Thursday, October 25, 2007


If you cannot handle whining, this would be a great place to stop reading this post. I had my first PhD committee meeting in over a year, and I've never been more depressed or filled with self-doubt than right now.

Having already failed to finish one PhD program, I would have liked a little more smooth sailing this time. It seems that I simply cannot satisfy any or all of my committee members. My project has both applied and molecular aspects to it, hence I have faculty members from both ends of the spectrum on my committee. The "applied" faculty members think I'm doing way too much molecular work, while the "molecular" committee members think I'm not going into enough molecular depth.

It doesn't help that I had to move over to a slightly different course, because a huge part of the project was simply not working. At least one committee member is really upset about that change. It might have helped if he had been present at the last committee meeting, when I already mentioned the problems I was having with that part. I'm repeating the experiments as we speak, changing some of the strategies, but frankly I'm not optimistic, and it appears that this particular individual wants to me to approach it from several more angles before I move on.

In my point of view, however, my veering off isn't all that far-fetched, and I simply don't seem the points of going it over and over and over again, if I've pretty exhaustively shown the results are negative. In about 2 weeks I'll have the results of my latest efforts, and if they're still negative I would like to say I'm through with that.

It doesn't help matters that my committee is going to start sending over written qualifying exams in the next few weeks. Yuck! Did I say yuck? I meant yuck-a-dee-yuck-a-dee-yuck-yuck-yuck!!! Since I've already been through that torture once, I really am not looking forward to do it again, even if the field is different. I understand I have to, but that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it, and I'm not.

On the bright, there is one, there is always one - and I will bend over backwards to find the bright side of any situation I'm in- is that my professor is really supportive. He's been mad at me a few times, actually recently he was royally pissed at and disappointed in me, but in there he was behind me 100% Thanks boss, you have no idea how much that is appreciated. What a difference from my previous adviser!

He was telling me that one of the other members (who provides part of my funding, and therefore has to stay on the committee) is really pissed at him, and that he expected this person to take it out on me. Lovely, just lovely... But then again, if you don't get along with my adviser, there is something horribly wrong with you. He is one very cool dude. So, I say this other committee member is being unreasonable.

Ok, I feel better for having written this long complaint here. Back to the lab, back to the research. I have to write a 2-page project report and submit it by next week. I'll have to start on that tonight. Wish me luck, I need it. Now let's hope the kids stay healthy.

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EcoGeoFemme said...

Good luck. Hang in there! It's your Ph.D., so do what you have to go to get your committee to sign your forms. Otherwise, satisfy yourself.

makita said...

Thanks for the support. Almost a week later, I'm feeling a little better, having just finished the written report requested of me. Talking to several of my committee members also helped. Now I'm waiting for the first of my written qualifiers. This should be fun.... (not).

Paul said...

I'm glad things are looking a little better now. :)