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Cakeman
Tuesday, 20 May 2008 at 1:05pm
Friday, 21 March 2014 at 11:54am
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page 1 of 13 recent posts

Thread: Student forever...

posted
08-Jul-10, 09:54
edited about 15 seconds later
by Cakeman
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posted about 10 years ago
Hi Walminski

Firstly, don't compare yourself to undergraduates, they are only at university for half of the year anyways so what you are doing is completely different. Something else to bear in mind, although they are on a 3 year course, their undergraduate days are actually over in 2 and 3 quarter years given the timing of exams, graduations etc.

With writing up, I quite liked it at first, although it really seemed to sap my energy, especially as I had a deadline to hit for a job that I had been offered. After I got the job it was seriously full steam ahead, last Christmas, I had Christmas day itself and boxing day off, and worked flat out for the rest of the holiday season, not much fun then, but it got the job done. My writing up tips are: take breaks when you need them, and even just randomly take 2 hours off in the middle of the day every so often, one aspect I loved was not being chained to the lab bench any more. Try to keep in touch with people from work you don't see so often now as well, even just go into work for the sake of it every so often just to talk to people, it can be an incredibly isolated experience.

Thread: Interesting idea for a chapter

posted
02-Jul-10, 15:36
edited about 24 seconds later
by Cakeman
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posted about 10 years ago
Could do,

I can't help but wonder why you would if you already have a fairly substantial amount of thesis material and a deadline you are having to work stupidly hard to meet. Essentially, why make things any more difficult for yourself than it already is?

A PhD is a training exercise, not necessarily a masterpiece, and chances are if you are remaining within your field, you will do much better research after graduation, therefore, why bother?

Thread: didn't get the job...

posted
30-Jun-10, 19:26
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
Hard luck Eska

Sorry to hear the interview turned out how it did. Academia can be like that at times, I'm glad it's never happened to me ........yet, but it seems a lot of interviews are decided like this.

I'd like to think if i was in the position of the interviewers I would not make it quite that obvious. If these people are prepared to do something like that to another human being, knowing full well that it had taken you considerable effort to prepare etc and would probably do the job just as well as their own candidate, do you really want to work with them?. You could look at it as a lucky escape, although you may end up working with a much more subtle pack of b******s elsewhere

Thread: Walminski's Writing Up Thread

posted
25-Jun-10, 09:40
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
Looks like your going ok to me, I had to write mine pretty much from scratch, or at least, the bare bones of a bad second year report, and got there in 9 months total, probably about 6 months of writing when you consider how slow my boss was to get stuff back to me, so no need to worry there. I would take a few days off, it sounds like you need it.

When are you aiming for submission?, I reckon Christmas, or maybe slightly earlier from what you are telling us.

Thread: Now that's what I call music...76!

posted
21-Jun-10, 16:22
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
If you want some cool PhD sounds try:

It's not fair - lily Allen. A fusion of electronica and country music, which also wholeheartedly confronts the issue of premature ejaculation. Of relevance to me because it was released when I was going to my first conference and is quite a catchy tune (not because I have suffered from the problems Lily is singing about)

Jungleland - Bruce Springsteen. A tale of suburban new Jersey on a Saturday night, and a romantic liason between two people from rival gangs, a 10 minute masterpeice also containing one of the finest saxophone solos ever.

Comfortably numb - Pink Floyd. A PhD classic if ever there was one, not entirely sure what it's about, but is fairly depressing, yet relaxing at the same time, feels a bit like a long hard day writing up.

Enjoy

Thread: Soaps - there's only one way to find out...

posted
15-Jun-10, 17:16
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
If only there was a hollyoaks option is all i can say. I appreciate your comments re everyone is overly young etc, but at the end of the day none of the soaps are fantastically realistic, so what's the problem? although it has to be said some of the acting lately has been plain c**p

Thread: the film review thread

posted
15-Jun-10, 17:13
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Guys

Just watched Priscilla, queen of the desert, It's and old film (1994) but i've only just watched it, thought it was pretty good, I'd say probably a 4/5. It's about a musical impersinations group consisting of one transvestite and two cross dressers touring Australia on a bus they call Priscilla, It has comedic moments, and a few more serious elements to it.

Thread: Am I good enough for this?

posted
15-Jun-10, 17:08
edited about 3 seconds later
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Jonny

Knowing not very much about you, I would say yes, you are definitely clever enough to do a PhD. the reasons you have not been accepted after two interviews must be something else, i.e better candidates available.

The reason I think you are good enough to do a PhD is that you have a masters, probably at reasonable grades, generally you have to do more per year in one year of masters compared with at least the first two years of PhD, if you get the right breaks in your first two years of PhD, it can be pretty easy after that, so nothing to worry about as far as being smart enough.

Personally, i don't think you actually NEED to be super clever to do a PhD, however, you do need to be able to dedicate yourself to the work, and develop a very thick skin when dealing with supervisors etc, who are not known for their social/management skills. I would say most of a PhD is about graft, with some craft, so if you are prepared to put in the graft, go for it.

Good luck with your future applications

Thread: A Very Serious Plumbing Problem - [Men Only]

posted
10-Jun-10, 10:26
edited about 13 seconds later
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
Sounds to me like it's time to take better care of yourself, I'm assuming you've been checking the "cistern blocks" for lumps as that's one possibility. Mostly I'd say stress is what is likely to be causing this issue. I've certainly noticed a decrease in my libido and ability to perform during the most stressful stages of my PhD which generally returns when I get some time to relax/unwind, but steer clear of the booze, that can also affect things quite badly, any more than 4 drinks for me these days, and we're best not bothering.

Thread: Would you do a second PhD?

posted
09-Jun-10, 10:05
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
I think I may be prepared to do a second PhD, maybe part time, something like history of cricket, probably self funded once i'm retired from my day job, (so in about 2050).

I've got no formal history qualifications, apart from a GCSE(B) in history, so would probably have to do the degree first.

Personally I think the whole PhD process would be alright if you:

a. Found a friendly supervisor
b. Had as much time as you wanted to do it.
c. Did not have to worry too much about passing/job afterwards
d. Would be so interested in the topic that you would ordinarily read about it anyway, as I would read about cricket.
e. Did not have to worry too muh about expenses

Considering most of us are lucky to fulfill 1-2 of these objectives, I don't see how a second PhD is not possible, it could even be fun.

Thread: Commuting from Wales to London

posted
09-Jun-10, 09:51
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
Sounds pretty absurd to me,

What type of PhD is it, if it's arts or literature based, and therefore working from home, and going in maybe once a week, or once a fortnight is ok you could probably do it. If it's lab based and you have to be in every day plus some weekends, you've got no chance.

Good luck

Thread: Phd, how long has your taken?

posted
08-Jun-10, 19:08
edited about 21 seconds later
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Guys,

good thread this, mine took about 3 years and 9 months including viva, 3 years and 6 to hand in, this is about average by the standards of the group i did it in, 2 members in my time pretty much handed theirs in after exactly 3 years and viva'd 2 months after that, so it can be done. Probably easier to do if it's in the sciences and all your experiments work pretty much from the outset, which for most of us they rarely do.

BTW 4Matt, I'd check the regulations on your 1+3 PhD, I think you get a year's grace to write up, but don't get paid for doing so, thus enticing you to try and get it in earlier I suppose. Normally if you take up all your writing up year as well, the institution often starts to charge a "registration fee", or thats how it works where I am.

Thread: World cup: Your opinions

posted
04-Jun-10, 18:50
edited about 18 seconds later
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
Hi guys, going ridiculously off-topic here, I'm just wondering what people's opinions of the world cup are? will you be watching?, if so, how much?, or are you one of those who can't stand football and everything to do with it.

Personally I shall watch the England games (though religously avoid buying St George cross themed tat) and some other games, although shall only be able to watch evening & weekend games due to work. Your opinions please

Thread: Postgrad Forum Hall of Fame

posted
04-Jun-10, 18:47
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
Count me in, passed on 21/05/10, nearly done the corrections too.

Thread: Viva day tommorow!

posted
23-May-10, 15:56
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Guys

Before i forget, here's my experience in a bit more detail.

It was an afternoon viva, stinkingly hot day, as it has been all weekend. The most nervous moment was probably the car journey into my (former) institution, and reflecting upon what might happen.

When I got in, 1st question was a very basic summary question, I'm told this is not uncommon so as to give the candidate an easy question to awnser, settle the nerves etc. We then moved onto a few key aspects of the project and got some more in depth methods type questions, and relating these to the validity of my arguements. There were really quite few, or indeed any questions at all that strayed that heavily of topic, this was my biggest fear, as by the time you've written a thesis, anything on that thesis will probably come back to you with prompting.

I think the viva was helped by the fact that examiners were v positive regarding grammer, presentation etc so these things do make a difference. Also I had a fair number of bigger picture style questions, and what would you do now type questions at the end. All in all it was wrapped up in about 3 hours.

My advice to prospective viva candidates

1. make time to read your thesis a few times, in detail
2. background reading, probably not essential if you can remembr your thesis writing well enough, but will allow you to embelish your awnsers with further info - makes it look as if you really know your field.
3. don't panic, I think at this stage most examiners actually want you to pass (there are tyranical exceptions, but these are relatively few)
4. Relating to previous point, choose external and internal very carefully, both of mine were very good to me, I've heard this will not always be the case.
5. Get some idea where your external is coming from with his/her work, but don't get to scared if it's slightly not your area or you don't quite understand some aspects of it, the external is there to examine your work not theirs.

Finally, I suspect the biggest fear in a viva situation is probably the unknown. Do not panic, prepare as best you can, and you should be ok, most people are.

As for me, I now have a few corrections, not too many, and I might just get it done for this summer's congregation, although I won't go to the ceremony, it will be good to have it nice and official. Back to work for me tommorow

Cakeman

Anybody wanting any elaboration on any of these point can pm me if they wish
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