Limiting your Lesson Planning..

Limiting your Lesson Planning..

For the past ten days, i've been bouncing between teaching two sections of general biology at brooklyn college, and assisting my boss in teaching the Xenopus Course at Cold Spring Harbor Labs.  Its been very rewarding, though admittedly little disconcerting to be plinking away at my laptop preparing my lecture, and to look up and make eye contact with a nobel laureate.  However, all this running around is draining, and really helped with the sense of what it must be like as a professor, balancing between teaching, research, and larger community expectations.  I couldn't spend an entire day preparing for the next day's lecture, so I was forced to make more efficient use of my time.  As opposed to spending hours creating or even tracking down the perfect image or figure while working on the talk, I put limited myself to creating first a workable lecture as quickly as possible.  Then I could obsess on that perfect figure or addition, and I think it even helps see whats important.   Anyway, now that I'm done with CSHL and just teaching, I hope this even means I can get back in the lab for a bit... once I finish my paper, reviewing coworkers papers, and working on that next grant.  Well, it's a step closer...

 

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Part 3: Expect Your Committee to Expect More From You

Part 3: Expect Your Committee to Expect More From You

After writing about how to choose your dissertation committee members, I thought it would be a good idea to let you know what you should expect from your committee members. This third post will be about how your committee members will involve themselves in your dissertation process and how you should interact with them. I’ll give you a hint: they probably won’t need to be as involved as you’re thinking. The following are a few reasons for this:

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Pau
Nice post ! One thing I observed during my PhD and something I did myself: often at the beginning of one's PhD study, the student ... Read More
Tuesday, 27 March 2018 23:04
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Things They Don’t Teach You in Grad School: Part 1

Things They Don’t Teach You in Grad School: Part 1

As graduate students we are taught a lot, and I do mean A LOT! This is often most evident by the 300-500 pages per class per week we are often required to read. Additionally, our education is often a combination of both didactic and experiential learning. While there is a lot that we are taught in grad school, if there is one thing I have learned over my course of practicum experiences – there is a lot they don’t teach you in grad school. In this series of blogs I would like to share with you some of my experiences that I have had that were definitely not covered in the classroom.

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On the road...

On the road...

So I just got back from one of my favorite places, the Friday Harbor Marine Center in Friday Harbor, Washington, where I gave a talk at the 2013 Northwest Regional Society of Developmental Biology meeting.   Four days in the San Juan Islands, lots of great talks, and better discussions over beers at the poster session or at meals.  Not to mention oysters and drinks with the keynote speaker. This was a bit of a homecoming for me; I was fortunate enough to have attended four NWDB meetings while at graduate school in Oregon.  And still having connections from grad school, I was able to hitch a ride with a group of students and postdoc's from the UO, which saved money and gave me a group to connect with.

Conferences, especially small meetings such as this, are not only a great perk of our job, but so important to developing as scientists.  Outside of publishing papers, presenting at conferences is one of our major means of communicating our work, as well as getting critical feedback to focus our own research.  As such, i've made the effort to present, at least a poster but preferably a talk, at every conference i've attended.  It's certainly a bit terrifying... but it gets better, especially with practice, and realizing we all get nervous.  My newly-made friend Jaime and I were both presenting in the same section, and while walking off some nerves, I came across him doing the same.  Jaime ended up winning the best post-doc talk, which goes to show even when you've got a great story, many of us scientists aren't naturally comfortable at public speaking.  

Meetings are also a way to putting names to faces, and developing new connections.  I mentioned in a previous post about a visiting colleague from edmonton, whom I met previously at this conference, and i've developed a number of friends in the field from talks over posters or between sessions.    These conversations  are where you can really probe for details about specific experiments, to see how people really feel about potentially questionable results or interpretations, and to brainstorm about new experiments.  And many, if not most, of these conversations occur not just at the conference, but in time between sessions, such as exploring the area around the conference site, or even the bar at the end of the day.  Even if you don't drink, or are tired from a long day of talks, it's probably not a bad idea to push yourself to socialize and get to know your colleagues.

 

 

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Part 2: Assemble a Committee That Can Communicate

Part 2: Assemble a Committee That Can Communicate

This blog post is the second part in our 5-part series: Your Dissertation Committee. To read the first part of the series, go back to March 26 and read about the various tips and tricks on how to maintain a good relationship with your committee.

When you read this post, you’ll learn that selecting and assembling a committee encompasses many tasks that require attention and detail-oriented work. You might be surprised by the amount of work it will take before even formally asking faculty or advisors to be a part of your committee. Then, of course, asking your potential committee is a job in itself.

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4 Ways to Communicate Better With Your Dissertation Committee

4 Ways to Communicate Better With Your Dissertation Committee

This is the first part of a 5 part series: Your Dissertation Committee. Before you jump into the process of receiving your doctorate degree, you’ll need to focus on a few things, such as who should be in your committee and how you’ll create a good community among all of you. The following tips will make up the rest of the Your Dissertation Committee series, so keep an eye out for these topics over the next few weeks:

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Oh the Importance of Self-Care

Oh the Importance of Self-Care

In many evaluations throughout my career as a PhD student, I have been given the feedback that I need to practice better self-care. I have been given suggestions as to how to have self-care, such as exercise, getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, doing things I enjoy, etc., etc. Now, I am going to go out on a limb here and assume that I am not the only grad student who has been told to work on their self-care, especially within the field of applied psychology.

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sarabrady
Thanks for the reminder! I really like you're idea of a day of self-care!! I think just spending one day every couple weeks or so ... Read More
Monday, 25 March 2013 14:42
zmirtsching
Great article! I feel this way even as an undergrad in my honors program. Sometimes there really aren't enough hours in the day t... Read More
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 14:33
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Why Sleep is More Important Than You Think

Why Sleep is More Important Than You Think

Yes. Sleep is actually more important to us than we think. Especially for graduate and PhD students. Even though you may think that if you get less sleep, you can get more work done, you will benefit more than you know if you decide to catch those Zs more often. You might be thinking, “That could never happen with my schedule,” but here are a few notes that you should keep in mind when deciding your sleep schedule.

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New Grad Student? Become a Great Job Candidate Now! Part 1

New Grad Student? Become a Great Job Candidate Now! Part 1

Perhaps you’re anticipating entering your first year of grad school or maybe you’re just starting your graduate career. There’s a lot to take in during your first couple years, but now is the perfect time to become the superstar job candidate when you graduate.

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First day of school..

First day of school..

Waking up before dawn to catch the 5:30 train, I grab my bag with my computer and notes for the day, and take a deep breath. I've stood in front of classrooms before, but only guest lectures or lab sections with 20-30 students at most.Today I had three full lectures halls, each with 150 students, and on a subject I haven't thought much about since my freshman year, some 13 years ago.I am of course prepared, having prepared and practiced my lecture, read and re-read the chapter, worked up mnemonics and real-world examples.But it's my first day of school, and can't help the fact that I’m a little nervous.

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Spring Break

Spring Break

I RARELY write in my planner in pen. Only things that are absolutely, positively not going to change – such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays – will I dare to write in red rink. While I hate the smudge of pencil, as a graduate student, therapist in training, and employee, my schedule changes more times than Madonna live in concert. As much as I despise pencil smudge, I hate scratched-on pen mark even more. But I digress…

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Television

Television

One week before the start of the new semester and a new clinical rotation, I moved, which is not something I would recommend to any student, but especially a grad student. It has since been nearly 4 months since the move, and I finally did it; I finally got cable installed. It has been on my to do list since the day I first got my keys, but my full time graduate student with three jobs schedule did not have a free four hour block that I could be home. Lucky for me, I happened to come down with the flu and had nothing better to do, so I called the cable company, and after a ridiculously large deposit, I was all set up to have my cable installed.

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How to Stay True to Yourself in Your Writing

How to Stay True to Yourself in Your Writing

Students struggle with staying true to themselves in a few different ways: allowing fear to cripple their writing, becoming a cocky writer, plagiarizing, and thinking too much about their writing. More issues exist in students’ writing, but these are a few that I would like to highlight in this blog post.

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The Best Scientific Collaborations Start with...Facebook??

The Best Scientific Collaborations Start with...Facebook??

Following the theme of networking, I recently hosted my friend Pam from the University of Alberta.  I met Pam at the Northwest Regional Meeting of the Society of Developmental Biologists in 2007.   Pam was an undergraduate who works on the development of freshwater sponges, and I was a graduate student at the University of Oregon working on marine worms, and we found our shared appreciation for enigmatic invertebrates and how studying their development helps us to understand the evolution of the animal body plan.

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4 Secrets to "Doing it All"

4 Secrets to "Doing it All"

I often get asked the question, “How do you do it all?” I must admit that between being a full time doctoral student with three jobs and a clinical rotation keeps me pretty busy, and there are days where even I have no idea how I do all that it is I do. I have learned a thing or two about multitasking and time management, so I thought I would pass on some of helpful tips that help me get through each day.

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zmirtsching
I like your four lessons. However I find it hard to think I should bring my work with me everywhere. Aren't there supposed to be... Read More
Thursday, 01 August 2013 12:28
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