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Teaching members (split from a Soap Box topic)
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Robot Chicken Koko



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:59 pm    Post subject: Teaching members (split from a Soap Box topic) Reply with quote

What the... Are most of the elder members involved in teaching here? I wonder why.

Maybe too much free time.
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Sal



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

not many other options.
yes, i'm doing the teaching as well.
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cfos



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, the one "perk" of an academic lifestyle is the "scheduling". Granted, you have to get your work done, but, for the most part, your schedule is relatively flexible. Hence, people in academics have time to post in forums. *L* On the downside, the work, at least in research is demanding. I've NOT gone to work (full day off) twice this year.
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Aurelyn
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cfos wrote:
Academics for you, too?


Sure is.. Very Happy I'm as yet still working on my doctorate tho - not quite out into the big bad world of academic research!

And yes, the flexi-time is brilliant, although the teaching load gets in the way occasionally...
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is interesting to notice that indeed there is a fair share of teachers around here. I wonder why.

And I didn't know you're a teacher as well, Sal. What do you teach?
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Sal



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

why, English of course.
i spoke about it here. [and in subsequent two posts on the same page]

i'm not that much of a professional teacher yet. i have classes only twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays.
so part-time seems the keyword here.

my "students" are workers of a company which repairs and maintains elevators and escalators.
and it's tough.
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cfos



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Auerlyn: Best of luck. Took me about 5 years to finish.

Koko: One other "perk" within academics, is going to meetings. I can only speak about the academic sciences, but I go to about two meetings (and get reimbursed) a year. This year, I'm going to Quebec in June and I think San Diego in November. Of course, sometimes, the meeting locations suck (Atlanta, Scottsdale AZ). Next year, the societies I belong to go back to Puerto Rico and Washington DC.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cfos wrote:
Auerlyn: Best of luck. Took me about 5 years to finish.


Thanx! Unfortunately, I only have funding for three, so I'd wanna get my skates on. If only the rain would ease off for a while...

What's your field?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three years? Hopefully, you have your Masters already...?

My field? I tell you, so long as you don't "volunteer". *L* I conduct drug abuse research. My recent work has involved psychostimulants, animal models of behavior, and neuromodulators.

By the sound of your posts and your tag line about fish, I'm guessing you may be in... Zoology?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not technically a teacher, but I do control and raise my Flight of first-year cadets in JROTC... I taught them everything they know about marching, shining, and yelling. Does that count as being a teacher?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you taught something that doesn't involve every day things for a regular person (like slicing bread, for example...), then you're a teacher.

I used to be a teacher. Until I found out I wasn't being paid.
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Robot Chicken Koko



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cfos wrote:
Auerlyn: Best of luck. Took me about 5 years to finish.

Koko: One other "perk" within academics, is going to meetings. I can only speak about the academic sciences, but I go to about two meetings (and get reimbursed) a year. This year, I'm going to Quebec in June and I think San Diego in November. Of course, sometimes, the meeting locations suck (Atlanta, Scottsdale AZ). Next year, the societies I belong to go back to Puerto Rico and Washington DC.


Yeah, Wash DC is great! I'm not saying that just because I live there. Make sure you go see some monuments and stuff, if you haven't already, as well as the Spy Museum, the Holocaust Museum, and some Wizards games if you're there during the season. Also, protesters practically live outside of the White House, some literally (they smell homeless), so take some pictures while you're there. And there's a liquor store not three blocks away that pays off a police officer so they can sell without id'ing you, just in case you're bringing students or your kids.

BTW
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Aurelyn
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cfos wrote:
By the sound of your posts and your tag line about fish, I'm guessing you may be in... Zoology?


Absolutely right - My work is on riparian management and aspects of habitat use by young-of-year salmonids; mostly Atlantic salmon juveniles.


cfos wrote:
Three years? Hopefully, you have your Masters already...


Nah, it works slightly differently over here - with a good enough primary degree you can go straight into your doctorate; the average time then to complete in Ireland is about four and a half years. I took a slightly roundabout route tho - I went off to study music for 3 years after the zoology, which is where most of my teaching experience has been (just to keep this on-topic Smile )

cfos wrote:
My field? I tell you, so long as you don't "volunteer". *L* I conduct drug abuse research. My recent work has involved psychostimulants, animal models of behavior, and neuromodulators.



Sounds really interesting. What behavioural models are you using?
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Robot Chicken Koko



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a behavioral model for what happens when I do drugs: Peanut Butter. So much Peanut Butter.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Koko wrote:
Here's a behavioral model for what happens when I do drugs: Peanut Butter. So much Peanut Butter.


Where does it go? Do you eat it? Smoke it? Stick it up you-

Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Koko: Actually, I liked DC as far as meeting "places" go. Good transportation, decent restuarants and things to do outside of the meeting. Of course, being from the East Coast, I've been there a few times -- a trip to DC was the "8th grade field trip". *L*

Auerlyn: Actually, it is similar over here in that the Masters isn't required to get admitted into the Ph.D. program. I do think, though, 5 years is a little more typically of how long it takes to finish a science-oriented Ph.D. over here (we're a bunch of idiots! *L*).

In answer to your other quesiton, I'm mostly using self-administration models (now) where I implant a jugular catheter and train the animals to administer either methamphetamine or cocaine. Koko actually brought up a good point in that I have considered using peanut butter at times. Rats like peanut butter and you can dab a bit of it on the lever in order to get them pushing. It is a little messy, though, so I usually stick with crushing a fruit loop when a rat proves to be unresponsive.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cfos wrote:
In answer to your other quesiton, I'm mostly using self-administration models (now) where I implant a jugular catheter and train the animals to administer either methamphetamine or cocaine. Koko actually brought up a good point in that I have considered using peanut butter at times. Rats like peanut butter and you can dab a bit of it on the lever in order to get them pushing. It is a little messy, though, so I usually stick with crushing a fruit loop when a rat proves to be unresponsive.


So are you studying the physiological effects of drug abuse on an organism? Forgive me if I'm missing the point, but I fail to see how models developed using a Skinner-type scenario correlate to human drug abuse situations?
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Robot Chicken Koko



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aurelyn wrote:
Where does it go? Do you eat it? Smoke it? Stick it up you-

Smile


All of the above, except rolling it and smoking it, that's just hard.
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cfos



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"So are you studying the physiological effects of drug abuse on an organism? Forgive me if I'm missing the point, but I fail to see how models developed using a Skinner-type scenario correlate to human drug abuse situations?"

No worries. I think there may be some missing of the point, because these models (e.g. Self administration) are perhaps the most like human drug abuse situations. If you think about it, a standard example of an experiment would go like this:

(i) Animal in environment
(ii) Animal picked up, injected
(iii) Animal returned to environment
(iv) Something is measured

While these types of experiments are very useful and can tell you about the effects of a drug, you are limited in terms of how you can say this represents what happens in humans (unless, of course you are standing on a streetcorner and some big hand picks you up, injects you and puts you back down).

The self administration paradigm allows one to more directly assess the rewarding/reinforcing properties of a drug in an animal that is IN CONTROL of the drug's administration. If an animal doesn't like a drug, it won't push the lever -- in the aforementioned example, the animal didn't have any choice. That is the "jist" of how this relates to humans.

I wouldn't say that I look at "physiological" aspects as that typically means body temperature (in the rodent field) and I'm not interested in measuring rectal temps in rodents (although, you generally need increased body temperature in order for certain drugs to be "toxic", but I digress...). I measure levels of neuromodulators or chemicals in the brain that can regulate the function of other cells in the brain. As you may suspect, there is going to be a difference in the levels of "chemicals" in the brain when you willing do something (or ingest something) that you like versus something you don't like, right? If one can understand how these chemicals, or the receptor molecules that bind theses chemicals work, you could have a better idea of what happens when your brain, "is on drugs".Then you could, perhaps, investigate compounds that could reverse alterations in the brain, blah blah blah make sensations you feel disappear yada yada yada re-establish homeostasis that got fucked up because of the drugs. It is more than simple pairing.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, get it now - I was a little misled by the peanut butter. Which, I feel, may possibly be biasing the rats' behaviour somewhat? I take it you just use it to get the rats started.

I remember reading something fairly recently in New Scientist about the chemical processes underlying addiction in humans; it was well interesting. Shame I can't remember the details Smile . What kind of techniques do you use for measuring brain chemical levels? What kind of temporal accuracy can you get with them?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I haven't replied to this earlier. Was (of all things) on an academic interview. Academic interviews are typically marathons. Went and had dinner monday night. Met with people all day Tuesday, lunch with students, gave research track, dinner with faculty. Then, do it all over again on Wednesday, except I gave a lecture instead of a seminar.

Anyway, to get to the answer to your question, Radioimmunoassay (RIA). Temporal accuracy, for me, isn't as important as reproducibility and tight error bars.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cfos wrote:
Temporal accuracy, for me, isn't as important as reproducibility and tight error bars.


Smile I can empathise with that. <sigh> I can't remember the last time I got a data spread with tight error bars... Is there a possibility that chemical responses to psychostimulants are happening on a smaller timescale than the immunoassay will detect?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You bring up another interesting question, one that I can't really answer. However, supposing that there is a chemical response that is not detectable -- as you suggest, you would assume that those kinds of reactions are ongoing and simply by including a proper number of subjects with appropriate controls, those sorts of changes would be across all subjects and therefore, not be an issue -- especially since we have no way of detecting it. If we do the experiments and get significant differences between treatment groups regardless of what is going on that can't be detected, -- we still have something that is different (quantifiably so), right?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do teachers respond well to brown-nosing? Or do they see through these overtures of friendship for what they really are: attempts at buttering the teacher's bread?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cfos wrote:
If we do the experiments and get significant differences between treatment groups regardless of what is going on that can't be detected, -- we still have something that is different (quantifiably so), right?


I'd certainly have thought so. I'm just musing on the topic really. And reflecting on what a headache good experimental design is!

Koko wrote:
Do teachers respond well to brown-nosing? Or do they see through these overtures of friendship for what they really are: attempts at buttering the teacher's bread?


I reckon, since it's pretty easy to spot brown-nosing, if you're gonna butter, butter well. Smile
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