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Grad. School Supplies?

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On 3/12/2010 at 9:03 PM, monkeyface said:

ok, this may sound ridiculous, but what about clothing? as a TA, will i be expected to look semi-sharp? i went to a small undergrad-only school so i'm clueless here...

I was a TA at Syracuse University. You don't have to go overdressed like in a suit and tie or dress and heels.

- Jeans and diff color pants are fine.

- Nice shirts ( No t-shirts, see-thru, low cut, or with excessive/oversized writing)

- Closed-toe shoes, boots, flats or strappy sandals. 

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11 hours ago, SMaric said:

 

Also, do you have experience with Magic Mouse 2? Is it worth $80?

 

I have an external Touch Pad.  It's way better than that Magic Mouse 1 or 2.  I use the Touch Pad with a 2012 Mac Pro, though.  I also have a 2013 MacBook Pro (13") .  Once you get your MacBook Pro you'll understand the attractiveness of the touch pad and the power of all of the gestures.  You might never want to use a mouse again (or a PC trackpad for that matter).  I do have an external mouse to use with my laptop for tasks involving the Internet, eBook reading, and others that require little to no typing because keeping my hands off to the side seems a more natural position for them to be in.  For these, however, the external Touch Pad is still superior to the Magic Mouse 2.  

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5 hours ago, Crucial BBQ said:

I have an external Touch Pad.  It's way better than that Magic Mouse 1 or 2.  I use the Touch Pad with a 2012 Mac Pro, though.  I also have a 2013 MacBook Pro (13") .  Once you get your MacBook Pro you'll understand the attractiveness of the touch pad and the power of all of the gestures.  You might never want to use a mouse again (or a PC trackpad for that matter).  I do have an external mouse to use with my laptop for tasks involving the Internet, eBook reading, and others that require little to no typing because keeping my hands off to the side seems a more natural position for them to be in.  For these, however, the external Touch Pad is still superior to the Magic Mouse 2.  

Interesting. Does it have force touch? I have an iPhone 7 and I really love that feature.

 

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6 hours ago, SMaric said:

Interesting. Does it have force touch? I have an iPhone 7 and I really love that feature.

 

I apologize; I meant Magic Trackpad, not "Touch Pad".  I have the first gen., so no Force Touch for me.  The Magic Trackpad 2 does have Force Touch.  

 

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On 12/30/2017 at 6:54 PM, GreenEyedTrombonist said:

I just finished reading through all 20 pages, haha. 

I am going to be a TA (most likely) and I am interested in sprucing up my wardrobe a bit, but I hope I won't need to be business professional every day. I'd like to pair a fitted jacket or cardigan with either a nice knee-length dress or a nice shirt (or nicer tank top) and either slacks or yoga pants. As for shoes, my feet are pretty sensitive, so I'm hoping to get away most days with a black sneaker, my snow boots, or find a flat or something that is actually comfortable. What do you guys think about this plan?

 

My feet have some issues and have mutated (I swear) over the course of having four children. I swear by Danskos and Tieks. Both can be classy and fun, but ultimately are extremely comfortable. They are expensive, but the comfort and durability are worth every penny. 

I have two pairs of Danskos right now, one four years old and one three years old and they are my go-to shoes. I choose which ones depending on what I'm wearing as one has a bit bolder print than the other. My Tieks are matte black and got me through a tour of the Washington Mall in the wind and rain and freezing weather during March and are still in perfect shape. I also didn't have any blisters or problems with my feet, other than having walked more that trip than in a long time. 

Hope you find some great shoes!

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I have to say, I spent the weekend reading through this whole thread, and it was really enlightening! The conversation around technology was super interesting to watch progress, and it's great to see such a longitudinal thread to get a more robust idea of what I am really going to need. 

I do have a question about the backpack thing though. Like seriously, how big of a deal is it to have a backpack as a grad student/TA? My back and hips are pretty jacked up for a variety of reasons, and I have a very hard time with anything where the weight isn't really evenly distributed. I have two North Face backpacks, one all black, one gray and aqua, little different in size, but I really don't understand why I should give them up. Just for appearances?

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On 3/4/2018 at 9:51 PM, kpietromica said:

I have to say, I spent the weekend reading through this whole thread, and it was really enlightening! The conversation around technology was super interesting to watch progress, and it's great to see such a longitudinal thread to get a more robust idea of what I am really going to need. 

I do have a question about the backpack thing though. Like seriously, how big of a deal is it to have a backpack as a grad student/TA? My back and hips are pretty jacked up for a variety of reasons, and I have a very hard time with anything where the weight isn't really evenly distributed. I have two North Face backpacks, one all black, one gray and aqua, little different in size, but I really don't understand why I should give them up. Just for appearances?

I use a backpack, and so do many in my program. I don't feel judged for using one nor do I judge those who don't use one. I personally am just uncomfortable with using a purse. The most important thing is to use whatever you're comfortable with because forgoing a backpack for style reasons but then being uncomfortable and unconfident (and in pain) without one is worse than using one even if it is dorky (which in my experience, it's not).

Edited by 01sonal

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On 3/4/2018 at 11:51 PM, kpietromica said:

I have to say, I spent the weekend reading through this whole thread, and it was really enlightening! The conversation around technology was super interesting to watch progress, and it's great to see such a longitudinal thread to get a more robust idea of what I am really going to need. 

I do have a question about the backpack thing though. Like seriously, how big of a deal is it to have a backpack as a grad student/TA? My back and hips are pretty jacked up for a variety of reasons, and I have a very hard time with anything where the weight isn't really evenly distributed. I have two North Face backpacks, one all black, one gray and aqua, little different in size, but I really don't understand why I should give them up. Just for appearances?

Lots of my colleagues use backpacks. I have never heard anyone speak of it as unprofessional.

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1 hour ago, Levon3 said:

Lots of my colleagues use backpacks. I have never heard anyone speak of it as unprofessional.

Earlier in this thread, I believe, possibly the every-day carry thread, there was a quite lengthy conversation about the "necessity" of a messenger bag or briefcase so one didn't appear to be an undergrad and looked professional enough. That is why I asked my question because I thought that seemed silly to me. 

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On 1/30/2018 at 4:39 PM, KAM13 said:

I was a TA at Syracuse University. You don't have to go overdressed like in a suit and tie or dress and heels.

- Jeans and diff color pants are fine.

- Nice shirts ( No t-shirts, see-thru, low cut, or with excessive/oversized writing)

- Closed-toe shoes, boots, flats or strappy sandals. 

I work with TAs (going to be one next year though! :D) but working in theatre/film/art environment the dress code is a little lax compared to other departments, they tend to wear what they normally would wear. If they wear heels and a tie on the daily, they continue to wear it as a TA just because you have a new job doesn't mean you need to lose your identity. However, that does not mean hot pants and a see-though top is appropriate for the class room (unless its for a character for acting class! ) I live near the Timbuk2 HQ so most of the TAs use their backpacks and messengers since they are slim profile and waterproof, which helps since our winter and springs are just rain storms. I have had mine for 6 years never had a problem with it, even carrying heavy tools and books, and the only wear on it is courtesy of my cat scratching the back pad..... :(

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Great Thread !

Another thing that I found essential as an international is a multiplug from my home country. An absolute life saver when you have a thousand electronics to charge at the same time.

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I have a beefy desktop PC at home for working. I also have a slightly aging (3 years old, I think) Surface Pro 4 with keyboard and pen. Is that sufficient to bring to class/campus, or does anybody have some cheap Chromebook/laptop/tablet suggestions for note-taking/homework/on-campus work?

My school is giving iPads to all the incoming undergrad freshmen this year. I'm jelly.

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That really depends on the type of work you want to do. If its simply taking notes than an aging surface is just fine.

If you need to run more demanding programs or software you might find yourself struggling. My best advice would be to do with what you have for the begining and see how it works out for you and if not, what you might need.

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I am debating getting a desk for home or spending more money on a nice chair (which is where I usually work).  I have the room for a desk.  I have never worked on a desk in my life (it's always been the place I put random stuff) and I will have a university provided one in my shared office.  Is a home office essential?

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1 hour ago, Bayesian1701 said:

I am debating getting a desk for home or spending more money on a nice chair (which is where I usually work).  I have the room for a desk.  I have never worked on a desk in my life (it's always been the place I put random stuff) and I will have a university provided one in my shared office.  Is a home office essential?

I never studied at a desk in college unless I was at the library. When I started my masters program, I bought a nice dining room table with the thought that I could use it as a combo dining table and desk. The only time it got any use was when I had company. I continued to study on the couch or the floor or on campus as I had when I was in undergrad. I have a small desk now that I mostly use for practicing calligraphy. When I work from home, I do it from the couch.  I'd spend the money on a nice chair and think about what kind of filing or storage you need that would normally be part of a desk.

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If you do work at a desk, make sure it is the correct height and that your back will be properly straight.  I've said earlier that the kind of seat that tilts forward 1" has a surprising amount of value-- it is the kind that pianists and other musicians use for hours of practicing.  Otherwise, you're looking at whatever the good version of Aeron is this year, about which I have no opinion.  

Truthfully, I do most of my typing and much of my computer work in a deep armchair.  The best, I find, have somewhat high arms, so I can face forward or put my legs over one arm.  I'm still trying to find a library or common room that has a good one around where I am.  Such a chair would be too heavy and expensive to invest in unless I had found permanent lodgings for the next few years.

 

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If you are not sure what type of desk chair works best for you, once you have started grad school, look for the contact information to get an ergonomic evaluation. These are pretty standard at most workplaces and schools these days. Typically, for staff, an ergonomic evaluation is done as part of normal orientation/check-in procedure but students often don't get this offered to them. However, if you ask for one, you can definitely get one! I've been able to ask for one at every school I've worked at. 

Note that these will sometimes come with recommendations that you get new chairs or other equipment but that doesn't mean you'll get new stuff. The ergo eval. person just does the evaluations and makes the recommendation, it's up to whoever is in charge of purchasing equipment for grad students in your dept to make the approval. However, you can at least get a good sense of what to look for in a chair (and also know how to set up your own chair at home when you get one).

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