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wtncffts last won the day on April 17 2013

wtncffts had the most liked content!

About wtncffts

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    North of the 49th
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  • Program
    Political Science
  1. Vancouver, BC

    There are a few hostels downtown if you're comfortable with shared rooms. I don't recall any of them being around Westin Bayshore (I used to work right across the street) but downtown Vancouver is very walkable and has great transit, especially in the city. I'd second all the suggestions made earlier. The hotel is pretty much next to Stanley Park: depending on the weather and your interests, going from the hotel around the seawall (you can rent various modes of transportation, check out: http://www.bayshorebikerentals.ca/) to English Bay is always amazing. Granville St has a lot of bars and clubs and gets pretty crazy weekend nights: not my thing but if you're into it. What else might be of interest depends on the kinds of things you like to do. Man, I miss Vancouver.
  2. This may or may not be helpful, but the status of my SSHRC was updated in the 'student centre' well before graduate studies actually notified me. Might want to check if there's some sort of information on whatever your online student portal is.
  3. Perhaps you already know this, but SSHRC posts all the competition statistics: http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/results-resultats/stats-statistiques/index-eng.aspx
  4. Am I Doing it all Wrong?

    Obviously you'd know better, but I'd tend to doubt that most of your classmates actually read every word of the book. I don't know anyone in my program who does that, except for some (very rare) occasions when there's enough time. I suspect some of your classmates are just very good at 'skimming', and getting enough to be able to at least have some thoughts about all parts of the book. I don't have classes any more, but when I did I'd often quick-read most or all of the chapters, and then pick a number of them, by interest or importance, to closely read; that way at least you're well prepared to contribute when the discussion moves that way (and I've gotten pretty good at steering discussions as well, which is also a skill).
  5. Best time for the annual vacation

    The answer has to depend on specific circumstances and programs, what kind of commitments you have, etc. I'm in a social science - I don't have things like lab commitments or whatnot and can theoretically do my work from anywhere (though I prefer being around the university). Ever since my MA I've gone home (across the country to Vancouver) twice a year, at christmas and summer, usually earlier in the summer (May-June). This past summer I spent June and much of July at home, though part of that was for attending a conference. This sort of thing also should be worked out with one's supervisor, obviously. And, of course, it depends on how much you miss home... I don't know about internships because that's not a part of my program; people spend the summers working on research, doing fieldwork, going to methods schools, sometimes teaching, and taking time off, definitely. Again, it might be different in comp sci, but here (both in my dept and by how quiet the campus is in summer) the faculty are mostly gone during the summer as well, so it's actually less of an opportunity to 'get to know' them. They're much more likely to be around when classes are in session.
  6. How many ta-ships are we granted?

    Yes. This. You have a right to know the process and the rules for distributing TAships. Set up a meeting with the graduate program director and/or the administrative person in charge of the graduate program. You don't have to mention other students if you don't want to appear resentful, just ask for clarification about the process. And you should definitely check with your TA union if you have one; if you're in a union, your collective bargaining agreement should spell out how much you're 'allowed' to work and what you should be paid.
  7. What do you keep in your office space?

    Interesting question! I have, well, a ton of books - they fill the desk shelf and three or four stacks of books on the desk surface. Decorations - I have a few souvenirs that friends have given me from places they've visited, some leftover christmas ribbon (decorating my desk with lights was awesome!), a photo of my dog from home, the 'good luck' note from my comps defense, some research-related index cards, a printout of a Kurt vonnegut quote, and a piece of the score of Dvorak's ninth symphony. And in my drawers - a ton of old crap (I have a bit of a hoarding problem, I guess). There's a fridge and bookshelves in my office, but they're not mine, so I rarely use them.
  8. Guilt is preventing me from TAing (no joke!)

    First, is this still UBC for the PhD? I'd think there would be some form of guaranteed funding. Second, yes, TAing is great experience and something that should be done if you're pursuing an academic career. Third, I don't sympathize with your guilt at all, sorry. You're going into a PhD program; you should be mature enough to be financially independent if you wanted to be.
  9. Do TA's buy the books or are they provided?

    I've never had to return them before. Geez, for the work we do and how much we're paid, you'd think a free text isn't that much to ask...
  10. Should I end my life?

    No, as everybody's been saying. I know that it's easy to say this from where we are, and I wouldn't pretend to know how you're feeling (though I have had quite depressing moments myself). All I can say is that you're understandably caught up in your own circumstances and can't see outside of those narrow confines, but there's a whole big world out there that you're not seeing. If you're not happy with yourself, going to grad school isn't going to do it for you. Not to mention, if you hang around these or similar boards long enough, you know grad school is not a picnic. There are so many opportunities out there, and you're really driven and passionate about what you want to do, there will always be something out there. You don't need a graduate degree to be a travel blogger, or to work for a nonprofit. Although I agree with the above that you still have chances to get into grad school, I don't want to reinforce the thinking that you need to do that to be happy. Life is way, way, way more than school and grades and these narrow institutional hoops that we all love and dread.
  11. What Happened To Pol Sci Job Rumors?

    http://www.poliscirumors.com/ Haven't really checked it out, don't know how much better it is. Though anything would be an improvement.
  12. Switching schools for PhD after MA - Canada

    I'm a little unsure what you're asking. Unless your program is unique in this regard (or maybe something specific to psychology), master's and PhD degrees are completely separate, with separate applications. It's not unusual at all to do your PhD at a different school than the one at which you did your master's degree. In fact, off the top of my head every PhD student I can think of in our program did their MA elsewhere. If you feel that another program would be a better long-term fit for you, and the place where you want to do your PhD, then by all means you should apply there. What makes your current PI think that you're planning to also do your PhD there? If you've told them that explicitly, then you probably should discuss the reasons why you've changed your mind, though you don't have to frame it in terms of being dissatisfied with your current program. I'd also be a little wary of assuming there's a guaranteed PhD spot, unless you've been told so directly. Unless the grad committee at your school isn't playing fairly, to my knowledge all PhD applications are assessed by the committee and ranked, regardless of where they're from - it would be unfair IMO if a faculty member had the kind of pull to guarantee a spot to someone.
  13. Top books

    A couple things. First, in terms of 'classics' also look at the 'Columbia School' studies, which posited a model of vote choice to which the American Voter people were responding. Look up Berelson and Lazarsfeld, The People's Choice and Voting. Also, the 'updates' to the American Voter work: New American Voter and American Voter Revisited.
  14. I think that if they're asking for both, and describe the content of the personal statement in that way, it's perfectly legitimate to express the personal sources of your research interests. Everyone's right that there's a fine line between being "touchy-feely" and not. One thing that might help is to try to express your background and life experience in positive terms, and not like you're airing grievances or trying to be emotionally manipulative (not saying that's what you were doing in the OP). If they're asking for both, I take it to mean they're asking two separate questions: The first is: what will you be like as a researcher? Are you, to put it bluntly, intellectually competent? Do you know (something about) what you want to study and how to study it? Do you have the background knowledge or experience? etc. The second is really asking what you're like as a person and your motivations, your drive, etc. This is important not only to the culture of the program but to their assessment of how well you'll do in grad school, as I'm sure you know, getting through grad school is about a lot more than just how smart you are. 95% of it is persistence, the ability to learn from failure, working hard, especially with not much short-term gain, etc. All of that is really about you as a person. Someone can have a sterling academic record but be a total "flake" who'll collapse at the first sign of adversity.
  15. How to choose research interest

    I think the person you're replying to here meant different universities. As in, find universities where the political science department has a Russian specialist or two.