Signup date: 07 Jul 2008 at 9:08am
Last login: 05 Jul 2010 at 2:38pm
Post count: 428
This really is appalling. The advice others have given is good, especially gathering up as much information as you can and making a file of evidence. However, I would recommend you copy anything you send to your HoD to the highest appropriate person ie. dean of faculty, director of graduate research at the highest possible level, plus I would also find out what your student union or student-staff liaison rep has to offer. Within a department ranks might be closed or things brushed under the carpet, so I would take this to the next level or higher to get things noticed. Given that you're an AHRC funded student, as has been pointed out, the ball should start rolling pretty quickly else future funding will be affected. I saw my supervisor every fortnight in my first year. I have lots of complaints about her but that certainly isn't one! Given that you have chased throughout, and presumably have email evidence of it, you can't be held responsible. Don't worry about how your supervisors will respond - it's far too late for that. Best of luck.
I think it's always good to hear people talking about things like this. There is a girl in my department writing up in her fourth year. I know the money she's living off (inheritance not funding) runs out soon but she won't even talk about jobs and hasn't applied for anything. But she also tells me that she thinks going to careers days etc is a waste of time and that I don't need to be thinking about jobs in my second year! Personally given how few jobs there are out there I think I need to be giving myself the best chance possible so I try to do as much as I can to help me learn about options and make me more employable. However, my discipline is in a fairly terrible state from a funding point of view so there really are no jobs - people are being made redundant and departments are closing in fact - so I intend to get as much experience of school teaching as possible in the next year so that I can get a school job when I finish, or if necessary part-time during my writing up.
This question was raised in a school meeting I was at recently and the answer they gave there was no - in the first instance only PhD students with the appropriate background or current subject are considered suitable (obviously your work has to tie in to what's taught). Then there will be the question of who is currently around in your department and who's on research leave as to what teaching is available. If you have a department with lots of PhD students, teaching may be more likely to go to students without funding or those writing up. In my department there aren't very many PhDs so I'm getting a lot of teaching and marking to do. However, this is actually because of the funding issues: the department is no longer employing outside sessionals but instead using PhDs to teach as they're cheaper! However, in my experience first years don't often teach, as you say, so that may have something to do with it.
Hi, this is very interesting. I was just wondering if you could tell me what stage you are in the PhD (Matt and Clare). I'm half way through my 2nd year so I wondered if that would prohibit things as that's only 1.5 years more of income! We were assuming that we would be relying solely on my fiance's income which is do-able but not ideal.
That's about the same as my stipend, plus I earn a bit of money from teaching and tutoring which goes into savings (principally then to be removed to pay for my car insurance when it comes up for renewal next month!) when I can afford it. I tend to be fractionally into my overdraft, since it's interest-free, at the time the next quarter's money comes in.
I was at a state grammar, about 1000 students, single sex but started taking boys in the sixth form which I think worked well. We had close ties with local boys schools too which was probably a good thing! It was very academic and most people went to university: we had excellent university and careers advice and when I didn't get my A-level grades and, for various complicated reasons by which I missed my interview, wasn't on the list when I rang up my second choice university, my head teacher talked them into taking me. I was very lucky for the opportunities I got. I was very lucky to have access to the state grammar system - there are far too few left!
I think this must be a difference in disciplines but £1000 travel allowance is something I'd dream about! I had to withdraw a paper last year as with my funding they will only contribute once to travel abroad and I decided that it would be better used toward the end of the PhD. That's only if your application is successful too. For any other conference travel I have to apply to the department. They've contributed once but they don't have the money to do it regularly!
I've just been teaching about sex and rape in some ancient poetry which is tricky on all sorts of levels. They are second year undergraduates and mainly boys. I was very impressed with their behaviour and mature approach but pretty much I addressed the topic at a level that assumed they would be mature about it. I found if you don't skirt around the edges or think about it as being anything other than just another topic you have to cover (I kicked straight off with the connotations and uses of penetrative imagery) they'll just go with you. Now admittedly the stuff I was covering is not especially graphic sexually but has a lot to do with sex and violence (not to mention the complications of the unwilling victims), but to be honest if you're asking them to read this stuff then both you and they should be able to meet it at the same level as the original text: no skirting, no euphemisms, just treating it as a text. I to be honest was more worried about sudden emotions or cases of angry feminism in the class... Good luck! :-)
I do sometimes feel a bit like this - working with an ancient poet's 'intentions' and 'aims' can sometimes feel really tricky (but then I would struggle even more reconciling myself to doing it with a recent or living author). However, providing you can justify your methodology I think any approach is reasonable. The question really lies with whether you are trying to discern authorial aims and believe in the writer's authority or whether you believe that the process of readerly interpretation as a basis for research. In some senses, if you do then anything goes! I'm dealing with an ancient readership mind you, so that rather complicates things... Oh dear!
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