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Thanks for the advice, folks! I don't generally have problems finding the sizes I need, my only problem is that I'm quite tall and long-limbed and have to find brands with generous sleeve and pant-leg lengths. I'm not a big fan of shopping, but I guess I will have to suck it up and go on a bi-annual trip. At least now I have some ideas about where to start looking ;)

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Related question: Is it time to get rid of all of my tattered graphic tees (or at least stop wearing them in public)? None of them have cool designs or are from well-known events, and most are pretty faded/tattered. They are from things like my high school dance group, free pride Ts from my high school and undergrad institutions, and shirts from being a camp and retreat counselor. They have emotional value, but I'm starting to worry that I'm too old (and in the wrong profession) to be wearing those anymore and it makes me torn (pun not intended). Is it time to pack them all up and donate/throw them away, or can I still get away with wearing them? I've looked at the other grad students in my department for reference, and while a couple of them might have one or two such shirts (in great condition and with cool graphics), such things are rarely worn in my department.

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I know the feeling.  I wear professional clothing for work, but aside from then, I love wearing old, soft t-shirts.  I packed most of mine up, and I'm going to make all of my old tees into a t-shirt quilt one of these days.

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If you're tall or short, you might have better luck online because many stores only feature those sizes on their websites. Look for sales on clearance stuff and you can get great bargains.

As for the old t-shirts, have you thought about making them into a quilt or collage? I got rid of a bunch a few years ago but took pictures so I could remember the shirts/events. I saved some more recent ones and I only wear those to the gym.

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maelia8, typical suggestions are to look at places like Banana Republic, LOFT, J. Crew, Gap, and The Limited, as well as their outlet stores. What you're comfortable with will play a big role in this. I know some women that teach exclusively in khakis or trousers, while others never wear pants to teach. Any of those stores should have some business casual or nicer stuff that you can try on and play around with to see what you like. There's also Karen Kelsky's advice (which I don't 100% agree with but here it is anyway): http://theprofessorisin.com/2011/07/28/what-not-to-wear-assistant-professor-edition/. For example, you can find great deals on new stuff if you shop the sales and the outlets. 

Am I the only one that cringed at the language in this article? hooker-wear?

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Am I the only one that cringed at the language in this article? hooker-wear?

I cringe at many of the things Kelsky says but other people like her advice so I figured I'd share that particular post.

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Related question: Is it time to get rid of all of my tattered graphic tees (or at least stop wearing them in public)? None of them have cool designs or are from well-known events, and most are pretty faded/tattered. They are from things like my high school dance group, free pride Ts from my high school and undergrad institutions, and shirts from being a camp and retreat counselor. They have emotional value, but I'm starting to worry that I'm too old (and in the wrong profession) to be wearing those anymore and it makes me torn (pun not intended). Is it time to pack them all up and donate/throw them away, or can I still get away with wearing them? I've looked at the other grad students in my department for reference, and while a couple of them might have one or two such shirts (in great condition and with cool graphics), such things are rarely worn in my department.

 

Those sound good for library days -- that's where I try to keep my t-shirts. (The less appealing shirts are loafing around at home shirts.)

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I just wanted to share my recent school supply purchase. I'm doing a big overhaul on my paper notetaking system.

 

Muji 0.38mm black gel pens

Muji 0.38 multi-color gel pens

Zebra mildliners in various colors

Muji A5 notebooks

Obligatory post-its and post-its

 

This haul (other than refills on the black gel pens and notebooks) should easily last me the rest of my doctoral program.

 

I don't take a lot of paper notes as a graduate student, so this is really just for brainstorming and reference books. I got tired of carrying around my filing system with lots of loose leaf paper.

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So I'm looking at copybooks on amazon and found a brand called "Mead". How is it in terms of paper of paper quality? I use ink pens primarily, so would the ink seep through?

 

International student question: How feasible is it to take say a dozen pens and five copybooks with me instead of buying them from the US? The prices are a bit cheaper here (there are some cheap copybook options on amazon, but I can't buy any without inspecting the paper quality myself).

 

I'm going to try out MoMa Muji pens that Monochrome Spring suggested. Till now I've mostly used Uni-ball eye fine, and Pilot hi-techpoint, both of which are higher priced on amazon compared to their prices here. Does anyone know any other similar (and slightly cheaper) options?

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So I'm looking at copybooks on amazon and found a brand called "Mead". How is it in terms of paper of paper quality? I use ink pens primarily, so would the ink seep through?

 

International student question: How feasible is it to take say a dozen pens and five copybooks with me instead of buying them from the US? The prices are a bit cheaper here (there are some cheap copybook options on amazon, but I can't buy any without inspecting the paper quality myself).

 

I'm going to try out MoMa Muji pens that Monochrome Spring suggested. Till now I've mostly used Uni-ball eye fine, and Pilot hi-techpoint, both of which are higher priced on amazon compared to their prices here. Does anyone know any other similar (and slightly cheaper) options?

 

Mead is common in the U.S. for paper products, and I think that they hold up just fine. I have found that only felt-tip pens bleed through to where I can't make sense of the words on the other side of the page. I think that if you use the MoMa Muji pens there will be no issues.

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I can confirm that the Muji pens are great. They are super pigmented and don't smudge for me. The fine tip is also great for equations. (I write my notes on Moleskine notebook paper or regular white printer paper, for reference)

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Anyone have a favorite planner or agenda they use? I had a staple, but they've recently went out of business (for shame!)

 

The one I use is a Staples brand one. It's called the Staples 2015/2016 Weekly/Monthly Academic Planner. It doesn't have options cover wise, it comes in blue or purple. It's my favourite because it has a lot of room to write stuff down and the day spaces are vertical columns rather than blocks and it gives a lot writing space, more than the traditional student planner. It comes with lots of pages to write down contact information and pages to write notes on.

Full name of the planner on the site says: Staples 2015/2016 Weekly/Monthly Academic Planner, 8-5/8" x 6-7/8", Medallions Cover Designs, Bilingual (it's only bilingual becuase I live in Canada so it's English and French).

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Anyone have a favorite planner or agenda they use? I had a staple, but they've recently went out of business (for shame!)

 

Mead or Five Star Planners are usually my go-to. Usually in the front there are a couple of pages for important notes and dates, then a month spread followed by a day breakdown with a couple of inches of lined space to write for each day - usually 3-4 days per page. In the back there are also more pages for note-taking and usually something useful like a time zone map or conversion chart. I bought the one that I currently use from Target. 

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Anyone have a favorite planner or agenda they use? I had a staple, but they've recently went out of business (for shame!)

 

I like At-A-Glance's big weekly/monthly planners (the spiral-bound, notebook-sized kind). I like the space and layout for the weekly portions. Like this guy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UCF8TNI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER. 

 

They're a bit pricier, but I'm particular about page space and layout. I've made my own before as well, but that involves a LOT of printing. 

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I like At-A-Glance's big weekly/monthly planners (the spiral-bound, notebook-sized kind). I like the space and layout for the weekly portions. Like this guy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UCF8TNI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER. 

 

They're a bit pricier, but I'm particular about page space and layout. I've made my own before as well, but that involves a LOT of printing. 

 

Seconding At A Glance planners! I've had three or four and I've loved them. I like calendars that have weekly and monthly sections so that I can see what's ahead, and At A Glance always has them - with lots of room to write too!

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I've been using Uncalendars since sophomore year of undergrad! I used the small size for 3 years and between scheduling for classes, research and some clubs, it was perfect. For graduate school, I purchased the larger version, for scheduling/notes for TA'ing, running the lab, etc.

 

I love that there aren't dates already filled in, so you can start using it whenever. It's a little overwhelming when you start, simply because there's so many boxes and I had no idea how to organize everything. But one or two weeks in, and you'll be fine!

 

http://www.uncalendar.com/index.jsp

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I use the independently-produced August-to-August calendar/planner from Mixed Role Productions. It's US/West Coast made, recycled, and super sturdy, as well as being spiral bound, which is a must for me because I like being able to tear out pages. I've been thinking of switching entirely to Google Calendar, but for a paper edition, August-to-August is the best for me.

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I've always used the moleskine weekly notebook; comes in 3 sizes, hard or soft bound, and variety of colors. http://www.moleskine.com/us/collections/model/product/12-months-weekly-notebook-black-soft-cover-large

 

You can get them via calendar year (Jan-Dec) or 18 month. I really like the large size; but all size are laid out with the calendar (Monday-Sunday) on the left side, while the right side is a simple ruled page (where I keep my to-do list, track other things). I converted from large to pocket size when I wasn't going to school and had less things to track, but will go back to the large size for school use. Also, the binding/cover is very durable; I throw it around in my purse/backpack, and it still stays pristine. I also imagine that if I forget to bring my research notebook or something for a meeting with professor/advisor, I can always take out this notebook to take quick notes (it has extra pages at the back of the book) and still look presentable. 

Edited by ticktock

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I've always used the moleskine weekly notebook; comes in 3 sizes, hard or soft bound, and variety of colors. http://www.moleskine.com/us/collections/model/product/12-months-weekly-notebook-black-soft-cover-large

 

You can get them via calendar year (Jan-Dec) or 18 month. I really like the large size; but all size are laid out with the calendar (Monday-Sunday) on the left side, while the right side is a simple ruled page (where I keep my to-do list, track other things). I converted from large to pocket size when I wasn't going to school and had less things to track, but will go back to the large size for school use. Also, the binding/cover is very durable; I throw it around in my purse/backpack, and it still stays pristine. I also imagine that if I forget to bring my research notebook or something for a meeting with professor/advisor, I can always take out this notebook to take quick notes (it has extra pages at the back of the book) and still look presentable. 

That is what I got! I really like it (and I'm not usually a person who keep track of things by writing it down).

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Can anyone suggest a good online planner app or template I can adapt? I  want something that can follow me across devices (printable would be great too) and that will allow me to color code my work, school, and volunteer activities. 

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Personally, I just use Outlook's calendar or the basic calendar app in Mac's OS. 

Both will sync across devices, although Outlook (Exchange) calendars are probably more standard in the academic/professional world. 

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Related question: Is it time to get rid of all of my tattered graphic tees (or at least stop wearing them in public)? None of them have cool designs or are from well-known events, and most are pretty faded/tattered. They are from things like my high school dance group, free pride Ts from my high school and undergrad institutions, and shirts from being a camp and retreat counselor. They have emotional value, but I'm starting to worry that I'm too old (and in the wrong profession) to be wearing those anymore and it makes me torn (pun not intended). Is it time to pack them all up and donate/throw them away, or can I still get away with wearing them? I've looked at the other grad students in my department for reference, and while a couple of them might have one or two such shirts (in great condition and with cool graphics), such things are rarely worn in my department.

I am curious about this, too. I have some t-shirts I am considering getting creative with, like throwing a blazer over the top and wearing nice jeans or slacks. I see a lot of men get away with this look... Why can't us ladies? 

Anyone have a favorite planner or agenda they use? I had a staple, but they've recently went out of business (for shame!)

I use Passion Planner, which is awesome if you want to get your butt in gear with meeting some goals. I haven't yet started my program though, and I am not sure how it's going to hold up for the types of things I'm going to need to write down. I also use Google Calendar for really important events or events that have really specific times, so that I don't forget.

 

 

BACKPACKS: On a separate note, I am so glad this thread is here just so I can shine about the new backpack I got from Staples. It was crazy cheap, and is neon yellow. I've been looking for a neon backpack with decent quality, padding, and laptop compartment, since I'll be commuting 50 miles each way on a motorcycle to school every day. Staples apparently makes their own line of backpacks, designed by students. Admittedly, the quality does not seem too great, but definitely leaps beyond Jansport's basic bag which ridiculously goes for $50+ everywhere.

NOTEBOOKS: I was wondering, do people still use hand-written notebooks frequently? It seems like laptops are how everyone would take notes, but I really like hand writing things out, especially while I'm reading books. Is it not prudent to write this all down like that? I'm worried I'll be frustrated that my notes aren't searchable...

CLOTHES: How casual is it acceptable for grad students to dress while they're in class as a student? (Maybe wrong thread for this last q...)

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I take notes by hand.  I have a Livescribe pen that I love.  I commute a long way to school, and there's no way I'm carrying a laptop all that way.  I retain information better by writing it down as well.  I do have an iPad mini I use for reading articles on, and highlighting/annotating documents, but for pure note taking, handwriting rules.

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