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Kiwi Will Get Fit and Finish Her Dissertation!


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Hi Everyone,

 

This my first challenge.  I will post daily to help me keep on track and stay on track.

 

A little about me:  I am currently a PhD student trying to get her dissertation done.  I am in the proposal phase and have been stuck in this phase for about two years (Yes, I know!  How slow of a thinker/writer can I be and how many drafts does this take?!).  I finally got my research questions approved last week (YAY!) and now need my dissertation proposal completely written (chapters 1, 2, and 3) & approved by my two co-chairs of the committee before I can defend my proposal to the full committee (targeting mid-October/early November).  I plan to work hard and write as much as I can in the next few months so that I can make the March 2014 deadline for the dissertation defense and the May 2014 Graduation.  Since I started my PhD program, the work/life balance has been a struggle--I have put on twenty pounds, moved a few hundred miles away from school, and started a full-time position.

 

My motivation:  I have been working full-time as a research associate at a research company over a year ago.  I like what I do, but in the last couple of months, I have grown unhappy and uncertain if this is the career I want.  I have also felt tired and have little to no energy for most days in the week.  I realize that the unhappiness in my work life is somehow connected to the slow progress on my dissertation. 

 

Also, after some soul searching about what I want to do with my life, I realized that my passion still lies with teaching.  So I want to change the unhappy aspects of my life by getting myself ready for a faculty position.  Thus, I need to get fit so that I have more energy to focus and get my dissertation done!  My motivation for staying on track this time is to focus on faculty job searches that will begin in a few months and be able to graduate by May 2014.

 

How I came to NF:  Early this month (July), I came across Steve’s article on Staci, the Master of Deadlift, and felt intrigued about the idea that weightlifting can help losing weight/body fat and building muscle quicker than running with resistances (BTW, Staci is my hero, too!).  I started researching around and reading more of Steve’s articles on fitness, inspiration, and motivation.  I decided to give it a try.  I began with cutting down sugar consumption since sugar makes you fat (from one of Steve’s articles). 

 

Tracking my daily food intake with myfitnesspal.com, I realized that I was eating an average of 10% more sugar than what I was supposed eat per day and on someday it could be 30% more!  I also started doing some weightlifting and have seen some progress.  In the past two weeks, I have lost five pounds and have a lot more energy to stay focused on writing.  I want to keep this going and be accountable so I am joining the rebellion and taking on the 6-week challenge.

 

By the end of this 6-week challenge, I want to achieve the following:

 

 

Main Quest:  Get Fit and Lose the 20 pounds!

 

Goal 1:  Stick to a Diet with Low Sugar Consumption

Using myfitnesspal.com, I will track my sugar in-take per day.  Daily allowance is set at 20 grams (about 5~6 teaspoons) per day based on American Heart Association recommendations.  I want to stay between 10-15 grams and eat less than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day.

- Grading:

   A. All 7 days in a week under the limit

   B. 5 days in a week under the limit

   C. 3 days in a week under the limit

   D. 2 days in a week under the limit

   F.  Only 1 day in a week under the limit

 

Goal 2:  Stick to an Exercise Routine with Weightlifting

Using everymove.org, I will track my exercise and record points earned every day.  Here is my exercise routine that I have been trying to stick with:

Circuit Training in the morning 3x a week

Running on Elliptical machine for 20 minutes in the evening, 3x a week

Weightlifting in the evening 4x a week (alternating days with chest/arms and legs/deadlifts)

- Grading:

   A. Circuit Training 3x/week, Elliptical 20 min/3x/week, Weightlifting 4x/week, able to deadlift 50 pounds

   B. Circuit Training 2x/week, Elliptical 20 min/2x/week, Weightlifting 3x/week, able to deadlift 40 pounds

   C. Circuit Training 1x/week, Elliptical 20 min/1x/week, Weightlifting 2x/week, able to deadlift 30 pounds

   D. No Circuit Training, No Ellipitical, Weightlifting 1x/week

   F. Didn't exercise for the week, only able deadlift 20 pounds

 

Goal 3:  Lose 6 pounds by September 8

Since this challenge started on a Monday, I will weigh myself every Monday to check my progress and record on myfitnesspal.com.

- Grading:

   A.  Lost 6 or more pounds by 9/8

   B.  Lost 5 pounds by 9/8

   C.  Lost 4 pounds by 9/8

   D.  Lost 2 pounds by 9/8

   F.  Didn't lose any weight

 

Life Goal:  Dissertation Proposal Ready for Committee

I will write everyday so that I can stick to the following schedule:

Chapter 1 with Chapter 2 outline completed by 7/31

Chapter 2 with Chapter 3 outline completed by 8/15

Chapter 3 with revision of Chapter 1 completed by 8/30

Revision of Chapter 2 completed by 9/8

Dissertation proposal with revision of Chapter 3 completed and ready to email to Committee by 9/16

- Grading:

   A.  Written 2 pages per day

   B.  Written 1 and 1/2 pages per day

   C.  Written 1 page per day

   D.  Written 1/2 page per day

   F.  Didn't write anything for the day

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It took me 9 months to get to the final version of my MA thesis proposal. Sometimes life just gets in your way, the important thing is not to give up! :encouragement::kiwi-fruit:

the artist usually known as WALDGEIST

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DAY 1:

 

Goal 1:  Stick to a Diet with Low Sugar Consumption

Sugar consumed:  15 grams

Carb consumed:  72 grams

 

Goal 2:  Stick to an Exercise Routine with Weightlifting

Did circuit training in the morning for 20 minutes with 5 minutes of stretching

No running on elliptical machine and no weightlifting -- still sore from yesterday's weightlifting

 

Goal 3:  Lose 6 pounds by September 8

Waiting for next Monday (8/5) to check in

 

Life Goal:  Dissertation Proposal Ready for Committee

Wrote a page and revised a few paragraphes to make them flow better

 

 

Goals for tomorrow:

* Consume 10-15 grams or less sugar and less than 100 grams of carbs

* Stretching in the AM, Running on elliptical machine for 20 minutes in the afternoon, and weightlifting/strength training (arms/chest)

* Finish revising Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 outline -- be ready to send out on 7/31

Challenge: #1  #2  #3  #4  #5  |  Recipes  |  Level 6.  Kiwi Bird:  Rawr!   |  Team

 

Blogs I stalk:     Mark's Daily Apple  |   Nom Nom Paleo  |  Ancestral Chef  |  Greatist  |

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Hey Kiwi,

 

Keep it up. I'll be finishing a PhD in the next year or two. I know how rough work/life balance and how hard it is to keep in shape during it all. You can do it.

Level 3, Rebel

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It took me 9 months to get to the final version of my MA thesis proposal. Sometimes life just gets in your way, the important thing is not to give up! :encouragement::kiwi-fruit:

Whee!  Thanks for the encouragement!  Definitely need it!  Real Life can be a pain in the butt sometimes!  Good luck to you, too!

 

 

great to read you're not making my mistake, never finishing the writing (and in this country thus not graduating).

and wtg on a being a fitter you!

Aww, thanks!  Good luck to you, too!

 

 

Hey Kiwi,

 

Keep it up. I'll be finishing a PhD in the next year or two. I know how rough work/life balance and how hard it is to keep in shape during it all. You can do it.

Thanks for the encouragement!  Good luck with your PhD and the 6-week challenge!  We can do this!

 

 

I love your specific goals, you've got this!

Thanks! ^_^  Yes, I will do this!  Good luck to you with yours!

Challenge: #1  #2  #3  #4  #5  |  Recipes  |  Level 6.  Kiwi Bird:  Rawr!   |  Team

 

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Hi there!

Two fellow first-time challenges you may want to look into are Snow vs. Graduate School (Snow) and Be a zombie, or *beat* the zombies? (PhDifferent); they both have similar starting positions and "timetable" constraints.

And interestingly enough, all three of you have laid out tabulated your exact grading system for your sub-missions. Coincidence? I think not. Must be some sort of RPG virus that targets only PhD candidates or something…

M (the 13th letter). Lvl 6 Elven Monk.

Mathematics, computer science, martial arts and bodyweight strength training. Also, sometimes, fiction.

Hello, world!

Challenges: “Consistency†⟶ “Preparation†⟶ “Multiplexing†⟶ “Sanity†⟶ “Escape†⟶ “Lockdown†⟶ “Probation†⟶ “Detention†⟶ “Foundationâ€(×3) ⟶ “All In!†⟶ “Happy Hourâ€

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DAY 2:

 

Goal 1:  Stick to a Diet with Low Sugar Consumption

Sugar consumed:  17 grams

Carb consumed:  100 grams

D'oh!  Had too much raisins today (high sugar load).  Must stay away from them for now!

 

Goal 2:  Stick to an Exercise Routine with Weightlifting

15 minutes of stretching in the morning;

25 minutes on ellipitcal machine in the afternoon;

15 minutes weightlifting (arms and chests) plus stretching after running

 

Goal 3:  Lose 6 pounds by September 8

Waiting for next Monday (8/5) to check in

 

Life Goal:  Dissertation Proposal Ready for Committee

Still revising Chapter 1.  Need one more round of proof-reading before sending out tomorrow!

 

 

Goals for tomorrow:

* Consume 10-15 grams or less sugar and less than 100 grams of carbs.  Remember to stay away from raisins!

* Circuit training in the morning, running on elliptical machine for 20 minutes in the afternoon, and weightlifting/strength training (legs/deadlift)

* Send out Chapter 1 draft and Chapter 2 outline by 5pm

Challenge: #1  #2  #3  #4  #5  |  Recipes  |  Level 6.  Kiwi Bird:  Rawr!   |  Team

 

Blogs I stalk:     Mark's Daily Apple  |   Nom Nom Paleo  |  Ancestral Chef  |  Greatist  |

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So stoked for you! As a student currently going for my undergrad (which I plan on immediately going for my masters and then my phD), You are an inspiration! We all know you can do it, and I look forward to following your progress. BEST OF LUCK!

Hey Kiki!  Aww, thanks!  Good luck to you, too, with the challenge and school!  What are you studying?

 

 

Hi there!

Two fellow first-time challenges you may want to look into are Snow vs. Graduate School (Snow) and Be a zombie, or *beat* the zombies? (PhDifferent); they both have similar starting positions and "timetable" constraints.

And interestingly enough, all three of you have laid out tabulated your exact grading system for your sub-missions. Coincidence? I think not. Must be some sort of RPG virus that targets only PhD candidates or something…

Hehee!  I went to read their stuff!  Yes, must be some RPG virus going on!  Thanks!

Challenge: #1  #2  #3  #4  #5  |  Recipes  |  Level 6.  Kiwi Bird:  Rawr!   |  Team

 

Blogs I stalk:     Mark's Daily Apple  |   Nom Nom Paleo  |  Ancestral Chef  |  Greatist  |

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Congrats on another successful day! You seem to be doing great! I am an accounting major :) I really enjoy seeing fellow nerds who not only want to better their lives, but are also in the same boat as myself with trying to balance work/school/life/health. Wish you the best and can't wait to continue to follow your progress!!

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I am an accounting major :) I really enjoy seeing fellow nerds who not only want to better their lives, but are also in the same boat as myself with trying to balance work/school/life/health.

hehe… accountants… hehe… balancing… work… hehe… and school… and life… and health… hehe… instead of checkbooks… hehe…

*cough*

Wha—? What're you all giving me that weird look for…? <_<;

[/has-nothing-useful-to-add-today-but-maybe-tomorrow]

M (the 13th letter). Lvl 6 Elven Monk.

Mathematics, computer science, martial arts and bodyweight strength training. Also, sometimes, fiction.

Hello, world!

Challenges: “Consistency†⟶ “Preparation†⟶ “Multiplexing†⟶ “Sanity†⟶ “Escape†⟶ “Lockdown†⟶ “Probation†⟶ “Detention†⟶ “Foundationâ€(×3) ⟶ “All In!†⟶ “Happy Hourâ€

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hehe… accountants… hehe… balancing… work… hehe… and school… and life… and health… hehe… instead of checkbooks… hehe…

*cough*

Wha—? What're you all giving me that weird look for…? <_<;

[/has-nothing-useful-to-add-today-but-maybe-tomorrow]

 

That actually gave me a very good, and needed LOL. So for that, THANK YOU!

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DAY 3:

 

Oh noes!  I overate today on nuts and cucumbers.  Did I mention I stress eat?!  This bad habit has gotta go >.<!

 

By the way... Are there things I can eat and not worry about going over sugar limit besides bell peppers if my stress eating demon kidnaps the better half of me again in the future?  *wishful thinking daze*

 

 

Goal 1:  Stick to a Diet with Low Sugar Consumption

Sugar consumed:  24 grams  :upset:   Although this extra sugar spike did help with my productivity level and working out today.  I was so hyper!!!

Carb consumed:  79 grams

 

Goal 2:  Stick to an Exercise Routine with Weightlifting

20 minutes of circuit training in the morning;

20 minutes on ellipitcal machine in the afternoon;

25 minutes of weightlifting (legs; deadlifts: 30-lb weights, 1 set of 20 reps)

5 minutes of stretching after running

 

Goal 3:  Lose 6 pounds by September 8

Waiting for next Monday (8/5) to check in

 

Life Goal:  Dissertation Proposal Ready for Committee

Chapter 1 draft and Chapter 2 outline sent at 6:49pm!!  A bit late than what I wanted, but at least it is out in my professors' mailboxes!  YAY!

 

 

Goals for tomorrow:

* MUST ONLY consume 10-15 grams or less sugar and less than 100 grams of carbs.

* Stretching in the morning, running on elliptical machine for 20 minutes in the afternoon, and possible weightlifting/strength training (arms/chest) if not too sore

* Write two pages for Chapter 2.

Challenge: #1  #2  #3  #4  #5  |  Recipes  |  Level 6.  Kiwi Bird:  Rawr!   |  Team

 

Blogs I stalk:     Mark's Daily Apple  |   Nom Nom Paleo  |  Ancestral Chef  |  Greatist  |

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Go hard Kiwi girl!! From fellow kiwi and girl and nerd newbie and student.  :pirate:

Hehee!  I am not really from NZ, but it's one of the places I have been wanting to visit!  Thanks!  Good luck to you, too!

 

 

Looks great, kiwi! My Life Goal is to figure out what I want to do for my senior thesis, which is nothing compared to an entire dissertation, but I like that we both have academic goals! Best of luck to you!

Thanks, thebishop!  A senior thesis is pretty awesome!  Good luck to you!  Yay for academic goals!

 

 

Congrats on another successful day! You seem to be doing great! I am an accounting major :) I really enjoy seeing fellow nerds who not only want to better their lives, but are also in the same boat as myself with trying to balance work/school/life/health. Wish you the best and can't wait to continue to follow your progress!!

Wheee!  Thanks, Kiki!  ^_^  I didn't do so well on my sugar-intake goal today.  But tomorrow is another day!  Rawr!

 

 

hehe… accountants… hehe… balancing… work… hehe… and school… and life… and health… hehe… instead of checkbooks… hehe…

*cough*

Wha—? What're you all giving me that weird look for…? <_<;

[/has-nothing-useful-to-add-today-but-maybe-tomorrow]

 

 

That actually gave me a very good, and needed LOL. So for that, THANK YOU!

Teehee!  That's funny!  Thanks, the-13th-letter!

Challenge: #1  #2  #3  #4  #5  |  Recipes  |  Level 6.  Kiwi Bird:  Rawr!   |  Team

 

Blogs I stalk:     Mark's Daily Apple  |   Nom Nom Paleo  |  Ancestral Chef  |  Greatist  |

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Oh noes!  I overate today on nuts and cucumbers.  Did I mention I stress eat?!  This bad habit has gotta go >.<!

 

By the way... Are there things I can eat and not worry about going over sugar limit besides bell peppers if my stress eating demon kidnaps the better half of me again in the future?  *wishful thinking daze*

 

How about mini roma tomatoes or something like that? Sprouts? Also celery, fennel and radishes, though I admit these are rather acquired tastes. ;-)

Also, I thought cucumbers consist pretty much of water and not much else, (they certainly taste like that to me ;-) ) but I could be wrong.

 

Not sure about the sugar content, you'd probably have to ask one of the food databases?

 

Also: congratulations on your writing! Though I never had to write a dissertation, I know how tough writing with a deadline can be. But it sounds like you got a great start on your life goal! Keep up the good work! :-)

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Oh noes!  I overate today on nuts and cucumbers.  Did I mention I stress eat?!  This bad habit has gotta go >.<!

 

By the way... Are there things I can eat and not worry about going over sugar limit besides bell peppers if my stress eating demon kidnaps the better half of me again in the future?  *wishful thinking daze*

 

I don't think you can overeat cucumbers, or else I've been doing it for weeks now.... Salad, watercress, spinach, radishes, cauliflower etc.  are good choices for stress eating as well in my opinion, since it is hard to eat too much of it, because of their volume.

 

But most importantly, don't berate yourself too much, you had a great third day! :victorious:

the artist usually known as WALDGEIST

Epic Quests

Challenges by theme

 

Star Wars: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #5B, #6, #6B, #10, #11, #16, #17, (Current Callenge)

TeenWolf: #7

SHIELD: #8, #12, #13, #14, #15

Magicians: #9

 

"It's never too late, to become what you could've been!"

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How about mini roma tomatoes or something like that? Sprouts? Also celery, fennel and radishes, though I admit these are rather acquired tastes. ;-)

Also, I thought cucumbers consist pretty much of water and not much else, (they certainly taste like that to me ;-) ) but I could be wrong.

 

Not sure about the sugar content, you'd probably have to ask one of the food databases?

 

Also: congratulations on your writing! Though I never had to write a dissertation, I know how tough writing with a deadline can be. But it sounds like you got a great start on your life goal! Keep up the good work! :-)

 

 

I don't think you can overeat cucumbers, or else I've been doing it for weeks now.... Salad, watercress, spinach, radishes, cauliflower etc.  are good choices for stress eating as well in my opinion, since it is hard to eat too much of it, because of their volume.

 

But most importantly, don't berate yourself too much, you had a great third day! :victorious:

 

Good ideas, fellow rebels!!

 

I went to look up nutritional info on MyFitness Pal food database. 

 

So yes, cucumber is mostly water with low sugar.  But I did manage to stress eat a whole cucumber which has about 4-6 grams of sugar depending on size.  The one I ate was a large one so, it had 6 grams of sugar, more than a third what I allowed myself.

 

Red radishes and tomatoes are low sugar, too.  But, I tend to over eat them because they taste so yummy to me!

 

There are veggies I know for sure I won't over eat and will only chew them:

 

1 cup of raw cauliflower (equivalent to 1/4 head of a small) = 2 g sugar 

     -- Although a potential to have lots sugar in case of overeating, but I doubt seriously I would eat a whole head in one setting

2 medium stalks of raw celery = 2 g sugar 

Much better alternative ^_^

 

And these suggestions are AWESOME!!!

 

1 bulb of raw fennel = 0 g sugar

2 cups of raw baby spinach = 0 g sugar

1 cup of raw watercress = 0 g sugar

 

Yay!  Even better!  :D   Thanks so much!  I know what I need to get and stock up on this weekend!

Challenge: #1  #2  #3  #4  #5  |  Recipes  |  Level 6.  Kiwi Bird:  Rawr!   |  Team

 

Blogs I stalk:     Mark's Daily Apple  |   Nom Nom Paleo  |  Ancestral Chef  |  Greatist  |

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Hey Kiwi,

 

     Some great goals you have there.   /bow to those who are on the path of academia and the PhD.    Heck I am 35 and attending now for my associates.  Please don't let it get to your head like so many I work with who look down on those without one as formal education is not for everyone and or the only way to learn.   I would have a MS in yoga by now if so hehe.    

 

     Steve says it like it is.  Sugar makes us fat.   I worked out for almost 2 years with no diet change and my body did not change.  I cut out the sugar as part of paleo diet and the weight flew off fast.   Did go all the way and cut out gluten products and the combo has been great.  Lost 15 lbs during the last challenge and down 42 lbs since I changed to paleo.    Talked to my old girlfriend who still denies gluten-free has no science behind it, but could not deny the results it has had on my body in a short period of time.   This summers food selections have been slim compared to past years, but a summer of meh food is worth a lifetime of healthy living.   The Lobstah( I am from New England I can call it that ) & clam rolls will be waiting for me next summer.  Look forward to seeing how things go for you.

200-Hour Yoga Teacher & Reiki II Practitioner


 


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The problem with life is that there is no background music

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Cucumbers! I need to make something with them. They're great in the summer time. This is more macrobiotic than paleo but one of my favorite recipes is:

 

1 cup of diced cucumber

1 tbs. Hiziki (a type of sea weed)

~ a splash of soy sauce ( maybe a tsp)

~ a splash of rice wine vinegar

~ a tiny drizzle of sesame oil (less than a tsp)

 

Shake up and let sit in the fridge for 30-60 min (until the Hiziki gets soft).

 

Before serving, sprinkle with a pinch of sesame seeds. Maybe sprinkle of salt to taste. Nice and refreshing.

Level 3, Rebel

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/bow to those who are on the path of academia and the PhD. Heck I am 35 and attending now for my associates. Please don't let it get to your head like so many I work with who look down on those without one as formal education is not for everyone and or the only way to learn. I would have a MS in yoga by now if so hehe.

(The following is from personal experience, which may or may not coincide with yours/be applicable to your environment… heck, depending on how you draw the line, I'm not even on the same side of Earth as you (Germany/Europe)…)

I grew up in a rural area in the countryside, in a town full of craftsmen and tourist services (hotels, restaurants, etc.), with the nearest university (including what would be college for you U.S. people… our education system is a bit different…) being roughly 50 miles away. Thus there was a sharp divide between those of us youngsters who, when the time came, ventured out to study in the city (that includes me), and those who stayed back. I typically see one of the following patterns:

(…where "(soon-to-be) graduate" means anyone who (is working on) has already finished his/her Bachelor's degree, "academic" means anyone who is pursuing even higher tertiary education such as a Master's degree or a Doctor's degree, "non-academic" specifically means those people who finished high school but did not pursue any further tertiary education (university is the only option for that over here in Germany), and "drop-outs" means just that: drop-outs.)

  • In every "path" of education, there are people who are very happy with their choice.
  • Most "graduates" I have met do not intend to become "academics".
  • Both some "non-academics" and some "drop-outs" assume I am an arrogant snob because I hold a Bachelor's degree. Usually, I'm only superficially acquainted with these people.
  • A handful of "non-academics", all of them still in their 20s, decide after a few years of working that they want to start tertiary education. Unsurprisingly to me, however, none of them chose to pursue a "hard science", which to me is a sign that they still have psychological barriers holding them back.
  • The majority of older "non-academics" (30+ usually) applaud me for pursuing the academic path, but claim that they could "never" do it themselves. When I press them as to why they don't think they could handle it, I invariably end up with them asserting that 1) they like doing something physical a lot more than something mental, and 2) I have more "brains" and "talent" than they have. To me this sounds like the same psychological barriers as above.
  • Our university has a mentoring program for "gifted" mathematics students. I've talked to them on several occasions, and what does strike me about them is that their best tip for "how do I become better at maths" is "well, sometimes, you have to sit down and do the work, and there's no way around that"; in all other respects, they remind me of other students (in particular, they have a very active social life, with all the intricacies that come along with it). They also abhorr being treated as if they were something special. (Side note: interestingly, here "giftedness" is determined by way of having a high marks in class (top 5% or something like that), not by ways of a psychological test or similar, which I expect would be more accurate.)

Either way, I think that the situation is more nuanced than "please don't let your PhD get to your head and look down on those who don't have one". Also, personally I have not yet come across graduates or academics who have actively looked down on people who are lower on the tertiary education ladder than themselves.

M (the 13th letter). Lvl 6 Elven Monk.

Mathematics, computer science, martial arts and bodyweight strength training. Also, sometimes, fiction.

Hello, world!

Challenges: “Consistency†⟶ “Preparation†⟶ “Multiplexing†⟶ “Sanity†⟶ “Escape†⟶ “Lockdown†⟶ “Probation†⟶ “Detention†⟶ “Foundationâ€(×3) ⟶ “All In!†⟶ “Happy Hourâ€

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(The following is from personal experience, which may or may not coincide with yours/be applicable to your environment… heck, depending on how you draw the line, I'm not even on the same side of Earth as you (Germany/Europe)…)

I grew up in a rural area in the countryside, in a town full of craftsmen and tourist services (hotels, restaurants, etc.), with the nearest university (including what would be college for you U.S. people… our education system is a bit different…) being roughly 50 miles away. Thus there was a sharp divide between those of us youngsters who, when the time came, ventured out to study in the city (that includes me), and those who stayed back. I typically see one of the following patterns:

(…where "(soon-to-be) graduate" means anyone who (is working on) has already finished his/her Bachelor's degree, "academic" means anyone who is pursuing even higher tertiary education such as a Master's degree or a Doctor's degree, "non-academic" specifically means those people who finished high school but did not pursue any further tertiary education (university is the only option for that over here in Germany), and "drop-outs" means just that: drop-outs.)

 

  • In every "path" of education, there are people who are very happy with their choice.
  • Most "graduates" I have met do not intend to become "academics".
  • Both some "non-academics" and some "drop-outs" assume I am an arrogant snob because I hold a Bachelor's degree. Usually, I'm only superficially acquainted with these people.
  • A handful of "non-academics", all of them still in their 20s, decide after a few years of working that they want to start tertiary education. Unsurprisingly to me, however, none of them chose to pursue a "hard science", which to me is a sign that they still have psychological barriers holding them back.
  • The majority of older "non-academics" (30+ usually) applaud me for pursuing the academic path, but claim that they could "never" do it themselves. When I press them as to why they don't think they could handle it, I invariably end up with them asserting that 1) they like doing something physical a lot more than something mental, and 2) I have more "brains" and "talent" than they have. To me this sounds like the same psychological barriers as above.
  • Our university has a mentoring program for "gifted" mathematics students. I've talked to them on several occasions, and what does strike me about them is that their best tip for "how do I become better at maths" is "well, sometimes, you have to sit down and do the work, and there's no way around that"; in all other respects, they remind me of other students (in particular, they have a very active social life, with all the intricacies that come along with it). They also abhorr being treated as if they were something special. (Side note: interestingly, here "giftedness" is determined by way of having a high marks in class (top 5% or something like that), not by ways of a psychological test or similar, which I expect would be more accurate.)

Either way, I think that the situation is more nuanced than "please don't let your PhD get to your head and look down on those who don't have one". Also, personally I have not yet come across graduates or academics who have actively looked down on people who are lower on the tertiary education ladder than themselves.

 

 

Wow great reply :)     I have and still do work with those with that look down upon those that do not have a very expensive piece of paper.    I am a strange one with my path.   Started interning during high school and went straight into being a computer geek and did very very well for myself.   I hold a senior level position contracting at a big gov institution and have M.I.T. grads working directly for me.  But I have no piece of paper.   Back at it now to shut some people up at first, but starting to rather enjoy the learning again.   I know myself well enough to know that I will go onto a bachelors level at least and I will graduate with honors as school is so easy compared to work being in the industry for almost 2 decades already.  

 

Ha, drop outs, yeah I know o too many of those types.  I come from northern redneck land known as Maine and most don't ever get out of that state that are born there.   I  knew I was going to be a Mass hole as all the brains are here in this country for learning and Boston/Cambridge is the center of the universe.  ;)   

 

Anyway, working with those that look down on those without degrees just tick me off.  There seem to be a lot in the computer industry and plenty in greater Boston area.    

 

Great reply again though.  That deserves a GIF.  Unfortunately its not paleo ;-)

 

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200-Hour Yoga Teacher & Reiki II Practitioner


 


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