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Feb 6th 2013 new

Well, I can't get my sonic screwdriver and become a Timelord without a doctorate, so...

Joking aside, I am ready to curl up and crawl under a desk. I never flunked a paper in my life before, and I just did. I'm trying not to obsess over that, and I suppose it was technically only by one point, but still...that wasn't the "new experience" I was looking for in graduate school. Apparently I am taking one of those professors who does not issue As to anyone, publishes a book every two years, and tears writing to shreds while assigning subjects that feed into his research. Lucky me, first semester of graduate school. I am telling myself it is too late to back out, and that I'm still on everyone's substitute teaching list.

Feb 7th 2013 new

(Quote) Josh-196444 said: I wish you well in your endeavors. What are your Post-Master's? You mean doctorate?
(Quote) Josh-196444 said:

I wish you well in your endeavors. What are your Post-Master's? You mean doctorate?

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Thank you, Josh! The Post Master's is actually a step in between the Master's & the Doctorate. It's considered an advanced degree, but not a terminal degree. Would love to go for the Doctorate, but it just isn't fesible right now. Hopefully soon!

Feb 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: Josh, it isn't easy, but it comes down to how badly you want it and you just take a...
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said:

Josh, it isn't easy, but it comes down to how badly you want it and you just take advantage of every moment you can. I went back to school in 2002 with four kiddos and a husband and I was the DRE at our parish and the Life Teen Coordinator. We also fostered between 2 and 5 teen boys during this time. I was lucky that my husband was staunchly behind me going back to school. I went directly into the Masters after completing my BA and completed it in two years then directly into the PhD program. I'm ABD now and have a year or so left, mostly technical things, completing the research and writing it up.

I spent most Sundays after Mass locked in the bedroom completing reading. I have pulled lots of late nights and I have toted books, and articles to read all over the place, taking moments in waiting rooms, sitting in the car during softball practices, studying in between classes, etc. Take excellent notes, involve yourself in discussions both in and out of class, and take advantage of every opportunity you can. Present at conferences, even if you can't attend, go. There are often travel grants for those presenting, not always funding if you aren't, but still try to go. Grad students are great at carpooling and everyone piling into a hotel room to make it affordable.

I actually find it more difficult now that I have completed all of my course work, I did better when I was carrying nine hours a semester in grad school, with organizing my time. I carried 18 hours every semester as an undergrad. I have also had departmental or research funding throughout grad school, not a ton of money but generally doable. It comes down to being disciplined and taking advantage of every moment you can.

One of the best things you can do in grad school is network with members of the older cohorts, hash out things like theory and ideas, also get to know and interact with your professors, some departments are more conducive to this than others. I've been lucky, in that my department considers grad students to be junior colleagues rather than just students and all of the faculty have taken interest in engaging and encouraging and interacting. Most of my travel has come about because of school. I have been to Canada twice, Peru once, several other states to work and or to present. I have been asked to give guest lectures and I have spoken to community groups as well. I have made connections with other researchers and professors in Nebraska, Texas, Maine, Copenhagen, Australia, Michigan, etc.

Grad school is tough and its demanding, sometimes the reading for one class can be three or four hundred pages a week, plus writing. It is not for the faint at heart and it is not for someone who isn't absolutely certain they want to do this. And, sometimes even those who want to do it find it too demanding. You will still have a life, much of it will be centered around grad school, your department and your cohort.

Having said all of that lol, I have no regrets at all and I would do it again without a second thought. The intellectual engagement, the physical challenges (like reading 400 pages a class) and the ability to share ideas and thoughts and discover new and wondrous things, has been more than worth it.

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That is impressive. What is ABD?
Also, if networking is the only way to go, why do job companies like monster.com even bother? I mean, networking makes sense and the rest is just window dressing.

I wondered how grad students travel; now, it makes sense...grants, loans and stipends from the department. Sounds like a full life. Journalism with a BS at a weekly newspaper was supposed to be a temporary job that turned into a long-term job. But no long-term growth in it...

Feb 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Josh-196444 said: That is impressive. What is ABD?Also, if networking is the only way to go, why do job ...
(Quote) Josh-196444 said:



That is impressive. What is ABD?
Also, if networking is the only way to go, why do job companies like monster.com even bother? I mean, networking makes sense and the rest is just window dressing.

I wondered how grad students travel; now, it makes sense...grants, loans and stipends from the department. Sounds like a full life. Journalism with a BS at a weekly newspaper was supposed to be a temporary job that turned into a long-term job. But no long-term growth in it...

--hide--

Hi Josh, ABD means All But Dissertation, which is earned after completion of the General Comprehensive Exams and the Oral Defense -- it may be slightly different for other disciplines but the Comprehensive Exams in Anthropology at my University are five exams over the basics and the not so basic, each is a single essay question for which you have four hours to write the answer without notes and with citations. So for me I had one question from each member of my Dissertation Committee and they were: History of Archaeological Theory with a special emphasis on the role of ecology and ecological theory (general), Can ancient DNA inform us as to the origin of and cause of the Agricultural Revolution (specific), You have been approached by a colleague about performing ancient DNA analysis on their project explain what can and cannot be done in this situation (specific/general), Describe two helminths and their epidemiology in the human patient, compare and contrast the consequences of infection with these parasites (specific), and Describe the progression of the bacterial composotion of the human intestinal tract, the important of the gut microbiome in human health (specific/general).

You don't know what the question will be until the day of the exam. You have five days to complete the exams and they can be stretched over two weeks. Prior to the exams, you develop a reading list for the professors for each topic. So for me, I am an archaeology (primary) and Biological (secondary) PhD. It's approximately two pages of the most pertinent and appropriate articles. The committee reviews and revises the list and then approves it. You spend the next several weeks reading and committing to memory as much information about the articles as possible. And, really trying to synthesize the material. ABD's are often very good at recalling who said what, because you have to lol. You can bring nothing into the testing room except a blank pad of paper and a pen. Your exams are typed on a sterile laptop that has no internet access and no other information on it but a word program. You have four hours to write each exam. And, you are given the specific question when you sit down to write. You are required to write with citations (author and date minimally). So I spent my weeks going from the whole to the minute basically. I wrote down the author date of publication and a few keywords about each article and did my best to commit that to memory, so the first thing I did when I went into the exams was an information dump. I jotted down the author and date and the keywords on the blank piece of paper, with those out of my head, I was then able to focus on the question and do a rough outline. Then I started typing. two weeks or so after doing the written portion you meet with your entire committee to defend what you wrote and they all ask you questions regarding your written answers. It is possible to fail the written but pass in the oral and thus pass your comps. If you are able to sufficiently justify your answer or acknowledge where your answer was lacking and sufficiently explain that. My oral defense lasted a little over two hours. They send you out after you have answered all of their questions and discuss whether or not you are sufficiently prepared to move forward with the dissertation and capable of teaching the topics associated with your major degree. When they have all discussed it and voted they call you back in and tell you yes you passed or no you didn't or some of them think you are prepared but one doesn't etc. Comprehensive exams are taken after you have completed all the required coursework for your discipline.

I don't understand your statement about networking and monster.com?? Networking in my field is essential for the procurement of post docs, samples, knowledge, collaborators, etc. . .but I don't know what that has to do with monster.com??

I knew when I went back to school that I wanted to go the entire way, partly because I wanted to be able to teach at the University level. I can teach at the Community College level with a masters but need a PhD to teach at the University level. A masters is often sufficient for being a principal investigator for public sector work.

Once completing the comprehensive general exams successfully, one is then cleared to complete the dissertation which has its own defense at the end of it. You have five years from the date of the exams to complete the research and writing of the dissertation. I have two years remaining in my dissertation writing phase, after that point there is a lot of additional paperwork in order to continue.

And, yep grants etc are how we travel most often. One word of warning, have some funds available for travel, because generally the grants etc are given as reimbursements after having actually attended :-). There are usually ways to work around some of that, but just in case have some set aside to do some of the travel you'd like to do.

Hope this helps explain some of your questions, I know it is a bit long, but then again that is sort of the nature of graduate school :-). Lauren

Feb 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Josh-196444 said: That is impressive. What is ABD?Also, if networking is the only way to go, why do job ...
(Quote) Josh-196444 said:



That is impressive. What is ABD?
Also, if networking is the only way to go, why do job companies like monster.com even bother? I mean, networking makes sense and the rest is just window dressing.

I wondered how grad students travel; now, it makes sense...grants, loans and stipends from the department. Sounds like a full life. Journalism with a BS at a weekly newspaper was supposed to be a temporary job that turned into a long-term job. But no long-term growth in it...

--hide--

And thank you Josh, and please excuse the typos in the above post it's late and I didn't proofread very well.

Feb 10th 2013 new
(Quote) Josh-196444 said: thanks for getting back to me. It's just I noticed trends...many CMers work full-time jobs and go to ...
(Quote) Josh-196444 said:

thanks for getting back to me.

It's just I noticed trends...many CMers work full-time jobs and go to grad school AND yet still have time to travel.

The problem with journalism is there is a lot of night meetings and weekends, so no travel, no night school/grad school and low pay. Choose your career wisely.

--hide--
I'd tell you it pays off in the end. When I did morning talk radio I was making below poverty wages, working ridiculous hours, going to school full-time, and traveling a ton for my job. My personal life suffered tremendously, but in the end it was worth it. I still travel tons, cover meetings, etc. but now I make beyond a livable wage and work for a national network, and work with amazing folks that make it easier to take time off. It gets better. :-)
Feb 10th 2013 new

lauren,

My point was only that...if networking is the only way people succeed in getting jobs, contacts, etc. then why is there such a big deal nowadays about sites like monster.com, which basically state that you can succeed w/just the application process, when in fact the reality is that the only way to get a job nowadays is only through networking.

that's all I meant by that.

In HS I think many students are misled by guidance counselors and such about the job market and many don't find out until much later about the importance of networking.

Feb 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Josh-196444 said: lauren, My point was only that...if networking is the only way people succeed in getting jo...
(Quote) Josh-196444 said:

lauren,

My point was only that...if networking is the only way people succeed in getting jobs, contacts, etc. then why is there such a big deal nowadays about sites like monster.com, which basically state that you can succeed w/just the application process, when in fact the reality is that the only way to get a job nowadays is only through networking.

that's all I meant by that.

In HS I think many students are misled by guidance counselors and such about the job market and many don't find out until much later about the importance of networking.

--hide--

Hi Josh,

I see what you mean now. I think it has its place and there are many ways to get a job, in some fields networking is good, in other fields I don't know that it matters much. I am wary of all the online application things, it allows for the collection of lots of applications, but is so impersonal :-(. Lauren

Feb 15th 2013 new

My basic response to the original question (largely b/c I'm sort of assuming it's based mostly on the contents of CM profiles) is "subsequently, not concurrently". I've had full time jobs. I've travelled a lot. And I'm a PhD student. I'm lucky I guess; my pre grad school jobs paid above subsistance salaries. That has funded travel (international business trips are great for the frequent flier mile balances) and such during grad school (as has summer teaching). You can travel cheap - really cheap. I've been all over the world. People ask how I can afford that. My response: I can't afford to travel in America. A hotel in a big US city can be $200 easy. I could afford that, like, once. A bunk in a hostel in Central America is $5. You can get a mouthwatering meal for $2. And the plane ticket to get there needn't be any more than a domestic flight in the US. And those four month summer breaks are good for travelling.

But you probably weren't really asking about the somewhat posh (even at a whole heck of a lot below 29k a year) PhD student life. My good friend worked full time while she got her MBA from a top school. She was in the Exec MBA program, so two classes a term. But there's a month between terms, and had pretty generous vacation from her employer. And, my oh my, did she travel. Most people I know have left the work force to head to grad school, though. Most have been going to grad school for fields that provide good employment opportunities [a factor that is too often overlooked, I think] for after graduation, so the loan burden doesn't look as scary.

But I suspect that a lot of the travel listings you'll see on here were accummulated during college (e.g. study abroad) or just during vacations.

Feb 15th 2013 new
Also military or being military brats stacks up impressive travel.
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