Overview of Eska

Overview

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Eska
Sunday, 6 July 2008 at 9:51pm
Thursday, 12 October 2017 at 7:11pm
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page 1 of 104 recent posts

Thread: 55 year old Homeless Man carries 2 Graduate Degrees from an Ivey league

posted
20-Oct-14, 20:35
edited about 41 seconds later
by Eska
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posted about 6 years ago
Yes I agree and that is the case across higher education: bums on seats (no pun intended) are more important than student welfare. But doom and gloom is not the answer and this forum is full of that at present.

Everybody, in all walks of life, must remain adaptable and employable in modern times. None of us can just expect our chosen paths to unfold before us... Maybe part of the problem is that graduates, especially from higher ranking universities, don't think they need other skills or a versatile CV the way other people do.

Thread: 55 year old Homeless Man carries 2 Graduate Degrees from an Ivey league

posted
20-Oct-14, 19:34
by Eska
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posted about 6 years ago
Just goes to show, we all have different experiences...

Yes I would like to earn my living by pursuing my research but I certainly don't see it as a right, or as a foregone conclusion. I feel privileged to have been able to carry out my research, to publish from it, to have my voice heard and to have learned to reason and write in a way I never thought was possible.

There are homeless people from all walks of life. Why the big surprise that one of us has the mis-fortune? If you look you'll find lawyers, doctors, bus drivers and so on too. We are not special. We are just lucky enough to pursue a career that is interesting. And some of have a great passion for our subject and for writing. Most people never get a sniff at that.

Thread: 55 year old Homeless Man carries 2 Graduate Degrees from an Ivey league

posted
20-Oct-14, 15:17
by Eska
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posted about 6 years ago
I'm quite disappointed with the forum at the moment and this post is illustrative of why.

I mean what is the point if posting this. Surely it is clear that all sorts of people can end up homeless, none of us are ever safe. Gaining a higher degree is a guarantee of only one thing: you will have a higher degree. It is most certainly not a route to financial security, at least not in my field. We all start and carry on with our PhDs for different reasons, but surely only the most ill-informed of us do so for purely financial reasons...

Higher Education is a personal choice and we have to take responsibility for that, whatever happens. I started my PhD because I know it's in me to be academic, it is my nature. I knew I would live with heavy regret if I didn't follow my research. Even if I have to take another path after this at least I will have had these years of experiencing the buzz and high of thinking, researching and writing at this level. I will not live with major regret. For me, chasing an academic career is a bit like going for gin rummy, the rewards and thrill of taking part are well worth the risk.

This post just seems like rubbernecking to me...

Thread: 55 year old Homeless Man carries 2 Graduate Degrees from an Ivey league

posted
20-Oct-14, 15:17
by Eska
Avatar for Eska
posted about 6 years ago
I'm quite disappointed with the forum at the moment and this post is illustrative of why.

I mean what is the point if posting this. Surely it is clear that all sorts of people can end up homeless, none of us are ever safe. Gaining a higher degree is a guarantee of only one thing: you will have a higher degree. It is most certainly not a route to financial security, at least not in my field. We all start and carry on with our PhDs for different reasons, but surely only the most ill-informed of us do so for purely financial reasons...

Higher Education is a personal choice and we have to take responsibility for that, whatever happens. I started my PhD because I know it's in me to be academic, it is my nature. I knew I would live with heavy regret if I didn't follow my research. Even if I have to take another path after this at least I will have had these years of experiencing the buzz and high of thinking, researching and writing at this level. I will not live with major regret. For me, chasing an academic career is a bit like going for gin rummy, the rewards and thrill of taking part are well worth the risk.

This post just seems like rubbernecking to me...

Thread: LSE or Warwick?

posted
31-Jul-14, 09:51
edited about 38 minutes later
by Eska
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posted about 6 years ago
Lucky you! You're going to be the best judge of departments/supervisors. You're going to have to get used to independent research and judgements so you might as well start now.

Aside from that, are you a townie or a country person? I've lived in both areas and they are pretty much at the opposite ends of this spectrum. OF course London is very expensive too.

Thread: The internal candidate always wins?

posted
20-Jul-14, 16:13
edited a moment later
by Eska
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posted about 6 years ago
Hi Journey, not sure if my posting was clear... Internal candidates got all of the positions I was interviewed for. They employed people who had worked for them longer than I had, for many years in a couple of cases, whereas I was quite new. They were open about there being a pecking order.

Thread: The internal candidate always wins?

posted
20-Jul-14, 13:46
by Eska
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posted about 6 years ago
Hi Journey, I too had a run of three interviews a few years ago. I was an internal candidate in all three cases but lost out to people who had been working at each place longer than me. In one case the job went to the business partner of the HOD who was also on the interview panel, all the interviewees bar one were internal...

Yes it's horrible to go through this process but I too can see why things work this way. If I were choosing to spend money and time on a new employee, I'd want to know first hand what they were like rather take a risk on an unknown. It's just a pisser for people who are not in the right place at the right time and are chosen to be taken on internally. We have to wade through the applications to find a post that is not already ring-fenced.

Thread: The internal candidate always wins?

posted
19-Jul-14, 22:34
edited about 3 seconds later
by Eska
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posted about 6 years ago
Hi Journey, yes I have noticed this, a lot. However I also know through the experiences of family and friends that outsiders can get posts just by applying. So there is hope...

Thread: Happily childfree?

posted
14-Jul-14, 20:04
edited about 14 seconds later
by Eska
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posted about 6 years ago
I don't have kids and am pretty much past the point where I can. I don't get any stigma, maybe I'm lucky???

But this has been a source of considerable anguish for me. Mostly about possible future regrets, not that I wish I had one right now. I love kids, I am besotted by my friends' children and had a big role in my niece's upbringing - she is in her 20s now. I was 18 when she was born but my sister was vulnerable and on her own so I stepped in a lot. This experience has effected my feelings about actually having my own. Now she's older I finally feel free. Also, her adolescence was horrific and I took the bullet for that. It's taught me that having kids is really bloody hard, especially when they grow into teenagers - I suspect it's usually people with younger kids who rave about it, that part was wonderful, if also tough. I don't think many people admit quite how hard raising kids is. The stress of an adolescent like no other, it still is sometimes. Plus the worry of what will happen to them is collosal - PhD stress is minor by comparison. So the choice is not always about whether or not you are maternal/paternal. I'm very maternal indeed but am still not convinced I want my own kids. Just because you'd be good at something that doesn'tmean you have to do it. Plus I know it sounds morbid but we called all very well be facing an apocalypse in the next 50+ years. Every now and again I get seriously haunted by this fact. If I had a kid now those thoughts would torture me.

This is great discussion thanks for starting it.

Thread: Academia and personality type

posted
17-Jun-14, 10:55
edited about 19 seconds later
by Eska
Avatar for Eska
posted about 6 years ago
I'm an ENFJ. Thanks for this, it helps me make sense of why the PhD solitude has finally driven me mental. It's been the hardest part of the process by far, for me.

Thread: Seriously considering "suing" ex-supervisor

posted
28-May-14, 10:57
edited about 28 minutes later
by Eska
Avatar for Eska
posted about 6 years ago
Hi Grizzle, If what you say is true, that all you're looking for is to get your PhD, then do just that. You may not have been given the guidance you wanted earlier but you do have it now, so grasp that. Revisions are just part of the PhD process. Few students have funding all the way through their degrees. Everyone finds it difficult to finish and make ends meet, but you are, in fact, luckier than most because at least someone is supporting you. If you have the money, time and energy for a legal battle, then surely you have yhe resources to finish. Yes that's incredibly difficult but that's PhD-Ing for you...

To go ahead and sue, make sure you:

a. Don't want an academic career of any sort.

b. Aren't particularly keen on having references (I know this from personal experience after making a complaint about a Masters lecturer who was harassing students - I had the support of the head of school and student welfare officer in my complaint, but they backed off otherwise).

Enjoy losing.

d. Have plenty of money, time and energy you want to chuck down the drain.

e. Have friends and family who enjoy distress over a long period of time - and make sure you feel the same way too.

Your hOD may be supporting you because they want to get rid of or undermine your supervisor. Be careful, if this the case then that is their battle not yours. Don't allow yourself to become a pawn - you want that PhD..
don't you?

Ultimately, it's your decision.

EDIT: I just read all your posts and more attentively. Some people have to complete their entire PhD in your situation. I have had no funding whatsoever, for example. I don't think it's fair to lay the blame for your situation at the door of your supervisor. It's not that sensible to assume you will finish within the time allowed by funding, especially not with a brood of kids in tow. Casting around for someone to blame now won't remedy that, it won't make you look good either.

Thread: Why are you doing a PhD?

posted
25-May-14, 13:34
by Eska
Avatar for Eska
posted about 6 years ago
Hi ZK, vesting my mind back many moons ago to when I first started/planning a PhD I can remember similar comments. It's tricky eh. For me, doing a PhD was not a rational decision, like you I did it because I felt I had to in my life some time, and I couldn't say why really. So I can understand the problem in trying to answer rational questions. People who say things like this don't tend to accept gut feeling as an answer either, in fact, they tend to think you're mad.

I ended up distancing myself from people who asked such questions. Either they saw how the PhD helped me become my authentic self (only one objector has done this - a very good friend), they've fallen out of my circle (most of them) or have just resigned to it and no longer say anything.

Luckily my family are mad and think doing a PhD is fabulous way to proceed! In fact the biggest problem with them has been jealousy from a parent, but that was very minor. I imagine it would be much harder if they weren't. I'm not sure how you'd deal with that. Maybe they'll see that it makes you happy and come around like my friend did. Good Luck!

Thread: Taking 3 months to a year off to travel after science PhD - bad idea?

posted
24-May-14, 11:21
edited about 25 seconds later
by Eska
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posted about 6 years ago
So KimWipes, travelling doesn't do it for you. Me neither. But I know a few people for whom it's the biggest thrill ever, including my mum and dad - who started their adventures with a two month drive to and around Greece in the early 60s. They do not do it to be cool and neither do the other people I know that love to travel, they certainly wouldn't stop because it isn't cool either...

And I think our OP is aware of the possible disadvantages of being older and applying for work. That's clear from her responses. People take risks to pursue what they love and sometimes life is not all about career advancement. I would never have embarked on a PhD if it were...

Thread: Taking 3 months to a year off to travel after science PhD - bad idea?

posted
22-May-14, 21:51
edited about 17 seconds later
by Eska
Avatar for Eska
posted about 6 years ago
Yes I find it annoying that the decision not to have children is so often seen as questionable, but nobody ever tells people hell-bent on childrearing 'you could change your mind given the right man or whatever'. Even though plenty have regrets about being parents... even if they don't/can't always admit it.

Thread: How can I protect my idea?

posted
02-Feb-14, 12:09
edited about 43 seconds later
by Eska
Avatar for Eska
posted about 6 years ago
I've copyrighted creative writing projects the old fashioned way of posting the documents to myself by recorded delivery. I did quite a bit of reading around this and it seems that any document you write is automatically copyrighted to you but having proof of dates and indication of your authorship are needed for a legal process. So really a record of an email should do it. Although, this said, copyright did not deter the pilferer of my PhD research topic.

If it's an invention or scientific discovery then I should think the patents office would be the way to go. There is plenty of info on the web about how to patent - although I believe the process is expensive.
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