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Everything posted by fuzzylogician

  1. Concretely, two things: One: First year is often the hardest. It takes time to get used to juggling coursework and TAing along with research. The second semester is likely to be better, and second year will probably improve again because you'll likely have less coursework and you'll get better at managing your time. Have you tried talking to more advanced students about their experiences and how they handled the adjustment? Talk, specifically, to other international students who also had to handle adjusting to a new culture, climate, language, etc. This all takes time. It took me about a semester to start feeling acclimated into my PhD program and about a year before I actually understood what all was happening around me. I really started to enjoy myself some time in the second year, I would say. I can't promise that you'll be the same, but it might just be a matter of time for you, too, before you feel better adjusted and figure out how to make things work. At the very least, the few weeks you've been there couldn't possibly be enough to really have a sense of what your life might be like if you stay. Again, talking to more experienced students about how they make their situations work might help. Second: transferring is not usually that simple in grad school. More often than not, you'll essentially be reapplying and starting over from scratch. Many programs won't accept prior coursework, so you may have to redo that, too. That's something to look into. Also worth looking into -- is there a way to Master out of your current program? One way to leave without burning bridges is to get a Masters and reapply for a PhD at another school, stating fit as the reason you didn't stay in your current program. You'd be in a stronger position if you apply next year with one successful year under your belt and with letters from your current school, as opposed to this year, with just a few weeks into your program and presumably no support from your current school. It would, however, mean staying there longer (which I independently think you should do, by the way, as I stated above, to give it a real shot), so either way I think you need to start seeking help to learn to handle the stress. Less concretely, I've seen students get involved in unionizing; I am definitely not telling you not to, but the ones I've seen invested a whole lot of time into it, with not as many results, at least not for themselves and not immediately. If you do it, do it because you think it's the right thing to do in general, but it may not be the way to solve your own problems in the short run.
  2. So, is it possible for you to discreetly look into switching advisors/topics? Advisors can have a huge influence on your life, and not getting along with them can be very hard. I personally think that having good compatibility with your advisor is a *lot* more important than the particular project you're working on (as long as you're not totally bored with it). I'd opt for the seemingly less interesting topic with the great advisor over the awesome topic with meh advisor any day of the week. So I think the question is whether there is someone in your program who you get along with who could be that advisor for you. Since it sounds like you had a good undergrad experience, hopefully you have some idea of what works for you, and now you also have some idea as to what doesn't. Maybe that means just meeting with people or showing up at their lab meetings to see how they interact with students. If that option could exist, it could be worth looking into. If not, another option is perhaps Mastering out of your current program and applying for another PhD program, hopefully this time with a lot more emphasis on finding an advisor that's a good fit for you. That would prolong your time to stability, but would keep options open and it might be a way to get yourself out of the bad place you're in now. Either way, I think you need to change something, because staying in an unhappy situation for years is just not healthy.
  3. Paper Editing

    (this post is over two years old, no need to have a discussion here unless it's a new question/topic, in which case you should probably open a new thread.)
  4. To outline or not

    I use outlines for all major papers, projects, and presentations. I think it's crucial for planning and laying out your argument(s). It's the first step to imposing structure onto your ideas and starting to see if there's anything missing anywhere. Keeping everything in my head would be far too much, considering how many balls I hold in the air at any given time.
  5. Resources for CV writing

    Best advice: go on the websites of schools you're planning to apply to; find some webpages of current students, and look at their CVs. You'll get a good idea of the options that are out there. Also take a look at young faculty's CVs, but keep in mind that they may have more detailed CVs than you'll need starting out, which is why looking at beginning students might be the most directly helpful.
  6. Starting PhD...in 30s?

    If you were a colleague, I'd take you out to coffee and have a serious conversation with you about implicit bias and the obstacles I've encountered in my career that you probably don't even see. Since you're not, I'm going to simply hope that someone else will perform that service. Edit: Don't message me about this. I have exactly zero interest in having private conversations with oblivious men. I posted my comments for the silent majority that reads these posts, in the hopes that some of them will actually learn something, and for the women who might not feel empowered enough to interject themselves.
  7. Starting PhD...in 30s?

    This is my last post on this particular point because it seems like a waste of time and I didn't mean to derail the conversation. If you didn't know there was an issue and didn't mean offense, educate yourself, accept that there was something you didn't know, and don't try and defend it. All you had to say was "thank you, I didn't know that." I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you didn't mean anything by the original post, but your latest replies, @BunnyN and @samman1994, using a term I just told you some women find offensive and mansplaining why you think it's not? Please. I find it very telling that the original post in question had the poster referring to himself as an "old man" and his potential love interests as "younger females".
  8. Starting PhD...in 30s?

    It's sad funny just how many of these your post hits.
  9. I understand. Been through it, not quite on the other side yet, but getting there. Americans really have no clue how lucky they are. Here's what I think. Staying in a PhD program for 4+ years, then getting a postdoc or a job in academia (let's say another 2-3 years if you're very lucky until you get that first good job) just to get a chance at a green card seems like a big sacrifice to me. Keep in mind that if you do get an employment-based green card, the process itself could take another year from submission (and it takes months to put together the application), and you're then committed to staying in your profession for another five. That's a long time to be doing something you don't like. I really enjoyed my PhD program and I don't think I would have stayed if I didn't, because you have to be very successful to land those academic jobs that will allow you to stay in the States after you graduate, and sponsor an H1B or a green card. Those aren't some fallback plan that's any kind of guarantee; they're usually extremely competitive. If you're unhappy, you can't do good work, which will make it very hard to get those already scarce good jobs; and I'm not even talking about what it'll do to your mental and physical health. There's also the added complication that at least for the next 3 years, immigration laws are changing and getting a green card is getting more and more difficult. It's hard to see how you can trust that your sacrifice will pay off. I don't know anything about your field, but I think that if you've already decided academia isn't for you, then the next step is to spend time seriously researching other options. Maybe the jobs you want actually do require a PhD, but maybe they don't. And either way, you'll have different goals if you're getting a PhD with a plan to go into industry than academia, and that can help mitigate the adverse effects that your programs is having on your right now. Maybe you should be looking into internships to get yourself more practical experience; maybe you want to be doing some different networking than you've been doing so far. Or maybe you want to look into moving to Canada, which is much friendlier right now. So bottom line is that you need to be realistic but collect more information about your options. But since you're just starting your second year, committing to close to a decade of work you don't enjoy for a chance at something that's fairly unlikely to begin with isn't something I'd personally recommend. I'm sorry this isn't a more optimistic post.
  10. Starting PhD...in 30s?

    You might want to educate yourself about respecting women, yes. Why is it surprising that women want to be treated as human beings that have value beyond their reproductive organs?
  11. How to Redevelop Relationships with Advisors?

    I removed your other, 4-hour-old, basically identical question from the board. Please don't cross-post, certainly not this quickly. The short answer is that you simply write those professors who are potential writers and straightforwardly explain the situation. You can connect by meeting in person if possible, or on skype otherwise, and you can (and should) provide them with all the information you can that they could use to write a letter for you, assuming they agree. But before you do that, I would recommend reaching out to the ivy school in question and asking if it's possible to replace those letters they ask for with ones that are more current, since the letters you can get from professors will be from people who knew you at least 7 years ago. It's very possible that they'll be more interested in other, more current letters, either as supplements or replacements.
  12. Starting PhD...in 30s?

  13. Without knowing anything about particular philosophy programs, so take this with a grain of salt, a 4.5 isn't all that bad. You also have an excellent V score, which should help anyone who's concerned become unconcerned. If you have strong essays (language + content) and a good TOEFL score, plus recommenders who can explicitly say that your English is strong, I would think that you should do just fine. The GRE is usually one of those things that you just need to pass, and excelling doesn't help you much, but that always comes with potential caveats and exceptions. Overall, if you had to choose where to spend your time and energy, I'd recommend spending it on polishing your SOP and writing sample, not on retaking the GRE. I think you're very likely at the point of diminishing returns on that particular front.
  14. It's probably useful to figure out if admissions is rolling (decisions made as applications come in) or in one fell swoop at some point after the submission deadline. This varies by program and field, and since you didn't tell us anything about your field, it's hard to know. If decisions are made after the deadline, there's no advantage to submitting early. If they're made on a rolling basis such that there might be fewer open slots for those submitting late, there's more of an obvious reason to want to submit early. Another thing to consider is how important grades are compared to other application components. What else will they be basing their decision on, and how are you doing on those? If you have an otherwise very strong application and your grades exceed the required minimum, you might want to submit early. If you're borderline, you might want to wait for the better grades. It's hard to give you more specific advice than this, given how little we know.
  15. researching a disease you have

    This is not uncommon in (some parts of) psychology, I think. You need to be careful, though, to stay objective and also to allow yourself the opportunity to grow and change. There's a difference between what might spark an interest in a question for you, and how you then pursue it or define your research around it. You might benefit from reading portions of this document: http://psychology.unl.edu/psichi/Graduate_School_Application_Kisses_of_Death.pdf
  16. AdCom requires thesis, but I think it sucks

    Yes, but if asked to submit the thesis, that has a very clear meaning. It's not a polished and edited version three years after the fact, but the submitted version. I think it's totally fair to ask to submit a revised version given the time that's elapsed and the OP's language skills improvement (as was already stated above several times), but otherwise I don't think you get to submit a new version and pretend it's the old one. If you submit a revised version and declare it as such, you risk pissing off the committee for bending the rules. Might as well get permission.
  17. Gallaudet

    Hi there, Please don't cross-post the same question multiple times. I've removed your other posts. If you would like this remaining post to appear in another subforum, let me know and I can move it for you. To get more useful advice, you might want to ask a more specific question.
  18. Book Review as Publication?

    It's a publication. Not the most impactful one, but a publication nonetheless. Just make sure it's clear that this isn't a peer-reviewed research article, but a book review.
  19. Trouble getting onto this site?

    Yep, the site was down for some time yesterday, and a few days before that we had a version update. The former wasn't planned to my knowledge, but in any event it affected everyone, not any one particular user or group of users.
  20. Applying Without Right LoRs?

    Could it hurt your chances? Yes, it could. Will it hurt your chances? Harder to know, but to some extent, probably yes. At the very least, your letter writers probably won't be known to your readers, and their word might carry less weight. They might have a harder time comparing you to other (relevant) applicants, because they probably haven't placed that many students in Comm programs. They can't really speak directly to your ability to succeed in an Comm PhD program and perhaps it'd be harder for them to discuss the originality and relevancy of your research ideas since it's in a different field than their expertise. What can you do to mitigate the damage? Have explicit conversations with your letter writers, so they can write the most targeted letter possible. Make sure they understand what type of programs you're applying for (you don't want them writing they're sure you'll succeed in an Anthro PhD, for example). Make sure they also understand why you've switched your focus, and what in your current education and path has prepared you to undertake this kind of program. Talk about transferrable skills and traits, and connections between ideas and topics, as much as possible. Tel them about how you ended up with this plan of applying to Comm PhD programs with a degree in Anthro. Help them see how they can help you. There will be many things they can write about that will be relevant for Comm as well as Anthro, including your ability to come up with interesting ideas, your contributions in class, your writing skills, your presentation skills, how you get along with others in a group, your maturity and projected ability to see through a rigorous PhD program. Lots of students switch fields going for their PhD. It is possible to do so with letters from one's old field.
  21. AdCom requires thesis, but I think it sucks

    You could ask them about that, or about submitting something more recent. Absent their consent to do otherwise, send them what they asked for.
  22. Font Size on WS Opinions

    Page limits are good enough, as long as people don't try to cheat. OP, it's so amazingly obvious when a student fudges the font size or margins or spacing in their papers. Keep to the rules, you aren't any more special than any other applicant. If they want N pages, give them N pages.
  23. Which method should I choose?

    Well, you finish doing your homework -- reading up on the possible methods you could use -- and then you schedule a meeting with your advisor, you tell him what you've read so far and why you think that his suggestion isn't a good fit for your research question, and you ask him to explain again why he thinks that content analysis isn't the right choice. You try to come up with a precise game plan where you spell out the questions you want to ask and how your research methods will guide you to the answer. Through doing that it should become clear to both of you whether the path you're taking is sound or not. You listen to the words and the context. I don't know what you mean by "not respected within the institution" but that's important to understand, if you want to be taken seriously and get published.
  24. Resume Format help

    Look up the profiles of students at programs that you intend to apply to in order to get some inspiration that's relevant for you. There is more than one way to format a Resume (or CV).
  25. If you can't figure out how you're not privileged, one thing to think about writing about is how that's helped you in your life, and tie that into an understanding of how it might have affected other minorities not to have the same advantages. You can talk about how you are (or can be) an ally to those less privileged. Allies are so incredibly important when fighting discrimination; it can't just be the affected groups themselves fighting.