steps I could take to potentially improve the outcome. Once the action steps are clear it becomes easier to handle.
  4. Hi, I finished my first semester of TA and graduate school this past fall semester. I held two recitation sections on an experiment design course that help students write a research paper as a semester-long project. Recently my department Director of Undergraduate Studies requested to meet with me and follow up on the course evaluations I received from the fall semester, regarding how I "might improve the ratings." I am both appreciative and defensive over the meeting and the course evaluation at the moment. I could use the meeting because it is true that some feedback was very constructive and that on two or three student evaluation questions my average rating was below neutral, but the rating and feedback from different students are notably variable, even conflicting such as suggesting prepared/clear vs. not at all prepared/clear. Furthermore, there was no TA training at the beginning, and I sometime have to refer to other TAs' progress to clearly see what the appropriate weekly goal would be; we did not have any other materials or guideline in addition to those that our students also have access to. To mentally prepare myself for the meeting, I would appreciate any input on whether undesirable ratings often happened, and/or how serious a situation this type of director meetings would imply...Any other thoughts or comments would also be helpful. Thanks!
  5. Great I never clearly realized this, and it should be a more efficient starting with getting to know the problems first. I will make sure to add this to my question list for my adviser once we meet soon. Hope the semester goes well for you.
  6. schenar

    Embarrassing incident at prof's house

    @orange turtle I think you can stick to your plan with the same seriousness and sincerity, as other great posts here have suggested. The chair probably needs that reconciliation even more now?
  7. Many thanks @Sigaba for your perspectives! You are on point that I should only work towards being on the same page with my adviser, now that the problem is that I still could not communicate or discuss works with my adviser. I will keep that in mind while trying to fit any extra materials into my schedule.
  8. schenar

    Embarrassing incident at prof's house

    Glad to know that worse outcomes did not happen, and hope you recover soon... I am sure someone here could advise on this better than me. I am just guessing the chair knows he is not the person to mention this first, and it is up to you to set the tone of the debriefing. In any case it is the right thing to thank him for lending the clothes and the shower, and for help with the medic trip, so maybe you can start with that, shortly after you both get seated, and with the kind of polite, preemptive smile that is planned but seemingly emerged spontaneously as a result of embarrassment, and see how that works. (Edited typos.)
  9. Hi. I am wondering how practical it is to learn new materials on my own during the semester, in addition to the first-year coursework and teaching I will be doing. I am starting my doctoral program this fall with 3 courses in our psychology department. My adviser and I agreed, however, that sometime this or next year I could take some biostatistics courses to better prepare myself for the actual research projects. Hearing about my adviser's current projects and works, I thought that I need to catch up a lot in biostat and programming to have proper background knowledge for my future works. That's why I wondered if I could start early on my own, such as learning from a biostat textbook or an online programming course now and during the academic year, but would it still be practical during the semester given the first-year workload and teaching? Thanks for any input! Edit: I asked my adviser if I need to start early on anything. The answer is not really...anything will be fine.
  10. I am also new to the game, but previously my experience was to look for published literature review articles on the topics or its related fields. These works could give you a framework. Then I looked for key articles and references mentioned there and see how those key works were then reviewed, cited and developed in the literature. In this way you have a few threads to work with and to fill in the framework. Probably there are more mature and experienced ways to do it. Others can pitch in for you.
  11. I did quite some searching on this forum for "impostor syndromes" and there are some helpful threads here you could look up. For me it's really about focusing on actionable steps I could take instead of generalized perception on my capabilities against the new environment.
  12. schenar

    Rent or Wait?!!

    I thought it is easier and more typical to sign a lease 1-3 months in advance unless it is for big metropolitan areas. Available leases are up online as soon as the previous tenants give their vacancy notice 60-90 days before the end of their leases, so it might be hard to get a lease on the spot after you arrived. Plus the process of settling down also takes time. Several apartment rating websites as well as generic rating forums (google, yelp) might have reviews and pictures on the apartment units you searched. I have found those quite reliable. Another way to identify desirable apartment units is to ask your senior friends who are already there or on forums like this for recommendations.
  13. schenar

    Internet + Phone provider US

    It is common to do two separate contracts. Bundles are meant for discounts. I haven't tried it myself, but in NC it seems possible to do a bundle phone+internet plan with AT&T. This depends on the specific region you are at though. You might have to check the new student guide from your school/graduate student union. In most cases an internet-only package is available. Just make sure your apartment is not forcing you to buy a cable plan.
  14. schenar

    How long to wait for an email reply

    If she knows that she missed it because of something that came up, she might follow up with you later with some more proposed time slots (and maybe an explanation.) You could follow up if you have not heard from her say for the rest of this week...This happens sometimes.
  15. schenar

    Trying to understand the PhD life in US

    To follow up on the working hour discussion by @rising_starand to broadly touch on the questions raised by this post, I really think while there is some practical advice on navigating the graduate life that people generally follow, the specific choice is ultimately determined by the individual and the program. I have heard about both people working 40 hours and 60+ hours a week in graduate school, and it suggests nothing to me more than a possible range of hours I could see myself spend in my upcoming graduate life. Some of my friends go to lucrative investment banking and consulting jobs after undergrads and they have no choice but to follow the suit and work 60+ or even 70+ hours a week to keep the paychecks coming. The good thing is that in graduate school there is relatively more autonomy. So there is no set standard to follow. This brings up my second point, that while OP is doing the right thing in looking out for helpful suggestions, OP might want to ultimately make a decision on his/her own, based on the specific program context. There is no stereotypical "PhD life in US." I see graduate school as the beginning of my career, an apprenticeship phase, where I have to decide my own path, including things like area interests, courses, work hours, travel or not. Questions like "why do you choose to do a PhD,“ "is it going to be stressful," "can I travel," and "what are some nice options after the graduate school" do not have a normative answer or a common trend to identify; these are to me choices to make, or trade-offs to handle, as I make the commitment to grad school, like many other things in my on-edge out-of-undergrad adult life. These are also in my opinion things to be mentally prepared ideally through research done before one even starts to apply for grad school. I know some of the non-academic outcomes the PhDs in my field have achieved in the past, and I think they are good. I know the scientific importance my field has to me and to my discipline, and that is why I chose my field. Again I think there is no set answers but only personal opinions to many of the questions in the original post, and it is likely an exaggeration that these opinions represent "PhD life in US." It might appear that I am having opinions on the way OP raised these questions, and I apologize if it does. I am also an international student holding the F-1 visa and I am speaking out of my sincerity here.

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