GradHacker

GradHacker

A Blog from GradHacker and MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online

November 18, 2012 - 8:40pm
About a year ago a colleague recommended some free courses being offered at the university, one of which was Foundations of Project Management. I’d considered it, but felt I didn’t have time. A few months later, a commenter on my post about managing deadlines in grad school noted that my description for managing project deadlines was similar to the basic principles of project management. It had me thinking that I should look more into this, but never did. Then I started to organize my thesis projects and all I could think was, “You know what I wish I knew more about…project management.”
November 13, 2012 - 5:44pm
So it's come to your attention that, *gulp*, you are going to have to learn to code something. This is happening more and more across disciplines: be it the explosion of interest in digital humanities, robust software or support data analysis, more and more graduate students are finding themselves moving beyond the WSYIWYG toolbars and menu items. It's akin to driving a car; you can hop in, turn the thing on, and be on the road in a few minutes.
November 12, 2012 - 3:03am
We've reached that point in the semester that can become oppressive for TAs and grad students teaching their own courses.  Those essay assignments that seemed like such a good idea back in September are seeming distinctly less so as teetering piles of ungraded papers on your desk.  Just as your own semester workload is increasing and deadlines loom for conference abstracts, job applications, travel grants, and summer internships, here comes the dreaded stack of unmarked papers, some of which you know will consume more of your time than they did of their authors.
November 6, 2012 - 8:52pm
As grad students, we face numerous pressures – from academic deadlines to family commitments and maintaining our own health and well-being.  However, as many have written before, we struggle to find a balance, tend to give up those things that are healthy but aren’t “productive” and even feel guilty when we take a little time for ourselves.
November 4, 2012 - 8:30pm
I love my iPad. I bought it this summer, and it’s still new enough that sometimes I just sit there, stroking the burnished metal of the back, and marveling about how neat it is to live in the future. One of the most awesome things about this tech, for me, is the fundamental ways it has infiltrated my teaching style.
November 1, 2012 - 9:29pm
You've heard the stories from those who have successfully navigated the grad school gauntlet and come out the other end with gainful employment both inside and outside of the academy.  While everyone's experience is uniquely their own, when you ask them about it two common themes seem to emerge.
October 30, 2012 - 9:15pm
Halloween on a college campus is a wonderful time of year. Free candy can be found in bowls on every secretary's desk, normal clothing can be eschewed for fun t-shirts and costumes, and we're all given a short break from reality. However, the tricks and treats of this day can be found throughout the year for grad students. Sometimes it can be hard to identify the goblins and ghouls that haunt you when they aren't dressed up, but they're still there.
October 28, 2012 - 7:39pm
I’ve discovered a lot of great books related to academic and research life. In the past couple weeks I have written about The Checklist Manifesto and The Nerdist Way, but here are five more books to add to that list:
October 25, 2012 - 9:35pm
If you're on the academic job market this fall, chances are you will soon be facing the prospect of a phone interview. In my discipline, rhetoric and composition, phone interviews generally happen after a candidate has applied for a job and responded to a request for more materials from an interested program.
October 23, 2012 - 8:41pm
One of the most important aspects of graduate school is choosing a good mentor. Who you choose can dramatically impact your experience in both graduate school and your ensuing hunt for employment or postdoctoral positions. How do students new to a department find those faculty members who will be good mentors? What makes a good mentor in the first place? These are important questions to have in mind before choosing laboratories for research rotations and your eventual thesis.

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