November 8, 2006

Graduate Student Woes- MiniSeries…

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:12 pm by a11en

Yesterday, a graduate-student in our research group expressed some dismay / sadness over the progress of his (genderless here) work. This saddened me a bit, as an old, long-in the tooth, Graduate-student… I know how this goes… I’ve been there, done that, felt that. I’m going to be starting a small miniseries on aspects which influence a Graduate-Student’s progress. My focus will be on internal aspects of a graduate’s progression through their work. I will attempt to highlight aspects of this process which are emotional and internal in thought with a focus on personal experiences. As well, I hope to highlight solutions to these thought-patterns, or experiences, by way of highlighting aspects of my reading experience.

Since I’ve just yesterday had this idea, I haven’t formulated a road-map for this mini-series yet. But, this is something that I could ramble on about for pages and pages… [pregnant pause] So, I have a lot of material to draw from. What would be wonderful, is if you, the reader, could give me a bit of feedback here and mention what you’d like to see touched on. Do you have a particular aspect of Graduate-study which you’d love to hear about? If so, please feel free to comment below. If I don’t know much about a particular aspect, or I think it’s too far away from where I’m trying to head in this small mini-series, I may choose to not deal with the topic at this time. But, believe me, as a reader- I value your readership, and friendship here in this crazy world of blogs- and so, I’ll attempt to include your topics in this future series.

I expect that many aspects of this series will touch on thought patterns/experiences in other areas of graduate and non-graduate life… likely will also touch on the business world etc. I will leave the application of these concepts to other aspects of life to the reader as homework. I’ll collect homework every second Friday… <just kidding!> šŸ˜‰

Please feel free to comment below on any aspects you’d like to explore in this small series! I’ll see you soon with the first post!


  1. JanJan said,

    I’d like to hear advice on choosing a group…the three things to consider that I think are most important are:
    1. Advisor (will you and he/she mesh right?)
    2. Research subject (are you interested in the work?)
    3. Group members (will you get along with them?)

    These are in order of importance in my opinion, and they are THE MOST important points–if the answer to any one of these is a NO, you are in big trouble potentially.

  2. a11en said,

    Hey JanJan! Nice to see you here! Welcome! šŸ™‚

    I completely agree with you. I have a little talk I give to incoming students who are considering various groups… I’ll keep this on my list of potential success items to discuss.

    My major focus in this serious will be the internal struggles that most Grads face, and how to deal with them, so this is a bit external, but the external definitely plays upon the internal, so I’ll touch on these items in general. I’ll also try and be specific on these items you’ve mentioned above.

    I’m going to not reply directly to your items above, because I want to roll them into the series, so I’ll be sure to send you an e-mail when I deal with them. šŸ™‚

    My main plan right now is to try and have a single well-done mini-article for my readers every week. I think this will give me enough time to treat a subject matter in some length, as well as afford me the time to edit etc., and give you relevant book quotes and links.

    We’ll see how my little plan works out!

    I agree with your sentiments here! Thank you for swinging by!! šŸ™‚ Let me know how I’m doing as I go through here, and don’t hesitate to make comments on where you agree/disagree with me!

    Welcome and thanks!!

  3. Disenchanted Graduate Student said,

    Romans 7:15 “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” I think that just about sums up my procrastinative nature. Worry consumes the better part of the time that I actually have free and could accomplish something. Then I feel bad for not getting to have any time to myself during the day, but then I haven’t earned the right to personal time when I have not accomplished enough throughout the day. I learned that when I get bills in the mail, it is easy to put it in the mail the very day I get it, or at the last possible day before it is due. It seems impossible to motivate myself to get things done as long as there seems time, unless I actually start as soon as the task presents itself.
    So I guess procrastination is my big issue that I am currently making an attempt to get over. I think i am beginning to do so, but it is a hard process. Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks so much.

  4. a11en said,


    Great to have you find this blog! I’m very glad you did! There are so many things to talk about in regards to your feelings on this. I am *definitely* going to attempt to deal with the procrastination issue, especially in light of the Graduate-Experience. I will be drawing form Niel Fiore’s book, in the hopes to give all my readers snippets of useful quotes (not the whole thing, of course, I’ll try and distill it a bit). The quotes hopefully will be helpful, and if they intrigue you, of course, snag a copy either from the library or from Amazon etc. Conceptually, I’ve found Fiore’s book to be spot-on- as far as the experience of procrastination is concerned.

    Let me say, that I’ve been there! In fact, I’m *often* there! So, I completely understand.

    Let me mention, that worry can be a separate issue from procrastination- and treating it often helps procrastination, as worry feeds it. Don’t forget what the Bible says regarding worry. I try not to get too political or religious in my blog here- but the message from the Bible in regards to worry is amazing… Our hairs are numbered- and if he can give us his only Son, what would he ever keep from us? The Christian is in an excellent position to deal with worry. So, don’t forget to dig on this subject matter. Faith is hope in what is not seen. And worry is often due to things which are not experienced yet- the fear of what *might* happen. So, Faith and worry is directly linked. Of course worry is the negative of this verse… hope in what is not seen- means directly the truth of what we believe. We don’t have direct proof, but we hope… so we must have Faith. In a negative way, worry is fear of what might be in the future… we apparently believe the future will be horrible… we have a faith in a horrible future. The human condition is such that we more often have faith in a horrible future, than faith in a beautiful future. As a Christian, we have a confidant- a confessor… we of all people should have faith in a beautiful future. Faith is hope in what is not yet seen.

    I hope this helps a bit, and I’ll give you more comments on this subject directly in my future posts. I hope to have on each week, and if things go well, faster than that. I’m sorry it’s a bit slow, but so much is going on right now.

    Don’t despair! Remember when you were a kid- you attacked the unkown with excitement and interest. All the things in your work that are unkown can be exciting again- explore and have fun!!

    Thanks for commenting! I’ll see you again soon in a new post! [my goal is Monday night, hopefully I can get it done by then!]

    My best!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: