I just need to vent, really. I'm at the stage where I've written the first complete draft of my MA dissertation and I emailled it to my supervisor two days ago, with an explicit request to email me as soon as she got it, to let me know it'd been received. This is because 1) an email went awol in the past, and 2) because she's not that great about emailling me back.
I received no reply yesterday, so emailled her a very 'sorry about this, but...' email, just to reiterate that I was worried and could she just confirm she'd received my email. Today, end of play, still no reply. I know that she won't get back to me over the weekend, so now I have to wait to see if I get a reply on Monday, and I am very frustrated now, because ideally I need her to have read it and got back to me for a meeting early next week, because I need to get the whole thing bound and finished by August 27th, so I am going to have very little time to make corrections of there are any.
I'm sitting twiddling my thumbs right now when I'd much rather be working, but I literally can't do anything until she gets back to me, and I don't know when that will be because she seems to find it impossible to acknowledge a simple email! I know for a fact that she is at her desk, every day, because she told me she would me - so why no response? Is she doing this deliberately to wind me up, or does she just not *care* that my deadline is in just over a week's time and she's given me no real feedback up to this point, other than to tell me that what I've written is basically fine?
I don't know what else to do if she doesn't get back to me very soon, I'm really fed up with this as I am completely in limbo at the moment, with very little time left on the course. Is MA supervision supposed to be like this??
I think you need to chill out a bit. 2 days is nothing. Anything could have come up in that amount of time. She could be sick, for example. Why don't you try and ask around and try to ascertain if anything has happened....
I wouldn't start worrying just yet if I were you.
Have you sent her drafts of Chapters as you were writing?
I have thought that she might be sick, and I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but my experience of MA supervision on this course so far has tested my patience. I had another supervisor who promised to look at work of mine before he left for vacation, but I emailled him the work and he never got back to me at all. Likewise when I've emailled my main supervisor, it's taken her weeks and weeks to respond, and plus, as I said, other emails I've sent to her have got misplaced, which is why all I wanted was her to say that she'd received my complete draft, just so I can relax knowing she's got it.
Plus it irritates me that I sent her work at the start of July, she didn't respond for three weeks, and then only to set up a meeting, in another two weeks, which never happened, because she rang me a couple of hours before to say the work I had done thus far was fine, and to keep writing, which is all well and good, but it isn't exactly constructive criticism. The point is, though, why wait 5 weeks to tell me my work is 'fine'? I strongly suspect it's because she didn't even read the work until the day before our meeting - and what if it hadn't been fine??
Anyway, I'm just stressed, as you can tell, so apologies.
Seriously, you think that this is your supervisor's fault? Can I assume that your MA dissertation draft is approx 12,000 words? And that you sent a draft and expected a reply, and constructive comments, within two days?
'I know for a fact that she sits at her desk, every day' - are you hoping for yourself a career in academia? If so you really need to alter your perception that supervisors are able to 'sit at a desk all day' and, literally, be able to respond to your requests immediately.
I do actually apologise if I sound harsh, it's just I genuinely can't believe the extent of your upset, considering it's only been a couple of days. I think rather you need to admit that if you required a reply by this weekend, you should really have sent it in with more notice.
Good luck with the feedback, but really, either chill, or submit your work in advance of requirng feedback. And no, I'm not on the other side of the fence, I'm post-MA, pre-PHD.
======= Date Modified 15 Aug 2009 09:44:50 =======
Oh sorry, I've misunderstood. Your evident stress is because you don't know if she's 'received' your email and it makes no difference to you whether she's actually read it or not?!!!!
'I'm sat around twiddling my thumbs right now when I'd much rather be working'...So how does 'just knowing' whether she's received an email or not make to you being able to work?
I reiterate my point, you really need to take resposibility, if you want to work, get on with it.
Can I just add that I actually do apologise if my comments have caused you further stress. I do stand by the comments, I think you have unrealistic expectations of feedback, (in this particular instance), and I do not believe that a confirmation of an email is will make everything okay for you.
That said, I don't get pleasure at all from thinking that my comments may have upset somebody, so I genuinely do apologise if they have. You can always ignore them, as I'm sure you will, considering your disagreement with them. But you did ask...
It might be an idea if you just went in to see her when you think she will be around, not to get feedback there and then, but just so you can communicate with eachother more effectively. Take her a cup of tea or coffee - she'll probably love you forever and give you brilliant references - it beats twiddling your thumbs all day!
Many universities are in terrible turmoil right now, and any number of crises could have come her way - this can be a very difficult time of year for academics, it's when many of the budgets are announced, yes, she sits at her desk for some of her day, but that doesn't mean she has time to reply to you within two days. She probably has at least one manager breathing down her neck at the moment.
I also suggest reading some books on writing style ahead of your redraft, in the meantime - you could tell her you're doing that when you see her - you'll seem pro-active, something all lecturers like to see in their students.
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