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

August 14, 2012 - 9:23pm
This summer I found myself in the fortunate position to work full time on my thesis. As a result, I have been confronted with what I consider to be one of the biggest demons of graduate work: loneliness.
August 12, 2012 - 4:59pm
It starts innocently enough. We save a PDF file to our desktop or in a folder. After some more work we suddenly have a folder stuffed with files and we lose the sense of structure that ties the work together. Folders and subfolders appear to try and capture structure, filenames no longer carry any meaning, and the mass of files and folders loses meaning. Then the process repeats itself.
August 9, 2012 - 7:50pm
It is a truth universally acknowledged that where there's a hacker up for mischief, there are security settings just waiting to be breached. I have a begrudging respect for mischievous hackers: wherever the rest of us have been blithely accepting of whatever security protocols we don't read about in Terms of Service, they have figured out exactly how to exploit that for their own purposes.
August 8, 2012 - 7:24am
Ask any graduate student about their Lit Review and each would have a few not so pleasant things to say about the process. Fellow GradHacker Andrea Zellner previously wrote about ways to survive a Lit Review, but what happens when you’ve survived and the Lit Review is no longer your biggest priority?
August 5, 2012 - 9:34pm
Some of you reading this will be starting graduate school this coming fall. Congratulations! You are just beginning what will be one of the most difficult and rewarding processes of your life. Those of you going into PhD programs will likely do rotations in various labs during your first year before settling in lab where you will do your thesis research. Choosing this laboratory is extremely important as you will end up spending more time with these people than your family and establishing good working conditions is critical to finishing your dissertation in a timely fashion.
August 2, 2012 - 8:24pm
I have a confession to make. I don’t love writing my dissertation. In fact, there are days when I open documents on my computer and start to cry. I am, at times, filled with an overwhelming anxiety, and there are moments when even thinking about my dissertation makes me want to throw my computer out the window and join the circus.
July 31, 2012 - 8:03pm
Being able to hack a restaurant wine list is a surprisingly useful skill. Wine is becoming increasingly popular with tasting rooms and wine bars opening up all across the country. As a grad student, I've found that even a basic wine knowledge can be an invaluable skill for dinners and parties with professors and other students. So here is your primer on hacking the wine list and tasting wine. 
July 30, 2012 - 8:15pm
We hope that your summer is going well and you were able to enjoy a rest in July just as much as us! Now we are back to work and ready for action! We at GradHacker have been so busy with thinking about the future, getting new authors and reading through amazing forthcoming posts that we completely forgot our own birthday. We are a little over a year old now, and have had such an amazing year!
July 9, 2012 - 9:15pm
So this summer, try to take some time off. Give yourself a few breaks away from schoolwork, away from your smart phone, and focus on leisure and focus on recharging. GradHacker is going to be taking a break for the rest of July to recharge, so shouldn't you?
July 2, 2012 - 9:33pm
As an undergraduate I had a wardrobe consisting of state university sweat pants, hoodies, flip-flops and free t-shirts. And why not? It was comfortable, easy, and everyone else dressed that way. However, when I got to graduate school I realized that my undergrad wardrobe was not going to cut it. There was no formal dress code, but it was clear by looking at my peers and professors that I needed to step up how I dressed in order to both fit in and be taken seriously. It is important to dress the part as graduate school is where we really begin our careers as scientists and start to interact with members of our field. Thankfully though, day-to-day academia can also be rather casual and there are many options for dressing.


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