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Everything crossed for Sneaks

Yay for passing! Super well done with glitter on top - no corrections is amazing. :D

Anyone else looking to give up PhD to become a chef?

I'd probably have found a chemistry job in industry. I'd probably also have tried to move countries with my boyfriend last year when he found a job abroad. It's not particularly exciting, but I really enjoyed my degree and can't imagine that I wouldn't have wanted to work as a scientist even if I hadn't gone for the PhD.

Paranoid about what my supervisors think of my work, and worried that I can't do anything right at the moment.

DON'T PANIC! <-- please imagine that's written in large friendly letters

Hazyjane had some excellent points and I don't think I can really add to them beyond saying that as far as I'm aware, feeling completely and utterly useless in a PhD is perfectly normal from time to time (I hope it is anyway otherwise I've definitely been doing it wrong).

Have you always been a good student?

I was the worst pupil at school. I hated it. It was bad enough that I had to spend my days learning things I didn't care about in an environment where everyone seemed to hate me, but then they insisted on trying to fill up my evenings with too. Inevitably I didn't bother doing the homework; I spent many of my lunchtimes in detention and most of my reports featured the words "could do better".

The main turning point was the end of GCSEs and thinking about the future. I came to the conclusion that to have a job and get somewhere in life it was necessary to have at least one of good looks, some sort of practical talent, social skills or intelligence. A little self analysis led me to the conclusion that using my intelligence was the only option available. At the same time I had chosen to go to sixth form and was finally allowed to choose to only study subjects that I was actually interested in. Suddenly I went from worse student ever to the geeky person who spent all of their free periods studying and I loved it. Somehow that's continued all the way through my degree and into the PhD. Not bad for the worst pupil ever.

Why do you most want to be a Dr?

It's not something I ever really think about tbh. I really enjoy having a project to work on, and I'm excited about the idea that I might eventually complete it and succeed at earning a PhD, but having the title doesn't really bother me so much. My housemates actually seem more excited about the idea than I am.

Quote From walminskipeasucker:

I also do wonder whether it would come in handy for practising the dark arts of seduction - like painting a a Ford Fiesta Mark 1 black with go-faster stripes to make it more appealing.

You'll have to test it. Unfortunately trying to seduce the same people with and without mentioning it probably won't work as they'll already be biased from your first attempt so you might need a large sample size. For a further study you could also investigate whether painting yourself with go-faster stripes has any effect on your seductive capabilities.

My viva, I passed!

Yay! Well done! :D

The One Goal Thread

Right then. Defeated a deadline yesterday, so today I can attack the next one.

Challenge: one pile of undergrad lab reports to mark.

Really want to get through them all today so tomorrow I can be back in the lab working through my long list of experiments-to-be-done.

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Hope everyone had a merry Christmas. It's rather scary/exciting to think that I should be writing my thesis this time next year. Good luck to everyone who is at that stage now. (snowman)

How much time do you take off around the holidays?

I'm taking about 10 days off. The university closes over Christmas and New Year so I can't do any experiments anyway and it gives me a very good excuse to have a break. :)

Just started...

Amazing housemates. Mine are also postgrads and they definitely keep me sane. Unfortunately I'm long distance with my boyfriend at the moment and I won't be able to live closer to him until after I finish. It's hard but you've just got to get through it one visit at a time. Luckily I'm in my third year already so my fingers are crossed that this time next year I can be in a position where I can stay with him at least while I tackle the terror that is job hunting.

Just keep in mind that the summer isn't that far away, and in the meantime try to find some friends where you are or take advantage of the ones you already have. It's already been 4 months, presumably that means that you're at least a third of the way there. (up)

Paper request

Eeep sorry. For some reason my inbox said (0). It should be sent now.

Paper request

I've got it if you can pm me an email address to send it to.

The moaning thread

Oops... sorry for that crazy rant. Feeling a lot better about everything now though so maybe it did help. :-)

The moaning thread

*blinks in shock* I'm actually allowed to say it????

I HATE my PhD.


18 months in and looking forward to getting out.

I hate the experiments that take forever, the hours I spend mindlessly browsing the internet because I have to press a stupid button every couple of minutes and my supervisor refuses to let us install any useful programs on the computer.

I hate that at the end of that all I get is spectra. No graphs. No equations. Just another sheet of A4 paper with yet another spectrum on it.

I hate that half the reason I wanted to do a PhD is because I wanted to have a go at academia, but if that means I have to stick with this topic then when I graduate I'm getting a normal job.

I hate that there is no space in the building for me to have a seat in an office so I have to wander back and forth between campus and home.

I hate that most of the other PhD students are very cliquey and have their groups so don't ever talk to me.

I hate that my housemate doing a PhD in another department seems to be having the best time ever.

Most of all I hate that I went to a departmental talk on the topic that several people hinted that I should look at *years* ago and it was the most fascinatingly beautiful thing I have seen in ages and I could feel all of the old love for my subject coming back, but I'm so far away from that topic I can't see how it'll ever be possible to get back there.

The ridiculousness of supervisors!

Mine doesn't seem that bad for that so far, but then I haven't hit serious writing yet.

I do have fun with him when it comes to experiments though... we had a meeting the other week where we looked through my results and discussed what I should do next. He suggested "experiment A"... a few days later I'm sitting in the lab running experiment A when he decides to come in and see how we're doing:

Him: What are you doing there?
Me: Experiment A
Him: What? You mean "experiment vaguely similar but not experiment A"?
Me: No... I'm doing experiment A
Him: (looking confused) Why are you doing that?
Me: Um... *lists reasons we'd discussed*
At this point he still looks a bit puzzled so I have to dig out the results I'd shown him at the meeting in order to explain why he suggested this particular experiment in the first place.