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Kahn
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 6:59pm
Sunday, 2 July 2017 at 7:30pm
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page 1 of 2 recent posts

Thread: Balancing Teaching with Research

posted
09-Oct-17, 08:21
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 1 week ago
Hello All,

From September I have been teaching as part of my scholarship. I am required to teach for five hours a week. However, this is my first time teaching and I am teaching quite a difficult course. Although I understand the material I am a bit rusty because its quite technical and not directly related to my area of research. I have found that I am spending way too much time preparing for classes and this is really taking away from my research time but I can't afford to go infront of a class unprepared. There are also no solutions provided to the classes so I have to go through and verify everything myself. Is this normal for first-time teachers?

Thread: Requested change in supervision - a bit scared...

posted
09-Oct-17, 08:17
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 1 week ago
I really don't like my supervisor. She constantly seems to want to shout at me for no reason whatsoever. Also, she is always putting me down because of my age practically saying that because I am so young, I do not know anything and should therefore listen to her advice without question. The thing is that her advice is really poor. I proposed several intricate projects on the frontier of the research agenda but she always said I would be overwhelmed and has me now doing something so damn basic. I sense that she doesn't want me to do something she is unable to grasp completely because whenever I propose an idea she instantly shouts me down.... I thought the purpose of a PhD was to explore...

Thread: Supervisor Issues

posted
23-Sep-17, 01:10
edited about 14 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 3 weeks ago
Hello,

My supervisor is giving me a headache. I submitted a draft chapter knowing some weaknesses were present in the paper regarding methodology which I have now amended. However, before these amendments I went to meet my supervisor and she told me that my paper needed major revisions and provided feedback. To my surprise she didn't mention any of the weaknesses I thought the paper had and focused solely on the write up. The thing is, the write up isn't even a problem in my opinion. For example, she said you have used overly technical language! I mean, this is a PhD thesis right? She told me that a non-expert should be able to understand what you are talking about!? Furthermore, she would highlight my tables and say that I should explain the methodology used to obtain these statistics at which point I started to feel that she may have health problems. This is because the methodology section HAS a complete description of how I obtained those statistics. She apparently went through all 40 or 45 pages as pretty much all my paragraphs are annotated with notes saying explain?? Like how can I explain the explanation? What am I supposed to do with this? My other supervisor is on leave till next year. Oh and also, she said that all your references should be from 4* journals whereas most of mine are from 3* and lower ranked journals. My research area is quite a niche and naturally those publications won't be in 4* journals. How do I deal with this? For some reason I would feel bad having a go at her because she thinks she has given me really constructive advice...

Any advice is sincerely appreciated.

Thread: loss of intellectual confidence and the good old procrastination!

posted
21-Aug-17, 02:27
edited about 18 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From pm133:
[quote]
OK first off, you really need to knock some of this stuff on the head, such as comments about your IQ etc. It's nonsense and you are using it as a weapon against yourself. Self flagellation isn't going to help you here - you will just drive yourself insane.

Not one of us on here has a different story to tell about how overwhelming our first few months are. Not one of us. Lonely, overwhelmed, feeling a bit shit, whatever - we have all been there. It would have been nice if someone had prepared us for this before we start so we know what to expect. The first sentence in the PhD acceptance letter should read "Welcome to Big Boy/Big Girl school. Buckle up and prepare to feel inadequate for the next 4 years".

Now for some constructive advice :-D
Before you even start talking about Python or R you need to understand what problems you are going to solve with them.
For that you need books on Bioinformatics and Statistics- particularly introductory level for both - I am sitting with a Stats book on my shelf called Introductory Statistics by Wonnacott.
There will probably be a key book or two for the discipline.
Read it and make sure you understand it.
Only then can you hope to follow literature papers.
Once you have both you can then start thinking about the tools you will use such as Python and R. In my opinion, this could easily be 3 to 6 months of work to get all of this onboard so you might want to get started on a plan.

By the way, I would ignore what your supervisor thinks right now. They have already failed in their basic duty of care over you by not providing exactly the advice I have given you above. That should have been the first thing you were told. Also, you are not there to write papers. You are there to master a discipline. It seems your supervisor doesn't even appreciate that either.


So true ♥♥

Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
12-Aug-17, 06:38
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Coarvi:
Quote From helebon:
From my coaching session, one technique for being productive is the 10 Minute Rule. You do something for 10 minutes then move onto another task.
You have the paper work for the tasks in separate piles on the desk ready to start. Set yourself an alarm on your mobile phone for example.
It does work as the thought of just 10 minutes work is ok when you feel less motivated. Then have regular breaks. I ended up working more than 10 mins on each task.


Good ideas. Usually, when I first get started on something, I manage to stay productive for some hours (with small breaks of course). My issue is mainly to actually get started. It just feel so overwhelming. Usually my tasks are of the type "figure out why this code is not working" or "come up with new specifications since the ones I have suck". So it's difficult to think of specific tasks since it often requires me to go through a lot of code and think what to do. And I am SO SICK of codes! I feel more qualified for a job in IT than finance/economics after this, even though all my education so far is within finance...


There is a lot of code already available for economics and finance. Are you having problems manipulate the code to address your research question or trying to reinvent the wheel? If I may ask, which area of finance are you interested in?

Thread: Dealing with Stress/Depression/Anxiety

posted
10-Aug-17, 08:33
edited about 17 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 2 months ago
Thank you to everyone for replying. My GP has arranged for a blood test today in the afternoon. Let's see what happens...

Thread: Dealing with Stress/Depression/Anxiety

posted
10-Aug-17, 08:32
edited about 8 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From dotdottung:
We have similar problems. I feel guilty too if I spend a day without working. But I think we have to learn how to strike a work-life balance. Phd is just a small part of our life. In our life, there are many other things we can do like hanging out with friends, watching movies, swimming and going shopping. We still have two more years to go! Dont give yourself too much pressure!


But it's easier said than done, right?

Thread: Dealing with Stress/Depression/Anxiety

posted
10-Aug-17, 08:32
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Ephiny:
I agree about seeing your GP - sometimes symptoms like you describe can be caused by anxiety and stress, sometimes there is a physical cause such as thyroid problems. Either way it would be good to get medical advice.

Also, I can't help noticing that you sound very perfectionist and rigid in your thinking and the 'rules' you impose for yourself, both in terms of your PhD work and diet/exercise regimes etc. Obviously being self-disciplined is a good thing up to a point, but when taken to extremes you can end up putting yourself under unbearable pressure, making you unhappy and ill. The GP should be able to refer you to counselling (in fact, your university very likely offers free counselling for students), where you could explore finding a more balanced approach.


It's certainly not the first time someone has said that I am too hard on myself. But I am the only person in my family to have entered higher education and I feel that my work-ethic has been solely responsible for me graduating top of the class for my BSc and MSc despite growing up in poverty. Now I have funding for three years only and its a once in a lifetime opportunity so I have to play this right and the pressure is very real.

Thread: Dealing with Stress/Depression/Anxiety

posted
09-Aug-17, 09:32
edited about 18 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Pjlu:
Hi Kahn, I think initially you need to see a doctor (general practitioner) and explain the symptoms you have described on your post and ensure that you are well physically.

Your doctor (GP) will be able to assess your symptoms and make recommendations from there. They may also recommend counselling to help alleviate anxiety and some other supports. This would be the first recommendation I would make if a student or parent raised this concern at my workplace. (I am an Assistant Principal with a major role in student welfare at a large secondary College and this is what we are recommended to do as part of our role.)

I do think there would be other steps you might take as well to help and I am sure other posters will provide much support. However what you describe in your post concerns me, and my initial thoughts and recommendation would be to start with a medical appointment and check up, rule out any physical concerns and see what the doctor recommends.

Your university may have a free health clinic or medical centre on campus that you could call into perhaps, that does not require appointments or payment. Please take the time to take care of yourself. If you do have supportive family near by or who you can contact, I am sure they would want to know that you are feeling this way.


Thank you for commenting Pjlu. Unfortunately I am alone in this world in terms of support. That's why I have learned to keep a stiff upper lip which may be exacerbating my situation. I will probably take rest for today and if things don't improve I shall contact my GP tomorrow.

Thread: Dealing with Stress/Depression/Anxiety

posted
09-Aug-17, 08:39
edited about 6 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 2 months ago
Hello Everyone,

I am a first-year PhD student (started in October 2016). My first year has gone pretty well so far however recently I have been having some issues and would appreciate any advice. Basically, I told my supervisors that I expect to have results and a first draft of my first chapter by September or October. To achieve this and for other reasons like wanting to finish the course on time I haven't taken any time off the entire year. While I used to take one or more often two days off in the week before June, since mid-June I have taken exactly one complete day off. My diet is very health and I exercise frequently. The problem however is that over the past two weeks or so I have been experiencing pretty serious anxiety/depression (non-suicidal) and stress. My hair is falling out, my stomach remains upset, headaches (I never get these normally), low libido and the inability to focus. My daily routine consists of sleeping 8-12 hours, waking up, performing an hour of fasted cardio or resistance training, eat, research, eat, research, walk 30mins, research, sleep and repeat. I pretty much only have my results section to complete now but I am unable to write a quality piece like the rest of the paper. If I spend a day without working I feel a deep sense of guilt and the thought of not progressing even a bit in a single day makes my heart beat escalate as a PhD is not like an MSc or BSc. It doesn't just end after exams or whatever, I have to write my papers whether that takes 3 years or 5, and I am heavily reliant on my funding (which ends in September 2019). Does anyone have any advice on what I should do?

Thread: Presentations and talks - different expectations for males vs females

posted
28-May-17, 22:12
edited about 28 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 5 months ago
This is probably going to sound extremely weird and perhaps slightly off-topic but whenever I give a presentation I always imagine I am speaking to the European Parliament. There's something about those large international conferences and meetings that I just adore. I really wish I could at some point in the future live the life of a diplomat or ambassador. I am procrastinating. Back to writing my thesis....

Thread: Work place problem

posted
10-May-17, 19:21
edited about 22 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 5 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Sofi and Kahn's situations sound rather different to me. I hate to say it but I also wonder if you aren't a bit jealous Sofi... We don't choose to feel jealous, it just rises up in us, and manifests in much the way you have described! Noticing the amazing strengths of our colleague and despising them, and hating the actual person strongly and for no known reason are surely classical symptoms! I agree with pm33 that you need to make a decision about whether to rise above this or let it poison you.

Kahn your colleague sounds a bit odd and annoying (actually touching stuff on your desk?!). I don't blame you for moving to the library. But then why should you have to vacate your own space because he/she is behaving so intrusively? Are you able to diplomatically explain how you feel he/she is invading your space and ask them to stop?


Yeah I think I am going to have to be more straightforward now. No point in causing myself unnecessary stress.

Thread: Work place problem

posted
10-May-17, 19:19
edited about 6 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 5 months ago
Quote From pm133:
Quote From Kahn:
Hahaha! Sorry I am not laughing at your situation but rather I was thinking of posting something similar just last night. I work in an office environment with three other PhD students. While the individual in question is definitely not as hard working as your colleague, I have slowly started to get very irritated by having them around. Whatever discussion we may be having almost always seems to get diverted somehow to them putting forward ridiculous conspiracy theories or just utter rubbish with no facts to back them up. And the thing is that you could walk in to the office and start a conversation about things as diverse as last nights football match to dating and the conversation would almost always get diverted to their ridiculous ideas.

I don't think moving offices would be an option so for the past week I have been using the campus library which isn't as ideal as having your own office space....


Now this is a different scenario altogether.
I would mercilessly butcher anyone who touched my stuff and I would be very blunt about them invading my personal space. There is a time for being diplomatic and there is a time to "bring the thunder" lol :-D


Yeah they basically know everything I am reading as they looked through every paper on my desk. I think you are right. I should probably be straightforward however I know for sure that this is not going to be taken well and I have to spend another 3 years in the same office as this person.

Thread: Work place problem

posted
10-May-17, 04:12
edited about 26 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 5 months ago
Hahaha! Sorry I am not laughing at your situation but rather I was thinking of posting something similar just last night. I work in an office environment with three other PhD students. While the individual in question is definitely not as hard working as your colleague, I have slowly started to get very irritated by having them around. Whatever discussion we may be having almost always seems to get diverted somehow to them putting forward ridiculous conspiracy theories or just utter rubbish with no facts to back them up. And the thing is that you could walk in to the office and start a conversation about things as diverse as last nights football match to dating and the conversation would almost always get diverted to their ridiculous ideas.

The other thing is that the person is also quite intrusive. I could walk into my office one day and see things on my desk moved about and they even admitted to "checking out" my research. Also, it seems impossible for me to sit in peace and quiet to focus on my research as they're always talking or interrupt my research and guess how? By coming up right behind my back and staring at what I am reading. It pisses me off so much when I can feel the person looking from right above me. The fact that they're not too hygienic and love to make physical contact only makes matters worse.

I don't think moving offices would be an option so for the past week I have been using the campus library which isn't as ideal as having your own office space....

Thread: PhD viva very soon. Extremely stressed and need advice!

posted
10-May-17, 03:52
edited about 14 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 5 months ago
Quote From Dafydd:
Hi Eng28, I've been through the usual range of emotions during my part time PhD program. Had to do a total rewrite of Thesis two months before final deadline (7 years as I've done part time it whilst working) and on anti anxiety medication last three months. However viva is tomorrow and I am delighted to be able to say I suddenly feel very calm. There is nothing more I can do and the process of the program has been very rewarding, so much so that I would say it would be worthwhile whatever the outcome tomorrow.


Best of Luck!
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