Advice needed

Charles S. Gasser csgasser at
Wed Mar 26 15:55:55 EST 1997

Dear Laura,
1.  Your experience is not typical, but anyone who has been in science
has certainly heard it before.  The vast majority of students are in
much better environments than this.

2.  If all you say is true then you should definately change labs.  The
easiest change is to go to another lab at the same institution, but if
this is not an option then you should change schools!  As many other
posters have said - grad school is hard enough YOU DO NOT NEED THIS

3.  Try to move your money with you.  If they are federal funds talk to
the program manager about your situation.

4.  Just get out of there.  I disagree with those who suggest that you
file a grievance.  This is not likely to get you anywhere and will be a
huge hassle.  You will never be happy in this situation.  Since you are
leaving the grievance will not help you.  The chances that the huge
hassle of a formal grievance will actually punish a perpetrator of this
low level abuse are very small.

5.  Students looking into going to graduate school should take your
experience as an important lesson.  NEVER go to a school to work with
ONE SPECIFIC person.  It may not work out.  Got to a school where you
will have the opportunity to rotate through several labs, all of
sufficient interest to you so that you can choose one with a good
environment for your personality and working style.

Hope you find a better situation!  There are a lot out there.

Best wishes,
Chuck Gasser
former grad student, former industrial scientist, current professor
csgasser at

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