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Awkward situation with team-mate!

Hi KB,

I haven't read all the posts but just wanted to say sorry you are having to deal with this guy's behaviour. I think you are being really kind by not wanting to get him into trouble. His behaviour is completely inappropriate. He sounds as though he is behaving like a little kid having a tantrum. If I were you I wouldn't hesitate to talk to your supervisor if he continues in this way, it really is not on.

Good luck

How has your PhD changed you?

Hi Wally,

Sorry to hear you are having a bad time. I think going to see the GP sounds like a great idea.

I went through a stage in my second year that could be best described as a mid life crisis although I was only 24 at the time. I ended up going for some counselling which was the best thing I could have possibly done.

Doing the PhD has aged me inside so much (maybe outside too - haha). When I talk to masters students who are just starting I feel totally ancient event though i'm only a couple of years ahead of them. I also have very little interest in hanging around in clubs and the like these days. I prefer going out for a nice meal and some good conversation. I think doing the PhD has made me question more about the world instead of just accepting which I think is certainly a good thing.

Best wishes

Post fieldwork guilt

My research focuses on the experiences of a marginalised group. I was really lucky to get help from an organisation to make contact with research participants. I worked as a volunteer with the organisation for two years and got really into it. The were so incredibly helpful and I loved working with them.

Since starting writing up i've just not had the same time available and haven't seen them much. If i'm totally honest I also think I needed to step away for a while because I felt too close to it all. I have explained that I am all tied up wtih writing and teaching but I keep feeling incredibly guilty. I feel like this manipulative faker who pretended to care about their cause, used them to get some research findings and then walked away. I know this is probably quite irrational. I mean it's not like I should be involved every day for the rest of my life but I keep thinking it.

Has anyone else experienced these sorts of feelings after leaving the field?

Do you work when you're sick?

Ha - sometimes I don't even work when i'm well so fat chance of anything happening when i'm unwell ;-)

Take a break and get back to it when you feel better.

After the PhD?

I want to work in academia. If I didn't I wouldn't be bothering with a PhD. I am realistic though, I know I probably won't get a job. If it doesn't work out I'll try for private sector research work or civil service. I refuse to do a minimum wage job after all this, there is no way that is going to happen.

Do people really work this much?

======= Date Modified 28 Mar 2010 20:12:26 =======
Thanks for all the replies!

I am writing up at the moment (11 months to go!) I guess i'll stick with my 4-5 hour productive bursts and hope for the best. I think it's right that everyone has different styles and whilst working 10 hours per day might be important for some people, for others it might be less productive. I hope so anyway!

Do people really work this much?

This is a question for people who say they work 10-12 hours per day on their thesis. Do you actually properly work this many hours? Or is it a case of a few hours work and a few hours non work making cups of tea etc?

I can work for 5 hours (as in constant concentration, no breaks at all) and then after that I am so exhausted I can't do any more! I find it amazing that some people can work day in, day out 10-12 hours per day. It kind of worries me because this might mean it is going to take me about 7 years to write up!

How many hours productive work do you do per day on your thesis?

Money saving tips anyone?

1. Vegetarianism.

2. Cook meals from scratch.

2. Walk everywhere that is within an hour or so to walk.

3. Abstain from drinking alcohol.

Oh dear I sound so boring....

Has anyone just done... nothing?

Thanks for replying!

Sorry for the nosy question. That is really good that you finished within the time.

I am full time but seriously have not been working full time hours. I probably should have switched to part time whiel I was having problems but they are funny about international students going part time here when funded. Quite rubbish. Anyway I better not de-rail this thread, thanks for replying!


Has anyone just done... nothing?

Quote From BilboBaggins:

I've had periods of many months where I've done nothing at all. In my case it's due to serious ill health. Even in better patches I only have at most 5 hours total a week for the PhD, in 1 hour bursts. That would typically mean snatching odd hours at weekends, or odd hours in the evening

Congratulations on your submission, that is fantastic.

Sorry if this comes across as a rude/cheeky question. I was just wondering how many years it took you to submit? The reason I am wondering is I had a bit of time out too and keep wondering whether I am going to be doing this forever given time off and my slack hours at other times! If you don't want to reply no worries.

Raginwitch I relate to what you wrote. I like my supervisors but find they are around less now i'm getting closer to the end and less available to help. Great news you got a job though. Just try to keep your eye on the prize and think of how great it will feel to have the thesis out of your life!

Missing out? (Particularly for those of us with biological clocks)

I am a female and I definately do not feel this way. I don't ever want to get married, and have no interest in having a child. I may want a child one day. but I'm not interested in getting married. I do get irritated by my PhD holding me back sometimes though. My partner is about to go travelling without me for 6 months because I have to stick around and finish this thing off. I also get very envious of friends who have 'real' jobs and can afford lots of nice things.

Sorry you feel this way.

Should I apply for this job?

======= Date Modified 18 16 2010 09:16:27 =======
I am in the final year of my PhD, due to submit in February 2011. I am reasonably on track so far. When I finish I (like most people), really want an academic job. I particularly want a teaching job. I currently tutor 103 third year students over three groups and have to mark all the essays. This is my second year doing this.

Since I have been doing my PhD there has been no vacancies advertised at my university in my area of research. Then today an email arrived advertising for a temporary teaching fellow to cover a staff absence. The only criteria is experience teaching at tertiary level, and an MA or PhD in the subject area. The course is already written, so it is just a case of delivering the lectures, administration and doing the marking.

I think this is a great opportunity to get a foot in the door. However part of me keeps saying 'you can't do this' and that I will get laughed at if I apply. My supervisor is the head of the department and I really don't want to embarrass her and myself by applying for something I am not ready for. I don't want to ask her about it either because I am worried this might be seen as trying to get an advantage or something.

So should I just get a grip and put in an application to see what happens?

Demanding arrogant undergraduate students

Obviously I don't mean all undergrads are demanding and arrogant. Overall most of the students I have this year are great. However, some are pretty difficult to deal with. One of them talks in class as if he deserves a nobel prize and talks to me like I am some kind of idiot if I don't know the answer to every single one of his questions.

Another two seem to think all I am on the planet for is to be their tutor and therefore they can demand, demand, demand - have answers to their email in 20 seconds flat, email several times a day in detail as though they want me to just write the essay for them.

When I was an undergrad I had so much respect for my lecturers and tutors, and I was always encouraged to think independently instead of expecting all the answers to just be fed to me. I'm pretty sure most other students I was in class with were the same (although this may be an idealistic memory).

Anyway I just felt like a rant! Anyone else got any challenging students or is it just me?

Contacting a top academic

I am doing my PhD in the Southern Hemisphere, but last year I made contact with one of the top academics in my field on the other side of the world to tell her about my work, and say how much her research had inspired me. I felt like such a brown noser at the time, but I just really wanted to make contact with her because our work is very similar, just within different legal frameworks. Anyway, she responded, we kept in contact and now I am about to have a book chapter published in a book she is editing. This would not have happened had I not sent the email, she wouldn't have known I existed.

I'm sure not all senior academics are this friendly (well I know from experience they are sometimes not!), but it is definitely worth making contact to test the water. Just send an email explaining what you are doing. I'm sure if you say something subtly kiss arsey about their work too it won't go a miss. Even senior academics can feel inadequate and appreciate a bit of flattery.

Good luck!

Teaching/Discussing Sensitive Topics

I rarely teach topics that are not of a sensitive nature. I actually feel really comfortable discussing sexually explicit topics with most people, and my main concern is usually ensuring everyone in the class is really respected since sexual topics can bring up uncomfortable personal stuff for anyone. The students I have worked with are all 20+ but the young men in your class my surprise you and just take it in their stride.

If you blush then they should all understand. Standing up in front of a room of people and trying to teach can be difficult enough even if you don't have to say naughty words so I think your apprehension is pretty understandable!

Good luck