Sunday, August 17, 2008

Things I learnt during, and about, my PhD

A small part of the post (From Jamie's Weblog):

Supervisors: a curious species,

rarely sighted in their expected habitat

"Supervisors are strange creatures. Some are like ghosts, appearing occasionally for a fleeting moment, and you’re more likely to meet them at a conference than at the University. Others are always around but they’re too busy running around like demented hamsters on a wheel – all motion and no progress. They’re disorganised. All of them will, at some point, forget what your project is about – and some will even forget who you are.
I made an interesting discovery half way through my PhD: the number of good/useful/interesting/brilliant things that your supervisor will say to you isnot proportional to the amount of contact you have with them – it’s constant. Yep, that right. You can have weekly meetings with your supervisor but you’ll only get three good suggestions a year out of them. Oh, and on the subject of meetings, there are only about five types of meeting that you’ll ever have during your PhD: The Big Picture, The Progress Update, The Paper Writing Enslaving (a.k.a. My Research Review Is Approaching So I Need To Get You To Write Something), The Thesis Word Count and The Pub (usually accompanied by beer). Do not make the mistake of going into a meeting and expecting it to be any different to last week’s. And try not to get them confused: even if you supervisor is plying you with beer, watch out for the sudden switch to Paper Writing Enslaving.
Supervisors also participate in a little-known game which can catch out the naïve student: Hunt the Supervisor. This involves the PhD student attempting to locate their supervisor during the agreed meeting slot. And, no, they are definitely not going to be in their office. You’ll be lucky if they’re in the right country."
You can find the original post here. From Jamie's Weblog.

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