Category Archives: Humor

Dear Me, Future Psychologist. Yours truly, Dr. Y. Barry Chung

It’s time for the next installment of Dear me, future psychologist, a gradPSYCH Blog exclusive in which a prominent psychologist writes a letter to his/her 16-year-old self. We hope you enjoy these letters and glean some invaluable wisdom and guidance as you decide whether to enter graduate school in psychology, as you navigate the challenges of graduate school, and as you make decisions about your career and life.

Y. B. ChungThis letter is from Dr. Y. Barry Chung. Dr. Chung received his PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1996. He was a faculty member at Georgia State University and Department Chair at Northeastern University, before joining the faculty at Indiana University Bloomington where he is currently Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Dr. Chung is a past President of the National Career Development Association and Society of Counseling Psychology, and is President-Elect of the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs. He is known for his scholarly work on career development, multicultural counseling, and sexual orientation and gender identity issues. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Divisions 17, 44, and 45), Asian American Psychological Association, and National Career Development Association.

DEAR-ME

FROM THE DESK OF Y. Barry Chung:

April 2017

Dear Me at 16,

This letter is from you when you are 53. I hope the letter reaches you alright via the time travel machine.  I know you are still in high school in Hong Kong, and have no idea what your future may hold.  But if you don’t mind knowing ahead of time, there will be lots of major changes in your life.  You will live in a different country (USA), speak English daily (I know, trust me, you can!), and you will be a psychology professor, university administrator, and leader of several national associations.  I know these may be too much to take in right now, when you are still struggling to grow up, living in poverty.  But trust me, they will all happen.  Well, I am writing today to give you some advice.  You may not need it (evidently you have become me), but as your older self I would like to help.

First, I know you are struggling with that “odd” feeling that you are attracted to men. Don’t be afraid.  It is only natural, and life gets better.  You will come out as a gay man in your 20s, and ultimately find a loving life partner when you are 39 (yeah it takes time and be patient with all the heartbreaks).  You will devote most of your career to researching on and advocating for LGBT issues.  In fact, you are probably most known by your professional peers for your LGBT work, and eventually you decide to leave a bequest donation to support LGBT research when you leave this world.  For now, just trust your feelings and don’t allow others and society to make you become someone else.  Your experience with heterosexism will be a powerful motivation to pursue the kind of work that will benefit people like yourself.

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Top 10 Reasons to Complete Your Dissertation Before Internship

I, like many other interns, started my internship year without having completed my dissertation. I knew it wasn’t ideal to be a full-time intern and work on my dissertation, but I figured since I made it through 5 years of graduate school simultaneously juggling other responsibilities and survived, I would be “okay” managing both of these tasks. Upon reflection, I wish I would have considered just how different and more demanding the internship year really is. As such, here are my top 10 reasons to complete your dissertation before internship (in no particular order). Please feel free to share your reasons in the comment section below!

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How to Survive Your First Year of College Teaching

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Teaching psychology for the first time can bring up a lot of emotions: excitement, fear, trepidation, eagerness, rage, feelings of inadequacy, and even nervous laughter. When 50 pairs of starving hyenas’ eager undergraduates’ eyes are staring at you for the first time, expecting words to come from your mouth, and more than that, infallibly factual words… it can be a little intimidating. Couple that with a strong imposter syndrome (I’m still learning too, you know!), and it’s a wonder we’re not all incapacitated by bind attacks from a Bulbasaur (ah Pokémon, how I missed you).

No matter your reasons for getting into teaching (having a TA-ship, being forced/encouraged by your advisor, having a martyr complex, or a genuine desire to teach), the first time might feel more like drowning than teaching. However, with some quick tips, compiled and condensed here by yours truly, you’ll be on your way to swimming like Michael Phelps in no time! (marijuana optional).

In the beginning…
1. Prepare! Utilize resources.
Why do more work than you need to? Sign up for an instructor account with the publisher of the textbook you’ll be using, and you can get a FREE desk copy and access to online resources (premade lectures, interactive activities, and even exam questions). Experienced instructors who have taught that class before can be a great resource as well. Many universities also have teaching centers that have an army of people ready and willing to help you out.

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This guy knows to save their critical remarks about the presenter’s outfit until they get back to their lab next week.

Professionalism at Convention, as Told by Animals

Editor’s note: Here are a few simple tips from APAGS Convention Committee member, Stephanie Winklejohn Black to help students keep it professional at Convention.

 1. Mind Your Drinking

Socials are often where connections are made for jobs, post docs, and research collaborations. They can be a lot of fun and really stressful. You may imbibe a bit more than you should because you just really like Pinot Noir (especially when it’s free) or because you’re nervous about Networking (Big N). Either way, becoming tipsy among your current and future colleagues can be nothing short of disastrous.

Less adorable when the dog is a graduate student on or nearing the job market.

Less adorable when the dog is a graduate student on or nearing the job market.

Tips to Reduce the Risk:

  • Some socials give out drink tickets to each guest, which helps to limit access to free alcohol. Leave your cash at home to avoid spending – and drinking – more at a cash bar.
  • Eat before you head to a social. Budgets are tight for students at conventions, so I usually pack granola bars, trail mix, and apples in my suitcase that I can snack on throughout.
  • Less is more. Listen. You might be a tank when it comes to drinking at home with friends. But keep in mind convention is busy and you’ll be tired, stressed, and at a high altitude. All of these impact how you’ll tolerate alcohol

2. Mind Your (and Others’) Time

I will own that I tend to be old-fashioned (LOVE Downton Abbey), so this may not be important to everyone. But there’s something to be said for arriving to talks – especially small, panel-based discussions – on time. If you do enter a talk late, stand toward the back to avoid climbing over folks who are already seated. Be remembered for your insightful questions at a talk, instead of tripping over someone’s leg and book bag on your way to an empty seat in the middle of a row!

You just know this guy is going to ask a question during the Q&A that was totally covered in the presentation!

You just know this guy is going to ask a question during the Q&A that was totally covered in the presentation!

This one is especially hard for me – but resist the urge to use your phone during a presentation. Presenters work hard on their materials, and looking out to a sea of blue lights can be disheartening.

3. Mind Your Surroundings

Convention is huge, which is awesome! It also means that attendees will scatter throughout the city for convention week. When you are out on the town, be aware of what you’re discussing and how you’re discussing it. Professionals from your division, or an employee at that postdoc you want, could be sitting at the table next to you.

This guy knows to save their critical remarks about the presenter’s outfit until they get back to their lab next week.

This guy knows to save their critical remarks about the presenter’s outfit until they get back to their lab next week.

I want to end by saying that being professional at convention doesn’t mean you have to be a robot, or can’t be authentic or funny. If you enter spaces at and/or near the convention with consideration for yourself and others you’ll be good to go!

House Freud 2

What’s Your House in Psychology Game of Thrones?

The fifth season of Game of Thrones recently ended, and I’m going through withdrawal. Then I started thinking, what if psychology were like Game of Thrones? For those of you who don’t know the show, here’s a quick summary. Set in a medieval, magical world, there is a land called Westeros where there are 7 Great Houses that were principalities now united into one kingdom. These houses have regional power over smaller (less powerful) houses in their area. The king of this world sits on the Iron Throne (a throne made of swords). In the book series and the show, the death of one king has led to an ongoing civil war with different leaders fighting to succeed him. Each House is run by a family (which gives the house its name) and has a sigil, a flag which includes a symbol and a saying. My favorite house is House Stark, which has a direwolf as its symbol and its saying is “Winter is coming”.

I started thinking what would Game of Thrones set in a psychology world look like? I started thinking of which psychologists might lead powerful houses and what might their slogan be. Here’s what I ended up with:

House Freud 2House SkinnerHouse AinsworthHouse Bandura SigilHouse Rogers SigilHouse Sue SigilJoinTheRealm_sigil

 What house would you be in? If your preferred house is not listed, take a moment to create a sigil and think of a funny slogan for your house. You can make a sigil at this link and post it in the comments!