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Meraki

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  1. In terms of vocabulary, you will pick up on words that particular fields like to use by reading more of the literature. I'm not just talking about jargon; I've definitely seen particular phrases and words that seem favored by a field. For example, the fields of psychology and organizational behavior talk about "organizations" while economics and strategy talk about "firms" when discussing businesses (simple example but the more you read, the more you will pick up on such preferences). I agree that using a thesaurus is not always helpful, nor is using the biggest and most complicated words. You run the risk of confusing your audience if they're unfamiliar with the word or if you use it incorrectly in a sentence. Being clear and concise is more important. Furthermore, it is the content of your writing that will impress your faculty - the strength of your arguments, the level of research you did on a topic, and the unique insights you bring to the discussion. No list of "impressive words" can independently accomplish this.
  2. Meraki

    Transcription of qualitative interviews - which program?

    I believe it took me an average of about 4 hours to transcribe one 1-hr interview. My times varied somewhat depending on how clearly and how quickly the informants spoke, but I think 48 hours is a reasonable estimate of time.
  3. I'm not sure how much of a height difference you need, but can you find a thick mat to stand on? They make anti-fatigue mats, but they're usually thin (~1"); there may be some other type of mat that is a little thicker. Of course, you want to be sure that whatever you're using is safe (not so small that you'll trip off of it while working). I probably wouldn't recommend something more than 2" for safety reasons. Since you already have the initial disability set-up out of the way, it might not take as long to fix the desk issue. I would ask if you could get one of the adjustable stand-up desks that are placed on top of a regular desk. This way you can raise it only as high as you need it and you shouldn't face any more height issues. I'm not sure if this would be cheaper or more expensive than a stand up desk, depending on the quality of the desk they gave you, but it's worth exploring whether they'd cover that option. At the very least, I would try to work it out with them before quitting. Worst case scenario, they can't accommodate and you leave.
  4. Meraki

    Impact of school disciplinary action?

    If there is no criminal record of any kind, typical employer background checks would not pick up on this incident. Reference checks, on the other hand, might. Consider how young you may have been, and what the circumstances of the situation were. The amount of time lapsed between that incident and an employer review will matter (e.g., did it happen last year, or five years ago? Were you 19 years old, or 27?), as will your honesty about the situation. If you have had a good record since (no similar incidents), good recommendations, and otherwise demonstrate that that behavior was a one-off situation years ago, I wouldn't expect it to be a big issue for future employers (keep in mind that I don't know the severity of the incident, but I'm assuming it's not something that should have resulted in criminal charges). Of course, school applications typically ask more specific questions about previous institutional records, so it may be discovered and considered more heavily than a non-academic employer. Either way, if you are asked in an interview, or at any point about the situation, you want to demonstrate that you know the behavior was wrong and have learned from the situation so that it will not happen again (assuming this accurately reflects your thoughts on the situation). If you do not disclose the incident when prompted on a required form and an employer or school finds out, this demonstrates that you did not learn from the situation, are dishonest, or possibly willing to do something similar again; this will likely cause some problem. I know you stated you were honest on your form, but I wanted to emphasize that for other readers who might be in a similar situation. Honesty is the best policy, and is the only way to ensure that this situation doesn't bite you in the butt later on if it is discovered. If you lose a job offer because of it, that is better than receiving a job offer/school acceptance and having the offer revoked later on when the truth comes out. At this point, I would not stress about that which you cannot control. Just do what you have to, fill out all forms and answer all questions completely and honestly, and accept what may come.
  5. Meraki

    Lack of autonomy

    I don't think anyone has taken your dignity away. That is your own perception of your self worth combined with prior expectations that are not being met, and no one can tell you if this path is worth it because our values will differ. This student may be exceptional. They may be the advisor's relative or child of a family friend. Who knows. But I think an open and honest conversation with your advisor is the best way forward, and this conversation needs to be about your development, not what you have to do for an undergrad or how uninspired you are by current tasks. This is work. You're all colleagues in a sense. Your advisor is your boss. You need to approach this as I and some of the others suggested, not mentioning "how you tick" or feeling belittled by undergrads. That's something you vent to friends and family. And it's natural to feel that way. But how you handle it in the workplace - your lab, and with your advisor - requires a different motivation and approach.
  6. Meraki

    Lack of autonomy

    I dont think it's wrong to feel belittled by that experience, but your educational experience will be more pleasant if you do not compare it to that of your peers' and instead try to focus on your own development. There are likely things going on that you are unaware of that are causing those things to happen for your peers, and it may have nothing to do with you and your skills. I know that can be hard given how you feel right now, but trust me, it makes things easier in the long run when you're not always comparing yourself to others.
  7. Meraki

    Lack of autonomy

    I suspect this can be program and even advisor specific. However, since OP is funded by a grant, it is expected that they contribute to work that is being funded - that's what they're being paid for. However, at some point, the OP will need to develop a project for their dissertation, and if they are nearing that point and not getting the training and guidance necessary to conduct an independent study, it could delay completion of the program. It also seems that other students in the same lab did not have the same experience as the OP, suggesting that the issue may be something pertaining specifically to the OP's relationship with the advisor, or perhaps that OP is funded by a grant and not the department, unlike their peers. The OP needs to figure out what the issue is and how to cope with and make the best of it. I agree that getting other faculty involved at this point may not be the best course of action. And I do agree that it is possible to find ways of motivating oneself when doing mundane or undesirable tasks. I think having an open conversation with the advisor about their expectations and asking for clarification on what needs improving is best. Particularly, I would ask for a conversation about my progress in the program so it is clear the meeting is not to discuss the current projects, but to discuss my development. It is possible that this is just not a good advisor-student pairing, but unless you're able to change labs, going to superiors or other faculty before exhausting other options may not make the situation better. Getting advice from them is one thing, but other faculty trying to influence your advisor could make for an awkward experience. In the meantime, I would take Sigaba's advice to keep pushing through your current projects, find ways to brighten the experience, make a game or competition of it somehow...something. You still need to demonstrate your skills and worthiness and these are the only options to do so at this current moment.
  8. Meraki

    Recruiting participants on social media

    I would normally say this is not a problem; however, if my memory serves me well, you are studying a population of people with a specific experience that they may not want others to know about - is this correct? For example, if you're studying survivors of domestic or sexual abuse, I could see it being a problem if people are tagging friends who have been abused because they're essentially calling them out. I can't say for sure how I would handle that. Tagging doesn't mean that person is participating, but still invades their privacy in some way. I assume nothing was addressed by your IRB regarding this matter? Do you have a faculty member you can ask who might have recruited in such a way?
  9. Meraki

    Lack of autonomy

    I agree with BabyScientist. I may be wrong, but it sounds like you're waiting for permission or his assistance to help you develop your own project, based on your discussion with him. I would expect to develop my own idea, take it to my advisor, and discuss it from there. If you have not taken the initiative to do this before now, it is time to start carving out some time to develop your own project. This is how you will prove your creativity and skills and get your advisor interested in something you find interesting. It will also help break up some of the monotony of your current projects, which may help freshen your perspective on them and actually move them forward more than if you keep beating your head against the desk waiting for a breakthrough to come.
  10. For those of you working in the social sciences that require human participants for survey, field, or experimental studies, I'm curious how you initially connected with your samples? I know the most common routes are through our advisors' networks, using our own network, or using undergrads, but I'm wondering what other strategies have worked well for others who had no prior connections with their desired samples? My particular field is organizational psychology, but I'd be happy to hear suggestions that are not specific to organizational samples as they might spark some other ideas. How did you approach your prospective sample and gain their trust and interest in participating? I have a sample population in mind, but I have no connections (and neither do any of my faculty), so I'm trying to decide how I should approach the organization, or perhaps finding a different sample that will allow me to explore the same research question.
  11. Meraki

    Teamwork gone awry

    I assume if she's busy with your parts, then she's not getting her own parts done and that will reflect poorly on her in the long run. Maybe ask how she's doing with her parts and then ask if she needs any assistance herself. Let her know you've noticed the work she's contributed to your parts and that you appreciate the help, but that you all need to keep moving ahead with your own parts and you're wondering if she needs help. Since she has been doing this for a while and you've not voiced concern before, I wouldn't be accusatory, but politely draw the line. If she does not respond well or keeps trying to do your work, be a little more blunt. I'm not sure this requires immediately going to your advisor since you've not even tried discussing with her first, as that would blind side her and could damage trust and collaboration if it's not handled well. Maybe she's really struggling with her own parts and just wants to be able to contribute something. I wouldn't assume malice or anything else until you've spoken with her and see what happens from there.
  12. Meraki

    Embarrassing incident at prof's house

    Well, his comment to you was extremely inappropriate because he acknowledged seeing your "bits" well enough to comment on how they looked. I'm sure it was not said intentionally as a suggestion of anything, but rather out of extreme discomfort without thinking it through (probably trying to make you feel better about it) but it was inappropriate none the less. He's probably concerned about that. It also signals that there is still quite a bit of awkwardness in the air, and since you don't have a strong enough relationship with him to know his sense of humor, I would not do anything silly and just be professional until you get a sense of what the meeting is about and the tone of the conversation.
  13. My advice is not to disclose immediately; unfortunately, there is a lot of stigma and misunderstanding surrounding mental health, so I suggest that you get to know your advisor a bit and build a relationship with them first. Let them get to know you and form an opinion based on your personality, knowledge, and skills, not your health. Of course, if you run into a situation where your health requires attention and it is affecting your performance, you may need to disclose something a little sooner than desired, such as mentioning that you have a health condition that you are managing. How much you choose to disclose may depend on your advisor's personality and your relationship with them. Some advisors are strictly business and don't want to know much about it, some might look negatively at the situation, and others might be quite open to discussing it and providing support. Since you don't know how they'll respond, I would not go into a lot of detail when you first disclose. If you feel comfortable and believe it is necessary or desirable later in your relationship, you can disclose more. This way you can "test the waters" to get a feel for their level of support. That being said, my first suggestion is to speak with your school's HR/disability office. This way your situation is documented but confidential in that you don't need to worry about potential discrimination from the department, unless you choose to share with them. However, some people develop close relationships with their advisors and there may be times where it's preferable to discuss. I think this will really come down to your own intuition and preference for the situation. If you choose to disclose, you can jot down a few things you'd like to share, sleep on it, and make sure you're still comfortable with the level of disclosure the next day. Practice the conversation in advance. Then choose the right moment when you're feeling comfortable and you know you will have adequate time to discuss with your advisor. Keep in mind that although mental illness is more common than it is discussed in academia, advisors aren't always prepared to respond appropriately when learning about a student's personal situation, especially if it comes out of the blue (i.e., there's no performance issue to serve as an indicator). If the conversation doesn't seem to go well, know that they may need time to process and decide how to respond and support you. I think most advisors really do care about their students and want to help them succeed.
  14. Meraki

    Got my research project "destroyed" by committee

    I would expect anyone who has done a case study to be fairly knowledgeable about the organization without considering them to be a spokesperson for the organization. It’s part of being a good researcher, in my opinion. But if you’re concerned, you can do as Psygeek recommended and state that you cannot speak on behalf of the organization, but your opinion is...xyz. Practice a few responses to anticipated questions in advance so that it flows smoothly during the presentation.
  15. Meraki

    Anyone else having a tough time apartment hunting?

    Have you reached out to the current students, especially first and second years who recently went through the process themselves? They may have insights as to the best places to look. I would also see if the apartment complexes you're interested in will take your name and call you if an opening comes up; sometimes they have short-notice vacancies, or a "rented" apartment may become available if the tenant doesn't pass a background check.
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