Este tópico está presentemente marcado como "inativo" —a última mensagem tem mais de 90 dias. Reative o tópico publicando uma resposta.
1wasistweimar Primeira Mensagem
(Now we could go high and brag, or we could lowball it and make everyone feel good--how many hours of work a day does it take to get rid of the lingering paranoia? The suspicion that the department made a horrible mistake in admitting you? Oh God, am I the only one??)
Another strange effect of my graduate student lifestyle: I have had a lifetime habit of daily voracious reading. In the months leading up to my oral (qualifying) exams, I read at a pace previously inconceivable to me, putting away huge quantities of The Faerie Queene or obscure works of historical tragedy by Dryden at a single sitting. After I passed my exams, I found myself actually UNABLE to read for several months. I mean I genuinely felt slightly ill when I caught sight of a book. Many of my colleagues who also study literature report the same horrific burnout, although sometimes it is less complete, as when it takes the form of being only able to read Harlequin Romances.
So here is my question for the group: is this a symptom confined to those of us who study literature, or does it apply to everyone who goes through the intensive reading involved in qualifying exams?
(By the way, I have now fully recovered from my reading surfeit and am a contented bibliophile once more.)
So I'm here to be a fly on the wall and read what everyone has to say on the topic of life as a graduate student. :)
4RicardusTheologus Primeira Mensagem
I've been told German and then French and/or Italian and then perhaps Spanish. There has to be an end to this nightmare! I have been reading books on Islamic Occasionalism and the history of Islamic Philosophy and Kalam (speculative theology). I want it all to end so I can work out at the gym and check the magnificent female specimens that are kicking my ass in the aerobics classes!
9RabidGerbil Primeira Mensagem
I'm in the sciences and I had a similar burn-out period where I didn't want to look at anything nonfiction (not even things way out of my field like history). I didn't stop reading entirely - light fiction was the only thing that kept me sane throughout the exams and the burn-out period.
I'm in grad school full time and live on campus. The majority of my university's student body is undergrads so we grad students get lost in the crowd.
I've been able to have time to participate in campus life but still the workload...
I've just learned that someone wrote a romance novel about Kierkegaard (it's called Loving Soren, I am waiting with baited breath for its arrival) -- so I've now decided to combine research with Harlequinning. Nothing alleviates stress like bodice rippers about your thesis subjects!
*waves to all* I'm a bit of a hasbeen here, I suppose, as I just finished my master's in May and am looking for that elusive bird, "employment"...perhaps barring that, I'll join you all properly again for a doctoral!
I did read The Lions of Al-Rassan: was that the one in crypto-medieval Spain, with the physician character? I'm a historian of medicine, so it was of professional interest as well. All of his books blend together for me, I'm afraid.
Do we have to stop?
I hope to stop living through natural causes... ;)
-- In the last two months of writing my dissertation, I saw Return of the King in the theater at least once a week. Just to see the look on Frodo's face after the Ring went into the fire.
-- At graduation I asked about a dozen new PhDs in English what they had been reading since finishing their dissertations. The unanimous answer: Harry Potter.
-- You should expect to fall apart a little bit when it's over. It took me about a year to adjust to not having to work all the time.
-- Even if you don't work as a professional academic, you don't have to stop being a student/scholar. There are plenty of opportunities to go to conferences, give paper, even publish if you want to. Scholarship is a way of life and an end in itself.
Good luck to all!
How many hours do I work? Never enough. I have phases of really appalling procrastination - I mean whole days in front of the computer where nothing really gets done - and then I have weeks where I don't leave the house, and just sit up all night in front of the computer, smoking and drinking coffee until I can't see straight any more. Then I go to sleep, get up and start again. I don't seem to be able to work in a more measured way; it's all or nothing!
I agree with sycoraxpine that the strangest/worst aspect of doing a PhD is the feeling of guilt (or blind panic) which can strike at any time. I'm sure some of my friends in 'proper' jobs work harder, but at least on a Friday night they can really relax (without the gnawing feeling of 'I really should be working').
And wasistweimar, in response to your original post, I think everyone goes through a period of thinking that they've got no business being in grad school at all - mine lasted for about my first year and a half before it went away... to be replaced with panic about quals... which was then replaced with panic about my proposal... which is now replaced by panic in the face of trying to do all the work I said I was going to. :)
I'm another of those folks who always has to have a non-academic read in progress. Taking a class on Writing for Children required me to read YA books every week, and this is one of the best ways to relax. Plus, the books are shorter, so you don't feel as bad when you get sucked in and just have to finish before you can go to sleep.... As a high school English teacher-in-training, I'm glad I'll actually have an excuse for continuing this habit.
Like another poster, I'm not IN a grad program but am in the process applying (for English). Already, I've gotten wonderful questions about what I'll "do" as an English PHD -- and not to mention what I'll do WITH an English PHD...
People ask me the same about my film MFA. I usually answer, "Nothing worse than what I would do without it."
And remember, a picture book might take just 10 minutes of your over-scheduled life!
I'm sure many have seen it...
Maybe especially relevant is this comic:
The real question is: where on that graph is "messing around with my librarything tags instead of working"?
I agree with the others before that said they could not read anything after they finished their degree. After my MA in Phil, the only thing that I could even look at for over a year was Sci Fi. I would buy a phil book and shelve it in the 'to be read' section, and it would never get read. I was physically sick at the though of reading anything philosophical.
Thankfully I got over that.
Now that my course resumes next week, I've been busily enjoying myself with loads of non course books knowing full well I need to read my course books. For some reason, everytime I try to read a course book, I'll read for finve minutes and then switch to a non course book.
And, when I have a paper due, I'm brilliant at coming up with everything in the world to do other than the assignment. When I was an undergrad and not working a full time job I could pull an all nighter to get the work finished, but now (I'm sure due to my age as well) the last all nighter I did nearly killed me.
39aproustian Primeira Mensagem
Fortunately, the reading for the module I start next week is not too bad.
I wanted to pass word along about this. Please pass word along!
Conference on Cultural Rhetorics
May 16-18, 2007
East Lansing, MI
Michigan State University
Call for Papers, Performances, and Exhibits
What are cultural rhetorics? Who writes, performs, displays, digitizes, crafts, and creates these rhetorics? What do they look like? How do specific cultural rhetorics differ from, overlap with, and/or engage in dialogue with Cultural, Ethnic, African American, Asian American, American Indian, Arab and Middle Eastern American, Chicano/a, Latina/o, Indigenous, Disability, Queer/LGBT, Performance, and Working-Class Studies? What are their relationships to Rhetoric Studies, Theory, and Pedagogy? Composition Studies? American Studies? Literary Studies? Digital, Visual, and Material Rhetorics? Scientific, technical, and professional communication studies? Are there pedagogies of cultural rhetorics? Methodologies? Theories? Performances? Materialities?
We welcome papers, performances, and exhibits that articulate, engage with, provoke, analyze, theorize, and practice cultural rhetorics. We are particularly interested in scholars/artists/performers/writers/knowledge workers that engage rhetorics that are too often marginalized, tokenized, silenced, and ignored. We welcome work that happens at the intersection of various disciplines and fields in the humanities and invite scholars, artists, and writers to join us at these intellectual and creative crossroads. Please join us in creating a space of radical interdisciplinarity in which to explore rhetoric as a distinctive constellation of methods, methodologies, and pedagogies for the study of culture and to think through how the frame of “culture” expands our understanding of rhetoric and the responsibility for rhetoric to be ethical in its engagement with culture.
While we are very interested in proposals for individual papers and panel presentations that address these questions and/or further scholarship in these areas, we especially encourage art, craft, multimedia, or imaginative resentations/demonstrations/installations that provoke other methods of intellectual engagement as well.
Proposals of 300-500 words may be submitted via US Mail or online. For the proposal form and submission process please visit our website: http://rhetoric.msu.edu/cultrhet. Please direct any questions to Malea Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for submissions is January 1, 2007.
I've heard tales that long reading lists are normal at the graduate level. My first question, Group Members, is Why so many books?
My second question, what tips can you give how to read them all and process the information?
-- Robertus Minimus
21 required books or 21 recommended books? If recommended, check reviews on the internet (if history books, check sites by history buffs, not general "amazon" type sites) to see if the book is worth your time. Look online for a synopsis of books that look promising. That will give you a more in-depth overview than a review. Then pick a managable number to actually read.
If required? Pray? Sleep with them under your pillow?
Just make sure you read a few hours every night so you don't get behind.
The only way I managed was to work out what I needed to read carefully and what I could skim. Books I only had to discuss that I didn't have to review or otherwise include in papers, I skimmed: first paragraphs, conclusions, whizzing through the rest... It is the only way to remain sane, especially when my texts included 300 pages of post-modernist claptrap on the evils of empire that could have been written in klingon for all the clarity therein. Books I had to review, I still skimmed, but jotted down keywords, important arguments and a few choice quotes by page number when they jumped out at me. Helped a lot later processing the information into a useful form and for referencing.
Another thing I usually do is to email the instructor in advance and ask what books are going to be set in the first few weeks. That way, I can get a jump on the reading before the semester begins. (An added advantage is that I can order the texts over the internet instead of getting them from the college bookstore - which overcharges - saving some moolah)
Others in the class joined up into reading groups, each person in the group taking a section of text and then meeting up before the class and summarizing their sections for each other. Not too bad an idea for a generalist text, but some of the more complex works need the whole text to stand together.
I have also pretty much given up my social life during the semester. Who needs a social life? Not me. No sirree. *Twitch*
Anyhoo, good luck in your studies RM. And have fun.
For the most part, reviews and notes posted online, even on library sites, are worthless, because only *you* would know what was interesting for *your* purposes in any given book. Also, reading for exams lets you know how much peer-reviewed crap is out there. Not everything you will read is good.
After awhile you will be reading faster, because you will know the geography and the arguments and be able to recognize the common points most people make, and you will be able to identify the truly good stuff.
But it sucks -- reading for exams was the worst ordeal of my life -- I am still recovering from a sort of PTSS.
Unlike others who would read Harry Potter or Harlequin romances, I found that I loved my subject, but rebelled by (when reading from a book containing a collection of academic essays) reading the essays adjacent to the essay for which I had checked-out or purchased the book. Thus, although I study a nineteenth-century French topic, I know alot about what Freud thought about single-celled organisms, and what kinds of iconographical problems arise when one needs to mark nuclear waste sites for our great-great-great-great 1000+ x decendents.
Make sure you have good prescription glasses (if you need them).
Run or yoga etc. once a day.
Buy a coffee-maker if you don't have one.
Give yourself one full no-work day a week with NO GUILT! (I didn't do this, and I regret it).
And yes, I did buy some books from Half.com from other students, thereby saving some "moolah," as Guernicus called it. Most of these books I will keep as part of my personal and professional library. But others I will be selling back after the semester. C'est la vie!
-- Robertus Minimus at Transmutations
As to the 21 book list, unless they're all impossibly dense, you can manage. Carry the more accessible ones with you or read them in bed at night. As to the more complex stuff, take notes. File or organize them so you can go back to them. Read daily, which will help you make the connections between the texts.
And when in "god the class is in 20 minutes and I HAVE to read this article" mode, read the first sentence of each paragraph. This gives you a good sense of the larger argument in its most sketchy sense. It's also a handy way to skim an article to judge if you need to read it. Also, use indexes in books: it gives you an idea of what the author's covering.
i thought it was just me!
I am beginning my first year as a graduate student at New Mexico State in May, which is a great relief! The process of applying to graduate school was even more grueling than the GRE. I don't think I remember how many hoops I had to jump through. A friend of mine (Ph.C. at University of Washington) applied to 6 schools, and only received an answer from one! I applied to 4, was accepted into 3 programs, and did not receive an official answer from 1. If there is one piece of advice I can give about the graduate school application process--have lots of faith, and persevere. Good luck!