Coffee Break – Bugle Knot Necklace

Noir Jewelry - Bugle Knot Necklace (Red) - Jewelry Interesting: I like the look of this Bugle Knot necklace from Noir Jewelry, particularly in the red. I like that it can be worn long (about 20″ I’m guessing, from the video on Zappos) or knotted at the neck — it looks distinctive and fashionable. Was $280, now on sale at Zappos for $196. Noir Jewelry – Bugle Knot Necklace
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Comments

  1. It’s a nice idea, but seems way overpriced for bugle beads.

  2. Gorgeous. Any thoughts on a cheaper option?

  3. hahaha I was just reading something about dirty food and it had a picture of raw meat, and then I saw this and thought it was also raw meat – some take on the Lady Gaga dress!! Ohh it’s been a long day…

  4. Runnin' for it :

    Seeing this post made me browse Zappos jewelry for the first time.

    I’m thinking about getting this to wear to work with a sheath dress. What do you think? :) [I'm kidding.]

    http://www.zappos.com/tarina-tarantino-siouxsie-bangle-stingray

    Seriously- I thought this one looked nice until I looked at the close up and saw the eyeball.

    http://www.zappos.com/dsquared2-s72uu0107-s10563-gold

  5. I just found out that I am graduating first in my law school class! Squee!

  6. @Midwest: If you reading over here, I responded to you on the last thread.

  7. Threadjack – Ladies I would love your input on my situation, and certainly need it. I’ve come to a crossroads of sorts and am unsure of what direction to take.
    I currently am an office manager. I have been in the administrative field for eight plus years. I have an associate’s degree and have gone to school in the evenings while working full time in order to complete it. My current situation is that I want to go back to school full time to pursue my bachelor’s degree. I currently am not happy at all in my job nor was this career path one that I ever intended. I am 30 and feel I’ve reached a point in my life where above all being happy is key for me.
    Of course finances come into play; I would have to take student loans to cover my living expenses due to prior financial obligations. I am hesitant to take on this additional debt. In the long run I feel it will be worth it, though the hesitation is still present.
    My goal is to pursue a BS in Biology. Then move on to a MA in the field. I have always loved and excelled in the sciences. I feel like this is the field I should have started in had life not directed otherwise.
    I would love to hear your thoughts. Am I crazy for leaving a good paying position in this economy to take on substantial student loan debt in order to finish my degree? Is really truly being happy in your career worth these sacrifices? Any and all advice welcome as I’ve been struggling with this decision for over a year.

    • What do you plan to do with your degree? Will you be able to pay back your loans in less than 5 years on the salary that job pays?

    • What do you want to do with your BS and MS? If your career expectations are realistic (e.g. science teacher, not Nobel laureate researcher) and you’d be able to make loan payments on an average salary in that career, then go for it and start applying to colleges. I’d definitely suggest you go back to school as soon as possible – the older you get, the harder it will be.

    • Jane Fairfax :

      When looking for an undergraduate institution, you will want to look for a school that has a strong research program. Unless you are looking at a top tier private institution, you will generally have better opportunities at a large state institution, preferably one with an affiliated medical school, than at a private liberal arts school. State schools tend to be cheaper and the faculty are more focused on research (which is what you want if you are serious about a career in biology.) Once you pick your school, make a list of the professors that are doing research that interests you. (Go beyond the descriptions of the research on the website, course brochure, etc., look at their publications. You will want to focus on labs that are actively publishing in peer reviewed journals.) Approach the professors about volunteering, doing work-study, independent study, etc. in their labs. (Also talk to any grad students or post docs in the lab to make sure that it is an environment that you want to work in. Just as in any profession, there are some brilliant and not so brilliant scientists that are miserable to work for. Save yourself some grief and avoid the trolls.) You may start off doing menial jobs, but if you show that you are interested and reliable, you will be given more responsibility and autonomy. What you are looking for in working in a lab is 1) experience and 2) good references. Your course work is important, you will want to have better than average grades, but a good recommendation from someone who is respected in the field is priceless.
      Most graduate level programs in biology are Ph.D. programs. Generally, the people with masters degrees in biology dropped out of a Ph.D. program because they hated their advisor, decided that research wasn’t for them, or decided to pursue another opportunity. There are a few schools that terminate in a masters, but they tend to be lower tier schools. Unless you want to teach high school science, I would avoid them. Any graduate program in biology or chemistry worth your time will offer you full tuition and a small stipend to live off. The best schools will not require you to teach in exchange for your stipend, however, many schools do require some teaching commitment. The stipend is not lavish by any means, but if you choose a graduate school in an area with a low to moderate cost of living, you should be able to earn a graduate degree without accruing debt. (This does mean roommates, a used car, etc, but being paid to get a Ph.D. is a pretty sweet deal.)
      I hope this was helpful. Good luck.

      • Everything Jane Fairfax said is exactly right, especially the part about only going for the PhD if they offer you full tuition and a stipend – don’t take out huge loans to get a PhD, you’ll never make it back. Another thing to consider is what kind of biology – molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics tend to be a bit more marketable than biology of “bigger things,” although ecology/environmental sciences may have a resurgence. Also consider different ways to be involved in science. It’s not just teach or research. I worked as a science writer for a number of years and really enjoyed it. A science background also could be useful for marketing positions at biotech companies or even (maybe) hospitals or other healthcare entities. I have friends who teach undergraduates at non-research universities (as faculty, not adjuncts/ lecturers) and they love it, although a PhD is probably necessary for most of those jobs.

        I’d say it’s well worth getting the BS at least. I think it will open up some good opportunities for you. Another thing to think about is the possibility of paid part time positions in a lab. They can be difficult to find but would be a perfect way to get experience and make some money. Sure, you’ll probably be doing some pretty menial tasks at first, but just being in a lab environment can be educational. If you get them going, most scientists won’t shut up about their work and you can learn a lot.

        • PollyD and Jane Fairfax thank you both so much for your detailed insight. I am certainly looking at other career options beyond teaching and being a researcher. May I ask what both of you currently do career wise? PollyD how did you enter into science writing?

          • Right now, I work at a federal agency that doles out lots of money for biomedical research. Broadly, my job is helping to assess the field and figure out how best to spend the money. There’s a lot of learning, and frankly, bureaucracy involved, but I do like that I am expected to learn about new things all the time. Before this job I worked for a federal contractor (I live in DC) and wrote review articles and meeting reports for people at the same federal agency at which I now work (yes, it’s pretty much how I got the job). I have to admit I did kind of fall into it – I knew someone at the contracting company and sent in my CV. I always liked writing and tried to take advantage of every opportunity to do some. I also wrote content for a fairly well-known genetic database, I think I knew someone who knew someone who was hiring writers. There are biomedical writer associations, like the American Association of Science/Medical Writers, something like that – I’m sure there are more but am too lazy to google right now.

            I realize none of this is very specific, but I think the key point is to just be aware and open to other opportunities. When I was in grad school, it was just Not Done to admit that you’d like to do something other than run a lab at a major research university. And frankly, given the rather crap funding environment (US budget cuts = less money for research) anyone contemplating a career in science should consider all options for jobs after finishing school.

            One other thought I had about the Master’s issue – it’s true that these are not worth so much in most scientific field, but there are more specific biotech-focused Master’s programs that might be worth looking into, although I think their value is largely regional. Hopkins has a program like this that seems to be pretty well though of among the biotech companies in the DC area (or it was).

            I would never dissuade someone from considering some kind of job in the sciences – it’s really awesome to have a job that introduces you to new knowledge all the time – but I would say think long and hard about a PhD program. It can be a long, difficult slog. I really sort of fell into it (when I graduated undergrad it felt like my options were teach, grad school, or pharmaceutical sales), and I am happy I got my PhD, but in retrospect I might have been more strategic about the whole experience.

    • So you are looking at 2 years for the BS, and then the MA, right? Is there any chance you could do the BS at less than full time so that you don’t have to take out as many loans? It is not fun but totally possible to work nearly full time while pursuing an undergrad degree. What are your prior financial obligations and is there any way you can minimize these for the period you would be in school? Student loans to cover cost of living are in my honest opinion a dangerous thing – you can’t get out of them in bankruptcy, and if the job you could get with the MA is something low-paying you will be struggling for a while.

      Another thing to think about is the school – is there any chance of some sort of scholarship or financial aid?

      Ultimately though it sounds like this is something you really want to do and – financials aside – you will always wonder “what if” if you don’t!

    • I think there are a variety of factors to consider. If you truly hate the job you’re in right now, it’s work making the sacrifices. I have a lot of student loan debt with a job that pays less than what I would be making in my own career. However, I knew that a lifetime in the other career would make me miserable. If I had found the other career okay but not necessarily my dream job, I would not have taken on the debt to leave.

      I think people put a lot of pressure on themselves to find this so-called dream job. They end up being disappointed after a costly switch when they find that the job isn’t what they expected.

    • A scientist :

      SL – for my two cents: I’m a research biologist at a pharmaceutical company (have been in academic science & pharma for ~12 years) and have found that in my line of work, a masters degree isn’t worth anything. The researchers like me have BA/BS degrees in biology, and the project leads have PhDs, but the MA/MS folks are left in the middle. The doctorate is largely required for advancing in research, and the MA/MS just makes you a slightly more educated researcher. You’ll gain everything that you could gain with an MS with job experience.

      That said, if you’re planning to teach high school biology, then an MS may be more useful.

    • I cannot thank you all enough for your words of wisdom and perspectives. To answer a few questions, my ultimate goal is to pursue a Phd and focus on research. Though I do realize the time commitment involved. I can at time compromise what I truly want, a Phd, and allow myself to believe that I would be happy with a BS, thinking that the MA would be enough. If that makes any sense to anyone.
      I have contimplated going part time for the BS but it would take years with the lab requirements. I would only be able to manage two classes a semester. As I am 30 I feel that in this case the financial debt my be worth taking on.
      I have gone over my budget and can make significant deductions. I have been through a recent divorce and I am paying back a loss on my previous home that will be paid off in three years.
      Financial aid will not be provided this year as I make too much but the following years it will be provided with my having little to no income. I am not sure if I will be able to pay back the loans in less than five years after school.
      There has been so much to contimplate in this situation. I am aware of the chase for the dream job. In this case I feel that this direction would provide both mental and emotional happiness though in any decision we make we can never know until we chose to take the leap I guess.
      I appreciate so much all the insight from all of you. This decision has been weighing so heavily on my shoulders and to have accomplished caring individuals respond to my situation has been tremendous.

      • It sounds like you’ve already gotten into a program, so one last comment. I think how good the school you’ll be attending for the bachelors should figure heavily into your decision-making. Let the snob flames begin but if you check above the law or any of the many scam blawgs that have popped up recently, there is a whole army of lower-tiered law school graduates who are in fairly bad straits because they are simply not able to find jobs w/ the degrees from their schools (which they paid dearly, using student loans, for). There are always the exceptions, but it is always safer to plan as if you will graduate in the middle of your class instead of the top. And whether we like it or not, graduates of top programs are still more likely to snag the best PhD spots.

      • I’m in science, but in physics, not biology, so my experience may not be exactly transferable. First, I agree that it’s worth finishing your BS. You’ll be working for 35 more years and a college degree will open a lot of doors for you.

        I agree with Kady to get your degree(s) at the best institution you can. There are some amazing students at less well knwon schools, but there are more and better opportunities for students at more prestigious schools.

        I also agree with A scientist in that an MA is not useful for a reseach career. In physics, at least, a PhD program will pay tuition and a stipend (~<$20,000/year). Do not pay for graduate school in the sciences. The only physics program I've heard of that admits students without the financial deal I described is MIT, and I've never heard of anyone accepting such an offer. Also, folks who graduate with a PhD from a small, unprestigious school often have trouble getting a job in the sciences. (I don't want to name specific schools, but will pick on my home state. If you're in Ohio and not looking at Ohio State/ Case Western, etc. ask tough questions about placement. Remember that the faculty will look on you as cheap labor for their laboratory and will not necessarily be forthcoming.)

      • I’m in about the same place you are, SL… fell into a career I can’t stand, going back to school for science, which was always my first love. I’m currently working full time and trying to take classes in the evenings; even with only 2 classes per semester, It’s a sure recipe for burnout! Of course, my commute doesn’t help, but I have NO downtime, and as much as I’m loving being back in school learning about something I’m interested in, it’s unsustainable in the long term. (Luckily, DH and I crunched some numbers and figured I will be able to cut back to a part time job in the fall.) Your instinct against trying to fit your lab curriculum into a full time work schedule is right on.

        Don’t forget to seek out scholarships– even though you don’t have “financial need,” there are a lot out there for you since you are pursuing your first BS. If you’ve taken a realistic look at your budget and are sure this decision won’t put you in a very bad place financially, go for it, and good luck! I’m more excited about the future than I’ve been in a long time, and I hope you will be too. :)

      • I am not in science so can’t speak to the job options once you are finished. But at a gut level, I have to think that YES, an investment in you and your future is going to be worth it. You are young and it is worth the time, energy, and money to find a profession that fulfills you. My mom went back to school in her 30s to switch careers and said it was the best thing she ever did. You need something to keep you going when life gets hard, which it sounds like it already has. I’m not saying everyone should run off to get masters in poetry, but if you consider the financial implications and chances for employment, and your options are decent post-graduation, then I say go for it! You are worth it!

    • On the off chance that you’re still reading this, I’d like to put a word in because I disagree a bit with what other people are saying about getting a Master’s. I, personally, think it’s worth it, and not just because I have a MSc. and no PhD. If you want to teach or be a researcher, a PhD is necessary, but it’s a huge time and money investment and may not be required. I work as an biologist in environmental consulting, and I don’t feel a PhD would be particularly helpful. The majority of my coworkers have their MSc. with a significant minority having their BSc. While you can definitely work with a BSc. I know many of my colleagues have been told that they’ve hit an education ceiling and shouldn’t expect to advance beyond the intermediate level unless they get a graduate degree.

  8. anonymous :

    I’m taking a beginning jewelry class at FIT. Noncredit, just a couple of sessions. It costs less than that necklace, on sale, and at the end of it, I’ll probably have a decent supply sources list.

    Actually, I could make that necklace today.

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