Overview of Magdatrix

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Magdatrix
Friday, 19 April 2013 at 3:48pm
Friday, 27 March 2015 at 9:44pm
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page 1 of 3 recent posts

Thread: Does anyone else get to their desk and instantly not know what to do?

posted
24-Jan-15, 23:27
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From kelpie:
Sorry Magatrix, I didn’t mean to worry you, it’s just that I recognise that behaviour in myself. As others have said, it’s also par for the course for a four-months-in PhD!


It's not your fault haha - this is something I'll worry about regardless :/

Thread: Does anyone else get to their desk and instantly not know what to do?

posted
23-Jan-15, 20:52
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From keyboardplodder:
Who writes 2000 good words a day?.


I can't imagine writing this much even if I had a deadline...

Quote From chickpea:
One good piece of advice I got early on was to try and get rid of a 'nasty' job that's been lurking ... I like anonymous places :)


Had an email this evening from IT saying it's solved - so hopefully it's true this time and hopefully it will help!! (And I found a new corridor today too)

Quote From keyboardplodder:
Also -.


Scripts were ~3500 (though measured in page limit instead of word limit - another peeve of mine)

Quote From kelpie:
What you're describing with the inability to concentrate can be normal for this stage of the PhD but can also be a symptom of depression/anxiety, so seek advice from your doctor if you think this might be the case for you.


This is a big worry. I've had problems with depression/anxiety previously and I really don't want to be down that route again (though feels inevitable at times).

Thread: Does anyone else get to their desk and instantly not know what to do?

posted
21-Jan-15, 15:46
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From awsoci:
(MARKING)
.


Thanks for replying :) Marking has gradually got quicker for me. 15 minutes or less is realistic for an exam paper, but definitely not for the lab reports! Unfortunately I can't streamline the process a lot because the lecturers have their specified ways in which all the TAs must mark...though in reality I think most of the problem for me is down to the reading thing!!

Quote From awsoci:
(PHD).


(see I even had to read&respond to those 2 posts because I couldn't remember what I'd read)

At the moment I stuggle to even fit 8h into my day because of wandering attention and lack of focus - I'm probably working about 10 hours but a large proportion of it is spent not actually working, if that makes sense. I get what you mean about isolation though, I live alone too and work at home some days - then sometimes going into the office is a cure for one problem and a cause of another!

Tomorrow I'm going to try and solve some programming problems, not least of which is that IT still haven't re-installed the software on my computer (despite a month of requesting...) which makes me fed up before I even start...I am trying the one-thing-at-a-time thing though, I just can't seem to keep focus when I actually start on the one task I've said I'd do in the day...

Thread: Does anyone else get to their desk and instantly not know what to do?

posted
20-Jan-15, 18:38
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From Caro:
4 months in is nothing really, it seems quite harsh for you to be given marking at that point? Or are you doing some sort of RA/PhD where you have to work too?
.


Thanks for your reply :)

Yeah I'm funded on a 'demonstratorship' so I have teaching and marking to do as a condition of my funding...supposedly an average of 6 hours per week, but with marking that's never going to happen.

I do tend to co-read-and-write as you mentioned, though occasionally it worries me as the reading and the writing are both slow. I've been able to do that to some extent with marking (though when moderation happens I'll have no contribution to make because I can't remember), and literature review is progressing at about 250words per week... Some of it is over-stress though, like I get stressed on seeing (and hearing about, excessively) how much writing other people do - I try not to compare as I know they're doing completely different things, but what often happens is:

Me "I feel like I haven't achieved much today" (having read one paper)
Colleague "Oh don't worry about it, all I've done today is read 3 papers and written 2000 words!!" <-this colleague in particular seems to make it competition-like, and also somehow transform anything I mention into something about her, which peas me off as well.

Definitely feeling like a rabbit in headlights though, so much seems to be expected at the moment (with little or no guidance or instruction, even for teaching-stuff, which keeps making me look stupid in front of students) and my supervisors are awkward to get a hold of, even when I have a specific question - who knows what I can even say if I did get a meeting with any of them!!

Thread: Does anyone else get to their desk and instantly not know what to do?

posted
19-Jan-15, 23:00
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 5 years ago
And when I said "I can't read", of course I know that this is a preposterous notion, given that it would have been impossible to get where I am without being able to read. What I mean is, I seem to have lost the attention and memory capacities required to read effectively or with any kind of speed faster than a snail crawling over the words. Marking papers has highlighted this especially, because I get to the end of a section, say 500 words, and am seemingly unable to write feedback because I simply can't remember a single word I just read.

It seems to be even worse when trying to read for my research.

Thread: Does anyone else get to their desk and instantly not know what to do?

posted
19-Jan-15, 22:58
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 5 years ago
I seem to do that all of the time at the moment.

I'm nearly 4 months in, and I just don't know what to do with myself half the time. Some days I sit at my desk looking around and wondering what I should be using that time for - now it's not that I don't have things to do, I have many. I should be making an attempt at a literature review (I should be reading, but I can't read - I'll get to that); I should be programming my experiment, or perhaps pilot-testing because I'm worried that my stimuli will not produce the perceptions that I actually want to study...; I should be marking my undergrads' exam papers... etc etc etc

Marking has taken a lot of time recently, and on mentioning that to my supervisor as I saw her casually whilst getting a drink from the kitchen, she tells me not to spend too much time on it - only 15 minutes per paper (which is impossible, quickest I've done one is 40 mins) and tells me I need to hurry up with my programming.

So rather than a 10 minute chill-break, I came back with extra stress, only to continue to stare at my computer wondering what on earth I'm supposed to be doing. And when I do finally settle on a task, either I can't focus on it for long enough to make observable progress, or it takes me "longer than it should".

Anyone else?

Thread: NHS prescription costs...

posted
11-Jan-15, 22:18
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 5 years ago
I'm looking into the HC1 form (low income/help with costs) but finding it rather awkward - as with many things, the 'student' section seems to be aimed purely at undergraduate students...in your experience is it worth bothering with this? Will it be yet another case where the dual-sided coin of PhD identity fails me, i.e. "You're a student, you can't get x" or "You have a salary/income, you can't get x"?

A related issue for anyone with asthma - are you able to purchase two inhalers on the same prescription? I have been able to do this for about 12 years, yet the most recent time I was given two separate prescriptions, each with one inhaler (n.b. both are exactly the same - I usually just get one sheet with 2x on it)...meaning that if I wanted both, I would have had to pay £16.10 - TWICE as much as if it had been all written on one sheet!

I realise this is more of a moan than an actual question but any advice is welcome... :)

Thread: Taught Masters to PhD

posted
04-Jan-15, 22:07
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 5 years ago
I began my PhD 3 months after graduating with my BSc (Hons) degree, so in my case a MRes/MSc didn't make a difference...though of course it depends on where you want to apply and what your competition is like. For example, I lost out on a different studentship because another applicant had done an MSc which included research directly relevant to the proposed PhD topic...

Thread: Am I supposed to be available whenever my supervisors decide is convenient for a meeting?

posted
10-Dec-14, 23:43
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 6 years ago
And yes, I am a full-time student, though given my supervisor's frequent comments about how he could never do a 9-5 working pattern, and the fact that I've worked ridiculous hours recently, you'd think it might not be assumed that I have no commitments on the one last Friday before christmas......

Thread: Am I supposed to be available whenever my supervisors decide is convenient for a meeting?

posted
10-Dec-14, 23:24
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 6 years ago
Quote From awsoci:
It's a frustrating situation.

Are you a full-time student? I think the unspoken expectation is that if you're a full-time student, you *should* be at the beck and call unless you have teaching commitments, illness, lab experiments, field work or conferences/seminars.

Supervisors are quite busy, and thesis supervision sits quite low on the priority list when compared with their other duties. While it is frustrating that you're expected to change your schedule to suit them, it's best to remember that they have very limited time available to meet with you, whereas as a full-time PhD student, there is the expectation that you arrange your schedule to suit them because unless you're in the lab conducting experiments or out doing field work, you *have* (and I use that word carefully as really, you don't lol!) plenty of time to work with.

Its not fair by any means, but I found in my own experience that it was far easier for me to just arrange my schedule to suit them as opposed to trying to get them to suit mine.


Thanks for the reply :)

Normally I do rearrange things when I can but this time has really driven me mad. The day they're currently going for is the ONE day I could do this month to collect and take my dog to the vets, which takes ages due to logistics, and the vets being perpetually behind-schedule anyway...and any meeting that day would mean that I can't even collect the dog from my sister's house in time. And then I'm going to a conference this week too for two days so I can literally do they day that one of them rejected, or one other day.

This is frustrating in itself, but even more so as it makes me feel like I am being way too inflexible - but what am I meant to do?

(Of course there's also hat it's the last "working" week before christmas)

Thread: Am I supposed to be available whenever my supervisors decide is convenient for a meeting?

posted
10-Dec-14, 21:45
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 6 years ago
For instance

Supervisor 1: Shall we meet next Wednesday?
Me: Yes that works for me, are you available supervisor 2?
Supervisor 2: No. Let's do Friday.
Supervisor 1: Yes, that works for me, can you book a meeting room, M?
Me: ...

Where is the "Is Friday ok for you, M?"

(Am I getting a little bit TOO mad about this?)

Thread: Am I supposed to be available whenever my supervisors decide is convenient for a meeting?

posted
10-Dec-14, 21:29
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 6 years ago
Usually I suggest meeting times, one of my supervisors agrees, other disagrees (it tends to alternate between which one) - one of them suggests another time, the other agrees, and I have to agree to that (or go through the fuss of not being able to arrange a meeting for ages).

Which is fine, when the time is convenient and I'm not teaching or anything.

But it is not cool when I've already made plans to be away from the office that day!

Does this happen to other people? What are your opinions?

Thread: My supervisor did not turn up for our meeting

posted
08-Dec-14, 00:17
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 6 years ago
No, this kind of thing happens occasionally unfortunately. With my previous supervisor, it was usually lateness as a result of delayed trains...

Replace your idea of 'professional' with 'academic'. Academics get so much piled in their direction, they often get double or triple booked...or get stuck in meetings that over-run.

Thread: I want to impress people and be the best

posted
08-Dec-14, 00:12
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 6 years ago
Quote From marasp:
Three words will solve your problem:

You need counselling.

Counselling will make you more confident, less stressed and motivate you.


Not always the case...my most recent counsellor suggested that I drop out of university...back then as much as now, 4 years later, I know that would have been the worst possible move!

Thread: I want to impress people and be the best

posted
08-Dec-14, 00:10
edited about 7 seconds later
Avatar for Magdatrix
posted about 6 years ago
When I get far too anxious, I try to think" You are the best at what you do, even if only because you are the only person who does what you do" (The second part at least is always true).
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