Tuesday, July 22, 2008

meetings all day long

If only my review were as complete as my social calendar! Monday night I got home late from a concert with friends and had an email from Leo saying that another grad student studying a closely related topic would be at the museum on Tuesday, so instead of spending all of today working on my review paper in my office, I went to Big Natural History Museum. I had lunch with Leo, which our first in person meeting since before I went to Ukenzagapia.

Leo asked me if I was going to do my preliminary exams (aka prelims) this fall and advance to the status of "Ph.D. candidate" so that I could apply for a DDIG by the fall deadline. The thought of doing prelims so soon hadn't even crossed my mind since that's pretty early to do them, and I said so, especially considering that I have no data and won't have any data for another year. Leo said it would be early, but that I'm "abnormally organized and an abnormally good writer." I don't think I'll be ready to do them this fall, but I'll talk to Herb and see what he thinks. I still don't even really know what prelims entail here.

Next I met with the visiting grad student. We would have talked for longer but she had a train to catch. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses. I'll definitely be in touch as our projects and other interests have a lot of overlap. Future collaborator? Cool friend?

This evening I had dinner with a friend from the mid-Atlantic who is in town for a teacher conference. He isn't staying with us but we spent the evening catching up. It's a bummer that Jon is away in Gambling City for this friend's time in Big City, but we'll see him again later this summer.

Did I mention that Jon is away with Mitch trying to win enough money to buy himself a new computer?


DancingFish said...

At my school we must be done with our proposal and exams to get to candidacy. I wish I had gotten there earlier as I only had one shot at the DDIG.

EcoGeoFemme said...

My department has a relatively simple prelim exam that I found to be extremely useful. We just have to defend a research proposal, no written exam. I had little preliminary data, but I did have lots of published data to substantiate my ideas, since I work at an established site that my advisor has been researching since the 80s. Writing a rigorous proposal really pushed my progress. If a proposal is part of your prelim, couldn't you use it for the DDIG too?

I've noticed that while there are a few students who clearly don't know what's up, most people in my department say the prelim was not as bad as they expected it to be.