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Where in USA is most like UK?!

Where in USA is most like UK?!

Old Apr 20th 2015, 5:58 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Originally Posted by SuperScienceGrl View Post
Sigh, not a postdoc, but an early stage grad student. Who definitely does not get the summer off! I just have to go and work something out, haha. Hope it won't take too long. I imagine I'll go crazy without time in the lab and just want to be back. It was actually my boss's suggestion that I take time off, so I have to do it. But I appreciate your saying this.
I only advise time off for PhD students if (a) you have decided to quit; (b) you have an issue of physical health (not stress-related); or, (c) have responsibilities to attend to elsewhere. It sounds like (c) is out, so we're left with (a) or (b). I'm going to be very presumptuous and guess you have stress-related health issues and do intend to return eventually. Do not take time off! You will lose touch with whatever it was you loved about your work in the first place (if you never did, quit now!!). In my experience, dealing with stress issues arising from work or location only becomes more difficult if you remove yourself from the situation - yes, you feel better, but you are not developing any mechanisms for coping when you go back. So everything just goes back to awful when you return. There is also the issue of losing touch with your project/current research - you can say you'll study day and night 'til the cows come home, but nothing compares to being in your group and having access/being accountable to your advisor.

If you would actually otherwise quit, that's when you take a leave of absence, as a kind of cooling off period. Once the acute issues settle down, you will be in a better position to decide what you want in the longterm. I took 6 months off before starting my PhD and went off travelling, with zero intention of returning to start it. While I was away, I got a chance to decompress from a very difficult family situation and decided it was what I actually wanted to do. If you take time off with the intention of returning, I feel like you end up under all this pressure to feel better about everything just because you are away from it. You can't really force something like that, so (IMO) you just add another layer of guilt about not really using your time off to feel better.

Sorry, I'm banging on a bit - as well as suffering through a very difficult postdoc I have numerous friends who have struggled/are struggling with difficult PhD scenarios and I have spent a lot of time talking through coping strategies. As a result, I may be reading between lines that are not there in your situation.

Anyway - I am a foreign (Australian) female in the sciences (math), with bitter experience of the midwest in my 20s (arrived at 26). Happy to discuss more if you feel like it would help

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Unusual for anyone to get the summer off now.
Bad choice of words: time off from teaching. Even if you are tethered to a lab, summer let's you get back to the work that captivated you in the first place. Sure, you never get as much done as you'd like, but you generally get a rest from everyone pulling you in seven different directions, and finally a chance for blessed focus. (Until you get too senior - then administration wants a piece of you too!)
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 6:11 pm
  #32  
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Originally Posted by retzie View Post
administration wants a piece of you too!)
That has got unbelievably ridiculous now.
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 7:08 pm
  #33  
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Originally Posted by retzie View Post
I only advise time off for PhD students if (a) you have decided to quit; (b) you have an issue of physical health (not stress-related); or, (c) have responsibilities to attend to elsewhere. It sounds like (c) is out, so we're left with (a) or (b). I'm going to be very presumptuous and guess you have stress-related health issues and do intend to return eventually. Do not take time off! You will lose touch with whatever it was you loved about your work in the first place (if you never did, quit now!!). In my experience, dealing with stress issues arising from work or location only becomes more difficult if you remove yourself from the situation - yes, you feel better, but you are not developing any mechanisms for coping when you go back. So everything just goes back to awful when you return. There is also the issue of losing touch with your project/current research - you can say you'll study day and night 'til the cows come home, but nothing compares to being in your group and having access/being accountable to your advisor.
Doesn't sound like taking "time off" is OP's decision to make.

In fact, she says it was her "boss's suggestion" and that she will "have to do it".

"Suggestion" may well be her euphemism for "order".
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 7:29 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Not sure what the motivation is, but I agree with many of the points above. Watch your visa status, especially if you're taken off payroll / class registration. And don't burn practical training for this unless you're on the way out.

If you're looking for somewhere cheaper, and much, much smaller than Portland OR, you might look at Eugene OR. Good summer climate, walkable with a semi-decent bus service, and home of the University of Oregon. I spent my grad school years there without a car and did fine. UofO libraries will lend to the public too.

Edit to add: Excellent beer available too.
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 9:23 pm
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Originally Posted by MMcD View Post
Doesn't sound like taking "time off" is OP's decision to make.

In fact, she says it was her "boss's suggestion" and that she will "have to do it".

"Suggestion" may well be her euphemism for "order".
I agree she should be careful about what she decides to do. "Journey of self-discovery"/find a place I don't hate to prove to myself that America can be okay sounds like a stress/homesickness problem. Sorry to speculate.
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 9:43 pm
  #36  
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!


Eenie, Meeney, Miney, Moe

Fifty states, but where to go?

Seems you crave a taste of home

And for that you'll have to roam

Fifty states compound the choice

Therefore, heed your inner voice

Heart has spoken clear and loud

Spend some time with Boston crowd!


Boston:
Has many elements you miss / The chemistry seems right;

Originally Posted by SuperScienceGrl View Post
I'd really like somewhere similar to the UK. I'm not asking for Little England, just somewhere I can understand people a little more and feel like they're friendly and not overbearing.

I like cities, but maybe this is the time for me to go to the countryside for a while. In that case, I'd definitely like something geographically resembling UK countryside.
You say you don't drive. Countryside would require a car and so, too, would a small walkable town - because after a few weeks - it might not offer enough within its confines.

Originally Posted by nun View Post
Boston is quite a "European" city and with it's strong Irish as well as British history there are elements of the culture that will be familiar to someone from the UK.
Originally Posted by SuperScienceGrl View Post
I've always liked the sound of Boston! Probably pricey, but perhaps I can manage somewhere nearby. There's also a major conference in my field coming up in Boston, and I've been thinking how great it would be to tie this leave to going there. Perhaps I could also tie in living there! Perhaps a university town would suit me? After all that's what I know!
Boston seems a no-brainer. I believe there's good public transportation, libraries galore and with it's colonial roots - it's architecturally reminiscent of the UK.

My college roommate was a Boston (Cambridge) native. I always felt I was visiting a foreign country whenever I'd go home with her during school breaks. I was utterly charmed by Boston
Trust your instincts and intuitions.
Beware a plethora of choices. It can becoming paralyzing like when standing at a self-serve buffet unable to decide......
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 9:44 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

I assume you left the UK because you were looking for something different. So why would you be looking for somewhere in the US that is most like the UK - if such a place even exists. Actually, I have a question for you - where in the UK do you consider to be most like the UK? Different parts of the UK differ from each other. Even in the same general area of the country, you'll have a different lifestyle depending on how rural/urban your particular area is.

This is true more so in the US where there is much greater diversity in terms of geography and weather. So maybe you just need to try somewhere different in the US without worrying about how much closer it is in lifestyle to the UK. Some people have already suggested the Pacific North West and New England. Good suggestions.
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 9:55 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
I assume you left the UK because you were looking for something different. So why would you be looking for somewhere in the US that is most like the UK - if such a place even exists. Actually, I have a question for you - where in the UK do you consider to be most like the UK? Different parts of the UK differ from each other. Even in the same general area of the country, you'll have a different lifestyle depending on how rural/urban your particular area is.

This is true more so in the US where there is much greater diversity in terms of geography and weather. So maybe you just need to try somewhere different in the US without worrying about how much closer it is in lifestyle to the UK. Some people have already suggested the Pacific North West and New England. Good suggestions.
You'll usually have a town with a recognisable centre, buildings from a range of historical periods, some pubs and public transport. I remember a Russian mum at my kids' school in LA bemoaning the lack of a 'proper town'.

Whether seeking somewhere like this would represent self-discovery is another matter.
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 10:37 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
You'll usually have a town with a recognisable centre, buildings from a range of historical periods, some pubs and public transport. I remember a Russian mum at my kids' school in LA bemoaning the lack of a 'proper town'.

Whether seeking somewhere like this would represent self-discovery is another matter.
It gets tricky depending on what she thinks 'like the U.K.' means. For example, Santa Fe, where I live, is often said to be one of the more European cities in the US. It has everything you mention above, but I'd argue that while 'European', it's also one of the least like the UK.
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 10:43 pm
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Originally Posted by AdobePinon View Post
It gets tricky depending on what she thinks 'like the U.K.' means. For example, Santa Fe, where I live, is often said to be one of the more European cities in the US. It has everything you mention above, but I'd argue that while 'European', it's also one of the least like the UK.
Prob no WH Smith.
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Originally Posted by AdobePinon View Post
It gets tricky depending on what she thinks 'like the U.K.' means. For example, Santa Fe, where I live, is often said to be one of the more European cities in the US. It has everything you mention above, but I'd argue that while 'European', it's also one of the least like the UK.
Indeed.
Santa Fe is a gem - tho it's always struck me as resembling certain Mexican towns - rather than anywhere in Europe - including Spain. And the spectacular countryside around it is unique unto itself.

And then there's that other American treasure - New Orleans......

The OP shouldn't be distracted by talk of these oases - she's got enough on her plate, it seems.
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Originally Posted by MMcD View Post
.... And then there's that other American treasure - New Orleans. .......
However one of the criteria of the OP was "safe", which is not an adjective that sits easily with New Orleans.
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 11:15 pm
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
However one of the criteria of the OP was "safe", which is not an adjective that sits easily with New Orleans.
No kidding. New Orleans is on my list of places that is great for 1 visit without any need to go back to it ever again. I've never felt as unsafe as I did in New Orleans and I used to live in Hulme and Moss Side, Manchester.
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 11:44 pm
  #44  
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
No kidding. New Orleans is on my list of places that is great for 1 visit without any need to go back to it ever again. I've never felt as unsafe as I did in New Orleans and I used to live in Hulme and Moss Side, Manchester.
Hope my post was clear.

In no way was I suggesting New Orleans to the OP

I mentioned it in reply to Adobe Pinon and his reference to what some label as "European", American cities.

That's all....
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Old Apr 21st 2015, 7:47 am
  #45  
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Default Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!

Originally Posted by MMcD View Post
Hope my post was clear.

In no way was I suggesting New Orleans to the OP

I mentioned it in reply to Adobe Pinon and his reference to what some label as "European", American cities.

That's all....
You'll find European influenced architecture anywhere in the US. I just find that for a country so big, you'd think there would be more choices.
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