Thursday, February 10, 2011

Decisions.. decisions..

Now that I have finally gotten into a graduate program, the next order of business is to find labs to rotate in.. Easier said then done.. First of all, my university allows only two rotations as opposed to three at other universities and I have already been assigned the lab in which I'll be doing my second rotation since the department is short of funds and this PI has offered to pay for my RAship in the summer.. There are two other labs that I'm interested in but although I am allowed a third rotation if I am unable to decide at the end of two, I don't think I will be supported with assistantships during the third one. All three labs deal with structural biology but one of them uses purely computational methods. The ideal thing to do would be to rotate in the lab which uses only computational techniques for one rota and choose one of the other two for the second.. But here lies the problem. The people that I have spoken to so far keep telling me not to be obligated to join the lab of the PI who's paying my stipend just because the PI is doing so and I feel like they are trying to give me a hint about something but how do I find out better what they are trying to tell me? The obvious answer is- ask the people working in that lab but the primitive department website does not provide the e-mail IDs of any of the students and it's really hard to actually find people and talk to them since everyone is usually busy in their labs. A mixer had been planned by the graduate student society here last week, which would have been a great way to get to know people but it was cancelled because of bad weather and hasn't been re- scheduled yet as far as I know..

In all, it seems like my department and university have gone out of their to make it hard for graduate students to communicate with each other.. A situation that could easily be remedied simply by giving students each other's e-mail IDs..

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