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Today has not been a waste because....

======= Date Modified 24 Jun 2010 16:47:33 =======
Although I didn't achieve all of my goals as planned, today has not been a waste because at least...

1. I managed to get up on time to attend a class
2. Attended the japanese class
3. Delivered 1 min speech at the japanese class
4. Revised something that I learned during undergraduate but had totally forgotten
5. Read a paper and emailed the author to ask some questions
6. Emailed the conference secretariat to ask about the nearest train station to the conference venue for next month's conference.

supervisor + other crisis= help me, i'm lost

Hi Jepsonclough

Thank u so much for your advice. Yup, I think I should prepare a more detailed research plan and show it to him although I think he won't give much comment on it, but at least it's for my own self check. I just want to know, in case there is a change in the middle of the plan, will it affect the rest of the plan? That means I'll be lost again and need to replan everytime there are any changes in the middle?

Lack of supervisor interest

Quote From goodboy:

I have to mini-dig my way. And I am in my 3rd Year. I admit I had been in a worst case scenario where he won't agree with my approach to address a problem and also is not very knowledgeable in this area. This kept on going for 2 years until I decided that enough is enough and have to hire a mini-digger. I wished I had a Bulldozer. But as Will said I have to drag him with me as well and that involves giving him lectures and correct his flaws acquired by memorizing things not through deep understanding.

Hi Goodboy,

I'm also in the same situation and I feel so tired... What do u mean by you "have to hire a mini-digger"? Usually, how do make sure that your approach to address a problem is correct although your supervisor don't agree with it?

supervisor + other crisis= help me, i'm lost

======= Date Modified 25 Aug 2011 19:00:20 =======
Hello everyone!

I'm new here... Unlike most of the forum members here, I'm a foreign student doing PhD in Japan and English is my second language. My problem is, my supervisor seems like a nice and very polite person but I always have trouble working with him. Last Friday I told him what I wanted to do but he told me it was wrong and replaced my idea with something simpler, that I think was wrong too. Although there were few things that he mentioned were correct (I accepted that), but sometimes I think he just make suggestions based on something he just knew/ heard/ has not much idea about it, and I think he didn't really believe in what he had said too. I don't know whether to follow his suggestion as this might waste a lot of my time (last time I followed his advice and wasted about a year), and I always feel lost after following his idea. Or should I pursue my idea (with some additional methods after I have researched more) or find another way of solving the problem? But the thing is, I really don't know whether the idea is right or wrong (I know, that's why we have to conduct research) and I'm afraid that he will reject everything that I do. Am I being stubborn? What should I do?

On top of that, although I am in my second year, I still have no clear idea/plan what I want to do in my PhD (I know, this is really bad). Unlike in other universities/ departments, I didn't have to prepare/ present a formal research plan/ proposal. However, I did prepare a proposal of what I wanted to do and showed it to my supervisor at the end of my first year, but he just glanced at it without giving any constructive comments. Within these 1.5 years, most of the time, he refuses my idea and asks me to settle on simple things that I think do not worth a PhD. I want to do something more interesting but I think he has no confidence in me and I lost mine too due to this. I can't change my supervisor because I'm halfway through and I may have to live without a scholarship. And worse, there's no one I can discuss about my subject or anything with here. I am really worried if I can not finish my study within the next 1.5 years. Time is running out but I feel like I can't do anything... I really don't know what to do...

Due to this pressure, I have become a short tempered person- I get angry easily at my family and friends. I feel very bad and stupid. And it is also depressing to see other friends who used to have lower grades than me during undergraduate doing well in their PhD since they have chosen the right supervisors...

What can I do to improve this situation? How can I handle my supervisor and my research plan? When should or shouldn't I follow his advices? How can I know which suggestions to follow and which ones to ignore? Anybody wants/cares to share his/her experience/advice/suggestion? Any comments are most welcome.