Signup date: 13 Mar 2008 at 10:45am
Last login: 23 Jun 2010 at 1:01pm
Post count: 308
Hi Keep Calm,
Sorry I'm not going to offer much in the way of advice here, but I have similar panics and worries constantly. I don't teach on my own, but every time I'm due to tutor or help out with undergrads, I'm always nervous, which really bugs me! I know what you mean about the way some people just seem to be able to do anything without the slightest hint of nerves, but I guess that's just the way we are. I always tell myself that it'll be fine, nothing bad is going to happen etc etc, but I still get nervous, even with things that I've done many times before. I think I'm a lot better when something is more or less sprung on me, as I don't have the chance to worry about it. I wish I could just keep the worries aside, but it's so hard!
So thanks for sharing your worries, and rest assured you're not alone!!
If you don't understand their accent, don't be afraid to ask them to repeat what they said - you can't be expected to guess! But I'm sure you'll manage - I doubt their accent will be so strong that you won't understand it. Folks from down south tend to have accents that are very easy to understand :)
Hi Jessebel, well done for coming here to share your concerns!
I think that first year is a good time to realise that your project may not be right for you. Leave it any longer and you'll have done far more work that you wouldn't want to waste.
I'd suggest speaking to someone in your department, maybe not your supervisor as he doesn't sound like quite the right sort of person to listen and be considerate. Have you been assigned a second supervisor who you can talk to about issues not directly concerning your work? Otherwise does your department have a specific lecturer(s) in charge of postgrads (I'm sure there must be at least one). It would be good to talk to someone not connected to your project/supervisor, so that they can give you an unbiased opinion. I've always found lecturers to be very approachable when I've had problems - is there a lecturer (or even older postgrad/postdoc) that you know fairly well?
Discuss your concerns with them - would it be possible to change project within the department to something more physical-related? The fact that you've been accepted to the department shows that you're definitely capable of getting a PhD, so I'm sure they wouldn't want to lose you. You could even try speaking to someone in the department who does research that interests you more than your current work - academics are always keen to talk about their work, and would probably be more than happy to consider taking you on if they've time.
It sounds like you're unhappy with both the project and your supervisor, so perhaps a change of both would be the best move? I'd really encourage you to speak to folk and get their advice - better to start afresh now rather than a couple of years down the line!
Best of luck :-)
Wow, you do PhD theses too? Excellent! I'm sure you'll be perfectly capable of finishing mine off for me then. I've been working on it constantly for over 3 years, but I'm sure your complete lack of knowledge of my subject area won't be a problem. Can it be done by tomorrow? Maybe you could come and do my viva for me too?
My first chapter basically introduces some key concepts/definitions etc used throughout the thesis, and then explains what I've done in each chapter (i.e. a thesis outline). I've also included a section called 'motivation' explaining why I've worked on my particular problem.
I'm much the same - I rarely read a paper from start to finish, and tend to only skim to find relevant bits. But I do agree that my general knowledge of the subject is lacking as a result - although I've cited a lot of papers in my thesis, I couldn't tell you much about what's in any of them!
Well I have no option but to finish in 2010, so that's the number one goal :-) Would love to submit in the next few months, but that looks very unlikely with so much more to do. Looks like graduation will have to wait til 2011!
Also hope to find a 'non-academic' job, but have had two rejections so far :-( Can only keep trying.
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