Overview of drwubs

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What methods do you use for taking notes?

I use Evernote. It's a free program and it syncs to the cloud so your notes are never lost. I worked as a project coordinator in industry and it's sort of the standard in most corporate American environments for project management alongside a whole slough of other tools.

Transfer to another university in Ireland

Thanks for your post!
I'm looking into transferring uni's for my PhD from the UK to Ireland,
but I'm pretty sure I'd have to start the program from scratch. Do you
know anything in regards to transferring from a UK uni to Ireland?

Not sure if I'm making progress

That's really cool! So you had the technical business idea while you were still in your PhD? Were there any skills you foresaw needing before graduating? I've been contemplating doing some entrepreneurial game dev as a possible career after my PhD because there are no jobs (sad facts of life). I'm thinking the freedom I have in my PhD is the ideal time to work on that as a side project. Do you have any experience with trying to take that approach? What advice would you give? I hope it all works out for you!

Are there days where you don't do any work at all?

I'm in the first 4 months of my PhD in Music and so far I think I've been fairly productive despite having a wet blanket for a supervisor. The relationship is improving but I have mixed feelings on it.
I've gotten a fair amount of writing and reading done but lately there are days where I do absolutely nothing productive.

I had imagined myself taking so much control of my time and being productive towards several different goals in regards to reading, writing, and developing new skills in my field.

I had envisioned my thesis as being a collection of published papers which I could edit into an academic book. However lately I've been assigned the task of doing a lit review instead. I'm wondering if I could just publish a couple papers this year and nix the lit review? The lit review just feels like a hundred little book reports and I'm honestly triggered by it (memories of middle school days).

Does anyone else have 2-3 days each week where they do nothing PhD related?
I'd say most days I put in 1-3 hours of reading, 1-2 hours of writing and then music specific stuff like composition or trying to wrap my head around some of the interdisciplinary parts (programming, math etc)

I'm thinking of tracking my time with some sort of online digital journal or something just to know where I stand as maybe that would help me get a perspective on just how productive I've been. I used to despise logging time in a database when I worked in industry but maybe it would be a benefit in my PhD?

I guess my biggest problem is that my days off don't always consist of Sat-Sun. Some weeks it's Tues and Fri or some other random combo and this throws me off too.

Any thoughts/suggestions appreciated!

Not sure if I'm making progress

Thanks for the insight on the lit review! I'm definitely going to try and reword or cite as much of it as I can. What is it you do now that you're out of academia, if I may ask?

Not sure if I'm making progress

I should add that I've also attended some basic training modules on researching/writing. My confirmation or upgrade exam is in roughly 9 months so I'm mildly worried.

Not sure if I'm making progress

So I'm struggling at the moment because I'm not sure if I'm making any progress
in my PhD. I'm 3 months in and so far:
I've written two different paper drafts, one is at 2600 words, the other is at 1600 words but needs some
major revisions.

I've also started writing my lit review which is at 1200 words so far and I have a basic outline written
to help me stay clear on where I need to fill in certain bits and so on and I'm sure it will be revised and expanded as I go along.

My PhD is in music so I've also got one new composition sketched out fully with a recording.

My lit review is a bit of a hot mess because I had basically made additions/revisions to my project proposal and got it published in a conference about 6-7 months before I officially started my PhD so I've been told by my supervisor that I can't use that paper in my thesis. The problem is that it's basically my project proposal
and also contains a good chunk of what I'd use for my thesis including a portion of the lit review.

My lit review so far is about three chapters at varying levels of progress. I know my supervisor fairly well at this point and know he's going to probably be quite negative about my progress on the lit review draft.

I've got 28 citations/references across the three papers and have probably read more like 40-50 papers/book chapters but I haven't gotten them fully cited and added to the writing yet. If I included the reading I did for my conference paper/project proposal I'd have another 50-60 I think (can't remember the exact number).

I've also been tracking my reading with notes and a reference manager. I use evernote and zotero.

Does this sound like adequate progress at 3 months?

Bewildered and confused by supervisor

Quote From pm133:
drwubs, I am not sure why you think I misunderstood what you were trying to say.

I have seen this type of situation so often that my advice in these cases almost writes itself.
My gut feeling from your original post was that you were presenting partly finished work and then asking for feedback. I then felt that you were poor at taking such feedback and that your response would be negative and defensive and that your supervisor would then behave the way they did. These were my thoughts on how this situation has occurred and that is precisely what I am seeing in your response (above) to my advice.
My advice then follows that analysis. I would now add that if you want to bounce ideas with your supervisor, you should not hand over partly complete paperwork for "review". Just chat about possible work.

I have no idea why you are talking about apportioning "blame". You are going to receive a lot of advice over the years. If you are going to be interpreting that advice through the prism of believing people are trying to "blame" you, you are going to have difficulty.

My advice stands as I described it in my first response. If you persist with your current approach you are going to cause yourself serious but entirely avoidable problems. As ever, you are perfectly within your rights to accept it or dismiss it. Good luck either way.

pm133 The purpose of having a supervisor is to review and provide feedback on works in progress. For example https://www.findaphd.com/advice/doing/phd-supervisor-expectations.aspx I think it is very widely understood already. If they are not there to provide feedback then there's not even any point in sharing finished work with them either. What would they possibly have to add to something that's already completely finished and ready to send off to a publication? If that's the case then it completely negates the need for doing the PhD in the first place. Your reply is an obfuscation of the reality of what a supervisor's purpose is. Your tone, at least as I'm perceiving it, seems to indicate you're assuming some sort of "hard knocks" approach, which if that is the case then you're definitely barking up the wrong tree.

Bewildered and confused by supervisor

For rewt and pm133. I think you misunderstand what I was trying to say. I presented a paper I had started working on to my supervisor looking for feedback such as "do you think these are good questions to begin with?" (too broad or should I narrow it a bit) and I also had a small project/experiment in mind I wanted to run by them for advice as to whether they thought it would be too much of a time investment or if they thought it might be useful. This is looking for their advice as in maybe they would have an idea from experience whether this would be worthwhile or not. I was NOT asking them to do my work for me. If you can't ask these sorts of questions or converse with your supervisor about your ideas then what are they even there for? It sounds like if that's the case then there's really nothing to discuss during supervisor meetings, it's more like just a process for documenting that I'm not screwing around, which seems pretty plebian. Why have a supervisor at all in that case and why do a PhD at all if it would be no different than doing the work on my own outside of academia? Isn't the point of it (besides the piece of paper, the value of which is very debatable nowaday) to have the guidance of a mentor along the way?
I would think that if I were supervising a student and they presented that much motivation and had started working already I would be encouraging and use it as an opportunity to ask them questions about their ideas and try to offer some insight from experience, not just "I don't want you working on anything right now" but then later say "Don't come to me unless you've been working on something, but not a paper". I also find it odd that they basically said "Don't focus on making the outcome a system you've come up with" ... that was the entirety of my proposal to begin with... like what gives?

EDIT: Also, I don't really see how I can help you figure out what's going on with my situation as I didn't transcribe the entire conversation word for word. If that's what you need to offer any helpful advice then I get the distinct impression that you're manipulating what I've shared to shift the blame for the outcome of the discussion entirely onto me. I act and behave in a manner that is respectful and gives people the benefit of the doubt. I do my best to be very clear in my communication with people and so I find the argument that I am somehow entirely responsible for other people's actions very flimsy.

Bewildered and confused by supervisor

So I'm in the first year of my PhD (arts and humanities).
I already have a couple of international conference papers published prior to uni. My first meeting with my supervisor was very informal and he showed me around the facilities.

I had started a new paper prior to coming to uni that dealt specifically with my research project. I requested a second meeting with him to get his feedback on what I had started and discuss with him some possible avenues I wanted to take my next paper.

During this second meeting he expressed how much he disapproved of me working on a paper and specifically told me it would not be a good use of my time. I typically like to write an abstract to form the basis of my investigations and then slowly write up the paper as I do reading into the topic and perform different concrete case studies. I find this is the best way for me to work.
I specifically asked him if not working towards a paper, then what he considered a good use of my time.

He then went on a monologue discussing his doubts about my abilities in every area. At this point I I felt I had to stand up to him and basically had to defend the very reason for their being written music at which point his tone changed entirely and he went back to being friendly and good natured.

He then gave me some reading suggestions.
I met with him again briefly recently to check in as I had read everything he suggested and then some.

We have to complete mandatory monthly reports on our meetings and I'm coming up on the deadline for the next report in a few weeks. With this in mind I suggested we set a time to meet again more formally in the next week or two and he simply said not to bother until I had something tangible to show him.

Has anyone else felt this bewildered and confused by their supervisor? How did you deal with it?