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Pjlu
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 at 8:10pm
Monday, 29 January 2018 at 7:37pm
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page 1 of 58 recent posts

Thread: Part time and mature!

posted
04-Feb-10, 19:20
edited about 5 seconds later
by Pjlu
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posted about 9 years ago
Hi Sue2010,

It is absolutely wonderful to hear that you are A: part-time; B: working and C: a mature age student! Fantastic- i love reading stories like this because they are inspiring and encouraging to so many.

I am completing a Master's thesis- am also part-time and mature (mid-career stream) working to the hilt from this week on (just had a 3 month leave - where I focused on the thesis-end) and hope to complete a Phd or Professional doctorate in the future as well. I also live some distance from university-so my networks tend to be developed a little differently as well. My workplace alas does not fund my study-in terms of paid regular time to study or fees, although if the thesis goes well, I will be eligible for the Commonwealth research grant to pay the fees of any future study-so that's good.

With regard to developing professional networks- I chanced upon this forum just before Christmas and have been plaguing it and its online posters ever since! (You can guess that in 'real' life, I would be regarded as an active participant in most tutorials and groups!) However, what I have found with regard to actual living networks, is that my distance university is only okay. Not as good as some others-including my last one; and I have made the decision that my next serious stint of research will not be at the present institution for these reasons. I have already selected the two degrees and universities I will apply to...just not sure which one I prefer yet. In other respects, the current university is fine though! (Except I have a few supervisor issues with regard to getting back to me at times-otherwise she is fine).

My own workplace- which is really large- has at least three or four other serious students who are in various stages of Master's or doctorates and they are tremendously supportive-we try to really keep each other going at times and use each other as accountability buddies. So perhaps you will have some similarly minded colleagues around. My other main source of real support comes from my greater network of fellow educators. I am a curriculum coordinator but belong to several different professional associations through either my institution or privately. I find with all of these working together, plus my children's encouragement- it is enough. But developing the links, etc are a work in progress and it is only this year, that I am finding that it seems to really come together. Or perhaps, I have just developed more resilience after going through all of the post-grad processes and traumas of the last few months.

Good luck with your studies and keep that flame burning!

Thread: Absent with depression, supervisor is ignoring me :(

posted
02-Feb-10, 07:37
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From mlis:

I guess it just makes me feel worse because my supervisor is ignoring me. I feel like she hates me and is sick of me being depressed and not getting on with work. I can understand why she would be frustrated with my lack of progress, but I feel abandoned and lost because she's ignoring me, like she's punishing me for having been depressed. I also feel worried because I can't finish the thesis without her help, and she's ignoring me, so I'm terrified that I'm just going to be kicked out and not finish because nobody is prepared to help me.

My second supervisor (who left) was the head of department and of student liasons, so I don't know who else to contact. Plus my remaining supervisor would hate me even more if I went above her and got her into trouble for ignoring me. I was trying to get on with work, but my supervisor's hatred and lack of help has made me all worried again and I can't sleep; I'm having nightmares every time I close my eyes. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow in the hope that she can write me a letter and support me in approaching the university for an extension.

Do you think it's a good strategy to contact my supervisor again and ask her to assist me in approaching the university re. coming back part-time and getting an extension or whatever? And tell her what my doctor says, etc? (Previously I approached her re. the work I was finally getting on with, and she ignored me). If she ignores that email too, I'll have to try to contact someone else in the department - maybe call reception and find out who is the new student liason person, and contact them.

This whole lack of support from my supervisor and the university is really getting to me, because I'm struggling to begin with, and this just makes it all seem hopeless. :-(

I think do this (the steps you outlined above) as well as what Bilbo says (contacting new head of department or PG advisor-there has to be someone). Your situation sounds really difficult and, quite frankly, makes me angry with the University in question on your behalf. They really do have to start becoming a little more accountable to students-this is just ridiculous. And as for that atrocious counsellor your Doctor recommended- drop them like a hot potato. Their actions and statements are far from supportive or helpful and sound absolutely antiquarian! Where did they learn to become a counsellor? The Nineteenth Century?
Sorry that it's hard online to help any further but do know-it really sounds like a rough deal and the University needs to be more supportive. However, I am certain as Bilbo mentioned that there must be someone there like the new HoD or an admin adviser or PG counsellor who can give some actual physical assistance. The doctor's support through a letter sounds like a positive step as well. Best of luck and let us know how it goes when you can...

Thread: research masters thesis

posted
31-Jan-10, 20:29
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Smitten, I really empathise with you. I am doing a Masters Research thesis as the larger part after having course work and research methods as well. Course is around 2 years to 3 years or so- given that most of us do it part-time while working.

My supervisor is EXACTLY the same! Good advice and nice enough person but sits on work for weeks to months on end, never replies to emails or phone messages so I have to literally harass her (which I HATE doing) and then gives stuff back to me when I have virtually no time to do it OR when I have finished my leave from work-so I have to do it all while working full bore (and this she does despite my having given her time-lines and plans for how and when I can fit in big bursts of writing or research and have leave from work). It is incredibly frustrating isn't it?

However, I would agree with Sneaks, try not to be defeatist-I think you should be able to do it, especially if it is a matter of rewriting. How long does your thesis have to be. Mine is only 25 000 words. Doesn't sound much-but it is still a standard five to six chapter Masters thesis-with the usual intro, lit review, methods, results, discussion and conclusion and they all need to be really tight-no room for error with words given the length. Remember that you are also rewriting- not coming up with new material but refining and reordering the material you have now. My supervisor says (and this is part of her good advice- I think of her rather like the mother from the film Coraline-sometimes she is a good supervisor and sometimes she is a WITCH with BUTTON EYES!) Anyhow, she says when she wants things re-done, don't put it off, don't get anxious, don't think you need masses of time, just systematically work on it consistently and give yourself a morning to do this bit-then a weekend to get that bit sorted. Given that this is rewriting-you should be able to do it-certainly don't give up!

Thread: Understanding of theory v. application of theory - which is better?

posted
31-Jan-10, 04:23
edited about 15 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Natassia, I have just found a brilliant quote in one of my theory texts-nothing that I can use in my own thesis but I think it is just wonderful. It might help you far more than the stuff I've written below:

" There never was a Golden Age when the pursuit of educational ideals was an easy ride, and it could not be so. As Confucius puts it: 'No vexation, no enlightenment, no anxiety, no illumination' (quoted in Huang, 1997). Learning is, to some extent, a vexatious and anxious business. It is inevitably a struggel to create, maintain and enhance the the climate for learning. That struggle is a fundamental part of learning, not merely an unfortunate condition to be resolved before learning can take place" (Rowland, 'Learning to comply, learning to contest', in Discourse, Power and Resistance, 2003).

Thread: Understanding of theory v. application of theory - which is better?

posted
30-Jan-10, 21:43
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
PS. I'm casting my mind to Bloom's taxonomy of thinking and while application certainly is 'higher' than understanding alone-'synthesis' (which is what I think you were doing) is higher yet. But in any case- even these taxonomies of learning and thinking and knowledge are only theories-they are not actual facts even if teachers tend to think of them that way. So as my students in Oz would say 'chillax'; it's all good and you don't need to worry over these little things.

Thread: Understanding of theory v. application of theory - which is better?

posted
30-Jan-10, 21:35
edited about 25 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Natassia, do you think maybe the second marker asked the question just to see how far advanced your understanding of the theory was? By this, I don't mean that she was trying to, or did 'catch you out'-she may have just been pleasantly surprised by your approach and was testing how far you could take your present understanding.May also have been the reason she apologised-she had no intention of putting you on the spot but was just doing what a lecturer/teacher might do to check the level of understanding and was concerned that she had upset you when she had no intention of doing so.

Both markers seem, from your post, to be supportive at the end, so I don't think that taking this approach has or will cause you any loss of 'academic' regard from their perspective. The other thing is-in my role in education, I have had to work over the last few years on upskilling teaching staff with regard to modern learning theories, etc. (Had to upskill myself first though and am still on a learning curve here!!) Anyway, one thing that I have learned is that brains work in very different ways-I would think that making links and connections between theories was as good as application-but in any case, they are both just single instances of your performance at that moment. One presentation or 'performance' does not indicate every thing about a person's learning and understanding so even if you did not do as well as hoped-and I'm sure you will be fine-it is probably not something that you need to be overly upset about. I imagine that your markers are aware of all of this as well.

Bottom line is- you deserve to be in your course-you are not hopeless at applying theory and thinking ahead to the Phd is not a 'vain hope' but something you should certainly be looking towards. Hope this helps....cheers

Thread: Advice needed: I have to change my supervisor...

posted
30-Jan-10, 00:26
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Someone,

I also agree with you in that sometimes the person (object of affections) knows and 'sort of enjoys the knowledge or feelings' and this can help you to 'dislike' them in order to distance yourself at times.

But again no action taken, no lives or careers at stake-no actual harm done. And what a strong person you are to have come out of it-with your Phd and integrity intact.

Thread: Advice needed: I have to change my supervisor...

posted
29-Jan-10, 21:24
edited about 7 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From Natassia:

I don't want to sound patronising but are you sure you're actually totally in love with him, or could it just be a respect/power/admiration-type crush thats gone overboard? How did you feel when you first met him?

I've never been in this situation myself but I would imagine its very difficult, I definitely wouldn't try to change supervisor though, like you said it would be an injustice to him and I think to you as well, you have the opportunity to get a PhD which you've worked hard for, you're working now, do you really want to potentially give all that up for the sake of a crush? I would be very wary of telling anyone, its not really a good reason for changing supervisor in my opinion and I think you would end up feeling humiliated.

I think your feelings will probably change over time as well, we all go through phases of fancying people and then wonder what we saw in them. Like others have said, try to get into a new relationship that will take your mind off him!

Hi LL,

I completely support what Natassia has said regarding this. Firstly, these sorts of experiences happen or have happened to absolutely heaps of us...it is really common. But from an experience long ago-slightly different context- being honest, I felt I had to tell. Worse thing I could have done. Person was unhappily married, used the power-differential and my desperate feelings to initiate affair- repercussions and fall-out horrendous; including how it affected my then academic career-and to some extent his-but I think more mine overall. Don't say anything- this guy is probably really happily married so the sorry tale I mentioned isn't necessarily what would occur but there would be nothing gained from saying this-and as Natassia so rightly pointed out-could result in some humiliation regarding others knowing howing you feel.

Take heart in that what you feel is probably a just a variation of a form of normal (very common experience for many-if that makes sense) and don't feel guilty or be too hard on yourself. But likewise, changing your supervisor is not really a good idea anyway. Even if you can't 'have him' as lover and partner- it is still nice to work with him-is it not? He is a good supervisor and you won't always be wanting to 'rush him off' everytime you speak together-only some of the times so just weather them through. The important thing is that you can't (we-us-people) actually help feelings-they just are and they insist on being felt but we can control our actions and what we do-how we act on them. So acknowledge the feelings, let them pass and then focus on your thesis and what the next step or job is. Don't feel guilty about enjoying his company-but don't seek him out more than is necessary as your supervisor. (This bit will be really hard and you will need to be really firm with yourself about this). You might even find that you are so eager to impress him that it helps you work even more effectively on your thesis at times.

Think also- you haven't actually done anything- nothing wrong at all-all that presently has happened is that you have feelings for this lovely person and they are causing you (possibly) guilt, anxiety and distraction. From his perspective, you have probably been just this really nice person that he is supervising and sometimes you seem a bit distracted or spacey. That's it...nothing wrong...no harm done...but don't say anything, don't act on them, don't feel unnecessary guilt (we all feel far too much unnecessary guilt) and focus on the enjoyable aspects of your working relationship and this thesis he is helping you with.:-)

Thread: I really don't think i can do this - sorry for the depressing post!

posted
27-Jan-10, 19:37
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From zylynn:

Hi Phoebe
I totally feel you.
and all the replier, thanks so much for the comforting replies, as a matter of fact I am in an almost the same situation. I am in my second year. One other PhDer who started at the same time with me and are under the same supervision, is far ahead of me: passed her proposal defence, even applied for more fund with our supervisor, and awarded by the SRCD student research award with the proposal she is much younger. As a peer under the same supervisor, I found it particularly hard to take in. I could find excuse that I was very sick for a month or two and took a part-time job, so I was very distracted. But when I know about her progress, my self-esteem has become unprecedentedly low...I blame myself for being sick and lost focus ...now I am physically getting on my feet and realised that my research is far behind my schedule I am the only mature student (34 married without kid) who worked in real life and have more commitment than people in my lab...one side of me I am amazed by the other's progress, but on the other side I felt quite bitter. I found I am really struggling in this 'virtual' life right now and seriously doubt if I am suitable for doing this. It felt really lonely and deserted.
But I guess all the other replies are quite right about 'not to compare yourself with the other', b u t when things are getting competitive like that in my lab, or I feel I am losing the game and control... it freaks me out... Having said that, I am trying to focus on just my own progress and physically keep a distance from the others in the lab, we do not talk about research much anyway. I don't' know if it will help but have to give a try anyway.

Phoebe, I hope you find you way out of this soon...
(up)

Hi Pheobe and Zylln, hi I'm not on Phd yet (Masters still) but hopefully the Phd countdown is about 10 months away to application time-so I'm being bold and am posting anyway. Can't offer specific advice on Phd thesis journey and you've been given great advice anyway, so wouldn't need to. But, on the self-esteem issue...it is probably hard in the lab/science situation. I don't know but I'm guessing this environment is really competitive-or at least more 'in your face' competitive than some other Phd's...but, as said so often by many...can not reiterate enough how true this is-in study, in life and in work, but most especially in the Phd-which is always a really personal goal aspiration and goal-private as well as public-it never seems to be only about the cudos.

You are doing this for You-learning only things that you can learn about your topic and about you- what your values and beliefs are and in the face of pressure, and a host of other things life hurls at you...how you cope and prioritise so that you can spend time on a project of real significance-even if it doesn't seem all that significant at times to others. No matter how bright we are, there are always going to be some real stellar performers out there (the Einstein's, etc) so why ever compare and for those out there who compare us to others or try to create unnecessary competitiveness and biatchiness- leave them to it. No one can take away the things that you have learned, written, understood and developed. You are thinking, feeling, experiencing and essentially, writing yourself and authoring your own narrative of life in this. How can the younger whizz kid really matter regarding this...good for her...but do you really care? Really, deep down? This is about you, your journey and the knocks and falls and the successes that you took (are taking) along the way. Good luck to both of you-hang in there(gift)(up)

Thread: struggling

posted
25-Jan-10, 09:58
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Tired85-

It is hard-and maintaining focus in the pressure of the Masters with its thesis plus other components-all squished into a year (or so if its part-time)-it gets tough. When I began I just loved every minute I spent away from work and other responsibilities on it-it was a joy. Not so much now though-so I think that sometimes you just have to face up to the fact that it is like work. Might have started out as a joy but once it becomes serious and you become serious-it is hard work.
We all procrastinate-take it from me (known at work as Ms Focus and Efficiency!!). My ethics approval came through-after a delay- I sent out recruitment letters for participants-have actually got some interested participants and I am just procrastinating-putting off the time I actually ring them to organise interviews and privacy and plain language statements. Have got everything organised but something is just making me procrastinate with this part...

So I think, as the other really helpful replies from respondents have suggested, it can just be par for the course. Some aspects of surviving this and completing just take either stamina or sheer 'cussed' determination and you wonder why you began-but don't let this glitch or lack of energy stop you. And never compare yourself to classmates, everyone 'amps' up what they are doing in competitive courses. Besides, what is it to your flatmate what you do? Why is it 'her' or 'his' business anyway. Sorry, this probably sounds not very helpful-don't mean it to be- just hang in there and use those strategies outlined in the posts- you will get over this.

Cheers

Thread: Having trouble getting PhD advice...

posted
23-Jan-10, 21:07
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Kayzi, can you find someone who is an academic in the department that would house your 'broad area' and have a frank chat or two? Usually the lecturers can give you some really honest but also encouraging advice. Word of mouth from fellow undergrads and post grads in your department can usually guide you to the sorts of academics who will be the best to approach. I don't know about there being only horror stories though-there certainly seem to be plenty of happy and keen students who do not regret undertaking their Phd's both on this forum and in person, to balance out the less exciting stories.
Good luck and best wishes.:-)

Thread: Funds low but how much grief do you take from part-time employers?

posted
22-Jan-10, 21:39
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Bonzo,

You do 'do a good rant', though. It's a good skill to have isn't it? Look I work in secondary sector in Oz and I happen to be a full-timer with a leadership position in my institution (just a 'smidgin' below deputy principal status and power). Institution is private not public sector.

I think though I get where you are coming from and the real unfairness of it all. I often have to mentor teachers in my role and it can be really hard for the newbies, the temps and the contracts. They are dependent on the money (those of us who always get a regular paycheck can take it for granted) and quite frankly, don't have the time, the insider knowledge, or always the interest in playing the institutional politics-like you often they have other big things going on in their lives and just want to get on with the job and earn some honest moolah.

My institution can be a hard one to 'cut it', unless you fit. When I first arrived, I wasn't an instant fit but they wanted the academic energy that came with me so over many years of issues, etc-finally we have a good working relationship-still has its passionate moments though at times! However, what I wanted to say was you need to look after yourself and your own interests in this. The institution will follow institutional rules and norms. There will be little power blocs and 'biatchy' ingroups and just a bunch of teachers who work hard and don't want to either get involved or cause too many waves. Plus a group of people at the top who are busy and don't have time to really deal with small issues like this because they are coping with parents, the student from hell, students who are really seriously in trouble and whom they are worried about, the usual substance abuse, theft, social work issues, etc and really difficult full time staff, whom they want to keep on an even keel. Small issues like this (it isn't small for you, I know) they hope will resolve themselves and go away.

However, in looking after your own interests, don't 'burn your bridges' or too many of the people there. Save your genuine indignation and wrath for those outside the institution who know and love you, or for rants on the forum and just play it straight with the powers that be who employ you at this instititution. If you get the chance, next time there's a complaint, take it on the chin, explain your side as calmly as you can and make out like you will address the issue anyway (even though it isn't necessarily your fault). Even if you find another gig, you always might want a reference from them anyway and to be honest, right now you need the money right? You are not doing this for them-you are doing it for money for your Phd right? The other thing is, is there anyone sympathetic in the institution, with some power and influence, whom you can talk to and who will go in to bat for you if needs be. Usually there is such a person or persons...find them out and have a chat. Even if they don't know you very well, they will be flattered that you have noticed them and will keep you in mind if they believe that your situation is unfair, and are chatting with the senior leadership in meetings or whatever.

You probably do have the moral highground, but just keep it to yourself at present- pull your horns in, think of the goal at the end and ensure finally that your interests are being met. Don't fret too much about what the others think or the unfairness of it all- it is unfair but basically life pretty much is. You have to sort out your priorities and take your action steps from there.

Sorry about the 'essay'-I try to keep it short, but with these sorts of issues there are usually many permutations-hence overly long replies. Cheers Bonzo;-)

Thread: Absent with depression, supervisor is ignoring me :(

posted
20-Jan-10, 21:33
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Mlis, you have faced a really difficult set of situations, combined on top of the difficulties of undertaking a Phd and have become depressed. None of this is "your fault". However, many of the thoughts (the language you are using in your posts) suggest that you are still partly in the negative thinking cycle that comes with, and helps sustain depression. Again-not your fault-just something that happens.

You did not 'waste time' with depression. You were ill. Now you have really taken some fantastic steps to improve your situation and help yourself heal, you have what sounds to be a wonderful and supportive new partner and you are looking -realistically- at what you can do to move on and complete your Phd. What a champion you are!! How hard is that! Don't in any way be down on yourself about your experiences. Sure- what you have been through "sucked big time"! It hasn't stopped you has it? Give yourself credit for coming through a really difficult time and still being fairly close to the finish despite it all.(gift)

However, as you yourself have said, and other respondents have indicated, there are some practical steps you need to do to ensure that you continue to stay well and move on-and to finish this Phd-even if it does take a bit longer (and I bet if serious really big surveys and studies were carried out on Phd's-they would reveal that many, many students would take longer than the 'set time'-just no one wants to dwell on that part, is all).

Other posters have given you some really practical and good advice based on their experiences- I can't do that at present not being at that stage yet. However, I can suggest that you not only talk to your supervisor but find out who else at your institution is there to help and support you in this journey. There will be advisors, post-grad counsellors or someone who is neutral, who can help talk you through this process- help you frame up what you are going to say to the 'sup' and support you as you meet with your supervisor. A piece of advice I often give to senior high school students when they are really worried about a particular subject or its teacher and need to discuss something significant with them, is to take a supportive friend with them and to rehearse what they are going to say beforehand.

Do whatever it is that helps you get through this-however, don't worry unnecessarily about what the supervisor thinks-she probably doesn't think too much about it at all and is just busy, stressed and has her own issues (academic life can be really stressful as well- its certainly not the 'nice work' (David Lodge-reference) job it was once back in the twentieth century!). This is not said, by the way, to make you start thinking about the supervisor or her perspective-that is not important at present-it is just said to give a broader perspective.

What is important is you- your health and happiness, your Phd and taking some action steps to help yourself out of this challenge. All power to you :-)

Thread: disorganised, handed an essay in late

posted
18-Jan-10, 22:11
edited about 23 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi M2M,

If it also helps- there are also different types of organisation. Using examples from myself and all of my three (now grown up) children- we all organise and manage our time very differently. For example- my youngest seems apparently really laid back and disorganised with regard to his work-undergrad studies, assignments and other things-yet over the years, I have recognised that he is actually organised-it is just a more fluid, organic type of organisation-less mechanical than mine (instilled on me by a very disciplined German/English father). He always does what he says he will and it all seems to work, despite my disbelief at times.

If you get them (essays-assignments-whatever) in when you need to then that is fine...all the rest is just personal working styles and individual preferences. And finally, (speaking as one who is apparently marching to a inflexible drum beat at present), it could only ever possibly matter regarding the meeting deadlines bit-if other people are dependent on it-if they are not and it is just you...no problems. But honestly, beating yourself up about these things is never helpful-as others have said you need to be kind (to yourself-as well as others). GTG now (up)

Thread: Struggling with the supervisor-phantom academics!

posted
16-Jan-10, 22:28
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
I have spent some time thinking about the situation over the last few days and have worked out what I am going to do-so I am posting-this sort of helps me-bit like an online journal, so apologies if it seems a little self-indulgent.

One- am NOT applying for intermission. I hate the idea-it feels wrong in all sorts of ways. It was actually the PGrad advisors suggestion but only as one option. When we discussed how much I had written and methodology, she reassured me that I was actually further ahead than many students in my situation with regard to writing, planning and other things-that many students left everything to the last minute and still managed it.

I won't apply for an official extension. I can't use illness (unless God help me I do become ill-but hopefully this won't be the case-if it is then at least a doctor can verify it) and given that supervisor incompetency would be the only pathway to this-I don't intend to travel down that road. However, I will take the time to use the unofficial extension of around 2-4 weeks that many students require (based on PG Advisor's advice).

I don't think I will need longer than the extra 3 weeks or so and still have paid work leave owing so can take some days off work for final writing if I need to.

Finally, I am not going to stress about the supervisors lack of time management or the fact that she takes so long to respond or reply. I will keep in email contact, phone message, plan to fly over for a formal meeting and if she is a bit slack-I am going to let this be her problem not mine. I will keep roughly to my time schedule give or take research issues and delays (but I can always use these as part of my thesis in the 'difficulties and issues' section in discussion on data and analysis). Her advice is always helpful-for this I am very grateful- however, I will submit the final drafts to her pretty much on time. The university administration will keep her on track for me as they will need her input. This will make her accountable in a professional sense-my job is not to protect her from that-but it will also not dissolve into some form of personal issue.

I accept that this whole thing will take six months for me and the better part of a year for all of the examination, admin, corrections, etc and that is fine. I have already begun my recruitment of my first participant group and will begin to recruit my second group in 10 days time.

So...it is okay...I needed to write this though...I almost flipped on Monday when I first spoke to PG advisor. Good luck folks with everything8-)
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