Wanna Be PhD

PhD 2006. Now fully blown by the Postdoc Experience.

Location: My Appartment, Academic Nowhereland

Email: wannabephd@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Learning English

As you know, I always suffer that I cannot express myself the way I want in English. So, I've started a new strategy on language improvement: I'm working through English Vocabulary in Use - advanced which is full of words I've never heard before.

(Biographical note: I've stopped learning English after I quit high school, went to England, came back, had a nervous brak-down. Now, old and wise, I know that the level of English one achives during high-school is quite low, although I've passed several English exams when I was 17.)

To start, I've decided to study the chapter on aversion, a feeling I experience quite often. It is useful for me to describe every shade of it. The book said: repulse, scorn, loathness, revulsion, abhorrence and a couple of more related adjectives.

The task for now: match each of the expressions to the corresponding face!

Saturday, August 27, 2005


I just came across a colleague's web page. He's a grad student at Stanford, doing My Subject. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw his list of publications. It was soooo incredible long. Unbelievable. I thought he - being about my age - must have started publishing when he was around 12.

Then I took a closer look: He listed all papers he ever wrote. ALL of them. Yes, including term papers. Yes, including drafts for presentations he did as an undergraduate.

Is this the way it's done today? I have always thought that one ought to provide a list with Major Publications which includes only blind peer-reviewed papers and presentations.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Nerd test

[seen on various places]

Pure Nerd

82 % Nerd, 47% Geek, 39% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 91% on nerdiness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 70% on geekosity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 71% on dork points

Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on Ok Cupid

My favourite dictionary

I've hated working with dictionaries for the last couple of years. After graduating from high school, around the time when I was diving into the glamorous world of academia, I found that my old school dictionary didn't make it anymore. So I got new dictionaries. Huuuuuuuge ones. Biiiiig ones. Of course, the information in there was good, but their size was just to heavy for my daily use.

But now, only revently, I found the dictionary of my dreams on the web. It is the The Free Dictionary. It has synonyms, antonyms, you can hear the pronounciation, and, my very favourite, every entry comes with several original uses from the literature!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Spent just another week at grandma's. Wanted to avoid that little conference that was going on here, because I didn't want to see Ex Supervisor. I told Ex Supervisor that I'd need a new job in 6 months. Problem: Ex Supervisor is the only one in charge for My Subject around here. He told me he has no job for me and that he'll call me in August. My job would me a project, but he doesn't want to get me one.

So. Didn't want to see Ex Supervisor.

And now, gotta do some groceries.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The new schedule = the new social life

As promised before my vacation, I wanted to make a schedule. Well, I didn't. But I decided to employ a completely new principle. Completely new to me, at least. I decided to have spare time, and to take part in social activities with people not belonging to academia.

So, I didn't spend the week end working or procrastinating, but I did social activities. On saturday, I went to a birthday party from a girl who is working in the creative industry. She runs an advertising company. Her appartment is so beautiful! She has a pent house with a huge balcony and a view over the whole city. Her male friends, all working in the creative business as well, were the most beautiful non-gay men I've ever seen. Everyone of them was tanned, shaved and had a nice hair cut. Their fingers including their fingernails were clean! They are easy going people, ready to talk. And: they all seem to be workoholics like I am, staying at the office from 10 a.m. until after midnight (they can't work at home because they need special computers and pens and desks). Two of them told me they never go out and they don't even know the up-to-date bars around town. I feel so relieved that I am not the only person not going out regularly!!

I thought of flirting. Well, to admit, I have made another thought change. I am definitely seeking a new boyfriend! But it was quite hard for me with all those unknown people. The first round was to talk to some of them and to find out what they're doing. In the second round, I started to check whether they had girlfriends. The third round wold have been to decide which one I liked and to start to talk to him, but at that time I was already too tired.

I made a new friend there. She's a photographer and very outgoing. I thought maybe I can meet her and hang out together. And maybe I can get to know her friends.

Today, there was a brunch some guy organzied. He has got the same grant as I do. There were about 20 people there, most of them male. I talked to three of them intensively. It was very nice. They were/are all excellent students, having degrees in more than one subject. Some of them are doing their dissertations right now, others have jobs already. It was so pleasurable because they understood what I am doing and why. And they all speak different languages and can talk about lots of different subjects.
I didn't know how to make friends with them. I only exchanged emails with one guy who is doing something I did as an undergraduate. I guess time will tell. I'll go to the next meeting.

What is the best tactic? Asking for the phone number directly? Giving one's own phone number?

Finally, I have a new cello teacher (my former one is for vacation). She's very cool - playing the cello wearing a mini skirt! And, I saw her brother today. Verrrry sexy!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Back from vacation: Bush meets nazi & catholic tradition

Hi my blogging friends, I'm back from my summer vacation - calmed down and relaxed! I had thought of blogging quite often, but it was not possible for technical reasons. (Just a short update on my academic life: I've decided to finish up the dissertation and then look for another job, be it in academia or not. I'm ready to take a change!).

Interestingly, there was a huge country party at my grandma's place. There were several line dancing groups. It seems that in even - or in particular in - the tiniest villages over here there are line dancing groups. All the free time activities are organized in line dancing groups. They love the "American way of life", i.e. they love being WASPs and cowboys etc.

To me, this is so awful. It reminds me of the old nazi organizations where they had to exercise in groups. And the bad thing is, this is so following Bush. These people have strong catholic roots and thex just pick up that cowboy thing and I'm sure they even love Bush's politics. That event was even sponsored by our conservative party.