GradHacker

GradHacker

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

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.
October 21, 2012 - 9:04pm
We may not like to admit it, but many of us can describe a time when we’ve made a mistake during the progress of a study. These mistakes can range from mixing up wires or forgetting to turn on an amplifier to forgetting to collect an essential piece of information that either requires additional processing time or prevents you from analyzing a certain variable altogether. Increased computing power and technological advancements have also made it easier than ever to collect data.
October 17, 2012 - 8:52pm
The best thing that ever happened to me was the day the graduate program of my dreams, the one I thought for sure I had the best shot at, the one that represented all of my aspirations, THE PROGRAM, rejected me for admission.

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