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UnlikelyGrad last won the day on September 28 2011

UnlikelyGrad had the most liked content!

About UnlikelyGrad

  • Rank
    Latte Macchiato
  • Birthday February 18

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  • Interests
    environmental chemistry esp. soil stuff
    reading, classical music, puzzles
    science education
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Ph.D. Geochemistry

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  1. I don't normally like jewelry--unless it involves very pretty rocks. (NOT diamonds.) Too much temptation in the vendor hall. My poster session is done and I've been to all the sessions I want, so just having fun from here on out.
  2. Meeee! If I haven't been on a lot lately, it's because I'm trying to whip my data into some semblance of shape. I am doing a poster on Wednesday morning. eta: I have family in the Bay Area too, and a gazillion friends (I lived there for over a decade). And my sister is presenting at the same conference! Whee! This is gonna be fun!
  3. I met a number of grad students last year who were former teachers, so it's not at all uncommon. I had serious doubts about my ability to get into grad school too--I'd been a stay-at-home mom for years when I applied--but what it came down to was the ability to put the right spin on things. Obviously, I can't guarantee that you'll get in, but I'd bet that you have a better chance than you think. You never know until you try, right? As for the whole kids-and-depression thing: I've totally been there, done that. It is doable. I'm not saying it's easy--it isn't--but it is doable. I ha
  4. I never make myself impossible to identify (I've certainly linked to things with my own name on my blog) but I do attempt to make it impossible to reverse-Google: i.e. when I go to get a job, and an employer Googles my own name, he/she won't find my blog, or anything on this site, or whatever. I talk about other people pseudonymously for the same reason: don't want people Googling my advisor and then telling her, "Hey, did you know that one of your grad students blogs about you?" (Although she would probably find my pseudonym for her very, very amusing.) So I'm sure you found my sister.
  5. InquilineKea--she did her BS at the University of Washington. Isn't that where you went too? Being pseudonymous, I try not to give out info on where she actually teaches right now, so I will just say that it is one of the top state schools in the coutnry. She's not much into predictive modeling--more into the lab/fieldwork side of things--so maybe things are different on her side of the arena.
  6. Absolutely not. My sister is a prof and she likes to make jokes about people who think this sort of letter is appropriate. I don't care if they are your second family: you don't have family write letters of recommendation, period.
  7. I don't have young children, but rather teens (who honestly eat up more time than babies in some ways). Time management is critical, as mentioned above--but also finding an advisor who believes in work/life balance. Luckily my advisor had her daughter right as she was going up for tenure (!!!) and knows that a certain amount of flexibility is necessary for being successful on both fronts.
  8. Uh...my sister (the one who got the Hertz) is a tenured professor who does research related to climate change. It is a 'hot' field right now. Hot enough that, even with all her funding, my sister can afford to be very particular about which grad students she takes...she turns down a lot and still has a fairly large group. I don't know how NSF groups applicants, sadly...otherwise I might have had more of a shot at it myself.
  9. I guess it kind of depends how you do it. If you have a packet of papers with their name written on it, then yes, that is presumptuous. If you have a generic packet w/o their name, it might be OK. I personally went for the "bring-it-by later" approach, but I didn't arrange a meeting. I just swung by during their next office hours (because hardly anyone ever goes to office hours, so I knew they were free), handed them the packet, and then thanked them effusively for offering to write my letters.
  10. Eh...my sister got the Hertz (in an extremely interdisciplinary field; she actually does climate stuff as well). She did not go to a name-brand school for her undergrad. Granted, it is not unknown, but not Harvard or Yale or MIT caliber. She also got an NSF fellowship. As far as picking the field goes, try not to pick the field in which climate change researchers function. It's supposedly very competitive. Aside from that, I don't have much input, sorry.
  11. Sorry, haven't been here much in recent months (have been in just enough to do moderator duties and haven't read through new posts) and am just now seeing this. I had depression for many years before starting grad school. Nice thing about being depressed in grad school: free counseling through the student counseling center! Eventually I was referred to a specialist (but the school still covers most of the cost) and put on anti-depressants. Anyway, I have blogged quite a bit about this. http://unlikelygrad.wordpress.com/category/depression/
  12. I'm trying to decide if my friend John would do it. He has experience in editing for businesses (and has even taught business writing), but I'm not sure he's ever done a Powerpoint before. You can contact him and ask. http://www.practicalenglish.biz/
  13. Define "affordable"!! It's Silicon Valley so nothing is cheap. But compared to San Francisco it's probably not too bad. I'm a little behind the times (haven't lived there for 3 years now) but odds are pretty good that you'll want to get a roommate--it's pretty expensive there.
  14. My department (chemistry) does lots of materials science research. So I have lots of peers who do research that might be found in a materials program, but would rather have their degree officially say "chemistry" for some reason or another. I also have peers who started in chemistry and transferred to our school's materials science program without a hitch... So I don't think a chemistry background will necessarily be a hold-up for you. Do try to maximize the number of related courses you take (e.g. as much inorganic chemistry as possible, surface chemistry if you can, etc.)
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