Signup date: 07 Jul 2008 at 9:08am
Last login: 05 Jul 2010 at 2:38pm
Post count: 428
Regarding getting experience of school lessons, try the Researchers in Residence scheme if you're a research council funded student, or else I've found just getting in touch with heads of dept works for sitting in on classes. You'll be expected to have done this before applying to a PGCE as you may know.
Wow, didn't this get out of hand while I was away! Before it turns into too much of a slanging match though, I thought I'd put in my twopence worth. Many many years ago I did some research into prostitution and it made only one thing clear to me: however much I may not like the idea that one person would pay for sex with another and however much I recognize that in some (but very much not all) circumstances the people who work in the sex industry are forced into it for one terrible reason or another, the primary tactic for dealing with this is to recognize the industry as ancient, ongoing and very much a reality and legalize it. This would make it much safer for all involved: rates of assault would go down, drug use could be controlled and the people in need would be able to seek help in safety. Obviously the illegal work would continue to some extent, but for the most part the people involved would be safer and work in more healthy environments, prostitutes would not lose large amounts of earnings to pimps and would be in position to defend their own rights, and they would be able to work in a legitimate financial situation too. It seems nonsensical to me that governments can't see this: they could tax it too!
Is yours a subject that requires a PGCE? In one of my low points in the last few months I looked into leaving my PhD to teach in a school but without doing a PGCE first. I was told I would be able to find a job with the qualifications I have, and that lots of schools would then support the GTP where you train for a teaching qualification on the job. There are various other options too, depending on your subject and county so I recommend exploring your options - you may find that you can finish your PhD which would make you very attractive to schools or colleges, and then train whilst in a job. If your subject is short of teachers this will be even more likely. Good luck with whatever you decide.
This was the first thing the director of grad research told me when I started at my current institution, but it hasn't been repeatedly drummed into me since which is a good thing. It must make you very angry but can you respond by saying that you would actually rather be working on improving your chances of getting an academic job rather than your secretarial skills, and can he help you think of ways of bettering your CV and networking? Then he might realize that he needs to start taking this seriously.
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It will be interesting to see (if it's ever possible to find out) what happens to her careers, both research and novel/blog writing, following this revelation! I also noted the bit about wanting something she could start immediately, required little to no training, and was cash in hand. There was also something about a job that left her time to do her other work. And the several hundred pounds an hour or whatever it was must have helped the choice. An odd logic but a rational thought process nonetheless! I don't think it will reflect well on her department at the time of her PhD though...
I know brilliant people who now have excellent careers who didn't get funding. It's as much about whether you tick all the boxes that year as anything else in my experience. I have funding but I know people much more intelligent than me and whose work is much better than mine who didn't. Of course there are always people in every department who are there principally because they can afford to be (and yes, I would say sometimes you might be able to guess who they are) but that's not to say that this proves anything about self-funded students in general!
My research is on a Latin poet that most people haven't heard of, let alone read. Even many Classicists don't really think he's worth the effort (and sometimes I'm not sure...). Usefulness isn't a concept I can really apply to my work at all! It can only really be considered within the constraints of the discipline and within that I believe it is worthwhile. That frequently doesn't wash in discussions with friends who have never done research or worked in an arts related discipline, especially those who pay tax...!
Well, I thought I'd asked my supervisor and she said she thought it would be better to do it and think of it as a presentation not an article, tell them it's work in progress and just go through the material even if there are no clear conclusions. I've therefore isolated the bits with the fewest 'what on earth are you talking about?' type supervisory scribbles, cut and pasted and am just starting to go through them trying to patch them up. It's not going to look much like what my abstract promised though. Do you think that is a huge problem? I've changed paper titles before but never veered quite so far away from what I'd proposed. It's still on the same material but it will be much more of an overview than the argument I originally proposed to fit the conference theme. :-(
Nothing with words! Minimalist music especially Philip Glass works well for me. Satie is another good one - intense but not overwhelming. I can't work listening to anything that's not classical generally although some jazz is ok too. I have to be in a really particular mood to have music on when I work though.
I'm due to be giving a paper at the weekend at a PG conference but I submitted the abstract a long time ago based on some work I was doing which I later decided was rubbish. I was hoping there would be something salvageable but having just been over it and my supervisors' notes I realize that to get anything decent out of it would require a huge amount of work and I'm already behind on other work for upgrade. Which do you think would be worse: to spend today, tomorrow and Friday working on it in spite of the fact that I'm pretty certain the results will still be very flawed, or face up to the fact that it's rubbish and withdraw the paper even though it will look really unprofessional? :-(
A good start is to make sure you ask a question after any paper that is relevant or interests you, and join in if there's open discussion. I find it's then easier to talk to the people in the coffee break or whatever. If you really can't get a chance to talk to someone who's relevant try to follow it up with an email: I really liked your paper but wanted to ask you more about X etc. Sometimes you get a reply, sometimes not, but at least they might remember your name for the future. The only other thing is always stick around for the social bits or go to the conference dinner if you can. Then everyone's forced to talk to each other so you're all in the same boat! :-)
We have a one bed flat so I work in the bedroom and the rest of the flat is 'non-work' space. The important thing is making that distinction so I suppose that wil depend for you on how much you want to spend time in shared space. Do you know the people you'll be living with? I find it ok but it's a rather different situation living with a partner rather than housemates obviously! Only advice is to be careful about the paper that gets everywhere... I always feel a bit bad when my fiancé has to move piles of Latin poetry in order to go to bed! :-)
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