2011年8月23日火曜日

大学院生のためのマジなアドバイス

いよいよ授業が始まりました。午前中に女性史の授業の第一回めがあり、これから大学院のゼミがあります。大学院の授業では、講義の内容紹介をしたり学生の関心を知ることに加えて、大学院で勉強するというのはどういうことか、という実際的な話もするつもりです。

私は以前、アメリカ研究学部の大学院生全体、とくにまだ資格試験や論文の指導教授を決めていない新入生や二年めの学生たちの面倒をみる、Graduate Chairという役を務めていたことがありますが、そのときに、新入生オリエンテーションで配っていたのが以下のリスト。『アメリカの大学院で成功する方法』を読んでくださっているかたには、それぞれの項目で私が言わんとしていることはすぐわかると思います。これに目を通すと、新入生たちはたいてい、笑いと恐怖の混じり合ったような、なんともいえない表情になるのですが、リストを作った私としては、なかなかいいアドバイスだと思っております、エッヘン。上述書を読んでいないかたでも、リスト自体は読めばすぐわかると思うので、英語でそのまま以下添付いたします。

Mari’s No-Nonsense Tips on Successfully Completing Your Graduate Degree

(and Having a Fulfilling Academic Career)

1. Think twice (and three, four, five . . . times) before entering academe. Know what you’re getting into by finding out what an academic career entails. Give serious thought to why you want to pursue an academic life.

2. Make sure that you’re in the right discipline, school, and department. If you find out that you’re not, give serious thought to changing paths.

3. Have a plan for funding the rest of your graduate study.

4. Do not expect your life to be normal for the duration of graduate school. If you’re not ready or able to have your life revolve around your academic work for the next X [2-3 in the case of an MA, 5-10 in the case of a PhD] years, now is not the right time for you to be in graduate school.

5. Do not expect your family and friends outside of academe to understand, let alone sympathize with, what you’re going through in graduate school.

6. Expect that at least one major family, relationship, financial, automotive, health, housing, or some other type of disaster will be part of your life in the next few years. Acquire the skills of compartmentalization.

7. Plan your course of study with a long-term vision. Fill the gaps in your training early.

8. Do not underestimate the importance of acquiring strong writing skills. Make specific efforts to strengthen your writing skills.

9. Choose your mentors carefully. Develop and maintain a good, healthy relationship with your mentors. Have role models. Keep your mentors posted of your progress.

10. Nurture a community of peers with whom to share and mutually critique work.

11. Set high standards for yourself, but be realistic in your expectations. Remember that graduate school is only a beginning step in your long academic career.

12. Know that feeling stuck, overwhelmed, lost, helpless, unimportant, unoriginal, etc. is par for the course. Do not let those feelings steer you away from your goals. Find a way to pull yourself out of self-doubt and to focus on concrete goals at hand.

13. Try to keep perspective. Take your work very seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.

14. Maintain good physical and mental health.

15. When in doubt, remind yourself why you started this in the first place.

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