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MDC Academic Writing Club - Page 6

post #101 of 136
I noticed several of you have mentioned "needy" grad students. How would you describe a needy grad student? I definitely don't want to be one, so I would be glad to know how not to behave! My advisor is amazing and gives me all the freedom in the world, but I do sometimes find myself waiting for her to come online so I can bug her with a question...
post #102 of 136

When do you all update? I tend to go by the week, so here is my status report:

 

DONE 1. Finish paper review and conference abstract reviews.

DONE 2. Get final confirmations of references and affiliations, upload final appendices, and notify editor for D paper (already accepted, and yet, the paperwork continues ...)

DONE 3. Wrap up nearly complete HVD ms, send to co-author.

DONE 4. Bang out the last of half-finished VX ms, send to co-author.

5. Run regressions on PP data.

6. Get qual BC data loaded into NVivo and sent to RA so that she can get going on that.

7. Finish revisions on KT paper, send back to first author.

 

Top 4 done, bottom 3 not. My week exploded slightly thanks to a study that had so many problems it ended up getting halted, not to mention the fact that the job I want most is not entirely cool with my mat leave plan, so I've spent a lot of unplanned time on those things. So I'm reasonably OK with this progress. Not thrilled, but a bunch of reviews and one paper fully done and two drafts completed and moved onto the next stage is not a bad week. Only problem is that I won't be able to get back to #5 and #6 on my list for at least another week.

 

My list for this week:

 

1. Finish revisions on KT paper, send back to first author.

2. Clean up PZ draft and send to SW re: co-authoring.

3. Wrap up first draft of table 2 for VC paper so it's ready for co-authors.

 

fireHC11, nice to see you here! I can't answer what makes a needy student, but I will say that I wish I had been more demanding as a grad student. I now meet with my postdoc mentors individually for an hour a week (plus other meetings for group projects, grants, etc.), and wow, what a difference that makes. There are other factors at play here, too, but that has been a big factor in really ramping up my momentum. I never wanted to bother my phd advisor, so we only met sporadically, and in retrospect, that slowed me down. Put another way: I'd rather be needy than unsuccessful.

post #103 of 136

My goals from last week (not posted publicly here) were:

1. Finish going through M Appendix DONE

2. get comments back to RP on methods paper DONE (just now!)

3. Finish Matlab for ML DONE

4. keep working on SC spreadsheet Um, kind of

 


This week I am going on Family Vacation so goals are minimal:

1. Buy M and SP software

2. get through 5 lines of SC spreadsheet

 

~pi, I try to update weekly but am not always successful.  I have, though, gotten together a *small* group of grad students at my U and we have lunch together on Mondays and go over our to-do lists.  That face time is really awesome and there is something great about being accountable in person.  

 

I am looking forward to DH starting residency in 3 weeks, only for the schedule stability it will bring back!  It's fun having him not working but I find I get a lot less done.

post #104 of 136
Thread Starter 

I'll have my grades posted in another 24 hours, then I can get my head back into the writing game.  My group has three posters at a conference next week, so that will take the first priority.

 

fireHC11 ~ I've started and stopped trying to explain what a "needy graduate student" is several times, and I can't quite describe it, but I certainly know it when I see it. 

 

I've got a few flavors of needy students. 

*One has poor problem solving skills, and so his learning and data analysis are ineffective.  This leads me to having the same type of advising conversation (how to analyze data, model an experiment, etc) over and over and over.  The same student seems to experience crises every few months, either in dealing with other students, or in his personal life, etc.

*One checks in with me on minutia, one micro detail at a time.  As an example, he's doing a poster+talk for a conference next week, and he has sent me emails or come into my office with one question each time:  things like grant numbers for acknowledgments, if his color scheme is ok, one to schedule a time to practice his talk, one to ask if it's ok to include a certain figure ...  They are all totally legit things to be asking, he needs to ask them, and I'm glad he's keeping track of details.  It would just be way more effective and efficient for me to send me a poster draft with a list of questions all at once.

 

The poor problem solving skills (social and academic) are harder for me to work with, and they are harder to resolve.  The second example is irritating, but not that bad.  He's also getting better at making posters each time he makes one, leading to fewer questions.

post #105 of 136

Pi - I post when I think about it, but I try to set weekly goals.  

 

I'm not setting lofty goals for awhile though - I leave Monday for 3 weeks of field work and then 2 weeks with my family out of town.  This week has been a mixed blessing.  School ended Tuesday, so I've had no child care for ds1.  This means I haven't gotten much real thinking done, but I have managed meetings with students, and today I cleaned up my office and took a student out to visit a field site where he will be working while I'm gone.  And I've gotten to spend some extra time with the boys, whom I will miss dearly for the next few weeks.  

 

Writing goals by the end of the month: 

Finish BFR and submit by the end of the month.

Read drafts of student paper 1&2 and work with her to get them in shape to submit.

Help get FT guide in by next Friday.

 

 

post #106 of 136

GOALS (Week April 11-15)

1. Work on cross section (not this week, I'm OOT)

2. Work on Erosion paper 30 minutes a day M-F

3. Answer co-authors questions for Zir

4. Lab manual cover page DONE

5. check with SM - India topography DONE

6. Grade midterms DONE

7. DONE Grade project 2   DONE DONE

 

OBVIOUSLY MY LAST POST WAS A LONG TIME AGO BUT CRAP HAPPENED. My town got hit by a tornado, the frenzy of finals, frantic work before leaving on some trips, then field camp for two weeks. Now, I'm back and ready to go (at least for a month). So here are my goals for next week

 

GOALS (Week June 13-17)

1. Work on xsectn (deadline, July 15, submit abstract to conference this summer)

2. Work on Erosion paper 1 hour a day

3. Review Lab Manual Cover

4. Work on Lab Manual 2 hours a day- Deadline July 4

5. Work on ZirN Grant 2 hours a day - Deadline June 27

6. NSF update Deadline - ASAP

7. retrieve India Topography

8. Check in with a grad students

9. Harass co-author on Appy paper

10. Review paper for GP

11. Read theses of KH and CP

 

post #107 of 136

I didn't post last week, as things have been extra busy. Equipment problems with a study that are requiring extra travel on my part, plus job negotiations. One of my offers was withdrawn after I disclosed that I am pregnant and cannot start when they want me. It's a TT research-oriented position (no real teaching, but some teaching support for others in the dept) so I didn't think start date would be such a problem, but I guess I was wrong. I'm upset, but life goes on. It makes my decision easier, at least. My next best offer is soft money, but with a decent possibility of converting to TT, and it's at a much bigger R1 uni with more/better collaboration potential for me, so I think I will accept that one.

 

Anyway, I'm re-evaluating priorities for the next few weeks and don't have a new list yet, but from last time:

 

1. Finish revisions on KT paper, send back to first author. DONE

2. Clean up PZ draft and send to SW re: co-authoring. NOT DONE

3. Wrap up first draft of table 2 for VC paper so it's ready for co-authors. NOT DONE

 

I also got a somewhat last minute, 'hey let's submit to this special issue!' paper submitted, which, together with study problems, ate up the time I had marked off for items 2 and 3 on my list.

post #108 of 136
Three paper rejections this week. So... hard... to... re-motivate... But presenting two workshop papers and a poster at an international conference in two weeks.
post #109 of 136
Posting primarily in hopes of getting a fire lit under me. My writing status is the same as it was mid-May--need to edit the article! Ugh.

My excuse is a certain lovely but non-sleeping child #2 who started regularly staying up until 10 or 10:30 for the last two months, leaving me completely depleted. I'm hopeful that the pattern is finally stopping and in any case, all the excuses in the world won't get the article edited. My goal is still to submit it someplace, anyplace before school starts so I need to get cracking.

Goal for this week: re-read the paper and work through two pages. Baby steps....
post #110 of 136
Thread Starter 

Get on it Real!

 

I started a writing workshop for July with my group.  After the first two sessions, one student got me a complete draft of a paper.  I have one of my lingering papers out to coauthors now, and another that will be ready to go out early next week:

 

Summer 2011 Writing Workshop

 

We’ll meet for a 2 hour session on each of MWF 1-3 in room 334 for the next three weeks starting Monday 7/11.  I'll bring coffee and snacks.  I'll bring extra coffee for those who consider it the crack of dawn.

 

The goal is for each of us to bring 1 or more papers to completion. 

 

Ground rules.  Each session will include two 45-minute writing blocks.  During each writing block, the goal is to (first priority) write new text or outline, (second priority) revise written text, and (last priority) create figures.  Literature searches, reading textbooks or papers, doing data analysis or modeling are all off limits.  The goal is to put words on the page.  Spend some time for each section preparing relevant literature, figures, models, etc, so that you are ready to write.

 

Before each session, come prepared with two sections or subsections that you plan to write.  Keep a list of literature you need to read or locate, more data analysis you need to do as you go, but do not disrupt your flow of writing.

 

In the first 45-minute block, work on the one of your planned sections only.  If you finish during the time, revise the text and fix citations or formatting.  Move onto the second section only if what you have is entirely done.  At the end of the time, write yourself a “to do” list for the section. 

15 minutes for coffee, something to eat, and discuss any questions/ issues arising from the writing (science or process).

In the second 45-minute block, either continue with the first section only if you will be able to work on it for the whole time, or move to the second section.    Again, take 5 minutes at the end for a “to do” list.

 

After each session, give someone your writing product for the session.

Comment on the writing product you were provided to the writer via track changes and summary comments within 24 hours.

Tackle your “to do” list from each writing part, including any literature reading/searching

Monday writing product for comments:  D->W; W->J; J->C; C->D

Wednesday writing product for comments:  D->C; C->J; J->W; W->D

Friday writing product for comments:  W->C; C->W; J->D; D->J

post #111 of 136

 

I like that idea geofizz

I may do that in the fall

 

LAST POST GOALS

1. Work on xsectn (deadline, July 15, submit abstract to conference this summer) i WILL NOT MAKE THIS DEADLINE, UGGGG

2. Work on Erosion paper 1 hour   a day  I DIDN'T DO THIS

3. Review Lab Manual Cover  done

4. Work on Lab Manual 2 hours a day- Deadline July 4  done

5. Work on ZirN Grant 2 hours a day - Deadline June 27 DONE

6. NSF update Deadline - ASAP  DONE

7. retrieve India TopographyDONE 

8. Check in with a grad studentsDONE 

9. Harass co-author on Appy paperDONE 

10. Review paper for GPDONE 

11. Read theses of KH and CPDONE   DONE 

 

remainder of summer GOALS

1. read and review diss proposals of SM and SK

2. submit abstracts for conferences

3. submit MO grant

4. work on xsectn

5. review proposal for DD

post #112 of 136
That's a very cool plan Geo.

DH and I have talked, and I think I'm going to stay late at work one evening a week to write. Or rather, stay late at Starbucks as I don't really want to hang out in a deserted department area in a mostly-deserted building. My campus is generally safe, but stuff happens, especially at night. This way I can head downtown with everyone else getting out of class but park myself at the Starbucks across from the bus station. If he puts J to bed while I direct handbells on Wednesday nights, that will give me another protected writing period where I'll come home and go straight into writing.

There's some depressing news about my adjunct position, but I'll save that for the faculty thread.

I did get through 1-1/2 pages, which is the first section. And then I promptly stalled out again. rolleyes.gif

Goals for this week:
- Finish reading articles in journal to see if you need to restructure your intro
- At least 5 pages of editing
- Breathe
post #113 of 136
I suck. nuff said. greensad.gif

I need to get back on track, but how?

Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk
post #114 of 136
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carita View Post

I suck. nuff said. greensad.gif

I need to get back on track, but how?

Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk


Nope.  You don't suck.

 

Make a plan for working at the writing a small bit each day.  Reward yourself each day you do it, and if you make it 4/5 days, get yourself a bigger reward.

 

Find an IRL group that meets regularly to write.  Form your own.  Join academic ladder (the $50/month was enough to get my rear in gear and help me develop better habits).

 

Disable your internet during writing hours.  Download leachblock and use it.

 

Say 'no' to service jobs and other duties, do a passable job on your remaining ones.  (this also helps prevent future "rewards" for doing your job with more service work)

 

I buy myself a gift each time I submit a paper.  Once I bought soaps I'd been eying.  I took my DH out on a date another time.  I go through spurts.  I've had an awesome summer following a long dry spell lacking motivation, focus, and good data.

 

Trial and error.  You do need to learn how to get work done now that you have so many more things on your plate than you did as a grad student.  It's possible, though.

 

post #115 of 136
I work at a rural teaching college, no writing group other than for students. Its alsoabout the research time. I have to write code, not prose.

I asked for a research accountability partner and my boss volunteered, but.she wrote me 2 emails all summer. I had another accountability partner that also flaked, and I totally flaked on this thread.

Grrr

Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk
post #116 of 136
Deadlines this month: Two conference papers, one journal paper, and a grant proposal. Ahhhhh!

Speaking of grant proposals, have any of you ladies written (and received funding) through NIH? I've never seen what those proposals look like (I'm not in the H field).
post #117 of 136

I need to join back up again now that summer is ending and fall is upon us.  

 

I am currently working on writing one paper (Terr) and doing a major revision to another (PP).  I'm having a hard time motivating myself to work on PP, even though a week of good solid effort would probably be enough to get it back out the door.  I think I'm suffering from summer brain mush.  Terr is more fun to work on, so I switched to it.  

 

So... goals this week:

1. Write draft of 3 sections of Terr paper. (I have 1 section done (draft), 2 sections partially done)

2. Spend 2 hours, 3 times this week, working on PP.  Really working on it.  Internet off, no meetings, no student interruptions.  (2 hr Wed; 3 hr Thurs; 1 + 1 hr Friday)

 

Classes here don't start until after Labor day, but the pre-semester hub-bub is starting.  


Edited by kaybee - 8/29/11 at 11:32am
post #118 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post



Join academic ladder (the $50/month was enough to get my rear in gear and help me develop better habits).

 

 


So I must know, does this really work?  I want to make sure I don't lose all momentum once classes start up.

post #119 of 136
Thread Starter 
I'm enough of a cheapskate that I couldn't pay that much money and not do it. You are part of a group and you check in daily with a little form to fill out, with the goal of a minimum of 15 minutes writing every day. For me, doing it every day was really important because then I wouldn't have to spend ages finding my place in the file, finding the right lab notebook, etc. I also found that if I was writing 15 minutes a day, I would keep thinking about it when I was getting to work, etc.
post #120 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaybee View Post

I think I'm suffering from summer brain mush.

lol.gif I've got that. And the spring kind and probably soon, the fall kind.

The new plan is for me to set aside an hour on Wednesday nights devoted to writing and then to stay late after teaching on Thursdays. Ideally, I'll stay downtown until about 8:30 which will give me two hours, but we'll see how it all works out. I only had 30 minutes to get anything done tonight, but it was a fairly productive 30 minutes. If I map out a couple of hours on the weekend too, I'll be in good shape. Ideally, I'll spend some time every day working on it, but for now I'm going to concentrate on protecting my scheduled research times.

Ironically, next Thursday I won't be teaching because it's curriculum night at R's school. eyesroll.gif Hmmm. Must find a way to recoup that time somehow. Maybe if we get out early enough, I can run over to the library for a bit.
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