Overview of pm133

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pm133
Friday, 8 January 2016 at 12:02am
Monday, 18 December 2017 at 6:18am
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Thread: How were your viva examiners selected?

posted
18-Dec-17, 06:22
edited about 26 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 6 hours ago
A wide variety of experiences above.
I was asked if I knew anyone or had any preferences or wanted to exclude anyone.
My supervisor then presented me with a shortlist of people he thought would give me a tough but fair viva and we discussed it together. The main thing was to choose an examiner who wouldn't be a total arsehole (and there are plenty of them out there) because that would have likely ended in disaster as the two of us would have clashed strongly.
In the end it was my internal who I clashed with during the viva. So much so that the external had to calm things down. I can smile about it now but at the time I was a very unhappy bunny.

Thread: Is a PhD with a 2:2 and a pass at Masters possible?

posted
09-Dec-17, 23:45
edited about 5 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From bignige:
Some of the comments in this thread reference grades have brought a wry smile to my face!

I have a 3rd in my first degree attained 34 years ago - and a pass in my Masters (23 years ago) - and at 56 years of age have to date received THREE offers from Universities in the UK.

One Professor (highly qualified (Oxbridge/Harvard)) and with around 40 years of experience, in particular emailed and told me that my proposal was "an accomplished piece of work" and that he would be "delighted" to supervise me.

And, the subject matter of the proposal is an area that I have no recent academic nor work experience in.

And, finally, even at my age and with what some on here would doubtless consider to be inappropriate, and perhaps even appalling grades, I am confident that I will attain a PhD...

N


Whilst you are perfectly welcome to challenge my views nige, I have not used the phrase "appalling grades" so I would appreciate it if you did not to attempt to put words in my mouth.
As regards your offers, I have attempted to explain why people with lower grades are being offered positions within PhD programs and I am doing so from the position of having completed a PhD and having routinely discussed such matters with academics themselves over several years. You may be the exception. You will find out soon enough but you need to be at least aware of what goes on before you start. Certainly you should be very careful trusting the opinions of professors regardless of which university they are attached to. This forum is absolutely packed with threads about students being shafted by academics who had previously whispered sweet nothings into their ears in the early days of the PhD. It can be brutal if you get a few months in and find you either lack or cannot speedily gain the academic background required to be successful. You are not in a position to know how you will cope until you start so it might be worth putting your wry smile on hold until you start and in the meantime taking on as much freely given and honest advice as you can get from those who have gone through the process - both on here and elsewhere. Yes, even the opinions you don't agree with.
Also, most people who attempt a PhD would appear to graduate. That was not the point I was trying to make.

Thread: Peace of mind

posted
08-Dec-17, 15:50
edited about 26 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From Sofi:
We are five PhDs (Let me name them X, Y, Z, A and B) under my adviser. We share common labs and common grad office room. We like to share with each other our frustrations regarding PhDs, express the dissatisfaction about our adviser, future after PhD and other pep talks. As we are five of us in team, it is very normal not to like everything that other person does. So currently I have found myself in a very weird situation in which colleagues pair up and bad mouth the one who is not there. It’s not always the same group of people though, for e.g. sometime its X, Y, Z who talk bad about B, sometime its all four talking bad about A, sometime it A and B talking against rest all. So I kinda feel, basically, its everyone who talks bad about other, at different point of time. Personally I do not want to be a part of it but I am not being able to stay away from it. When the amount of frustration and tension is very high, then you automatically tend to speak out things that was not needed to be mentioned. There has been times when bad things told about me have reached to me through loops of ears. This gives me unnecessary mental stress. I am wondering how I can avoid this kind of politics going on. I am totally not interested in other’s life. I want to concentrate in my PhD and concentrate only in my stuff. I am trying to find how can I handle the situation. Any suggestion would be appreciated. Thank you.


If I have read your post properly, it sounds like you have been engaging in this activity as well.

It's perfectly natural to bitch about people behind their backs from time to time but it needs to be a rare thing to do and you need to be careful to only say things you wouldn't mind them finding out you'd said.

My advice? Cut it out, ditch the group and get on with your work.

Thread: My department purposefully delayed my viva and being so unprofessional. Should I report this?

posted
08-Dec-17, 00:55
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From alexandercarey1989:
Quote From TreeofLife:
Maybe this person just made a mistake?

Honestly, I would just leave it. I know this sounds like a big deal to you because it's your viva, but in the grand scheme of things, this isn't a massive issue for the person involved. The Dean will ignore you or best case scenario, apologise. If anything is said to the person who made this error, it will be simply, be more careful next time, and to the person's manager, make sure you have checks in place so this doesn't happen again. It's really not worth your time.


That's what I think too although I will heavily criticize my department when 'Evaluation Form' gets distributed to me once I graduated :)


When you have graduated you will have enough on your plate without wasting your time on petty stuff like this.
Once you have gone, your evaluation form will be binned if you go to town on it.
You should have chased up the uni after a couple of weeks had passed and you need to accept partial responsibility for the delay in my opinion.

Thread: Project Management Software

posted
06-Dec-17, 14:19
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
I used project management software in industry but I didn't use it for my PhD.
It seemed a bit unnecessary. I used a todo list in a notebook and that served me very well.
On a personal level I absolutely hate putting physical time deadlines on anything I do unless it is absolutely essential. It's a guaranteed way to stress myself out.

Thread: First day of PhD but found out my stipend is 1500 e/month instead of 2800 e/month.

posted
05-Dec-17, 15:25
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
I am a little confused here.
You did your research into this funding route as you demonstrate in your post and then you signed a contract without checking the amount of money you were to be paid? You also appear to have realised that some universities wouldn't allow the full rate but you didn't check whether your university was one of them and signed anyway?
I am confused about why you are venting and it is strange that you want to blame the Marie Curie awards people. It seems like you were in control of the entire process from start to finish. Learning to check the salary is an painful lesson to have to learn in this way but I suppose you won't make that mistake again. You don't appear to have done your research properly and there is nobody to blame but yourself. We all make mistakes in life and you will certainly make worse mistakes than this. Own the mistake and learn from it would be advice.

Thread: PhD problem with supervisor

posted
05-Dec-17, 01:07
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From suji_menon:
I was doing my PhD under a supervisor who would constantly demotivate me, threaten me and expected me to work all round the week including sunday. Even while working under this supervisor, I tried coming with many novel ideas for my research. But my ideas will not be approved by my supervisor and my supervisor expected me to do some random things for the supervisor's benefit and which have not contributed to my research. After few years with this supervisor, i became constantly stressed and which affected my personal / family life. It also changed my mindset to be in constant fear and stress. At one point, my supervisor crossed limits in stressing me and finally i took up the issue and changed this supervisor to another supervisor. Now eventhough i changed my supervisor, i see my previous supervisor daily in my lab where my previous supervisor comes to visit other students. And whenever i see my previous supervisor in lab, my heart beat starts to pump more, experiencing the trauma, have butterflies in my stomach. Because of this sometimes i will even leave the lab to have a coffee break and will only come back after 30-40 mins so that my previous supervisor would have left the lab by that time. Is there any way i can overcome this fear of seeing my previous supervisor ? Has anyone experienced similar situations ? Would like to get your advice and suggestions. Thanks


Yeah I used to be like this until I learned how to "ghost" people. I pretend they are not in the room by focussing on something else and always making sure when I move about that I do so with purpose. The first time I did it, I thought my heart would explode. Within a few days it was as though these people were simply dead to me. If your brain is fully somewhere else when you walk past them you will stop looking and feeling awkward. It's maybe time for you to learn how to daydream when walking about. BTW I would leave the lab when this person was around if it was an issue.

Thread: Help with anxiety and feeling like leaving my PhD

posted
05-Dec-17, 01:00
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
Mental health is getting quite a lot of publicity right now and probably not before time. The problem is that outside the small sphere of people sympathetic to the mental health problems of others is a vast, and I do believe it is overwhelmingly vast, silent mass of people who think this is all snowflake millenial bullshit and that people are jumping on the bandwagon.

To be honest I really don't know what the solution to that is.

My suggestion here is really about considering what you can control yourself. I believe that every single person has moments in their lives when they go off the rails mentally and that we have a culture of mass denial about it. In my experience it comes down to a feeling of lack of control over your life and a feeling of worthlessness and pointlessness about everything. I think this is down to people living a lifestyle which is not compatible with who they really are. It might therefore help you if you get some quiet time and ask yourself who you really are and what your life would look like in an ideal world. In my case, the PhD taught me that I pathogically hate working alongside other people. I therefore run my own business now with no intention of ever hiring staff. That means I have to accept that I am trading away the possibility of higher earnings in order to get my freedom. It might help you to go through a similar process.

Thread: Doing a part-time PhD at the Open University

posted
04-Dec-17, 01:25
edited about 6 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From Pjlu:
Quote From pm133:
Quote From Pjlu:


All goals achieved later in life, and if you asked me at 30 whether I thought this was all possible...I would have thought I was dreaming. Life is/can be good at all ages and stages.


In fairness at 30 years old, with the best will in the world, most of us were/are as dumb as bricks with next to no experience of the wider world. In my experience, the majority of young people are too self absorbed with their own perceived importance to take the time to look around them and recognise the value of older people.


Actually at 30 years of age I was the mother of three children, 8, 6 and 4 years of age and newly divorced from an absolutely terrible marriage. I had had a great deal of worldly experience and was an avid amateur scholar but had low self belief and did not believe that my keen interest and reading in history, psychology and literature amounted to a 'row of beans', but was just a quirky habit. Having looked at growth mindsets and underachievement within my thesis, and also having worked very hard on understanding how childhood patterns and trauma can affect our choices, I understand much more about the choices I made as a young person and how they impacted then on my life and even now.

I'm not sure why I feel the need to state this now, PM133, perhaps just a need to acknowledge that unhappy young 30 year old, trying desperately to look after her children, blaming herself for everything, and choosing not progress to honours (extra years of study) and further studies beyond the initial undergraduate degree despite achieving outstanding grades, as her children needed a mother who was there for them and had some form of professional and stable employment.


At the age of 30 I had two kids with my third just a year later so I wasn't far behind you. I wouldn't know how to have done it as a single parent though.

Thread: How can I get PhD offers? Please help

posted
02-Dec-17, 11:25
edited about 4 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From chaotic1328:

Ouch indeed :-D
There are always exceptions and as I said in a previous post, I had to improve from a 2:2 myself before I could take the PhD.
In fairness, school level education is such a low barrier to clear that this probably wasn't the best example for me to give. Mind you I dont recall making any comment about devaluing the undergraduate degree. You got the high 2:1 at undergrad so clearly my comment about devaluing the PhD wasn't aimed at you.

Good luck with your application.


Take this as banter rather than anything else, as my head is aching from trying to get two proposas done to what they expect, and so am using this forum as a welcome distraction. I was making the logical deduction that if low undergrad degree grades devalue a PhD, then by the same token, non-existent A levels would devalue an undergrad degree...:)


A levels have never been mandatory in order to enter university. You have always been able to enter without them. A few hundred thousand Scots manage it every year ;-)

Thread: What challenges do you think an applicant might face in making a PhD application?

posted
02-Dec-17, 11:20
edited about 14 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From PTaliP:
I wonder from a perspective of a professional services staff member :)


What on earth is a "professional services staff member"?

Thread: How can I get PhD offers? Please help

posted
02-Dec-17, 11:17
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From chaotic1328:


No I don't think so.
Excellence is an absolute not a relative thing in my opinion.
My ability to excel at playing the guitar doesn't depend on how good you are for example.[/quote]

But surely if everyone can play the guitar like Hendrix, then that's the norm rather than anything out of the ordinary? And only people who player better would be classified as 'excellent'?[/quote]

When that happens, come back to me and we can re-evaluate. :-D

Thread: How can I get PhD offers? Please help

posted
01-Dec-17, 12:58
edited about 16 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From chaotic1328:

We genrally don't allow people to do an undergraduate degree without displaying excellence at school level and in my opinion we should not allow anyone to undertake a PhD without displaying excellence at undergrad level as a bare minimum. That seems perfectly reasonable to me.


Ouch! I don't have any A levels (dropped out half way through), plus my O level result aren't much to write home about either. I enrolled onto my undergrad course as a mature student of 27 after my divorce and felt that I wanted to do something different. I got in based partly on my experience of running my own business (I used my accountant as one of the referees!) and partly on my ability to charm the course leader...:) )

Did very badly in the first year, and just scraped 40% pass mark to progress, lucky that did not count towards the final honours. Second and final years were very much better, and I was told by my dissertation supervisor that I only missed a First due to the marking system (not sure if he was trying to make me feel better, or if it was true), and my dissertation was marked down by the second marker to ensure I get a very high 2:1 rather than a First.

Just trying to say that there can be late developers, who for whatever reason, did not do that well at school/undergrad level, and should be given another chance to shine. I certainly wouldn't have contemplated another two years of A level study, or heaven forbid, some more O level courses, and would just decide that education wasn't for me if I wasn't offered a place. Not being vain in anyway, but I certainly don't think I've devalued the undergrad degree in any way, nor cheapen the Master's that I completed this September, and I wouldn't like to think that I would contribute in any way in devaluing a PhD if my funding application for 2018 is successful...:)


Ouch indeed :-D
There are always exceptions and as I said in a previous post, I had to improve from a 2:2 myself before I could take the PhD.
In fairness, school level education is such a low barrier to clear that this probably wasn't the best example for me to give. Mind you I dont recall making any comment about devaluing the undergraduate degree. You got the high 2:1 at undergrad so clearly my comment about devaluing the PhD wasn't aimed at you.

Good luck with your application.

Thread: How can I get PhD offers? Please help

posted
01-Dec-17, 12:52
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From chaotic1328:

That would be extremely unfair to limit the top grades to that extent. Your grade should be a personal achievement and not based on how good the rest of the class is.


But isn't excellence comparative in a competitive system?


No I don't think so.
Excellence is an absolute not a relative thing in my opinion.
My ability to excel at playing the guitar doesn't depend on how good you are for example.

Thread: Imposter Syndrome

posted
01-Dec-17, 12:45
edited about 51 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From kenziebob:
Hi all. I am a first year PhD student, and it's all going really well so far (I think). I'm dealing with the constructive nature of feedback from supervisors (my first article review had over 30 comments from three supervisors!) and I am getting to grips with writing a systematic literature review (my supervisor wants to aim to publish). I suppose the way I'm feeling now is quite natural given that I have never been given this breadth of feedback before - I know it's needed as the research/my thesis needs to be valid and informed, and it's all constructive which is very helpful. But I keep feeling like I know absolutely nothing - I'm guessing this is normal for being two months into a PhD?

I know I'm a lot further along than a lot of other new PhD students - I have already been writing for my supervisor every couple of weeks (and have a good few thousand words by now), she wants to publish a systematic literature review, we have some basic research questions to consider and I'm heading to a conference soon (not to present, just to network/go to talks). But I can't help this feeling of knowing absolutely nothing! My office mates say this is good as it means I am accepting that my knowledge is always growing (and not there yet), is this something to just get used to?

Anyway, apologies for the ramble. I've been lurking here for a while and beyond my question I just wanted to pop my head above the surface and say hello. You all seem very knowledgeable :).


Yes this is a very normal feeling. You should get used to it. Right up to and after passing my viva and getting my PhD I still feel the fingers of imposter syndrome clutching at me. Get used to others thinking that you are faking this and that you know everything. I think it is because when you commit to something like a PhD you learn very quickly how much stuff you don't know. Less knowledgeable people, parents friends etc, have no visibility of the overwhelming amount of things to be learned and so don't understand where we are coming from.

Knowing eveything is not the point. Knowing how to find things out and make links which others can't is what the PhD is teaching you.
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