Signup date: 20 Oct 2005 at 5:31pm
Last login: 30 Jan 2021 at 1:10am
Post count: 5282
A-level tution can pay quite well - I think I was getting 35-40 an hour + travel costs. I had students come round to my place too. Very rewarding too, one of my students went from a B to an A in a particular subject and got their place at cambridge.
Just find a tution company and join up. Helps develop good communication skills - explaining ideas etc to people.
I basically read through my thesis, carefully annotating with either typos or where I felt I might have to clarify and what I could say.
I also was told to read recent papers of the external examiner and any related papers to my thesis subject.
I reread key papers.
My viva was quite long 3 hours (my thesis was very long though), I found it extremely boring and I was very tired from lack of sleep. The external kept making points that I though were only slightly related to my subject. Most of my corrections (minor) were due to gaps from literature dated 50's 60's - I wasn't impressed but was glad it was over and done with and fell asleep on the way home.
I wouldn't worry about not having a job yet, it's not that great. It took me so much longer to submit etc because I basically had a job before I had even finished writing up.
I'm guessing this is the same as a journal club?
I had to attend two. The first one took place every few weeks and one person from the rota had to find an "interesting" paper and create a powerpoint presentation to discuss the paper:aims, methods, discoveries, results, conclusions, crapness of methods etc. The person had to talk for an hour (including questions) - it's flipping hard to talk about someone else's work for an hour.
The other one was every few weeks too but about 6 people would find an "interesting" paper from the field and were limited to 5 slides and about 10 mins to discuss the paper - crapness or fantasticness of methods.
Things to organise (that I can think of): You need a room with a projector and a computer booked at a particular time slot (fortnightly/monthly).
You need willing participents (postgrads/postdocs) who are in the same field (or similar field) to both attend and also to present (possibly have a presentation rota too)
Set rules - similar to the 10 mins, 5 slides only.
Can I recommend an A-level (+) textbook - my bible for A-level and for tutoring chemistry:
Chemistry in Context by Graham Hill and John Holman (if you aren't already using it)
I would start by looking up a particular topic in this book and then moving up to the more complex literature.
Hang in there, you will get there with a little hard work. If you get desperate, consider private tuition from one of the chemistry postdocs/phd students.
Toshiba is the way to go, I've had a couple of them and they are extremely reliable and VERY durable. I've stomped, kicked, dropped etc and they have always survived. One died because I left some used waxing strips on it and the wax seeped it. The second one I had to get rid of for my new work laptop.
You also need to consider desktop replacement vs lightweight. Desktop replacement = heavy but useful if you are not going to lugg it around, can have high specs, dvd drive, large screen etc.
If you want to get a mac, there are various pieces of software that allow you to simulate different OS but this might be a faff for you.
Dell is ok, good after-sales services.
Sony laptop's are stunning but you pay a not-so pretty price for the brand.
HP or Compaq are about the same price as Toshiba's but not as good (IMO)
ACER are good for the price.
fujitsu siemens - absolute crap, stay away.
If you know anyone with a Costco card and you can get to a Costco, they do excellent prices on some of these laptops.
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