So this is graduate school...?

  • As many already know, studying for the physics GRE and getting accepted into a graduate program is not the final hurdle in your physics career.
  • There are many issues current physics graduate students face such as studying for their qualifier, deciding upon a field of research, choosing an advisor, being an effective teaching assistant, trying to have a social life, navigating department politics, dealing with stress, utilizing financial aid, etc.

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So this is graduate school...?

Post by Nishikata » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:33 am

I am entering my third week of graduate school. Just had my welcome party yesterday from the people in my lab.

One thing that pops out: my lab is all about independent research.

I have to pick my research topic, and possibly carve out my learning/research plan myself.
So far, I haven't heard a clue of how to use the computing system in the laboratory. I foresee I may have to learn that on my own too.

To add on, the lectures on the courses I enroll in seem to have the same methodology too. Basically, they have lecture once a week, and the final grade is decided only by 1-2 problem sets submitted at the end of the course. There is one mandatory course for which the lecturer is terrible, both in English and Presentation. This means I need independent reading and practice from books, and hopefully can still solve the problem set for that course.

These make me feel that all learning responsibilities are now on my shoulders. I wonder whether this is common or I am in an extremely less-than-ideal situation.

I know things in grad school will be different than in undergrad, but this does make me feel clueless and hopeless so early in the game.


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Re: So this is graduate school...?

Post by rhmancil » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:11 am

Well... In my undergraduate studies we had to do everything alone in the experimental physics I and II courses. It was a horrible experience; an ode to antipedagogy. Both courses hurt my gpa in a horrible way.

Also, I am right now finishing my master degree where I have the same courses that the Phd student, but not the same expectation about my research. Well, it is like you said, Lecturers horrible with a couple homework during the semester. I mean not every professor is horrible pedagogically, but sadly several of them are. Finally, you will finish to learn everything by yourself.

I am so opposed to this kind of pedagogy. Even if I can reach high score (In fact, I do). However, I think in so an inefficient, and also, there are many bad monent, which easily can solve with better actitude and pedagogy.

I am worried about this point too. Because the next year I will start my phd in USA, and I really want to have better professor in the pedagogical sense. I mean is really important to be self-efficient and independent as student, but also it is unnecessary to waste our time in this antipedagogical activities.

PD: I am learning to write English. Sorry, for any mistakes that I could make.

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