Author Archives: Silvia Bunge

About Silvia Bunge

I'm a tenured faculty member, and the head graduate advisor in my department.

The most important question you can ask yourself today

“If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything. … Continue reading

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Multi-tasking during class: Not worth it

One day last year, I sat at the back of the room while a guest speaker gave a lecture in my undergraduate course. Some students were listening attentively, while others were doing all manner of other things on their laptops. … Continue reading

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Beware the WEIRD study participant

‘Weird’, in this case, means study participants from Western, Educated, and from Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic countries. More on that below – but first let me set the stage. Our Psychology department at UC Berkeley recently articulated a set of learning goals for our graduate … Continue reading

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How professors spend their time

How faculty are expected to allocate their time differs somewhat across settings (research universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, professional schools), but all professors struggle to achieve the right balance between teaching, research, and service. This cartoon captures the essence … Continue reading

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Is multi-tasking ever a good idea?

This photo just made me laugh out loud. Potholes aside, this Kansas area man demonstrates just how much we can achieve when we put our minds to it… In all seriousness, much has been written about the myth of multi-tasking. … Continue reading

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To defer or not to defer gratification while in graduate school

It’s a gorgeous day in the East Bay, and I’m trying to figure out how to squeeze in everything that I want to accomplish today, both on the personal and professional fronts. So far, so good: I went on an … Continue reading

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How Ph.D. students choose their careers

What are the factors that lead graduate students away from careers in academic science? This study, based on in-depth interviews of a relatively small sample of Ph.D.s, suggests that the biggest factors are emotional/motivational. With a little more encouragement and … Continue reading

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