Signup date: 06 Feb 2010 at 5:53pm
Last login: 07 Apr 2011 at 11:39am
Post count: 1204
My supervisor is very prickly (when I sent a draft of my proposal he scribbled rubbish, get rid, don't like etc all over it) so I am always v nervous of sending him any writing (consequently I have managed to avoid sending him much). I sent him the begining of my lit review before Christmas but for various reasons (he was off sick, I had redundancy meetings to goto) we only had a meeting today to discuss it. I was dreading the meeting but he loved it - yes there were things that needed expanding and there were other bits he questioned (but I was able to robustly defend my position). He ended up showing me his holiday photos (which relate to my research) because I am " the only person he knows who will be even remotely interested" (and I was and they were fab) - cue a very geeky conversation about similar places I had been to.
I feel very uplifted and keen (after the recent and ongoing work difficulties) to do some more real writing rather than the messing about with notes I have been doing.
You can tell it to ignore references and direct quotations which will reduce the percentage match but you do get used to looking and knowing what is or isn't reasonable. I've had reports which are less than 20% but are dodgy and others which are higher but are fine. It is a tool which requires some intelligence in using (but it is a great feeling when you get a zero score - which none of my students believed was actually possible until i showed them!)
Gosh this takes me back nearly 20 years. I started going out with this bloke when I was 26 and he was 45 - realationship was going really well but I decided that I needed to know what his thoughts were on children as I didn't want to get into a relationship that fell apart when it was too late for me to have them or where it was something I would have o accept as not being part of my life (I didn't at this stage know I wanted them I just wasn't sure that I didn't want them). So never having done anything like it before (and only 6 weeks into the relationship) we were out for a romantic dinner for two when I broached the subject of him having more children (he already had one from his marriage). My reasoning was if it was completely out of the question then I was not in too deep to get out with only minor pain which seemed preferable to not asking and then realising when it was either too late or too painful. He wasn't averse to the idea but said that he would want them by the time he was 50.
Fast forward to 2011 and he is sitting in the sitting rooom and our two children 10 & 12 are asleep in bed). We didn't have them by the time he was 50 due to miscarriages and other difficulties (he was 51 when our first was born) but we now have two wonderful children who I think has kept him young.
I guess my take on this is which could have the worse outcome? For me the awkwardness of the conversation was less than the impact it might have had on my life if I hadn't checked while I could still walk away relatively unscathed.
Painting - specifically water colours - a holiday learning to do watercolours is going to be my reward to myself when I eventually submit in that gap between submitting and viva.
I also want to learn to dance - specifically ballroom - speciffically the quickstep. My husband once bought me dancing lessons for the two of us for my birthday but we were just too busy ever to actually have them (he hadn't paid so we didn't lose any money on it).
At the uni where I work we use it to educate students so they are encouraged (or mandated on some courses) to put work through turnitin - they get the chance to change it if the turnitin scores come out too high which encourages them to write in their own words (some get paranoid over a score of 10% while others think 65% is fine). I've just used it for an excercise on summarising journal articles where they were given an example which I had done so they can see how something translates from what they have read to writing in my own words.
Turnitin does keep all work though in its database (as I embarassingly found out when I used my MSc dissertation as an example having forgotten I had used it when I went on a turnitin training session - needless to say my dissertation came out as 100% PL!) but other people (apart from staff) can't see the files.
Most PG fees go up each year in my experience. There may also be a submission fee (not usually very much). You will probably need to go to conferences which willvary depending on the location - I went to two conferences last year (funded by my employer university) - one worked out at about £1600 as it was in SE Asia, the other was in London so was about £500 with accomodation, conference fee, transport. At least you don't have oversas fieldwork!
I'm not at all convinced by the "everyone goes back to zero at interview" argument. It is well known in acadmeic circles that jobs often have someone's name on them but there are rules about having interviewed a certain number of people. Therefore people are interviewed who would only get the job if the preferred candidate really screws up. Has worked once for me when I was already a sessional lecturer at the university (so doing the job) but has subsequently worked against me three times when PhD students at that university have got the job over me (while I got the "if we had two jobs we would have appointed you" speech).
I know what you mean about not walking in to a shop and asking for a freebee (I am not good at it whereas my dad never buys anything significant without asking for a discount - and he gets them!) but give it a try. Some of my third year students have been organising charity events and got no response when they wrote and asked for donations but when they went in in person they got loads of stuff.
If you go in and ask to speak to the manager and maybe try to establish a rapport - maybe by telling him/her where you are going what you are doing - you might get lucky esp if you ask for some of the small things first adn then work your way up to new jacket etc.
Good Luck and keep us posted :-)
I've started dictating notes (using Dragon) while I am reading - I can get much more down on paper doing it this way than with my previous method of read a bit, write a note, read a bit, write a note. (when handwriting notes I use a red pen for my comments or things to follow up so with Dragon I put them in brackets with identified as my comment then at the end I go through and switch those to red)
Not sure if this would help but there is a great reousrce at Manchester University - the academic phrase bank. I find it really useful in finding new ways to say what someone said (if that makes sense). If nothing else it makes writing sound less boring!
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