Overview of squiggles

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OMG USB stick crisis!!

Phew!! It's so easy to not back up for weeks on end though, but I'm sure you'll remember now!!

Does it ever stop?!

Hi Keep Calm,

Sorry I'm not going to offer much in the way of advice here, but I have similar panics and worries constantly. I don't teach on my own, but every time I'm due to tutor or help out with undergrads, I'm always nervous, which really bugs me! I know what you mean about the way some people just seem to be able to do anything without the slightest hint of nerves, but I guess that's just the way we are. I always tell myself that it'll be fine, nothing bad is going to happen etc etc, but I still get nervous, even with things that I've done many times before. I think I'm a lot better when something is more or less sprung on me, as I don't have the chance to worry about it. I wish I could just keep the worries aside, but it's so hard!

So thanks for sharing your worries, and rest assured you're not alone!!

Thesis Submission

Quote From BilboBaggins:

My thesis was submitted this morning. Wahoo! Going to have some fizzy tonight to celebrate.

Suspect my viva may be late March, but my internal examiner hasn't been appointed yet, so it's still up in the air.

Have already cracked open a viva preparation book to prepare.

Yay, congratulations Bilbo!! You've done so well, especially given your poor health. I hope you're going to have a wee bit of time off before the viva prep? :-)

viva worry

If you don't understand their accent, don't be afraid to ask them to repeat what they said - you can't be expected to guess! But I'm sure you'll manage - I doubt their accent will be so strong that you won't understand it. Folks from down south tend to have accents that are very easy to understand :)


So do you think 3.5 years would be a more appropriate time scale? After all, that's how long it's taken me! But maybe I'm just slow...


Ha, I even got a reply from them! All I need to do is email my 'requirements'. Simple. One PhD thesis on XXX by tomorrow. Sorted :)

More Doubts - Advice?

Hi Jessebel, well done for coming here to share your concerns!

I think that first year is a good time to realise that your project may not be right for you. Leave it any longer and you'll have done far more work that you wouldn't want to waste.

I'd suggest speaking to someone in your department, maybe not your supervisor as he doesn't sound like quite the right sort of person to listen and be considerate. Have you been assigned a second supervisor who you can talk to about issues not directly concerning your work? Otherwise does your department have a specific lecturer(s) in charge of postgrads (I'm sure there must be at least one). It would be good to talk to someone not connected to your project/supervisor, so that they can give you an unbiased opinion. I've always found lecturers to be very approachable when I've had problems - is there a lecturer (or even older postgrad/postdoc) that you know fairly well?

Discuss your concerns with them - would it be possible to change project within the department to something more physical-related? The fact that you've been accepted to the department shows that you're definitely capable of getting a PhD, so I'm sure they wouldn't want to lose you. You could even try speaking to someone in the department who does research that interests you more than your current work - academics are always keen to talk about their work, and would probably be more than happy to consider taking you on if they've time.

It sounds like you're unhappy with both the project and your supervisor, so perhaps a change of both would be the best move? I'd really encourage you to speak to folk and get their advice - better to start afresh now rather than a couple of years down the line!

Best of luck :-)


Wow, you do PhD theses too? Excellent! I'm sure you'll be perfectly capable of finishing mine off for me then. I've been working on it constantly for over 3 years, but I'm sure your complete lack of knowledge of my subject area won't be a problem. Can it be done by tomorrow? Maybe you could come and do my viva for me too?

Anyone else struggling today?

Can't say I've done much either! Skimmed some papers, modified a few paragraphs of my thesis...could all probably have been done in a couple of hours, but I've been here since 9 too!! Ah well, there's always tomorrow :)

hair question again

Quote From satchi:

hi girls its so nice to hear about what we do with our hair! bug you are so lucky to have great hair!
I havent picked a hair salon to go to yet and thats because I didn't go out today (as planned).

There is also one thing about my hair; I walk everywhere (I dont have a car to drive) so however nicely I style my hair, the wind always blows it flat. So I end up looking scruffy. It looks like it will always be like this :-(

How about hair masks; natassa can you give us some tips. I would like to make my hair thicker (or perhaps give it the ilusion of looking thicker), how does that work.

thanks satchi

To avoid the wind-swept look, have you tried wearing a hat? I've got one that doesn't look wintery (baker-boy style), so I can wear it when it's raining or windy. Of course it does flatten my hair down a bit, which is maybe not what you want!

Geek-tastic presents - what did you get?

A chocolate calculator :-) Unfortunately not edible :-(

What does a 'Chapter 1' look like?!?

Hi Mog

My first chapter basically introduces some key concepts/definitions etc used throughout the thesis, and then explains what I've done in each chapter (i.e. a thesis outline). I've also included a section called 'motivation' explaining why I've worked on my particular problem.


I'm much the same - I rarely read a paper from start to finish, and tend to only skim to find relevant bits. But I do agree that my general knowledge of the subject is lacking as a result - although I've cited a lot of papers in my thesis, I couldn't tell you much about what's in any of them!

who is the oldest memeber in this forum

Quote From phdbug:

Moonblue, drink hot choco, then get in bed early tonight, with a book and a hot water bottle under the covers near your feet, and turn on the heating.

My routine every night, plus drops of lav oil on pillow!!:p

Me too! Couldn't do without my hot water bottle. And I have a lovely warm blanket to snuggle up with- bliss!!

Goals for next year?

Well I have no option but to finish in 2010, so that's the number one goal :-) Would love to submit in the next few months, but that looks very unlikely with so much more to do. Looks like graduation will have to wait til 2011!

Also hope to find a 'non-academic' job, but have had two rejections so far :-( Can only keep trying.