A Blog from GradHacker and MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online
October 15, 2012 - 8:12pm
Your Statement of Purpose document can seem hugely intimidating, particularly if you are an undergraduate writing one for the first time. And frankly, it should feel important. This document is the first point of contact between you and the admissions committee, and it remains the only document within your application package where you are able to speak frankly and directly about who you are and why you want to go to graduate school. It is a navel gazing kind of document, where you think hard about who you are and what you want. It should be at least a little intimidating, and you should definitely not leave it until the last minute. A statement of purpose is your chance to stand out among the crowd, and become more than just grades and test scores.
October 14, 2012 - 10:09pm
In the hubbub of graduate school program searching and applications, there’s one thing that should happen during your (early) considerations: dropping the big F-Bomb- Finances.
October 9, 2012 - 9:04pm
Albert Einstein is said to have explained that he didn't memorize things that could be easily looked up. "[I do not] carry such information in my mind since it is readily available in books," he said. "The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think." I cannot remember something unless I've written it down. Therefore, having ubiquitous capture is key to my everyday life. A key part of my ubiquitous capture system includes a reference bank where I can draw on previously found, researched or created items and integrate them into my workflow. I refer to this as my "memex."
October 8, 2012 - 2:27am
This upcoming week is homecoming at Michigan State University. Undergraduates, faculty and alumni are pulling together to celebrate the legacy of their university. The entire town shuts down for a parade, everything is covered in green and white, and people flock in from out of town. There are going to be hayrides across campus where you can learn about the history of the university, free arts and crafts nights, trivia games, free MSU ice cream, an awards gala, and almost every school, department, and club is doing something special. It is focused around celebrating the heritage of this great school, and the beautiful future we are currently forging for it. Where will graduate students be? Probably at home studying to avoid the crowds.
October 4, 2012 - 8:43pm
Look, coffee is great and all, but it just doesn’t hold a candle to the variety and flexibility of tea. I am a dyed in the wool tea drinker, and I can't write a word without a cuppa. But tea can be tricky; just choosing the generic bagged tea off the shelf rarely results in a triumphant tea experience. Recently, we at GradHacker have posted guides for wine and coffee, and it is high time that delicious teas were given their due.
October 2, 2012 - 9:04pm
So you’ve found a lab that you like- wonderful! Hopefully you are interested in the research and fit well into the established lab personalities. However, depending on your program, you will only have a limited amount of time to work in this lab before you have to either move on to another or make a decision as to where you will be working for you dissertation. Selection of your dissertation lab is a very important cornerstone to your graduate school experience and will determine the bulk of what you learn during your education.
September 30, 2012 - 9:07pm
How to stay motivated to write? This is especially tricky considering that one enemy of writing is fear of criticism, which is hard to overcome when academic writing has at its core the fact that one's writing WILL BE CRITICIZED.
September 27, 2012 - 7:45pm
My brother and I have always dealt with relaxation in very different ways. We're both graduate students, him in his second year, and me in my fifth year. When we visited my parents for breaks like Thanksgiving and the Winter holidays during undergrad, we had extremely different reactions to the free time. He read books, had extended lounging sessions on the couch, and would watch entire seasons of popular tv shows. I filled my time with friends, got back into my exercise routine, and was continually out and about. These methods had been fairly successful for us, even though they were different.
September 25, 2012 - 9:17pm
Colleague: Hey, I heard that you completed [insert task] (comps, proposal, thesis dissertation document)!You: Yes, it feels great it out of the way!Colleague: I bet. So now you just need to [insert next daunting task] (do your proposal, write your dissertation, find a job).You: *glass shatters*.... yeah, thanks for reminding me.