An important meeting next week. Nervous. Need advice.

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Date Joined Jul 2008
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   Posted 6/21/2009 7:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I am trying to get into a PhD program in Northern California.  The budgets are tight and it is very difficult to get in.  I am limited in where I can go because I cannot move anywhere in the country.    The UC programs are extremely competitive.  In addition, I have to work with someone who shares similar interests because we will be doing research together.  That limits me even further because there are only two in this area: one at Davis and one at Santa Cruz (over 2 hours commute one way to Santa Cruz).    I was denied admission this last go around.  On Monday, the 29th I have a meeting with the person with whom I want to work.  She has agreed to give me information about how to improve my application for next time and about my volunteering in her lab on a part time basis.  
I am worried about fog, especially.  Is there a way to help me not have fog on that day so I don't seem like a dingbat?   This is extremely important to me and I need to do a good job.  Please send prayers and thoughts my way and please any advice would be welcome.
I am already dedicating a lot of time to read her research articles and to prepare my portfolio with samples of the research I have done so far.  I am also meeting with my grad student chair next week for some help on first impressions and interview tips.

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Date Joined Apr 2009
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   Posted 6/21/2009 10:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, I am so impressed with your ambition to get into this program! Sounds like you are preparing well and are covering a lot of necessary bases.
I don't know what to tell you about the fog, but seems like trying to be well rested would be a place to start. Try to let go of some of the fear, too, 'cause you really do seem to know what you should do for this admission. Stress and fatigue worsen my fog. Don't know if it's just me.........
I am sending lots of good thoughts and prayers your way.....I'm sure you'll be getting plenty of others, too! Keep us posted on your progress, please. We care.
Luv ya
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Date Joined Jul 2008
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   Posted 6/21/2009 11:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Sash. I will definitely try to let go of the fear. Like you said, being prepared will help with that.

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   Posted 6/22/2009 5:46 AM (GMT -7)   
The best I can do is as follows: Don't review any notes, read anything pertinent to the interview the evening before. Shut down any cognizant work on the topic by noon the day before. Do not read notes or materials going into the interview. You are now relying on your sub-conscious processes. You really need to let go of the material, go to a movie, rent a video, play mental games likes chess, or crosswords to keep your mind completely off the subject. Write out, ahead of time the best case scenario that you can envision on paper, in advance, before the distraction period I outlined above. Then visualize yourself in the venue, doing very well, being bright and witty and hitting it off smashingly with the interviewer. You'll ace it. Having gotten as far as you have to date, you have no worries. Get a fair nights sleep the night prior. Stick to your sleep routine. Whatever is the norm for you generally, that's what you do. For example, I take my sleep meds fairly early (amyltriptilene) in evening so as not to have any carryover effects in the morning.

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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted 6/22/2009 6:01 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Sue...I don't know if you want to go this route, but my husband couldn't get a PhD in the traditional manner because he had to teach full time and it was impossible.  He checked out all the on-line universities and was shocked at how many excellent schools offer doctoral programs..including Harvard.  He enrolled in Walden University which is highly accredited.  You do have to go to a couple of intensive class room sessions once or twice a year, that are scattered around the country.  His mentor was from Syracuse University.  I was just thinking of a way you could do this at your own pace and not have to worry about those painful, foggy days!

Good luck, and I commend you for taking on this challenge! I take it statistics is your passion???  That's my hubby's 'thing'.



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   Posted 6/22/2009 6:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Sue, you should be so proud of your determination to continue your education in spite of fibro. I wish I would have had your drive 20 yrs ago and continued in school. Ooooooooooooooooo  I'm trying to reach you to give you a pat on the back but my arm is sore. turn
Of course a good night sleep is first on the list. I find physical stimulation helps the fog, like a short brisk walk. But as we know we are all different. I know how desperately you want this but don't act desperate. You will do fine.
luv and hugs
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   Posted 6/22/2009 9:45 AM (GMT -7)   
:-)  {{{{HUGS}}}} A little good luck hug!
I think you'll do great!  You sound like you know what to do to be prepared.  I agree with Tyno though, good to relax/zone out a little before.  Visualize how awesome you'll be and just show them how passionate you are about it, it will definitely shine through in your body language and conversation. 
GOOD LUCK!! tongue :-)
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   Posted 6/22/2009 10:07 AM (GMT -7)   

Not only get a good nights sleep, but try not to stress over this.  You are preparing yourself so now have some confidence in your abilities.  You wouldn't have made it this far if you weren't smart and capable!  That will show up in your body language.  I'm sure you'll do just fine.


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God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 6/22/2009 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
omgosh, I am already stressing. I am having trouble with my computer - went to install blackberry desktop manager and could not find the software and could not think clearly enough to figure out how to install it online. I was letting it get to me . . . No worries, just use the laptop for blackberry stuff.

yes! Stats is way cool!!!! I only know the tip of the iceburg of stats, though as I only have a minor in it. But at WPA conference in Portland I had the chance to attend a great workshop of linear regression and learned more about checking assumptions and transforming data and learned how to do hierarchical linear regression and was completely stoked!!! All of my friends at the conference thought I was a complete nerd!

Stats can be hard to do with fog and I have learned to take a break and relax and not stress about it. So doing that will help with the interview.

Thanks for the advice. I will prepare this week and enjoy my family the weekend and go to the interview with confidence (and not desparation!!).

ok . . . breathe . . . .


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Date Joined Jun 2007
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   Posted 6/22/2009 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Sue, I'm sending prayers and good wishes your way. Everybody else gave you good advice. Diane
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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 6/22/2009 8:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sue! You are going to do great! And everyone gave such good advice. As for on-line school, that is always an option too. My boss is graduating with his PhD this month and he did it working full-time and on-line! Be proud of yourself and know you have lots of prayers coming your way. One thing I rely on is that if something is meant to be, it will happen, regardless of how much I worry about it.

And if you feel really worried right before the meeting try looking at the Sierras off in the distance, especially when the thunderheads are forming. Helps me sometimes when I feel overwhelmed. Since you are in NorCal you probably know what I am talking about. There is something about the beauty of the mountains in the distance that helps me relax. Hope it helps you too.
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