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Posts posted by kaister

  1. It's the damn job that's mostly holding me back. Which is so crazy, because I never even knew of the possibility of this job, it just popped up out of nowhere. The problem with the job is that they specifically look for someone for a 2-year commitment because of the training process. I personally, don't think it looks to be a difficult job (but what do I know, I've only shadowed a bit so far), but that's how they seem to want to do it. I definitely don't want to burn bridges in the department, and it could be a great letter if I did the job, so the thought of leaving mid-way, would probably not sit well with them. 

  2. What are people's thoughts on doing the last year of PhD (ABD) remotely? I know it's something feasible for my field (social psych) as most of the experiments I run can be done online, and the rest would be writing and preparing apps at that stage. Most of all my collaborators are also remotely from my current location, so that wouldn't affect much. The only thing I would miss is just being in lab and having that collaborative environment, etc. Also something that is motivating this decision is to hold together my current LDR. If I continued my PhD as planned, it would be 2.5 years of LDR in my situation. Cutting it down to 1.5 would be a lot more feasible. I'm just not sure if it's worth it or not and struggling with the decision. I don't want to sacrifice my career, but if doing something this small (1 year sacrifice) could help to salvage a potentially life-changing relationship, then wouldn't it be worth it?

    I'm also in a bit of a pinch because I've been offered a GA position (doing clerical type work; not research) that lasts for 2 years. If I take it, then I would have good funding for my last few years of PhD, if I don't, I may be strapped to find that next year of funding. I need to make a decision on this fairly soon. 

    What are people's thoughts on last year of PhD remotely? Is this too huge of a sacrifice?

    Also to clarify, my partner would be free and willing to move once I complete my PhD (so there will be no two-body issue then, it's just he is on a contract now and is unable to leave now).

  3. Yep that's true.


    Furniture, yeah options are limited. Depends how pricey you want to go. Target is a good option for smaller cheaper things. There are big name stores like Ashley Furniture or HomeWorld...

    Other than that, check craigslist or there are some discount furniture places that sell used hotel furniture, etc. that are reasonable and decent.

  4. Yes I know people sublet, however to the extent that it's a formal situation all the time? No. But for most people it works out.


    A lot of people bike to campus. I don't know about 10 miles away though...you gotta remember this is Hawaii, 10 miles is pretty far out in the scope of things.


    I think you'd be able to find a decent priced place around campus, maybe 2-4 miles away. Definitely bike-able. 

  5. I'm currently in HI. Craigslist is unfortunately going to be your best bet...


    You may have to come here and stay at a hotel or hostel for a week while you find a place. That is if you want to see the place before you sign for it, which is recommended. Things turnover here really quickly and most postings on craigslist are for in the immediate future, so it makes planning really difficult unfortunately...

  6. Anyone have experience with running SPSS on MBA? I have had issue with regressions taking ages to run on Mac Book pro 2010, especially if running other programs. Will 128 be enough or should I go for more?


    I have SPSS on my MBA. It works perfectly fine. Mines is only 128 gb.

  7. Hi there, I was in a MT program for a year before I quit, but I may have some experience and advice that may help you.


    What is it about a psych PhD that you want so badly? I find it's so completely different from the MT world. MT is completely clinically based, it's all practice. While you do read about research it is weighed waaay less than a psych phd. If you like the practicing notion and learning instruments, song interventions, etc. then it may be a good fit. But if you're expecting to do music related clinical research, it's less likely. They're not built for that, maybe more so in the masters (and phd level), but still the ultimate goal is for you to go out and practice your craft. Psych phd on the other hand is very research focused, and depending on what area you want to go in (clincial?) it will be different. Clinical phd (from what I know from my colleagues) will give you experience and chances to go out in the field and work with people, however, it will still be more research based. A psych phd will be less focused in music. I almost went into a cognitive program focusing on music cognition. There are a few routes you can go for researching "music" in psychology. Cognitive, neuroscience, some interdisciplinary programs do exist. It is tricky to get your foot in the door to music related research in psych because it is a smaller topic area, and you will have to be creative on how to get there. Often times there is not a research who purely does music research (that's what a musicologist does lol), so often they will have interests in audiology or some cognitive mechanism and then it relates slightly to music as well. Of course there are the few big names out there, but other then that it is a little scarce.


    TLDR; you need to figure out what exactly you want to do after graduating because these degrees will give you different things. What is it about music you like? What part of it do you want to incorporate in your future job? Do you like practicing and working with people? Or are you interested in research and the mechanisms behind music, therapy, etc. There are PhDs in music therapy, which may combine a bit more of both of the elements. However, you will have to get your bachelors and masters first, and those will at first be a lot more practice-based. Personally, I realized that practice centered focus was not for me, I wanted to do research, so I went with a psych phd.

  8. Can I just say...I had a dream last night that I was being threatened to be murdered if I didn't reject this big grant (because I guess these people wanted it to go to them instead??) I don't know but it freaked me the hell out, lol! 


    In other venting news...can my undergrad RAs just know how to use a computer and not ask me how to use a computer...please?? And can they follow instructions pleeeease?? Or not just sit there and do nothing...find something to do OR ask!! Feels like babysitting sometimes...

  9. Thanks for the advice! I will definitely try that. It's silly because they are literally things like "How do I open a window in a mac?" or "How come I can't drag this item here?" etc. So they really are not research specific things...otherwise I totally would not mind helping out, because I understand they don't have experience in research and are still learning. But when it's basic computer skills...it can drive you a little crazy, you'd think this generation are tech savvy and know how to use google...at times I've suggested to use google and they're like "What should I google??"...cue *facepalm*

  10. Would this as a response be appropriate: "I'm not sure, perhaps you could google or fiddle around with it and see if you can find a solution?" or "I would probably try to google it or play around with it until you can find a way to solve it."


    I just don't want to seem flippant.

  11. I need advice. I'm managing A LOT of undergraduate research assistants. Right now, it's just me, in another 6 months, I'll have a post doc to help me, but for now, I'm on my own and I need some advice.


    I'm very open to helping others and want to help guide these people to better understand research. I always tell them to come to me if there's something they are particularly interested in. I give plenty of guidance and outlines to the tasks they are to be working on. No complaints about any of this.  MY complaint is that they just come to me for silly things ALL the time. Things like computer issues (which are 99% of the time google-able). They have no sense of problem solving and immediately come to me to fix it for them. Not all my RAs are like this, but a good amount of them are. I don't know how to balance being helpful and not coming off as a jerk. I feel like I can't just be like "don't bother me! figure it out yourself!" without coming off sounding like an ass. I don't want them to be scared to come to me, but this has been driving me nuts! Not to sound presumptuous, but that's the reason we have undergraduate RAs, to help do these tasks, not so I walk them all through it. Granted, I don't expect them to know how to do everything, I train them for the most part, but these things are usually stuff I don't know (I'll have to fiddle around with OR google), which they are just as capable of doing.


    How can I be tact about this? Is this just part of supervising and I should suck it up? Or should I be promoting more independent thinking/problem solving? It's hard to find the right balance.

  12. This is all great advice. Being in a similar situation I can offer some other insight as well...


    I think even though I see myself maybe working a lot harder than other grad students in more established labs. I've definitely learned a lot more than others I've seen in my year or even some who are more advanced than me. This is because I have a lot of sole responsibility for upkeep of the lab and conducting research. Consequently it's put me in a frame of mind to get a lot of projects started and build collaborations early, similar to the goals my new PI. Sure maybe you may not have as much work to do if you're in an established lab but the flip side you might not realize is that you don't have as much opportunity for responsibility and ownership over things because an established lab may be running itself a lot easier. I don't mind the pressure, because I have ambitious goals and I like that it's forced me to get a lot done very early in my grad career. I know grad students who are in higher year level than me who are way less experienced or have less progress in their research program just because there is not this pressure and expectation to keep things running. 


    So some may see this as a negative, but for me it was a positive. That said, my advisor also is a really good fit for my personality and I don't feel a pressure from them to do things I don't want. Even if there are things I may not want to do, I want to because I get along with my advisor so well and it's a give and take relationship, so I don't feel overworked. Just thought I'd put that perspective out there! Granted I know established labs also have amazing PIs with a lot of opportunity to work in a maybe more stable environment, so I'm sure that's also a great setting to accomplish ambitious goals as well. 

  13. I think you'll be fine answering the basic questions that any grad student will have (as mentioned above).


    What might be important to consider is the questions YOU have for the grad student. Here's your chance to show you're serious, smart and ready for grad school. If I had a prospective student ask me no questions or not really sure what they needed to know, I wouldn't be impressed and maybe not take them seriously. However, if the student asked me smart questions like "How is your PI's mentoring style?" "What opportunities have you found for collaboration?" etc. I would be impressed and see that this person is serious about starting grad school and so forth. So..I recommend prepping a good list of questions for your grad student interviews. You can get a lot of useful info about the PI and department this way as well!

  14. Has anyone done this before?


    I'm inspired by this post:



    Spoonflower is incredibly cheap, I'm thinking of just trying it and if it's terrible, $25 bucks isn't that much of a loss.  Plus, if it turns out amazing…well, never doing poster tubes AGAIN! We'll see if I can get my poster done in time for this and I'll post updates if I do. Just curious if anyone has gone this route. Would love to hear about it, or see some examples!



  15. It can happen if the POI and prospective student already know each other in some capacity (through a connected colleague).  Or perhaps they've already had a Skype or phone interview and subsequently the PI decided to accept. It can happen.  Some places do not have mandatory interview days. Again, you'd have to check through the results section or school websites to see any info on if and when they do these "interview days". Depending on the school they may be flexible with how PIs can choose their incoming students. My school for example, doesn't have an official interview day, things happen through PIs either scheduling phone or Skype interviews, etc.  It's more personalized, versus going through the department officially (of course this happens later when things are finalized).

  16. Hi there,


    I have a bit of a past in music therapy, so I'll share what I know of it.


    To be a music therapist you will need either a post bac (which will require you to do all the additional needed coursework in music therapy) to obtain a BMT or you would just complete a bachelors in MT. There's really no way around that part, you will need that coursework (which includes a lot of music heavy coursework, much of what you may already have with a music minor).  


    I honestly think you should experience what music therapy is all about.  It sounds like you've been working with some music therapists, so that's great.  You should keep shadowing these people and decide if being a practitioner is really what you want.  I thought that I wanted to go into music therapy (was in a program for a year) because I loved both music and psychological science. I wanted to research music through a psychological perspective, so I went into music therapy.  That was the wrong choice for me, because I wanted to do research, rather than mainly focusing on clinical work. I did not know this going into it because there just wasn't very many chances for me to be exposed to music therapy where I lived prior to starting the program. From my experience and knowing other practicing music therapists, it is mainly working as a practitioner. If you continue on to get higher degrees (masters, phd) then you can get more involved in the research aspect. But again, this is still going through a mainly clinical avenue.


    I think you need to decide what part of music you want to study.  What aspect are you most interested in? Therapy, musicology, music cognition, etc.  There are many areas in which you could study music. I found out I really enjoyed music cognition and I attempted that route through a cognitive/experimental psychology phd route ( I actually didn't end up there, but I was accepted to a program focused on that, so it is possible!!) Honestly it is a tricky thing to accomplish as the music psychology community is still pretty small and often scattered throughout neuroscience and music departments. The main thing is to decide which avenue you wish to take.  You could go through cognitive psychology, neuroscience, musicology, etc.  So I think you need to think about the job you want and the field you want to continue in.  From there, you can find ways to pursue music and psychology.


    For me, it was important to realize the clinical vs. research difference and to decide which side I'd rather be on.  Yes, you don't have to choose one and leave the other forever, you can incorporate them, but you do sort of need to make a decision which side you'll strongly pursue.


    Hope that helps! PM if you want any more specific advice, I am happy to share my experiences.

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