Comments on: (Grad) school supply list History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 15:26:05 +0000 hourly 1 By: A Meditation on Recent History, Belonging and Endurance - Tenured Radical - The Chronicle of Higher Education Tue, 21 Jun 2011 21:38:04 +0000 [...] was trying to think of something clever to add to Historiann’s list of things to pack as you prepare to take off for graduate school. Medical marijuana? Nicotine patches (especially if you do not already smoke)? Extra [...]

By: Bavardess Thu, 30 Jul 2009 00:06:34 +0000 Mine would be to check out the services offered by your campus learning/writing centre if you haven’t already. Even if you think you’re good at research, taking notes, and structuring/writing papers, they’re sure to have some useful tips you can use. Likewise, make friends with a good research librarian.
Also, an iPod full of good tunes to help you either relax or energise, depending on the circs.
And I would swap out both bourbon and beer for some tasty cheap red wine.

By: Christine Tue, 28 Jul 2009 15:27:07 +0000 Spending the money for a student membership at the local Y has been so worth it. I see people of all ages and stripes, which is a good reminder of the world outside the 20- and 30-something bubble of obsessives I belong to, and avoid running into students in the shower. (I decided after one naked almost-encounter that the school gym wasn’t a place I wanted to interact with people from work.)

I’m almost done and wouldn’t be if I hadn’t had access to cheap therapy.

One more thing for the list: A not completely inflexible, but reasonable commitment to not date or socialize entirely where you work. My happiness and productivity skyrocketed in my third year after I divested myself from the incestuous, time-sucking vortex of the t.a. office.

By: Penny Tue, 28 Jul 2009 15:27:05 +0000 If you land in grad school in the upper midwest, think WINTERIZING. Get a crockpot so you can eat warming food without much cost or prep. And get some very decent boots before the first winter. You can usually acquire coats and other accessories inexpensively, but don’t skimp on the boots, and don’t get anything cute. Epecially if you won’t be driving to campus, your footwear is your vehicle, invest carefully.

Also, a hot-air popcorn popper for your office–cheap quick snack, and it can also blow on your frozen feet when the heat goes off in your building, in November. (Yes, I did that one day. I also filled glass soda bottles with boiling water and stuck them in my cardigan pockets.)

The dorkiest accessory I had (and that’s saying a lot) was one of those collapsible wire carts to bring my groceries home (no car, remember). It meant that I could buy more than a backpack’s worth of food at a time, from a real supermarket instead of an overpriced market catering to students. Helped with budgeting my time and money.

I didn’t access the counseling service, but I did take advantage of the learning disabilities office–it was in grad school that I realized I don’t read very efficiently, and the free evaluation/support was a big help in figuring out how to manage my reading load.

By: polisciprof Tue, 28 Jul 2009 12:36:39 +0000 Many years ago, when I was still a grad student, a newly minted Assistant Professor asked a snarky question of the Dept. Chair’s Administrative Assistant. He got a snarky answer back. As full-of-himself Asst. Prof. turned and walked down the hall, the Chair flew out of his office and ran down the hall after him to say, “you’ve just pissed off the most important person in this department (and he didn’t mean himself).” If I didn’t know who to be polite and respectful to before, I knew then.

(and I read this blog because one of my escapes from doing political science is reading early American history.)

By: Bing Tue, 28 Jul 2009 05:09:28 +0000 I have to second Indyanna’s suggestion, that you find an administrative wizard and stick to them like…a very sticky substance. We recently had a new departmental assistant come in, and I don’t know where she came from, but I think it was heaven. She just made things happen, and she was new to the school. She just didn’t mess around. A wonderful ally and a great friend!


By: jims Tue, 28 Jul 2009 01:55:38 +0000 * mentally delete the leaves from my last sentence–B-12 apparently limits commenting ability as well

By: jims Tue, 28 Jul 2009 01:52:29 +0000 I’ll de-lurk to add vitamins to the list. I just finished my first year of grad school in May and found that my memory loss, excessive fatigue, and general confusion were not the product of overwork but instead the result of a massive B-12 deficiency. This is a where a diet of coffee, toast, and departmentally-provided donuts leaves will lead.

By: Indyanna Mon, 27 Jul 2009 22:56:59 +0000 At my grad. school there was someone in a faceless office, Mrs. E——e; we didn’t even know what the name of the office was, just what floor of which building. She was the person who made the calls that cut through the red tape, no matter how convoluted. We always said that if she said “I can’t fix that one” you would be totally done for, but it never happened. Don’t know if she was still there when you went through, Historiann.

This must be a generic position in these schools. Find out who this person is and be nice to her.

By: Ignatz Mon, 27 Jul 2009 22:08:23 +0000 Ignatz chiming in: Take weekend trips to nearby cities when totally stressed. Stay at a hostel or a Motel 6; stroll in parks; go to museums; send your friends postcards; drink cheap wine at cafes; grab the town’s alternative paper for free concerts and cheap eats recommendations.

I found living by myself very peaceful; do so if you’re unpartnered and can afford it.

As with a job, ask people who’ve been at your school longer to tell you how to get things done given your university’s particular byzantine bureaucracy: which person to ask for at the registrar’s, whom to avoid at financial aid, the number that gets you to a real person when you dial admissions, etc.

My university town, like other big university towns, had many Goodwills and other thrift stores, and each had its strengths. I went north for shoes, south for TA dresses, and central for jewelry. Shop early and often, and donate your wearable castoffs.

As for likker, we always opted for local beer. But it was hot and muggy where we were. If I were in, say, St. Paul, vodka would have seemed more appropriate somehow.