Signup date: 16 Apr 2008 at 4:16pm
Last login: 06 Jun 2008 at 5:07pm
Post count: 202
Yep it annoys me too. It's so hard to think straight when people are chattering. On the noise front, more annoying still is that my office is near a public car park and every single day someone's car alarm seems to go off. Some days I feel like hurling bricks at the cars in question from the window! Whenever I can I now work at home.
My PhD and I recently went on holiday to Blackpool to work out our differences. We would have liked to go abroad instead, but my PhD tends to spend all my money behind my back. That said, the time alone together has really helped us and we are planning another little getaway together as soon as we can find the time.
In answer to your final question: My supervisor emails me detailed commentary every time I send him work. (He generally responds within about 4 weeks.) I don't always agree with every point he makes but I do find it useful.
I'm sure other people have different experiences... but if you're unhappy with your supervisor, I think you should try to be proactive and perhaps ask for specific things that you want in terms of feedback.
In answer to your questions:
I came up with my topic by myself, but my supervisor okayed it.
My supervisor does't help me much with research, though he will sometimes direct my reading if he thinks I am getting sidetracked.
Fortunately, my supervisor really is an expert in his field so talking to him is never a waste of time and he knows his stuff backwards... but working out time when we are both free to meet can be a problem - so we don't talk very often.
I used to worry about this when I first started, but soon realised that there's a lot of it about. Possibly, it shouldn't be so, but the truth is that some people hardly get any support from their supervisors. With mine, it depends firstly on his mood and secondly on whether he is off around the world promoting his latest book! Sometimes he is very enthusiastic, sometimes I don't hear a word for months and months.
If you have a look back through this forum you'll find lots of similar threads about supervisors which should assure that if nothing else, you're not alone.
No, really, I mean it. I'm part time and I have two or three days a week which I try to devote to my PhD and during those days I seem totally unable to stop napping. It's as though after an hour or so of writing, my brain starts shutting down and I have to nod off again for a bit. I'm not like this when I'm doing my job and strangely I'm not like this when I'm relaxing. Do other PhDers sleep a lot in the daytime or should is it time for a trip to the doctor?!!
I think you make a strong point Olivia, but I guess in the end people often end up acting on their emotions rather than being practical. Personally, I wouldn't get involved with anyone in any kind of workplace or professional environment, but the fact is that it happens all the time. Whilst you've definitely got the moral high ground there - I think the person who posted this question isn't averse to weighing up the pros and cons and in the end will have to do what we all do, simply make a decision and hope it's the right one.
My partner is a senior lecturer, though not at the same university I'm doing my PhD at. Before he met me, he got asked out by one of his PhD students and said no because it was against university policy. Basically, if he dated a student, he could theoretically have lost his job.
There's a lot of turning a blind eye that goes on in terms of this kind of thing, but my parter's university isn't the only one that has a similar no dating students policy - so my advice to yu would be to check out your uni's official line on it before getting involved. Just to be on the safe side. Also, if you're in luck and they don't have a policy on it - means you can do as you like!
I don't know anyone in that situation personally, but my supervisor has two other PhD students - one based in LA and the other in Canada. Their work is all emailed and they have all their discussions on Skype. Also, he did tell me once that if I wanted to move abroad at any point, that would be fine and I needn't give up my PhD.
I think it depends firstly on your uni and secondly what your supervisor can persuade them of. Mine is technology mad, he's an online conference nut and loves the idea that PhDs can be done by students based anywhere in the world. My advice would be to ask your supervisor(s) and see what they say.
I'm afraid that all the universities I know of insist on English tests for foreign language students. I don't think you'll find one that doesn't. Also, if you're writing your PhD in English, I doubt you'll be able to cope unless your language skills are at a certain level. My advice would be to try and improve your English first, so that you can pass the necessary tests.
I'd say that basically, it's a risk. I suppose the question you have to ask yourself is that if you self fund for a year and don't get funding after that, would you have to give up your PhD or would you be able to find ways to self fund for a further year (or years!)?
I'm self funded with a full time job. It feels worthwhile to me but it's also a struggle - and just in case you're thinking of topping up your income by working at all - bear in mind that you have to be super organised and disciplined. For me it was a major lifestyle shift in that you simply don't get time to call your own any more.
Good luck. I hope you get some more useful comments from that other forum member - as mentioned above.
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