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T O P I C     R E V I E W
business attire
Member # 6102
 - posted April 02, 2009 12:25
Honest to God story here....

I was browsing around posting on geek culture for the first time in years and then

*chime!* new email.

I just got accepted into the Immunology Ph.D. program at Baylor Collge of Medicine.

So you guys are good luck, huh?

Member # 1659
 - posted April 02, 2009 12:32
__________________________ business attire __

There are many things that could be said but

TheMoMan says 'Good On Yah"
The Famous Druid
Member # 1769
 - posted April 02, 2009 13:58
So, you'll be changing your nick to 'medical attire' then?

Congratulations, and go find that cure for the common cold. [Applause] [Applause] [Applause]
Member # 4289
 - posted April 02, 2009 14:28
"medical attire" ...... Now there's a thought! [Razz]
Member # 3446
 - posted April 02, 2009 15:56
Biz! Congrats!
Member # 2071
 - posted April 02, 2009 17:10
Great to see you BA, I hope you haven't been posting because your real life is just too too fabulous darling! [Smile]

Anyway congratulations on your acceptance! [Applause] [Applause]
Member # 170
 - posted April 02, 2009 18:27
Congratulations on the acceptance [thumbsup]

(and welcome back)
Ugh, MightyClub
Member # 3112
 - posted April 02, 2009 19:41
Yay, congrats, and glad to see you again!
Member # 1181
 - posted April 03, 2009 00:08
Good to see you again, and congratulations!
Member # 748
 - posted April 03, 2009 03:26
Yay! for you! [Applause] Immunology? That sounds great. Any idea on your research subject yet?
business attire
Member # 6102
 - posted April 03, 2009 07:23
Thanks everyone!

Druid and Grummash: Get your mind out of the gutters, filthy buggers! No naughty nurses for you! It'll be more business casual with a lab coat. [Big Grin]

Callipygous: if you mean working a lab job where nothing goes right, getting rid of the internet connection at home, and slowly becoming a crazy cat lady are fabulous, then sure. [Big Grin]

Stereo: holy cow! I haven't even filled out the official paperwork quite yet. Plus I have to do "rotations" with 3 or 4 potential advisors in the first year to explore my interests before I settle down and start a research project.
Member # 123
 - posted April 03, 2009 09:05
Hey hey! Super Lucky Mag Valour to you!

Member # 736
 - posted April 03, 2009 10:11
Originally posted by business attire:

Callipygous: if you mean working a lab job where nothing goes right

You think grad school's gonna be any different?

In all seriousness, congratulations.

Rotations are a funny thing. They last around ten weeks, but you know in ten minutes whether or not the lab will be a good fit. No one really cares or expects your roton project to work - they're just watching how you approach it and what your work ethic is. And part of the success and failure of a rotation project is the quality of your roton supervisor. If you end up with someone who lets you twist, you're in for a miserable ride. Maybe you'll get rescued, maybe you won't. THere was a lab in my former department that "lost" me in that manner and we "lost" a decent student in that manner as well. She came in, her supervisor couldn't be arsed to train her properly so of course her experiments weren't working and she told the boss that the girl was just dumb. Well, she wasn't. Another student in our lab took over mentoring this poor girl halfway through her rotation, figured out what was going wrong (the roton was given a bad primer by her initial mentor and rather than check the primer this person just blamed the roton), fixed the problem nad she started kicking ass. But she was also completely turned off on our lab and joined the group next door.

And sometimes rotations are more of a study in what you don't want than what you do want- I rotated through three labs and joined a fourth that was run by a young PI with scanty funding and a risky project because I realized at the 11th hour I wanted to do crystallography. This is the insane approach. Fortunately, the insane approach worked out just fine for me. But I'm not sure I'd recommend it.

Member # 966
 - posted April 03, 2009 14:25
I always seem to come into these grad school threads and echo Xanthines sentiments, but goddamn, she's right!

Lab work doesn't, and choosing to study crystallography is insanity. [Wink]

Congratulations Biz, enjoy the next few years of discovery!
Member # 736
 - posted April 03, 2009 14:41
I'm not doing crystallography anymore. I'm doing optical trapping. Or will be, once I'm done reading about it. [Razz]

Anyway, biz is into immunology. She probably won't do crystallography. Instead, she'll do weird stuff with cells. Icky, wet, smelly, nasty and complicated cells.

/me shudders

[Wink] The beauty of science is you can pick your own poison and still be a scientist. In my case, the more I swear a certain technique or field or what have you is utter insanity and jabber about how much it scares me, the more likely I am to end up doing it. And vice versa - I thought genetics would be cool until I tried it and decided it was rather boring (doesn't mean it shouldn't be done, just that it shouldn't be done by me) and I thought working with cells would be nifty until I did it (same disclaimer as for genetics). First time I encountered crystallography I swore I'd never, ever be a crystallographer and now I have my name in the PDB and the instant respect people give the mad. [Roll Eyes] I swore I'd never work with single molecules when I first encountered that work and now I'm a post-doc in a lab that...wait for it...studies nucleic acids one molecule at a time. [Roll Eyes]

My point is, where you end up isn't necessarily where you think you'll go. But that's part of the process. Also, junior grad students are blank slates in many ways. Any project you take will be the coolest ever. But my approach was still insane and not to be repeated by any but the foolish. It worked for me but someone has to win the lottery too, y'know?

And I must say I'm glad you decided to be a real doctor. [Wink]
business attire
Member # 6102
 - posted April 06, 2009 07:27
The best thing about going to grad school is everybody I know keeps saying "Blah blah, it sucks blah blah, I hope you know what you're getting into."

Yes... I do. I spend 9 hours a day with grad students all day long. I work in a university lab as a research specialist. I'm practically in a training program, if you could call it that. I've heard enough rants about classes, and prelim ideas and committee meetings... I know those parts suck, and I know the rest of it really isn't that bad.

rawr. So besides that, I still appreciate that advice, yes, I'm excited anyway.
Member # 736
 - posted April 06, 2009 10:41
The classes are irritating because they're time away from the lab. Orals suck. But actually graduating is the worst bit by far. I was an undergrad labrat all through college and I saw grad students taking classes (and even took their classes with them), I TA'd right along with them, and I watched them take their orals/quals/whatever your particular program calls that bundle of joy. I also watched them write up and defend. I also saw my fellows here in CO write up and defend. It looked bad just watching; it was even worse in the doing. I could go on and on about the whole affair, but the worst of it was, when I got up to defend, I had this awful feeling that even though I was the one dressed up in a suit up at the front of the room, I wasn't the only one on trial, perse. But, at the same time, my mentor had basically washed his hands of me...

Oddly enough, my advisor, who for months before then only seemed to talk to me when he wanted to rip me down or give me another excuse for why he hadn't looked at the drafts of the papers I was trying to write, suddenly started treating me like a human being AFTER my thesis was signed off and turned in and he had no power over me.
Member # 4289
 - posted April 06, 2009 10:52
originally posted by Xanthine:
Orals suck.

I'd better ask, before Spungo does......

Pun intended? [Wink] [Roll Eyes]
Member # 736
 - posted April 06, 2009 14:28
Only if you want it to be. [Razz]
Member # 966
 - posted April 07, 2009 00:09
Just so you know, I found my viva (what we call the defense over here) to be a lot of fun.

It can be quite lonely working in a tiny niche of science and it was a genuine joy to speak to someone about what I had been doing for four years that was genuinely interested and could understand what I was talking about. The three and a hlaf hours flew by, and I was disappointed that it finished so quickly.

Most people don't agree with me, but I don't know anyone who thought it was as bad as their fears.
Member # 736
 - posted April 07, 2009 08:35
Mine only went better than I thought it would because I gave the talk of my life before the closed door session started. They really didn't like my written thesis. And my advisor just sort of huddled in his chair glowering and snarling in my general direction the entire time.

But, like I said, I suspect I wasn't the only one on trial that day.

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