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Drop out of graduate school? - (Oct/02/2010 )

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So sorry that you are off to such a rocky start in graduate school but I really believe that's part of the process. My first year in my thesis lab was a complete disaster and my PI kept saying things like, "Gee, I hope you aren't one of THOSE students." I discovered that graduate school is very much learning by oops. As for your benchwork, you need to take the time before starting an experiment to think it completely through. Write it out, step by every single little step. Get organized and know your protocol BEFORE starting. Make lists and check things off. When I'm doing a western blot or IF that is going to take many different antibodies, I write everything out step by step and cross it off as I get done. I make lists of experiments and ALL the steps that go into it. Don't expect that you are going to understand everything for awhile and when something doesn't make sense, don't just nod your head and smile. Make your advisor explain more. Say to him/her, I'm sorry but I just don't understand what you mean by this. Can you explain it more? Don't let your ego or fear of being embarrassed hold you back. Do as much reading as you can and try to look things up for yourself if possible but there is nothing wrong with a new student asking for clarification. It shows that you are interested and want to know. I say as long as you are interested in the research and want to do better, keep trying. You will get better. You will get stronger and eventually you'll look back and be impressed by how far you've come and how much you've learned. Now, as for your situation with a classmate, for future reference, it would have served you well to send her a personal email saying you were concerned about the cheating aspect and that you did not think that this was a good idea. Then you would have been able to produce written proof that you did not support the idea at the time it was proposed.


Wow Adrian! Hi! I didn't expect to see one of our friendly neighbours here! Did you already guessed where I was from even before I gave you that hint?

Thank you Maddie, I am contemplating talking to my Pi about this (gosh I have 2 PIs). I've also been thinking whether I should talk to that tutor who doubted me again to reassure him that I was guilty of keeping mum but not guilty of the scheming. What do you think? By the way, actually the other group member did also speak up for the groupmate somewhat but he sounded much more firm stating that the plan was wrong. Whereas I hesitated way too much. I even commented that it was "fair enough" when my tutor announced our punishment... my dad thinks I am really stupid to say so. Because all the more myy tutor will think that I am involved, or at least agreed to the plan. And now I feel I was stupid too, although at that point of time, I agree that if there is a punishment, we as a group should take it together. Afterall, I did not stop her, I just let "nature takes its course".

And rkay, that is a wonderful idea about lab, I should do just that. Make a checklist and write down the details of the experiments before conducting them.Hopefully, I can be much more organized.

Thank you so much guys for spending time to write those encouraging words! I really appreciate them.


Hi ctye0712,
I got a feeling that we might from a same region and that's the reason I ask. Your nick also sounds familiar... but I couldn't recall where I saw your nick.
Perhaps you should watch the Jack Neo's movie "I not stupid 1 & 2" and learn what the kid says "My mother says is nothing to do with me...." LOL...
For the tutor, I would suggest first try to be friend with him/her, and then talk to him about this slowly and later, and tell the tutor the real scenario and how do you feel about the punishment, with open heart.

Remember, you are not alone. Everyone here willing to share and listen to you.
p/s: check your PM.

-adrian kohsf-

Not sure if you will ever read this but I am curious if you are still grinding away on the bench cyte0712?


i am totally in the same situation myself!

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