grad student connections

Mary Curtis curtis1 at
Tue Apr 4 09:11:15 EST 1995

Karin E. Rengefors (Karin.Rengefors at wrote:
: In article <3l956q$hk at>, neuronn at (Neuronn) wrote:

: > Hi!  I just found this group, so this is my first post.  I am a new 
: > Grad student in Neurobiology, although I had been taking classes part
: > time for a bit (so that hours-wise, I am a second year).  
: > 
: > I found that there are two types of students-those that absolutely
: > love what they are doing, and those who are doing it for who-knows-why.
: > The two groups do not mesh well.  What I did was to organize a "lunch
: > hour"  in which students would meet and talk, and invite other students
: > to meet.  In this way, we could network with students who had the
: > same level of interest that we did.  It has worked out well.  The lunch
: > hour is low pressure, and allows people to get to know each other.  IT
: > has been supportive, as well (in response to someone's previous post
: > about not finding much support in the department).  Those who aren't
: > as passionate don't tend to come, which is fine. 
: > 
: > Peace :)

: Hi "Neuronn" (and others)!

: Unfortunatly things are not as simple as you seem to belive, that there
: are two types of students; either those who love what they are doing and
: those which don't seem to care at all. There is also the group of people
: who were very enthusiastic in the beginning and who love the field but
: have become unhappy and frustrated along the way. This is a very common
: situation at my department (Limnology). I "knew" long before I started
: that I really wanted to go into research, and that I loved my field
: (limnology). However, after two years of unsuccessful research, an advisor
: who doesn't care, thesis projects which don't work (I've started on my
: third by now), a department which seems more like a museum than a research
: laboratory, I've become a "not so passionate" graduate student. 

: I work really hard along with some of the other students to improve our
: situation by organizing seminars, classes et c (which actually is the
: advisors' responsibility) and by bringing in a psychologist/consultant who
: can help us improve the situation at the department (by discussing with
: and teaching our advisors on how to function as good advisors). 

: Despite this I'm extremely unhappy working with my research even though
: I'd like to love it. I have seen enthusiastic students who've started both
: before me and after me, who've ended up just as frustrated and
: disillusioned. I also know that I really can enjoy working hard on my
: research ( I recently spent 3 months at Woods Hole Oceanographic
: Institution) if I'm in a supportive and inspiring environment. Maybe your
: (Neuronn's) "not so passionate" fellow grad students have run into these
: kinds of problems. I don't know, but maybe you shouldn't be so quick to
: judge. As for my own situation I really don't know what to do anymore.

: Karin :-(

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