Using every and all forms of technology is completely acceptable and recommended in grad school. Indiana University makes it easy for people like me to understand new email interfaces, citation management softwares, setting up wireless printing, and more.
- University Information Technology Services – the technological support and services for the entire university. I have taken classes on Excel and HTML for my graduate assistantships to help me learn new skills and brush up on others. There are various workshops and trainings you can sign up for through the university.
- After I purchased my
pride and joy, bane of my existence, laptop I had to download some appropriate software such as Office for MAC, Adobe, and the wonderful Endnote. These software programs and many more are available through the university.
- Questions or issues with software, internet logins, pass phrases not working, or email servers giving you trouble…well the campus support center will answer questions by phone, email, in person, and by chat.
- There is even a place to purchase hardware on campus right in the Indiana Memorial Union and discounted items through IU Surplus.
What I have described here is only a small part of the tech services and support here on campus. I am still learning about new tips and tricks all the time.
Photo from www.businessweek.com
Putting down my books on a weeknight can be difficult and turning off my laptop on the weekend can be even harder. Breaks are necessary for a graduate student in coursework, studying for qualitative exams, writing proposals, and dissertating. I wrote a previous blog about the Musical Arts Center and the performances featured there, which are usually student centered including ballets, operas, and orchestral concerts.
It wasn’t until 2013 that I discovered exactly how amazing the IU Auditorium is. Working as a Co-Chair of the Committee for Fee Review (a committee of students across IU Bloomington campus that reviews the fee allocation for all student groups and auxiliary units on campus) I met Doug Booher, the Director of the Auditorium and learned some very important things about this institution on campus. It is an award winning and nationally recognized university auditorium, as well as being a top student employer on campus.
The yearly calendar of events and performances is impressive to say the least and student pricing is pretty great too. I’ve seen Bill Maher‘s stand up and most recently the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform at the IU Auditorium. There are even season ticket options to make sure you take those necessary breaks and enjoy a play, musical, dance concert, or public lecture!!
Photo by me (LaNita C)
The picture above is my weekly meal prep time. It may look like too much food but its an easy way to save money and time for anyone and everyone, whether you are a graduate student or not. Clockwise from top left I have tilapia, pork chops, chicken and potatoes, ground beef and salsa, and steak burgers. Cooking in bulk will save you time because you cook one time for the whole week.
Just a few pointers/tips so you can experiment with meal prepping:
#1- CROCKPOTS I have 2 and I will put meats/veggies in them and let them cook on low or high for hours. EXAMPLE: chicken breasts or drumsticks with some garlic, salt, pepper, and cajun spice and chicken broth on low for 6 hours. Then you can just broil them for a few minutes to get the skin crispy.
#2- EGGS I hard boil about 10-12 eggs for easy breakfast or snacks. I don’t have time to scramble eggs everyday.
#3- FISH So you cant make a ton of fish and expect it to stay fresh- but it will last a day or two. I love tilapia for breakfast. I buy a ton of frozen tilapia fillets. Thaw them and put some cajun or chipotle seasoning on it. Heat a bit of olive oil in non-stick pan and sear it. Adding green chile sauce to it while its in the pan. Easy, fast, lean protein.
#4- LOTS OF TUPPERWARE Yep you need a lot to save in fridge or freezer and to take with you everywhere.
#5- MRS DASH SEASONING (no salt) Great and easy seasoning. I have a cabinet full. Most spices and marinades are full of sodium.
These are just a few suggestions to make life easier when schedules are chaotic!
I can truthfully say I have NEVER pulled an ALLNIGHTER in all my undergraduate and graduate career. Want know how? Continue reading
Photo from http://blog.rtwilson.com
After coursework…life changes. I wish someone would have told me how isolating research and writing can actually be. Continue reading
Photo from http://www.dcc.edu/resources/flu
That’s right, its flu season. In addition to bundling up to brave freezing cold temperatures, occasional snow showers, and thick patches of ice on your way to class and work, now you’ve got to worry about the dreaded flu. Not to fret, the IU Health Center wants students to be proactive and prepare for the flu season (which, by the way can last until April!) by getting a flu shot.
Flu season or not, the IU Health Center is a great resource for graduate students, especially Student Academic Appointees utilizing the mandatory health insurance plan. There are registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, phlebotomists, and even massage therapists on staff to provide a range of services to students. There is also a pharmacy right inside. Also, remember that more than likely at any institution you attend for graduate studies, the student fees you pay are helping to fund health centers.
…stay safe and stay smart! A strong and healthy immune system is the only way those chapters will get written, presentations get finished, and papers get graded.
Photo from www.indianapublicmedia.org
I know lawyers and doctors (MD and PhDs) and public officials all from my time here at IU, but none are possibly as interesting as the vocalists I have met that are pursuing advanced degrees. Not only do you have the chance to attend Jacobs School of Music operas at The Musical Arts Center for discounted student pricing, but you get to see fellow graduate students showcase their hard work and talent on stage (as well as the musicians in the orchestra pit).
Operas are dynamic, fun, and exciting. It’s also a far more complex world than I originally thought. Imagine singing for 3+ hours! Imagine learning songs in French, German, or Italian! There are altos, tenors, baritones, counter tenors, sopranos and mezzo sopranos, contraltos, and bass baritones to name a few! I am no opera aficionado, but I absolutely love them and take advantage of every opportunity to attend a performance and learn more.
Just like attending your first IU basketball game, going to the Lil 500 race, playing cornhole (I never heard of this in Los Angeles), and experiencing the Taste of Bloomington– I think attending an opera (at least once) should be on everyone’s list. Who knows, you just might become a season ticket holder! After all, Jacobs School of Music is one of the most renowned in the nation.
Photo from etsy.com
Challenge yourself to try something new. The pressures of graduate school and perhaps living in a new area will force you to try new activities, utilize different study techniques, and step outside your comfort zone. I picked the IU Mini, a half marathon, to challenge myself during the first year of my doctoral program.
I am thankful for graduate student groups like the Black Graduate Student Association, because that is exactly the medium I used to
peer pressure contact and interest fellow graduate students to train and run the race with me. My listserv message was met with lots of interest from ladies in different programs and schools that were ready to tackle this challenge.
Some of these ladies are currently writing dissertations, while the others have graduated and moved away from Bloomington, but training through a snowy and icy winter for a spring half marathon has bonded us forever. Nothing like wearing ear warmers, running gloves, 2 pairs of warm tights, base layer shirts, fleece jacket, and warm socks to brave the 25°-30° weather for weekly long runs.
Here I am almost 3 years later and deep in the world of powerlifting and weighlifting, but something is telling me to try it again, perhaps train harder this time and improve my time. Truthfully speaking, I just want to run it so I can have a
cuter better picture at the finish line, because I actually hate dislike running (still waiting for that “runner’s high”), but I love working out with friends. Obviously I have time to decide, but it’s always in the back of my mind. The race is right here in town with plenty of undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, and community members running right next to you. Perhaps it’s time for another listserv message??
Photo from hoosierhalf.com
Photo from http://www.indiana.edu/~gpso/
The Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO) is an organization dedicated to serving the entire graduate student population at Indiana University, Bloomington.
- Need money for a conference to present your amazing and original work?
With a core group of elected and appointed officers the organization works to provide financial support with research awards, travel grants, and even conference funding.
- Are you having issues with using your graduate student health insurance plan?
GPSO is first and foremost an advocate for graduate students, working on student health care, stipend reviews for current graduate students, and campus safety concerns to name a few.
- Where am I going to live? Is there childcare near IU? How do I set up my new IU email account?
While the officers and staff of GPSO cannot act as real estate agents or IT support , they can lead you in the right direction by putting you in touch with the correct individuals. There is also a great resources tab on their website.
- How will I meet other graduate students not in my school or department?
Community building is very important in graduate school. In addition to networking and building a new base of friends, its a great time to take a step away from reading, writing, and working. GPSO plans great social hours, professional development events, and family friendly events.
OKAY! OKAY! You caught me! I am a little biased about this organization. From 2011-2013 I was the elected President of GPSO. Either way I wholeheartedly believe in the work of GPSO. I urge incoming graduate students, as well as current student students to get involved and take advantage of the many opportunities offered through GPSO.
Photo from https://financialliteracyseminar.eventbrite.com/
Engaging graduate students in a discussion about long term financial preparation and success can be difficult. Who has time to think about retirement when I have a dissertation to write, rent to pay, and conference registrations?????
I am lucky enough to have a graduate assistantship that is grad student centered. Working with Indiana University Human Resources and TIAA-CREF we have developed a survey instrument to ask grad students what is important to them financially. Hopefully with this data IU can develop seminars focused on financial issues to better prepare graduate students for when they graduate and accept those amazing post-docs, tenure track professorships, or jobs in the public or private sector.
As a graduate student that has completed a Master’s degree and now in the dissertation stage of the PhD, I can say that it is difficult to plan long term when I have to address more immediate financial concerns such as student fees, rent/housing, other miscellaneous costs, and looming student loans. I am learning that I should still be saving for the FUTURE.