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ogopo

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About ogopo

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    Double Shot

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    Female
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    Canada

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  1. ogopo

    Madison, WI

    If you already have a car, I would bring it. I don't have a car and I often feel either trapped or like a mooch, always asking my friends for rides. If all you're doing is going between campus, downtown and home it's not a big deal but if you play sports, want to go into the wilderness or want to find cheaper grocery stores, having a car to get out to those places would be useful. If you want to live downtown, parking can be expensive or a hassle. Make sure that when you are looking for homes, that you figure out what the parking situation is. There are a few diamonds in the rough that have free off-street parking. Street parking is possible but can be a pain, especially in the winter when there is alternate street parking to accommodate snow plowing.
  2. ogopo

    Madison, WI

    Hey Spinach, There are a ton of co-ops in Madison. I have never lived in one but I have several friends that have. Everything I have heard from my friends has been positive. The one seeming drawback is that it is hard to find privacy but I imagine that would be a problem in a co-op in any city.
  3. ogopo

    Madison, WI

    It is going to be difficult to live off of that amount of stipend, but not impossible. I had a roommate who only got about $9000 and she said that she was able to survive without dipping into her savings. She really didn't so anything except stay in her room and read and write all day everyday, and as far as I'm concerned, that's no way to live a life. There are options for cheap living, like living in a co-op or living further from downtown/campus. Several of my labmates bike. Some of them stop biking when it gets really cold but others just keep going by dressing warmly and using winter bike tires. Also, the main bike paths are plowed when it snows. Otherwise, the bus system is pretty good and you get a bus pass as part of your segregated fees. Overall, I enjoy Madison and I'm happy to be here. The lack of diversity is a bit of a problem for me but I think it's ok for now.
  4. I agree, some professors need constant reminding. In the meantime, if you have extra time, it's not a bad idea to work on another draft and send it to him. My guess is that he hasn't read anything yet (if he had, he would email you, right?)
  5. That sounds like fun! It's almost like a blind date! Do you have a place in mind?
  6. My department orientation is on the 31st, before the grad school one. I guess it would be good to attend. See you there?
  7. What about a middle-ground? You could go to another Canadian public university that has a better reputation than Calgary. That way, you still save money but have a better education.
  8. I am moving away from my SO of four years, and we plan on being apart for two years. After two years he is supposed to join me in the Midwest. Currently he has an amazing job that is a great foot in the door for his career so he has to make a positive impact there before he can move. Although I am very excited about my new lab and I'm even excited about the city I'm moving to, in this last week before I move, I am more sad and anxious about leaving him. I feel like we will be ok. We have plans already for when we will see each other and we have plans for talking daily on the phone but I can't help but feel sad. The fortunate thing is that he is not in academia. He is an engineer and should not have difficulty finding work most anywhere. So down the road, we won't have to worry as much about trying to find work in the same city.
  9. I have an awesome backpack from MEC (Canadian company) that I use on a daily basis to carry my lap top. I also have a little purse that I keep at my desk for when I want to run out for lunch or coffee, so I don't have to take everything. No one cares anyway what you look like at my school. I feel like my new school will be the same. Perhaps it's just me but it doesn't take long for my shoulders or back to start hurting if I have just a shoulder bag. The worst was during undergrad when I would have textbooks, rugby boots and gear, and shower gear all in a large one-strapped rugby bag. I loved that thing but it was terrible for me. I had to carry it around all day two days a week. And of course, in undergrad there's no office to stash your things in.
  10. Yeah... I'm leaving on the 21st and I'm still writing. I will actually have to fly back to defend sometime in September. I have told my new advisor about this and he's ok. I just hope they don't kick me out of my new program :/
  11. I am definitely freaking out. I'm also leaving behind my SO, a close family, great friends and a city I love. AND I have to finish my masters thesis before I leave in 15 days. I'm also worried because I will be quite poor when I move. Although I will be going from masters to PhD, rather than straight from undergrad, I still have weird anxieties that I'm not cut out for this. I've already experienced imposter syndrome for much of my masters.. I hope it doesn't take over again for the PhD. I'm hoping though that these anxieties will all go away once I actually move.
  12. I use google docs, specifically the spreadsheet, which resembles excel. This worked really well when there was another TA I was working with and we could access and update the spreadsheet anytime we wanted. If you want to let your students see their grades, you could send them the spreadsheet too, but give them "read only" access and obviously use their student numbers rather than their names. I have no idea what we will be using at my new school but I loved using google docs!
  13. Seems like reading style varies considerably depending on the subject of study. As a biologist, I do a whole lot of skimming. I go the abstract, graphs (only if they are clear) and discussion route. If their conclusions seem strange I go back through their methods and results. If I am having a hard time understanding the paper then I will read in introduction and go through the paper again in order. I find that it is easier to get the key points from a paper if I skim. I find that if I read it from beginning to end, I get lost or bored. I also don't make a lot of notes, which is probably to my detriment but I use the program Papers, which is awesome and super helpful. It's very easy to do full-text searches of all of my papers to find those that might be relevant to a topic I am thinking or writing about.
  14. *sigh* We're spoiled in Canada. Here, if you make less than $20K (depending on the province, I'm underestimating) you pay no tax. Not to mention all of the additional deductions you get for being a student, buying a bus pass, etc. It will be tough moving to the US. At least my cost of living will be lower and my stipend will be higher.
  15. I think that everyone here seems to agree that there is a lot of variability when it comes to integration (for lack of a better word). It varies from region to region (Midwest to East Coast, for example), the country that the international student is coming from (it's pretty hard to stick to your group if you're the only one from your home country) and personalities. I think some individuals just find it easier to transition to a new culture or environment than others. And I definitely think that the place you go to makes a difference. There are places where there are large groups of people from a particular region and it is much easier to stick to your own group. I think that if you are an international student and you make a point of getting involved with the locals, then there are not huge barriers. And I think that the grad school environment is more accepting of international students because there are a lot more of them and because people are more mature. You will have to interact to discuss your research and such, so you will already have a foot in the door. This differs from undergrad where everyone can afford to stick to themselves more.
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