======= Date Modified 06 11 2010 17:11:29 =======
This isn't a massive problem, more just a post out of curiosity. I'm a (male) Phd student in my mid-20s and im not sure how to act with my second supervisor. She always stands really close in my personal space, and seems to stare at me when she thinks i cant see or wont notice when we're in departmental seminars or conferences. Recently I wanted to ask her something but she was in a bit of a hurry, however she stood really to me and put her hand on my shoulder and slid it all the way down my arm to my hand and then squeezed my hand and said that we could discuss it another time in a more relaxed setting. That has yet to materialize.
Apart from this she has been very formal over email and seems to avoid meeting with me alone - she just sends me comments over email.
So, just wondering if it sounds like weird supervisor behaviour?
I used to have a supervisor (not for my PhD) who used to sit very close to me when we were discussing work. He would tell me allsorts of interesting facts about his personal life, like the time he told me he went a nightclub and fell down the stairs. Why I needed to know, I'm not sure.
Moral of my story: some supervisors are weird. Most aren't. Just accept them for the strange academics that they are, and all will be well.
Maybe check out how she behaves with other students? It might make you feel better if she's like it with everyone and you knew she wasn't just picking you out for touchy-feely supervision. If it is just you, then it could get a bit creepy or awkward in the future if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Of course, it might just be the way she is, and as DanB says, some supervisors are a bit weird!
i think some people just do this. I work with some who are of this touchy feely type, who don't seem to understand personal space at all. I would just try to limit the opportunity for her to do this - get a table in between you 8-) - I would guess it isn't a big deal to her, just the way she is and probably no more a conscious action than breathing. I would try to ignore it, regard it as her little foible and think of it as that.
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