Author Topic: You're taking this very personally.  (Read 5450 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

LadyL

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2842
Re: You're taking this very personally.
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2013, 08:41:54 AM »
Well, a small update - our advisor actually dropped into the lab to check up on us so Amy was forced to give him a progress update. He did give her much clearer direction about the approach he wants her to start with (smaller) and what he wants her to build towards in the fall (larger, contingent on some new equipment that will come in then). He was very pleasant and like I guessed did not seem mad at her at all. Hopefully this will encourage her that they can still have a good working relationship.

Jocelyn

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2905
Re: You're taking this very personally.
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2013, 11:28:30 AM »
Do as one of our professors did: print her a nicely formatted sign that says 'How will this help me graduate?'

Because grad students often lose the focus that the goal is for them to get out of the program, not stay there forever. Whenever she complains, point at the sign.
She needs to realize on her own whether refusing to talk to her advisor is really going to help her graduate.

But isn't that what Amy's asking for?  She wishes her adviser would help her with a defined focus and a timeline toward her finishing the program.  He's the one who keeps asking her to try out different methods.
Your route to graduation is not just a timeline...it's whether you play computer games or work, and whether you get into fruitless power struggles with your advisor.  Part of your advisor's job is to counsel you to use different, and more productive, research techniques, whether you want them or not. My chair counseled me to change the entire topic of my dissertation, because it would sheer a couple of years off my program. My choice, but I appreciated him pointing out that if my goal really were to get out and on with my life, I could do the project I wanted to do later, when I had good funding and the time to do it.
While many will tell you your dissertation is not supposed to be your masterpiece, it IS, in the original sense of 'masterpiece'. Originally, a master piece was the work a journeyman craftsman did to prove that he had mastered the skills of the trade and was prepared not only for independent work but to take on apprentices himself. Part of the dissertation then is showing that you know how to design and carry out research, that you can choose wisely between various research methods, that you can ably use use consultation from colleagues. If  Amy really believes that her advisor does not have her best interests at heart- and I agree there are some advisors who are control freaks who needlessly jerk their students around-- she needs to ask herself which route will get her to graduation best, knuckling under and working with this advisor, or making a change to someone else. Avoiding your advisor and just not taking his advice is not a plan I've seen work well for students. Her advisor is probably getting frustrated with her not taking his advice. After all, he may be 100% right that her methods aren't going to successfully complete the research as planned. One of the most important parts of completing a dissertation is having a chair and a methodologist you trust. I credit mine with all the sanity I managed to graduate with. ::) Once, my chair told me that he would step down as chair if I pigheadedly went ahead with a plan I was proposing. I immediately backed down, because I knew that if he felt that strongly about it, it was a very, very bad plan. I was later able to confirm that he was absolutely right.

violetminnow

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: You're taking this very personally.
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2013, 10:37:52 PM »
I also work in a university research lab--not as a student any longer, thank goodness! But I understand the situation you're going through. One of my colleagues once became convinced that our PI (boss) had taken a dislike to her and had actually reduced her pay without telling her, because her paycheck was less than she was expecting (she was an hourly worker at that point). Turned out some new taxes or whatever had kicked in and that was why her take-home pay was reduced. I thought it was very telling that her first thought was not, "Hey, maybe this is a mistake or change I didn't know about, I should look into this," but rather, "My boss hates me and cut my pay without telling me!"


Wow, I'd really be surprised that someone at a university research lab couldn't read their paystub. That would show that more taxes had been taken out than before. That's shocking.

PastryGoddess

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4532
    • My Image Portfolio and Store
Re: You're taking this very personally.
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2013, 11:13:06 PM »
I also work in a university research lab--not as a student any longer, thank goodness! But I understand the situation you're going through. One of my colleagues once became convinced that our PI (boss) had taken a dislike to her and had actually reduced her pay without telling her, because her paycheck was less than she was expecting (she was an hourly worker at that point). Turned out some new taxes or whatever had kicked in and that was why her take-home pay was reduced. I thought it was very telling that her first thought was not, "Hey, maybe this is a mistake or change I didn't know about, I should look into this," but rather, "My boss hates me and cut my pay without telling me!"


Wow, I'd really be surprised that someone at a university research lab couldn't read their paystub. That would show that more taxes had been taken out than before. That's shocking.

I know executives who don't know how to read their paystubs.  I had a boss who had a full on hissy fit over a change in transit benefits ::)

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10744
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: You're taking this very personally.
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2013, 12:45:52 AM »
I'll admit to it -- I work at a university and my paystub is completely confusing.  I have absolutely no idea why my net pay is $300 less than last month, and no matter how long I stare at it, it still doesn't make sense.