I was driving to Bloomington, my normal routine every morning my first semester of graduate school. Now I know you’re wondering, “Why drive fifty miles back and forth every day? Why didn’t you move to Bloomington?” This is when the flashback noise would begin and the water effect would take you and I back to January 2012. Continue reading →
Cooking in graduate school. Photo courtesy of www.chronicle.com
Through my assistantship, I am fortunate to have a stipend. However, I am not rolling around in cash, and my stipend is just enough to feed me, house me, and have a little lift for entertaining me (movies, dinners with friends, and yes, shopping). Yet, I have to be Continue reading →
And on Saturday, the graduate gods said, “Let there be socializing!”
My program, Higher Education and Student Affairs, hosts a tailgate every weekend before an IU football game. One of our program’s traditions is to sign our names on the corn hole board. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Nguyen
Graduate school can be a difficult balance between academics, professional, and personal responsibilities. My life, right now, is going to class half a day, going to work at my assistantship in the other half of the day, and then taking care of myself after 5 p.m.–working out, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, and studying. I feel like I am constantly on the move 5 days of the week! But it is just as important Continue reading →
I have a young daughter. Being in Bloomington has afforded me the opportunity to start her life in a fairly safe, comfortable place. There are so many activities for parents and children. Here are a few to consider:
There are many parks in take children to especially when the weather is in your favor! My favor is Bryant Park because there are three different play grounds, a walking area that is .8 miles for me to exercise, and wonderful landscaping for picnics and friends. For more information about parks in Bloomington visit: http://bloomington.in.gov/sections/viewSection.php?section_id=8
This is a small gem in this town! Wonderlab is an interactive science lab/museum for children as young as 1 year old to 100. Honestly, it is one of my favorite places to visit as an adult. WonderLab encourages children to interact with the world around them using various elements, equipment, and creativity. For more information, please visit: http://www.wonderlab.org/
Along with blogging, giving student tours and being successful Graduate Students the Emissaries for Graduate Student Diversity also give presentations. Three emissaries gave a presentation on “graduate school preparedness” at the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program LEAD Conference on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at the Bloomington Convention Center.
Carl D., Zelideh M-H., and Alfonse P presented two workshops on “Graduate School Preparedness” at the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program LEAD Conference on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at the Bloomington Convention Center.
Last Friday morning, I began the first weekend for my qualifying exams. As a third year student in my program, it is now my time to work towards completion of my degree. The qualifying exams for the Higher Education and Student Affairs Program consists of two questions spread over two weekends. I received the first prompt at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. My 20 page response (minus appendices and bibliography in APA format) was due on Monday afternoon by 4:30 pm. (Which means that in less than 9 hours, round 2 will begin!!!!!!!!)
Qualifying exams are designed for doctoral students to demonstrate the wealth of knowledge that they have received during their academic tenure. The purpose is to respond to an issue or problem using the tools that I am supposed to have gained in 2.5-ish years. As my second weekend approaches, I am certain that I have written wwwwaaaaaaayyyyyyyy better papers than that. However, I am confident that I demonstrated that I have learned and can apply the knowledge of my field.
I am so excited to finish this last semester of coursework. As I contemplate the next year or so of my life, where I will be writing my dissertation, I am confident that I have gained tools and have had experienced here at Indiana University that has laid a foundation for me to become a leader in my field.
Mentorship is important to being successful in all that we do. It is no different in graduate school. It is important to find good and compatible faculty mentors to help you succeed and progress through graduate school. I have been very fortunate. Both of my mentors have been very involved in my academic work and development to enter the professoriate. I have been able to collaborate on scholarly research with my professors, and I have been introduced to academic and scholarly conferences through them also. While attending a conference where I presented, my professor was very gracious to introduce me to other colleagues, get me involved in the association’s activities, and she helped me feel welcome. These activities and opportunities have helped me get closer to the professoriate, and I attribute it to my faculty mentors!
For those who interested in providing social services while studying at IU, there are numerous chances for you to do so. Following the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Bloomington has a total of 1,082 nonprofit organizations (NGOs) in 2001 with a large percentage of arts and culture nonprofits. These NGOs focus mainly on human services and religious development. Living in a vibrant Bloomington community where there is large number of NGOs, the demand for your help and involvement is huge. While nonprofits in Bloomington are actively seeking for your help, IU also has lots of initiatives to connect you with the local community.
Asian Center organizes monthly meeting at the center to connect local organizations with students who wants to become a volunteer/intern for these organizations. Last time when I attended the meeting, there were representatives from the United Way of Monroe County, the Middle Way House, Stone Belt, Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington, Interfaith Winter Shelter. These organizations came to introduce their organizations’ programs and recruit volunteers/ interns to work for their programs. The purpose of the monthly meeting is also to discuss ways you as well as student organization group can reach out to the community. There are various funding options for you and the student groups to do these kinds of activities. Besides, IU Center for Student Leadership Development also has similar programs to enhance the connection between IU students and community organizations.
Getting involved outside of the classroom not only supplements your traditional education, but also helps to prepare you for life after graduation. You certainly will get lots of real-life opportunities while you prove your responsible engagement with the local community in which you live. And very important, you will have lots of fun joining in these community activities
Gronbjerg, Kristen and Tennen, Patricia, Bloomington Nonprofit Dimensions, (2005), http://www.indiana.edu/~nonprof/results/npsurvey/inscombloomington.pdf
It may seem like a big world out there; besides your colleagues that you see and work with everyday in your academic department, your academic family can extend to others in your discipline. Whether you see or interact with each other daily or even weekly, because of technology, the world is a much smaller place than you think.
It is important to meet and get to know others in your academic department. The wealth of knowledge from your colleagues will help you explore areas that you may not have thought of or even known. More importantly, this allows for collaborative efforts in teaching and research. In addition, others in your department can help you network and navigate the larger world in your discipline.
I have had a benefit of professors at the IU School of Education to encourage me to collaborate with them on research and attend academic conferences with them. This opportunity not only strengthens my academic portfolio for later employment, but it helps me make connections with other colleagues. By being involved, the large and scary realm of academia becomes much smaller, manageable, and personable. It all becomes your family!
Every person has something unique about them. If you spend time to really get to know them and understand their life experiences, you will be amazed of what you can learn. Reach out to your colleagues now; either those you work with everyday or those you see once in a while, you will be surprised of how much you can learn from each other.