Totally fed up

posted
07-Mar-18, 12:09
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 6 months ago
My supervisor totally rewrote an abstract I'd written once.

I was glad. Mine was written really quickly and was crap. His was awesome - he's a great writer.

So, sometimes it's nice. Saved me having to do it and got me a better abstract than I could have written.
posted
07-Mar-18, 18:10
edited about 11 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 6 months ago
Quote From c_phillips:
Hi,

I suffered from imposter syndrome throughout my entire PhD -it's horrible. I think what helped me is when I realised that everyone has it- people just have different ways of dealing with it. The people who claim to be reading 10 papers a day, go to all the seminars, are always discussing work... a lot of the time these people are even more clueless than we are!

I remember when a guy a few months before me had his VIVA - he was always so cocky, arrogant and a proper 'up his own a**' academic, the kind that uses overly technical words to make himself sound smart - I met him afterwards and he looked completely shell shocked. Examiners had given him a grilling and called him out on a few things and it had really put him in his place. He passed, but I wonder if that made him change his ways...

My supervisor was always harsh on me as well and made me feel like an idiot, he commented on one of my bits of work saying "you do realise you don't work for the daily mirror". It's a struggle. The above point "On a serious note though, a supervisor physically re-writing anything you have written is a classic sign of control freakery." hits the nail on the head. My supervisor used to do this, rewrite stuff and then some of my corrections were to amend some of his wording because they said it was poorly writen!

TL;DR - Everyone is an imposter! :D


That bit about the Daily Mirror made me laugh. I used to get that comment from time to time. For me it would occur right in the middle of some perfectly written academic prose, reeking of pomposity. And then standing out like a sore thumb would be some phrase or word which looked like a tabloid hack had written it for an audience of 8 year olds. A bit of gentle ribbing would then follow which I never had an issue with.
posted
07-Mar-18, 18:15
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 6 months ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
My supervisor totally rewrote an abstract I'd written once.

I was glad. Mine was written really quickly and was crap. His was awesome - he's a great writer.

So, sometimes it's nice. Saved me having to do it and got me a better abstract than I could have written.


Shriek!!!!! I am getting heart palpitations just reading that. Honestly, if that had happened to me I would have launched a Beyonce level tantrum which would have required a 2 hour walk in the nearby hills, 4 bars of chocolate and a full public apology from my supervisor to recover from. I can say without word of a lie that he couldn't have upset me more if he had ran away with my wife leaving me just the dog and the clothes I was wearing :-D
posted
07-Mar-18, 19:28
edited about 21 seconds later
Avatar for PoppyFlower
posted about 6 months ago
Quote From pm133:
Mind you, there are countless supervisors out there actually writing full papers for their students, even where the student is 1st author. I would never feel I had earned my PhD under those circumstances.


I am at this situation and yes I do feel like a fraud. It is an awful feeling. My supervisor thinks that I should thank her because she has helped me so much by writing “my publications”. When I was doing the final editing of my thesis (last month), she emailed me and explained me that I should realize that it is unfair for other PhD students that her PhD students will get their PhDs, because she has written their publications. And I should understand that I haven’t worked as much as other PhD students. Finally, we agree on something. I should have quit. I tried to get along with her too long and then suddenly it was too late to quit. The weirdest thing is that she still doesn’t understand why I don’t want to work with her anymore… My thesis is now ready, but I don’t know what to do. It is worthless for me. I feel like I don’t lose anything if I don’t go to the viva and just move on with my life. So, don’t do same mistakes that I did, it is your PhD not your supervisor.
posted
08-Mar-18, 18:58
edited about 22 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 6 months ago
[quote]Quote From pm33:


I completely agree with you and my Supervisors handle it the same way. The point was more to point out that this is a common problem and no reason to feel like a fraud. The supervisor of my bachelor thesis didn't get to write a single one of his first author papers,not because he didn't want to, but because that's how his boss handled this. Paper writing was for post docs, PhDs focus on acquiring the data. It was the same for every student. Depending on the Supervisor, there is everything from being completely on your own to "you will not get to write anything."
posted
08-Mar-18, 21:41
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 6 months ago
I think that is what I am coming to get my head around from this forum... there is so much variety in how things are, how supervisors/departments etc vary. It's crazy! PhD students vary too, of course! I know that I have been a bit unorthodox at times as a PhD student, and I have to say that most times, although it was taking a risk, it has paid off. If you really aren't happy with something (and you can't just get used to it or accept it), you should diplomatically raise it and ask for change - even if it IS how things are done there/how your supervisor likes to do things. There are TWO people in this relationship, and there should be compromises all around.
posted
09-Mar-18, 02:07
edited about 45 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 6 months ago
Quote From Dunham:
[quote]Quote From pm33:


I completely agree with you and my Supervisors handle it the same way. The point was more to point out that this is a common problem and no reason to feel like a fraud. The supervisor of my bachelor thesis didn't get to write a single one of his first author papers,not because he didn't want to, but because that's how his boss handled this. Paper writing was for post docs, PhDs focus on acquiring the data. It was the same for every student. Depending on the Supervisor, there is everything from being completely on your own to "you will not get to write anything."


Agree with this and people like PoppyFlower shouldn't be feeling like a fraud because it's not their fault. The reality is that they unfortunately will tend to feel terrible. It's a real shame because these PhD years should be some of the most rewarding of our careers.
posted
09-Mar-18, 02:10
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 6 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
I think that is what I am coming to get my head around from this forum... there is so much variety in how things are, how supervisors/departments etc vary. It's crazy! PhD students vary too, of course! I know that I have been a bit unorthodox at times as a PhD student, and I have to say that most times, although it was taking a risk, it has paid off. If you really aren't happy with something (and you can't just get used to it or accept it), you should diplomatically raise it and ask for change - even if it IS how things are done there/how your supervisor likes to do things. There are TWO people in this relationship, and there should be compromises all around.


The level of variation we see really isn't acceptable. Some variation will obviously be experienced but what we are seeing is really awful.
It goes back to what I said last year - academia as a profession is a complete mess, borderline corrupt and needs sorting out.
posted
09-Mar-18, 19:40
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 6 months ago
Some are pushing for reform. I really enjoyed snippets from this book:

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