• October 31, 2014

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 on: Today at 04:52:35 PM 
Started by fishbrains - Last post by bioteacher
I have survived the job fair followed by helping with the party at Bioette's school.* Pumpkins are carved. I am too tired to even think about trick or treating tonight. I think I shall be the zombie as I escort Bioette around the neighborhood in the rain. That makes 3 years in a row for rain during trick or treat..

*I wish other parents understood that helping means doing something more than chatting with other parents. I ran my tail off while they stood around. I don't get it. But it does explain why I am so tired right now.

 on: Today at 04:50:27 PM 
Started by spalam01 - Last post by zyzzx
That's a great point, verstrickt. The most enjoyable conferences for me are those small-medium ones. I prefer conferences with on-site housing and meals where I have to sit next to someone in my field each day. The bigger the conference, the more likely I am to cling to my little group of former labmates for emotional security, and then I get less out of it.

Small conferences are definitely the best. Even better is if the small conference has even smaller workshops or (in some fields) field trips before or after - a day or two with a small group pushed to interact creates connections without "networking."

I find that most of my network expansion comes from my existing network. I almost never approach people I haven't met, but I have been introduced to many many many people just by virtue of being a mutual acquaintance. One such introduction led to a collaboration, and that collaboration has led to a fantastic postdoc. All because I happened to be standing at a conference talking to an acquaintance that my now-supervisor wanted to greet. That acquaintance was a former PhD student in my grad school department who graduated three years before I arrived, but who I knew through the transitive socializing of the department's students at conferences.

Leading to the next point - I don't know about other fields, but in mine student-adviser relationships are often quite informal, and introductions can go both ways. If you're a student/postdoc, don't just think about networking with more senior people, but try to build a really strong network with your peers (especially from other schools/departments) as well. Mostly because these will be your colleagues for the rest of your career, but an advantage is that they will have different networks of more senior people than you do. I recently made a connection with a bigwig because I'd connected with (and had some great discussions with) one of his grad students. Another senior network node that may lead to collaboration came from a fellow postdoc mentioning to his former masters supervisor that we had a mutual interest.

I feel like it eventually kind of snowballs - the bigger your network, the faster it grows and the easier it gets to manage conferences (in terms of social anxiety, not in terms of business and demands on your time!). I've been going to a very large conference for the past 6 years. It's in Europe, so mostly draws a different crowd than I knew from my grad school days. The first year, I knew only a few people there (like 5 slight acquaintances out of 7000 people). It was kind of awkward, I mostly ate alone, didn't really meet many new people, and it wasn't so great. The next year I knew a few more, then a few more, and by the 6th year, it was a super productive meeting, I feel really plugged into the community, and my network grows like crazy every year. Plus, the conference is now really fun - I've built social connections as well as scientific ones, and now have some great "conference buddies."

Benefits so far have been a job, several collaborations, invited talks, many really useful science discussions, tons of useful advice (technical and career), probably a bunch of citations, help with field logistics, offers of lab analyses, and a name that's increasingly recognized. I think it's worth the effort.

 on: Today at 04:36:28 PM 
Started by iomhaigh - Last post by dr_know
Wait! No reunion talk? And when was All Stars on?

The reunion came on an hour earlier than the regular show time.  I missed all but the last two minutes because of that time switch.  All Stars came on in the regular time slot.

I like Chris March, Dimitry, and Gunnar.  I don't always enjoy Gunnar's designs, but he's always interesting to watch.  I hate Alexandria.  Most of the outfits bored me.  I did like Ben's dress once he finally listened to reason, and Chris's kilt was cool.  Ivanka was swilling Haterade.

 on: Today at 04:26:40 PM 
Started by atalanta - Last post by mystictechgal
Well, I just looked this student up. [Football Player] in the starting running back. Pray for me Monday.
Your next email needs to include the head football coach. They're the ones who get in trouble and lose their reputations when the athletic tutors do dumb things.

Bingo.  And who is the faculty rep for athletics? CC him as well.

I didn't have to wait till Monday. From Athletic Supporter's email address:

Hey Dr. BRT how are you. im reaching out to you to see when can i come in and meet with you on my performance in the class. I do understand that im failing the course miserably and a lot of that has to do with me missing so much class. I do agree that retaking this course with a clean slate outside of football season would result in a much more successful grade, however my situation wont allow me to drop the course. I need to know is it any way possible that i can dig myself out of this hole i put myself in, is it anything i can do to pull out a D or even a C in the class. I have been going to tutoring sessions for the past 3 or 4 weeks and the tutor even struggles with the material. I understand some of the material but not all. I am willing to do whatever it takes

[football player]

For the record, all of the assignments I've had emailed from the tutoring center have been perfect, so someone over there knows the material. A D is possible with "tutoring", but a C is not. (After all, Football Player has to take the tests). At least they aren't asking for a B, like all of the other delusional students seem to do.

Ah, just go with it. Lay it on thick. He'll never figure out that you're on to him, but everyone else will.

Dear Football Player,

I am rather surprised to hear that you don't understand all of the material and that your tutor is struggling with it, as well. The perfect homework assignments that you have been turning in since starting your tutoring sessions argue, along with the lack of questions for me either in class or during my office hours would seem to suggest that you are understanding it very well, indeed. But, if there are truly some fine points that remain unclear for you please do come to see me. If my office hours are not convenient, I am, as always, willing to make an appointment to help you, because I truly want to see you master the information in this class before having to move on to others for which it is a prerequisite. Truly,  it is a pity that you allowed your grades to slip this far. Had you been demonstrating the level of knowledge all along that your event homework attests to you would likely have one of the highest grades in the class as few others have been able to match your evident knowledge.

That said, we cannot, unfortunately, undo the past. Granting you extra credit opportunities would be unfair to the rest of the class and would, if discovered, be a violation of NCAA rules which could subject both you and your teammates--indeed, the entire school, to severe penalties, as has happened to other schools, recently. I'm sure you understand and wouldn't wish to take the chance of that happening. Similarly, I must, as a matter of course, grade your work in the same manner I grade others and record the grade that you earn. (Since your homework is perfect these days, that, of course, should not be a problem). This last brings me to the good news: If you continue turning in perfect homework as you have been doing these past few weeks, and demonstrate the knowledge that you are proving to have on the remaining exams, you can certainly still manage to earn a D, and I will be more than happy to record it for you if you do. Honestly, as the test problems are all similar to the homework problems there is ally no reason why you shouldn't be able to get perfect scores on those, too, based upon how well you seem to be understanding the material. Whether or not that would work out, in the end, to your earning a C remains to be seen, but rest assured I will be most happy to record whatever grade you earn.



/CC: Chair
Student's Advisor
Athletic Director
Head Coach
Faculty Rep
VP in charge of NCAA compliance &/or Student Discipline

 on: Today at 04:19:57 PM 
Started by fiona - Last post by magnemite
Maybe because the more of the policy that you read, the greater realization of interweb creepiness you will have. The trouble is that nearly everything on the interwebs- not just CHE- does this, so being all up in arms- especially in an online forum- is kind of silly.

 on: Today at 04:19:55 PM 
Started by spork - Last post by daniel_von_flanagan
So people not connected to GG are getting threats from other people not connected to GG.  The people making those threats, and anyone defending the people making those threats, are slime.  Likewise the people who threatened Sarkeesian et al, as well as anyone defending the people making those threats, are slime.  White points out that in this controversy, where the original GG core actively conspired to create this atmosphere of hate, anyone who at this point in time sides with them is by virtue of doing that defending the people making those threats.  - DvF

 on: Today at 04:17:35 PM 
Started by big_giant_head - Last post by prisonerofcanada
I once worked at a place where the cafeteria was under renovation and tents were set up for many months. This was in a very hot place, and the tents were broiling inside, with no place for the employees to wash their hands (and this was before the days of hand sanitizer). During breaks, the employees of the tent cafeteria would run into the nearest building (ours) to wash their hands and often hair in the bathroom sinks. We felt bad for them and didn't mind, but the grease from all of this hand- and head-washing clogged the sinks and shut down our bathrooms. The cooks were then forbidden to enter any of the buildings, so I don't know how/if they every managed to wash their hands again. Our bathrooms were down for months and we had to go to other buildings to pee. Those with labs washed their hands in the labs, but some without labs (admin type people) made the mistake of trying to rinse their lunch dishes or coffee cups in labs, and got busted by Safety. The food served in the tents was all but inedible because the high temperatures (readily over 100) made everything wilt as soon as it was prepared. The smell was ghastly from 10 am- 2 pm every day. Those of you who have done microbiology will understand when I say that it smelled like "Brain Heart Infusion" medium (tells you something about the contents of a cheap burger).

I'm astounded that there was no cholera. Or maybe there was, and I missed the announcement. At any rate, no one I know actually died.


 on: Today at 04:14:07 PM 
Started by britmom - Last post by alto_stratus
Luce, I do find the meditation helps me break away from worries for a little while.  Guided exercise, too.  Anything that forces me to follow along with something that is just engaging enough that my mind can't wander too much.

That's great, CBD!

I am looking forward to the weekend, and another chance to 'reset.'

 on: Today at 04:12:00 PM 
Started by figee - Last post by conjugate
Q:  It was one of you clowns behind the suggestion that we go to students' houses before tests to help them study, wasn't it?  It's just like something you would suggest!

A: Well, I'd have understood the "best costume" award if he'd been wearing a costume.

 on: Today at 04:03:55 PM 
Started by atalanta - Last post by kaysixteen
Do you  have to accept homework assignments emailed from the athletic cheating office?  Can you not require the lad to bring the work, on paper, to you, and his notes/ scratch paper, whatever, so you can verbally quiz him to assess whether he is actually doing it himself, as seems impossible to believe?

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