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pm133
Friday, 8 January 2016 at 12:02am
Thursday, 6 December 2018 at 5:16am
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Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
21-Aug-18, 01:42
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From TreeofLife:


I'm interested in learning for learning's sake. I wanted the Dr title, but it would be meaningless to me if I didn't feel like I had earned it.

My point about faking it, is about impostor syndrome, but also about being realistic. Do I think I'm as knowledge as my former PhD supervisors? No. Do my students think I am? Yes. So I have to fake it to some extent. Also, many senior academics are so arrogant (and many technicians are very condescending), so I often feel like people are trying to catch me out, show up my gaps in knowledge if you like. Academia is a dog eat dog world and showing weakness is not advantageous.


Your sentence about the entire thing feeling meaningless unless you felt you had earned it is exactly where I am coming from as well. My understanding is that this is the precise dilemma TQ is facing.

Secondly, your second paragraph sounds horrendous. I could never work amongst such people. By the way, as regards you talking about a gap between how knowledgable you are compared to how knowledgable your students THINK you are, I would say the following. When I started delivering tutorials I felt a huge pressure to hide that gap as well until I realised that I was not there to prove myself to the students. I had my first class degree and I was well on the way to a PhD. My gaps came from not scoring 100% but everyone is in that boat. I stopped worrying about trying to hide any gaps and it became much less stressful. Students dont lose respect for a tutor with gaps in their knowledge. They lose respect for a tutor trying to bullshit their way through it using time honoured nonsense like asking the students to research it for the following week. Being afraid to be found out as less than 100% perfect is a great way to end up hating your job and burning out. Not a great way to build a career.

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
21-Aug-18, 01:30
edited about 32 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
TQ, when I say a conversation is needed about the purpose of a PhD, I was talking more generally from society's point of view rather than the student's perspective (which as you say will differ from person to person).

As a society, with limited funding available to hand out to people, what do we want a PhD to be for? Why bother with them at all? Should it be about creating an intellectual elite to solve the most pressing problems facing society? Or is it something else? It is obvious what we get from it as students. What should society expect in return for that investment?

Thread: Dealing with "sexism" in the lab

posted
20-Aug-18, 18:18
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
You really must tell your husband. This is not something you should be keeping to yourself. If this was my wife, I would be pretty annoyed at not being told especially when the situation has ground you down to this extent. Sharing problems is what a marriage is all about.

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
18-Aug-18, 12:28
edited about 2 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
I was surprised by that too - but I think ToL was just referring to imposter syndrome.

I agree - what is the point if a certain level of academic attainment wasn't achieved. Exactly why I am spinning around in this dilemma :-/


I am completely with you on that. It's the reason why I argue so strongly about who should be allowed to undertake one in the first place and also about who writes up papers, whether people should graduate without papers, who contributes to ideas etc.
It is my opinion that nobody should be "faking it" on any level but I am aware that many people are awarded PhD who should really not be getting one at all and this, again in my opinion, completely undermines the award. With dumbing down of exams at school and in university itself, the PhD is the last bastion of academic integrity. If we are now starting to allow pretty much anyone to undertake one (and we are allowing those with 2:2's to take them) and we are handing them to people with either no papers or those who have not even written their own papers (and I have seen a ton of evidence of both) then there is a serious problem of eroding credibility. Those of us who value the system should be deeply concerned.

Maybe there needs to be an honest conversation regarding what people believe a PhD should be for.

Thread: Dealing with "sexism" in the lab

posted
18-Aug-18, 12:18
edited about 5 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Depending on how bad things are you could consider using your husband here.
For example, you could try talking to your supervisor about your husband on a regular basis and particularly when he talks about something you feel uncomfortable about. That is a tactic I have used a few times down the years to get a very clear message across before any misunderstandings can be allowed to gain any ground.

A technique a friend of mine once used was to tell the "target" man about a situation where someone had hit on her in the past and her husband had responded violently towards that person.

I am not sure about accusations of sexual harassment here. Harassment for me is not just about unwanted attention. It requires a clear message from the targetted person that they are not interested and then continued attention despite that message. Is that the case here?

Thread: Where to do my PhD Studies?

posted
18-Aug-18, 11:59
edited about 2 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Yeah I think my uni charged students a reduced fee for write up years as well. I seem to remember people talking about £200 or thereabouts but I might be wrong.

Also, I seem to remember reading somewhere that a PhD used to take only 2 years. Changed days.

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
18-Aug-18, 11:57
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
If I'm entirely honest, I think my confidence has been affected by the fact that it hasn't been great, which probably DOES make me think it has been "even worse" than it has been / I've developed "even less" than I have in reality. If that makes sense.

I think there IS a genuine issue (there really has been little scope for development), but this is compounded / amplified because I am the way I am (I know what I want from a given thing - from a PhD - and I have high expectations).

I guess the bottom line is: I could accept that it was a very poor experience, be proud of what I DID manage to get out of it, and move on fingers crossed to better things...

Thank you for helping me get more of a balanced view of things. One idea is to get going on tying the thesis together and seeing how I feel about it then. There is definitely enough work/data to merit a PhD, so maybe that is the logical thing to do - WHATEVER I feel about how the process has been.


Be prepared to swing from one position to another on this as the months go by. You might well feel better about it when you start putting the story together. At that point you really start to nail down the bigger picture. Also, dont underplay the learning experience of successfully dealing with a terrible situation and difficult people. That is one very common interview question should should now be able to deal with.

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
18-Aug-18, 11:46
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
But if on the other hand, the PhD hasn't afforded me the development (and thus confidence) I need to pursue an academic career...


Yeah but who's has? We are all just faking it. At least, I hope everyone else is!


I dont know if you are saying this to be self deprecating but I can honestly say that this description of "just faking" it doesnt cover my experience at all. I undertook my PhD because it represents the pinnacle of academic achievement. I had no real imtention of using it to get an academic job. If I had come through the entire process without having done anything which made me feel I had earned it I would have considered the entire thing a complete waste of 3 years of my life, It was never about getting the certificate. It was always about the process itself.

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
17-Aug-18, 03:07
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Quote From pm133:
[quote] Can't express how great it feels to be understood! :)

I think other people are seeking validation for their life choices. When you choose such a radically different pathway, some people interpret that as a rejection of their choices which provokes a defensive response.


I've definitely known this to happen before. I think that is a really good explanation/theory for why what happens happens. It's almost like being different is an offense and can even lose you friends. But I still can't conform! :-D


Quote From pm133:
[quote]
When you get to the very end of your PhD as you have and then start talking the way you have described above, it is inevitable that some people are going to think you are a self indulgent arsehole with ideas above your station.


If this is so, then I hope people on this forum can make a judgement of me based on my posts over the years, and come to the conclusion that even if they don't understand me in my present conundrum, what I'm going through doesn't arise from arrogance. And I'm happy to say that none of my seemingly crazy decisions have ever closed doors for me [quote]

Oh it definitely doesn't come from arrogance I completely agree there. It's almost the opposite if you are being pulled in a direction which is against societal expectations and norms. It feels like there is no viable alternative. It's doesn't feel so much like a choice but an obligation to yourself.

It will be interesting to see how you get on.
ETA: ah the editing capability of this forum is rubbish on an iPad. Good luck following the discussion :-D

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
16-Aug-18, 01:26
edited about 4 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Some other notable examples of people sacrificing status and steady income in the pursuit of activities meaningful to them personally would be:

The busker on the subway.
The sculptor who needs probably a decade to master what they do before they can hope to seek a commission.
Musicians who live as squatters or sofa surfers whilst trying to create a hit. The list for this includes Blondie, Bob Dylan, The Cult, Guns n Roses and a stream of others too numerous to mention.
Poets.
Actors.
Novellists.
Film and screen writers.
Playwrights.
Ironmongers.
Knitting and textiles enthusiasts.
Inventors.
Self Employed people.
Entrepeneurs.

If the only thing that matters to you is success then these areas are not going to be for you because they require years and years of undiluted effort with absolutely no guarantee of success or perhaps only fleeting success. It has to be about the journey because there may be no destinations at all.

TQ, if you find one of these types of people you will probably have found a kindred "the journey is everything" spirit. I think everyone else is likely to be problemmatic unless they genuinely accept you for who you are.

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
16-Aug-18, 01:11
edited about 19 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Can't express how great it feels to be understood! :)


:-D Good to hear.

I think other people are seeking validation for their life choices. When you choose such a radically different pathway, some people interpret that as a rejection of their choices which provokes a defensive response.
When you get to the very end of your PhD as you have and then start talking the way you have described above, it is inevitable that some people are going to think you are a self indulgent arsehole with ideas above your station. It is vital that you remember that this is THEIR problem not yours.

I am convinced that meaning in life and contentment comes from doing things which are fulfilling and meaningful to you personally. To do this, as an example, might require you to work 5 mornings a week at a supermarket to pay your bills whilst you spend your remaining hours and brain power mastering thermodynamics, electromagnetism, maths and embedded software in the hope that mastery across all these areas will lead you to a brilliant insight into a revolutionary green energy innovation at some time in the future. If you chose a technical job befitting your PhD you wouldnt have the mental energy or the time to do this. You sacrifice social status and wealth to pursue what is meaningful to you because anything else would kill you inside. It takes enormous courage to have to explain this to parents and friends who cant understand why a PhD grad wants to sit on a till for 25 hours a week to fund a life chasing a "fantasy". The overwhelming majority of people will choose the money and status route and tell themselves that they are being "realistic" and that you are a deluded idiot. I think this path explains why so many people fall into depression. A mismatch between the meaningful things the body wants to do and the chase for meaningless material wealth. One life. Choose wisely :-)

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
15-Aug-18, 18:01
edited about 4 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
TQ, don't go worrying about offending me. I got your joke and it's nothing my own family haven't told me in the past :-D
Unless there's personal abuse in there, you can be assured that I won't be offended.

BTW, I was fascinated to read that you view the award itself as only being worth 1% and that what you are considering at the moment proves you actually mean it. Do you know how rare your mindset is? That is precisely my attitude as well. I don't generally celebrate any achievement. For me, the joy is almost exclusively about the process of getting there. The upside of this is that I get to spend more time being content rather than my entire happiness hinging on getting a particular grade. We might be closer in our thought processes than you think. I consider maths and science as an art form to be mastered. My PhD was the same. Only the final paper was really meaningful to me. Without it, I would have felt a fraud for accepting the PhD. During my undergrad degree I was always motivated by fully understanding and mastering a topic rather than managing to get an A in the exam. Unfortunately there isnt time to do this during the course which is why I am filling in the gaps now in my own time.

There are very VERY few people out there who genuinely think like this. I think that this is the core reason behind why my views are so different from those of others. I am normally looking at things from a completely different place. I think artists are probably most likely to understand exactly where I am coming from. I have very little in common with those who see their jobs as just work, those who switch off at home time, those who are happy just to pass exams, those are happy to get away with mediocre work with minimum effort and those who see life as a massive checklist of things to do before they die.

Thread: Does RBV (i.e. Resource-Based View) Support Moderation in a Given Model ?

posted
15-Aug-18, 09:12
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From SWattoo:
Hello Guys,
Just need to know if resource-based view of a firm support moderation in a model having one independent, one dependent and one moderator variable? The question is with respect to dissertation where RBV is taken as underpinning theory option with an independent, dependant and moderator variable.

Kindly support your answer with relevant articles (If Any)


Are you asking people to do a literature review for you?

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
15-Aug-18, 09:08
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
A couple of things are worth bearing in mind.

1) If you downgrade to MPhil you will spend your career justifying it and competing with people who don't have that red flag on their CV.

2) In your best scenario, you end up getting a second PhD position. How do you guarantee that the second PhD will go any better than the first? It could be even worse. You could spend a few years of wandering around just to end up where you are now.

My advice would be to finish up. Stop thinking so much about how meaningful it all is. You are too far down the line now. The PhD should really be considered as a means to gain a vast range of secondary and soft skills. A door opener if you like. The technical stuff is much less important because by definition nobody else is working in your immediate area.

You have plenty of time to get your academic freedom. Virtually nobody gets this during the PhD phase.

What you are suggesting in your original post is, in my opinion, potentially ruinous to your career.

Thread: Unsure about career prospects after finishing PhD this year

posted
13-Aug-18, 00:42
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
There is no age limit for things like programming jobs and 30 is a very young age indeed.
From personal experience I can tell you that you are mistaken about the quality of computer science graduates. Most programmers are not computer science graduates anyway. They come from a wide range of disciplines and most of them are crap to start out with.
What matters most in software is experience. You have some. What you now need is to spend a month or two systematically learning your chosen language or languages from the ground up. Almost nobody bothers to do this and so they end up severely limited in what they can do. Don't be that person: do it properly, buy some books, work ALL the problems. From that you should find sitting tests at interview fairly easy. Also make sure you start creating a batch of cool programs to show what you can do.
This is almost exactly what I did more than 20 years ago and I was only a couple of years younger than you when I started.
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