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LadyL last won the day on October 11 2010

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  1. Today I had my first experience as a graduate student where knowing more about a topic than a professor in one of my courses led to an academic etiquette quandary. Details obscured to protect egos. Let's call the course "Plant Nutrient Absorption Analysis." My advisor used to teach the course as he is a leading expert in plant analysis, but students felt his version of the course was too hard, so it was given to Professor Bob instead. Today we were covering a type of analysis that was invented by chemists but has been appropriated by many other fields, including plant biologists, geneti
  2. I planned on spending exactly six days waxing rhapsodic about the grand, profound decision I was making and that everyone was hanging on. I figured that would maximize the romance and drama. I was crushed on day four to have my process interrupted with the surprising reminder that it wasn't all about me. I really don't know where you're getting all this from but grad school as soap opera is actually kind of a fun literary style!
  3. First of all, you realize this thread is from last year's admission cycle, correct? Thankfully I am already in graduate school so advice on this matter no longer applies. I see that you are applying this cycle and I remember how stressful the process was. That said I don't think there's any need to imply that I am/was selfish and immature in my actions, or that I didn't put enough thought into it. You're making a bunch of assumptions that reflect more on you than they do on me IMHO. And FWIW I didn't spend "months making a decision" - I got an offer from this program in late March so I had
  4. I am in my first year of grad school after working in a lab for 3 years after undergrad. In my last lab, I ran myself into the ground trying to be a superstar. I was pretty successful at it - I helped us avoid getting the funding pulled on a multi million dollar grant whose progress had stalled. In order to do so I collected an unbelievable amount of data under ridiculous time constraints. The PI in the lab actually tried to promote me directly from Research Assistant to Research Associate because of my work but associates have to have a graduate degree and I only had a BA. The problem was
  5. Heh, no, but for weeks afterward my boyfriend and I used "inappropriate" at every opportunity - "This grocery list is inappropriate! That shirt is an inappropriate color to go with that sweater! INAPPROPRIATE!!!!1!!1!"
  6. The program in question was a neuroscience program. I don't think the problem has to do with any particular trait of psychologists. I didn't receive this sort of treatment from any of the 14 other programs I applied to, which were a mix of psychology and neuroscience programs. With a little more time in academia, you will probably be as sick of the "Biologists/engineers are all socially inept/aspergers cases" generalization as I am of "psychologists always over analyze everything."
  7. An update to my OP: Short version: The department's reaction to my request had high predictive value for their general attitude. After I was accepted, I was told that they abode by the April 15th deadline common at most schools. Two days before the deadline I got an email from the same administrator who'd called my request inappropriate, basically demanding an immediate answer from me and threatening to revoke my offer completely if I didn't respond in 24 hours. I immediately declined and thanked my lucky stars I had other, better offers. So, in my limited experience, a department that
  8. PM me if you want info on the lab. I think we are looking to take a student at some point in the future. I am familiar with imposter syndrome but I don't feel like I am actually unintelligent - just that I am out of my element and therefore challenged differently than I expected. Even in the hard classes I took in undergrad I mastered the material with enough practice. But the definition of "enough practice" then versus now is quite different! I can see that it will take months for some of this to absorb and that's an unfamiliar timeline for me. But I'm glad to hear this sounds normal to ot
  9. For the first time in my life I am genuinely overwhelmed by the content of the field I've chosen. I went from a standard neuroimaging lab to a highly interdisciplinary one that incorporates machine learning, computer science, multivariate statistics, and cognitive psychology. My understanding of machine learning is sub-101, computer science is maybe 200 level, multivariate stats maybe 300 level, and cog. psych is the only one where I feel I think at the graduate level. I am really flummoxed at how I am going to get up to speed on all these disciplines enough to integrate them. I am reading
  10. Yep, worked in a lab in my sub-field (neuroimaging).
  11. I think the content of your response was actually called for in the situation, though the tone was inappropriate. It is frankly insane for them to send you a rejection in September.
  12. Not getting into grad school seems like the end of the world. But it can truly be a blessing in disguise, as I've learned. It took me three rounds to get in but now I am in a program that's a great fit, and am glad about how things worked out. Here are some reasons why not getting in was a good thing for me: 1. I got to work in my field and gain professional experience. I got exposure to how the field actually works - grants, publications, department politics - which is a huge advantage going into a graduate program. 2. I came in with hands on skills. Because it had been my job to analyz
  13. I need some advice on how to not come off as/feel like a jerk. Basically the majority of the other first years in my program are fresh from MA programs, are living in the area/on their own for the first time, and are heavily in debt from undergrad and their MAs. Our first year stipend is lower than it will be in the later 4 years so there is much moaning and gnashing of teeth over money. The thing is, because I didn't get into grad school until my third round of apps, I had three years working in the field after undergrad, during which I squirreled away a respectable nest egg. Also, I do
  14. This. $700+ a month for on campus housing is insane. I've lived in three of the most expensive states for rent in the country (MA, RI and now NJ) and only in Boston did I pay that much (for my half towards a 2 bdrm apartment with a roommate). I know people who've lived with roommates in NYC for less than that. Unless there are serious extenuating circumstances I would definitely look into housing alternatives.
  15. I don't know much about Umass' program. If it is reasonably comparable to Suffolk (class size, professor access, etc.) I would choose that to minimize debt. However I did go to Suffolk for undergrad and enjoyed my experience. The small class size and involved advisers were key to my success there. A coworker of mine did an MA in public policy there and was working at the state house at the time; my understanding is that the ties to the state house and local businesses are good. May not be as important to you if you don't plan on staying in the area long.
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