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When your experiments aren't working & what the heck am I doing here

Seanna Annis sannis at uoguelph.ca
Thu Jul 21 15:03:31 EST 1994

4700gbera at UMBSKY.CC.UMB.EDU wrote:
: I'm a current grad student - I have about a year maybe to my PhD. I've 
: certainly gone through long periods of having nothing work, and realizing 
: that what I had been doing previously wasn't a good idea (after two months
: of analyzing data). It helps to have a very supportive advisor, and to seek
: help from someone other than your advisor who is an expert on what you are 
: trying to do. 

: But the best help I got was from other grad students. Everyone
: has been through that stage, and it's easy to find  a sympathetic ear.
: My office-mate is great - we take turns being miserable about our work. 
: My advice would be to find another grad student who's been there a while,
: sit down and have a cup of coffee with him or her. Or even better if there's
: an informal gathering place - like a lunchroom or departmental library where
: people sit around and bullshit. It's a very important aspect of graduate 
: student life - sharing war stories, complaining about courses, advisors, 
: university financial aid office, etc. You'll also learn about other student's
: research, and maybe pick up some interesting ideas for your own. Older (or
: rather, more experienced ) grad students are a great resource - I've learned
: a great deal from them both here and when I did my master's. 

: Good luck! I hope this helps a bit.

: -- gina

I agree complaining, and comparing lab horror stories with friends is 
what keeps me sane.  To know someone else is going through this nonesense 
really helps.  Don't worry about things not working all the time, what 
goes on in nature is what we are trying to figure out and nature is very 
complicated.   I tend to think of science as a puzzle, and easy puzzles 
are boring.   Good luck, and stick it out.  Seanna

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