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  1. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to StHoly in How to create Figures for Publication Materials?   
    Thank you! I have been asking my other friends who are in similar PhD program, they all have been using Illustrator and told me they used "basic shapes" LOL.... YES basic shapes.... I will start on learning how to use Illustrator and have my friends show me how! I can already see my learning curve is so high! But I will work on it!  I don't want to ask my PI about it (I should) but I feel like it is something I should have known before even getting into PHD program ya know?! 
    Thanks everyone for the reply! 
  2. Like
    FishNerd got a reaction from StHoly in How to create Figures for Publication Materials?   
    Hi! I know a lot of people who use Adobe Illustrator to make figures for publications, but unless you have access to this for free through your university or you can get a copy through your advisor you probably don't want to pay for Illustrator.
    A lot of people in my program, including myself, use Inkscape to create figures for publication since it is basically a program very similar to Illustrator but free. When I was first playing around in Inkscape I found a good series of Youtube videos on how to use Inkscape for creating scientific figures. These tutorials may not be as helpful for creating drawings like the example you provide above, but I thought I would share the link below.
  3. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to juicetin in Rules about addressing professors by their first name?   
    Y'all have very different experiences from me, in my departments it's very common for all grad students to address faculty directly by their first name 
  4. Upvote
    FishNerd got a reaction from magnetite in Podcasts/Other General Resources   
    I've seen a couple other podcast threads posted in the past so I've included them below. I'm not sure if the focus of the podcasts that are included are helpful to you but I'm sure it's worth perusing.
  5. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to BioCook in How far in advance to look for apartments?   
    If you're looking to live off campus, you can start looking now to see the general prices... I've looked at apartments a month before move in and it was fine. Of course, all the "good" places were taken by then. Maybe aim to start looking May-July if you're looking to start in the fall.
  6. Upvote
    FishNerd got a reaction from ResilientDreams in Impostor syndrome with submission   
    I don't have any advice but I definitely understand how you're feeling. I'm so nervous about getting my masters thesis published that I keep putting it off. I also have an opportunity to present my thesis research to a much different audience than I have in the past. I'm super nervous that reviewers or outside eyes are going say that I did something completely wrong and my whole study will be a wash. I'm not really sure how to move past it but I just wanted to say I also sympathize. I just know I need to push past my nervousness because I know at heart my thesis is worthy of publication and I need to do sooner rather than later. Not sure how I'm gonna do that other than pushing all my nerves to the side and just going for it!
  7. Like
    FishNerd got a reaction from Indecisive Poet in Best Credit Card?   
    This is the advice my dad gave me when I got my first credit card and I've always stuck with it because it's great advice. This is how I continue to treat my credit card because I really only have one to build credit and if I happen to get some cash back with this new card then hooray! 
  8. Like
    FishNerd got a reaction from Adelaide9216 in Moving out - how early to start shopping for your house/appartment?   
    I hadn't thought of store closing sales - thanks for that good idea! And yeah I don't plan on immediately buying a couch so I will shop around a bit. I have no issue with used furniture normally but I am a bit hesitant about a used couch since I know someone who got bedbugs that way... If I could be guaranteed it didn't have bedbugs I would totally shop used.
  9. Like
    FishNerd got a reaction from PokePsych in Should I panic about my new program?   
    Gosh when I read this I so identified with it since my previous department could really be this way as well. I would sometimes get sucked into it and it would make me feel like things were really a lot worse than they actually were, but once I was able to kinda break away from the complaining culture I was so much happier and productive. When you are constantly being surrounded by complaints its hard to see anything positive and you get sucked in to complain about things in your experiences. If anyone else is in this type of environment I recommend breaking out of it and making changes yourself because I find that if you do things better on your end (like stepping up and fixing the issue like Psygeek suggests) you probably won't have many things to complain about and you'll probably be a lot more productive and happier than you would have been before.
  10. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to Hope.for.the.best in What happens at a Masters oral defense   
    In my experience, professors tend to ask questions related to your study, especially on the rationale and limitations. As long as you know your study well and can justify it, you should be fine. You may come across questions that you have not thought about/no answers for. Don't panic. Just thanks for the question/suggestion and indicate that you will look into that in future. This tactic should get you through most of the time. Occasionally, you may then be asked for your thoughts on these difficult questions. In this case, the professor is more like determining whether you can think broader based on your findings/knowledge than giving you a difficult time. Something like, "Based on what we know so far, it might be such and such, which we need to look into further." 
    It is of course okay to ask for a practice defense, preferably one in front of your department, if possible. This way, you get to present in front of others and get some questions. 
    Good luck!
  11. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to Sigaba in 2 Desks, 8 People   
    I wouldn't ask your office mates a question as a means to initiate a conversation on this topic unless you're willing to counter answers like "This is the way we've always done things," or "Stay in your lane, newbie."
    Instead, I'd ask an administrator in your department about the assignment of desk space in this office. Once you know the way things are supposed to be, then you can wait your turn until its time to have a desk or initiate conversations in which you lead your office mates to a "hotel" concept.
    If they prove stubborn, you can either go along to get along, kill them with kindness, or escalate the matter in ways that make initiate a renegotiation. 
    As much as I'd like for you to raise a little hell, please keep in mind that ABDs are often an undervalued resource in a department. Your office mates may be acting like territorial dorks simply because they can, and they may also have invaluable information on preparing for qualifying exams and managing a dissertation proposal/prospectus process.
  12. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to iwearflowers in 2 Desks, 8 People   
    If you do send an email, maybe phrase it as wondering how space is typically handled rather than proposing a new system right away. I’ve always found that people are nicer when I acknowledge that I’m new and/or not sure what’s going on.
  13. Like
    FishNerd reacted to megabee in Moving out - how early to start shopping for your house/appartment?   
    Getting home necessities from scratch can be difficult and expensive. Easily movable things like kitchen stuff (pans/small appliances/utensils/tupperware/dishes/etc) can add up. I've been buying a few things every paycheck and when I see them on sale so I don't get hit with a huge bill. These things don't take up that much space and can be tossed in a car. Buying this stuff early is worth it.
    As for furniture, I'd hold off. I'm buying stuff near my new place, since it's a bit far from where I am now. My university sells old office furniture out of a warehouse, and I just don't see the point in buying something sturdy like a desk or a filing cabinet brand new. Of course, even without that option, there's always thrift stores and estate sales and such. 
    Spending the money to move furniture is only viable if you already have the furniture, I think. Buying furniture where you live now + moving expenses probably costs a lot more than buying furniture there. Or, if you're shopping online, feel free to set aside a list of things that you like and be ready to order so it arrives the day your lease starts.
    Random furniture stores close all the time. You can generally find a good quality, new couch for a significantly reduced price if you seek out those closeout/clearance sales. Used is cheaper than new, obviously, if you're alright with that. A couch also isn't something that you necessarily need to have ready the minute you move in. You can wait a bit, shop around, and hold off on buying for as long as you need (or until you make enough friends that the seating situation becomes embarrassing).
  14. Like
    FishNerd got a reaction from Adelaide9216 in Moving out - how early to start shopping for your house/appartment?   
    I like reading that everyone's tips kinda lined up with what I decided to do for my move. I am also planning on buying a good chunk of my things once I'm in my new city so that's nice to hear that other people agree that that is a good plan. I am however bringing some furniture with me in a moving truck that I didn't want to part with. I have really nice furniture for my bedroom that I got as hand-me-downs and I really didn't want to have to pay to furnish all of those things again (and I think it is cheaper to get a moving truck to bring them with me than buy all of those pieces again). Also it means I don't have to worry about buying a new bed which makes me happy because I sleep like a dream in my current bed! So I suggest if you can afford to move some pieces you really like and are willing to put in the effort to move them then definitely do that! But if buying all new things is most feasible
    Like @iwearflowers and @a_sort_of_fractious_angel, I also suggest watching the rental market to get a good idea of rentals patterns because I think by doing that myself I was able to plan my trip out to my new location at a time that a lot of listings would be available to view for the time period I was wanting to move in. I think doing this is what helped get me an apartment that checked off almost everything I wanted!
    Side note to others that might see this: any suggestions on where to get a couch that is good quality and won't have saggy or mishaped cushions after a year or two that also isn't outrageously expensive (I'm think 500-1200 range is the range I'm expected to spend)?
  15. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to bibliophile222 in Do you feel lonely as a PhD student?   
    Yep, it was pretty annoying to find an apartment that was reasonably priced with everything I was looking for and then read "no pets" at the bottom. I also could have snagged an apartment that was about $200 cheaper than the one I got.
    However, some places might say no pets but actually be okay with it, or at least willing to add a pet  deposit. My current lease said no pets when we moved in, but my boyfriend brought home a kitten one day and I freaked because I thought we'd get evicted. I made him call the landlord to see if it was okay and it turned out the landlord didn't care at all. 
    I must also add that cats can be expensive. We have two cats and spend about 60 a month on cat food and another 60 a month on pet insurance, which is much better than having to pay a $2000 vet bill but can still put a sizeable dent in a grad student budget.
    Still totally worth it, though!
  16. Like
    FishNerd got a reaction from Adelaide9216 in Do you feel lonely as a PhD student?   
    I've never been worried about being homesick or lonely before but I was never more than a 3 hour car drive back to see my family, but now I'm moving halfway across the country. I'm super excited for the change but also more worried about this move than either of my moves before. I'm definitely going to make a point to build friendships in my new location though and make sure I have things to look forward to outside of school. It's just so nerve-wracking because I'm such a homebody and introvert at times so it does take some effort to put myself out there and try new things. I definitely didn't do that enough during my Master's and will have to change that during my PhD.
    I do know that I will always have my partner and kitties to keep me company at home though so that does ease my nerves. So I too second getting a cat! If you are really ready for a pet of course. They were great to have during my masters because if I had to work a late night in the lab I knew they would be okay. I would love to have a dog some day but I know the schedule I will likely have during a doctoral student will likely not be very feasible for me to have a dog. I also love the flexibility for traveling I have with cats. If I'm only gone a couple days or a weekend I can leave them enough food I know they'll be fine but I know it can get really complicated to travel when you have a dog. So for now I will be perfectly happy with my two cats because I know they can handle my grad student schedule.
    I will also second @Warelin that getting a pet can automatically eliminate a lot of rentals. When I was doing my apartment search in my new location it eliminated so many and I noticed that it eliminated options that were $100-$300 of dollars cheaper a month so that stung. But I'm willing to pay more because there is no way I would ever give up my kitties. But I'm not gonna lie that at least in the housing market I was looking at, pet-friendly housing tended to be more expensive by quite a bit and on top of that they also charged pet rent. It's just a good thing to keep in mind if you do decide you want to get a pet, though perhaps the difference in pricing between pet friendly and non-pet friendly isn't quite as drastic in other housing markets.
  17. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to CharlieR in Favorite podcasts ?   
    Hey all, I have found myself loving podcasts at the moment and I was wondering if ant of you had good recommendations, preferably about grad school or research ! 
    Personally, I love The story collider !
  18. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to Warelin in Do you feel lonely as a PhD student?   
    As a side note: If you decide to adopt a cat or dog, be prepared for a lot of apartment and house rentals to be unavailable as an option and be okay with that. I've seen way too many people adopt a puppy, then get bored 2 years later when the puppy is no longer new and abandon them at the pound when they get bored and want to live somewhere that doesn't accept pets. Roughly, 33-50 percent of housing will not accept pets.
    I've traveled with my dog for the past 6 years. We've moved into multiple apartments and houses across multiple states. I've never been interested in a place that wouldn't have both of us regardless of how nice the location or apartment or house was.
  19. Like
    FishNerd got a reaction from alltheclusters in Ask questions about the PhD application process!   
    I agree with everyone else who says I don't think it belongs in your application. I also agree with @BabyScientist that if it comes up naturally during the interview or visitation process I think it is perfectly acceptable to mention it then. I say this because this is exactly what I did during my application process with my partner this year. I never mentioned that I was jointly applying with my partner in any of the application stages but if it came up naturally during an interview or a school visit I would mention it then. I did this because I didn't want to be taken any less seriously and I really was most interested in the science I would potentially be doing with that advisor. I did find though when it came up during an interview or visit it was received well and I don't think I was treated any differently afterwards, at least in my experience thankfully.
    I will say though only bring up that this part of your application process if it comes up naturally and you are the one to mention it. I don't think interviewers have the right to ask what your relationship status is because if they maybe didn't choose you because of the relationship component of the application, you would have grounds for a pursuing action of being discriminated against because of your relationship circumstances. So only bring it up if you are the one initiating that conversation and want to be clear that one of the other reasons you are very interested in a program is the proximity it would put you to your partner.
  20. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to iwearflowers in Do I need to grow out my buzzcut?   
    At least one person in my masters (MPH) cohort had a buzz cut, although she grew it out into a pixie before she started job hunting. I think it’s probably dependent on the department culture. If you have any connections with current students, you could always ask. Also, as someone with a disconnected undercut and fuschia highlights, I’ve found that I’m usually okay if I dress a little more formally than I might otherwise. So instead of jeans and a T-shirt, try jeans and a nice top, jeans and a button up, or jeans and a plain tee with a blazer. Make sure your clothes are clean and un wrinkled, etc.
    A buzz cut may stand out more in Alabama, but on a college campus (or in a college town) you’re unlikely to be the only person with a funky haircut. If you’re worried about your safety, contact someone in student services and ask them if you’re likely to get harassed. They should have a good feel for the culture. If there is an office that deals specifically with LGBT issues, they’ll definitely know. (I realize you don’t mention your sexuality in your post, but gender non-conforming queer women and non binary people often have similar concerns so an office of LGBT life or similar may be more attuned to these issues and aware of previous problems.)
  21. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to ashiepoo72 in Venting Thread- Vent about anything.   
    Keep doing what you're doing! Put your best application out there and see what happens--someone has to get these awards, and it could be you. When I was researching programs, a wise grad student told me to apply wherever my heart desired and let the programs reject me, not to reject myself. I think that advice fits with funding opportunities as well. My motto is to apply to all the funding opportunities for which your work might qualify. Don't let anyone discourage you--it's one thing to accept that these opportunities are competitive, it's another to not strive for them regardless. Best of luck to you!
  22. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to PokePsych in Venting Thread- Vent about anything.   
    Go for it!
    I've been told this all my life by my mum. She didn't believe I would succeed in high school. She was convinced I wouldn't make it in university and it was a waste of time. Then when I started excelling she sorta shut up for a bit. Then when I signed up for a competitive research master she was convinced I would finally meet my limit and get low grades and would have messed up my career. Again the opposite happened. Applying for PhDs - same story. She hasn't started talking yet about what will happen during my PhD, but she has no clue what it is anyway. According to her, this nay-saying is protecting me from failures or from hurtful situations (which I don't think is a good thing anyway - these are not the failures to protect someone from). I used to develop such self-defeating thoughts because of it which well - it didn't help me in high school. At the start of university, we were not in touch for a year because of personal reasons and this is when I could finally let go of these thoughts. I forgave her (and still forgive her) as she has so little self-esteem herself, so I know where it is coming from.
    Bottom line: never have somebody discourage you, especially if you believe and KNOW you are a good applicant and can do this. You decide your limits and not someone else, just be realistic. Yes, you may fail because it's supercompetitive, but that doesn't devalue you as a person. I mean, what I learned from this PhD-cycle is that it's also big part luck. The prof in my department literally chose between two applicants with a coin flip. I was only interviewed and accepted by one place - which was my top choice anyway, while in the meantime having places in Europe trying to actively recruit me. But it never harms to try!
  23. Like
    FishNerd reacted to Adelaide9216 in Venting Thread- Vent about anything.   
    I'm working on my Vanier scholarship research proposal and it's quite challening I must admit. One of the persons that is helping me out with my research proposal is helpful (she's helped me with my proposals for MA SSHRC and MA FRQSC that I both got), but she seems to be unaware of my CV and credentials (I had a LOT of leadership roles and did a LOT of volunteering for the past 13 years of my life) and she seems skeptical about my ability to get the scholarship, precisely because she sees me like a "public personality" (those are the words she used) but appears to be unaware that I actually have undergraduate and graduate research experience as well. She's not one of my closest friends, but she's helpful in terms of challening me to make my research proposal stronger. I must give her that. However, her skepticism kinda bothers me because I know that I have a strong profile for it, even if I am still unsure if I'll get it. I am unsure, that's why I'm working on my 7th version since January and don't take it for granted.
    I don't like when people imply that I should not try at something just because something is hard or prestigious. If I thought that way, I would have never applied for SSHRC (that I got before my first year of study in my master's program) and FRQSC (got ranked 2nd in my category). I'm a hard worker and I've never been afraid of putting effort into things. I'm very motivated and perseverant and nobody should ever tell me that I should not give a shot a something (hence, a scholarship) just because it's prestigious and competitive. 
  24. Upvote
    FishNerd reacted to fuzzylogician in Using a class term paper for my thesis   
    Careful there. My advisors actually encouraged me to write on topics related to my research (qualifying papers, dissertation) for my class papers. The idea being that instead of spending some time researching and writing on something that I'll never touch again, I could use the time to work on stuff related to my research that would benefit me in the longer term. I've seen both undergraduate and graduate students develop class papers into a thesis all the time -- I've also advised and co-advised them myself -- and I wouldn't think about it twice. It's one of the most natural way to develop research topics at an early stage of one's career. 
    OP, I think you need to have this conversation with your advisor. It'd be very silly if you couldn't use these data and analyses from your class paper in your thesis, as they're directly related to the work. I would be surprised if they didn't let you use them. I don't know of any way to cite such work, as it's not published, but since we're talking about an internal document anyway, I think it's sufficient that your advisor/committee know where they came from. They may then decide that you need to do X amount of additional work, since this part wasn't originally developed for the thesis. But either way, this is something to be worked out directly with your advisor and committee, in consultation with any official rules and requirements on the thesis. 
  25. Like
    FishNerd reacted to Adelaide9216 in The Positivity Thread   
    I got free pizza today. Yum yum 
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