Wednesday, May 3, 2017

My pep talk to some students..

I wrote it and I might as well share it here..

Remember - we're working as colleagues in this [project]. I'll answer emails (or better - FB Messenger messages) at midnight if I have to. But your part of the deal is that you make sure that when you contact me that you are giving me the very best opportunity to add value to your project. Please make sure you have reviewed, previewed and critiqued your stuff as hard as you can before you send it to me.

My first real research supervisor

Can I share a little story with you? Prof [x] is now a good friend, but it didn't start well. At another University I had been enrolled in a Masters by research against everybody's wishes and [x] happened to be head of school when I was enrolled without a supervisor (untidy I know). I presented a paperwork problem for [x] so he said "put my name in as your supervisor for now".
When I asked if he wanted to see something from me each week he replied "I don't want to see your garbage thinking". It was not an insult. He recognised that we all have ruminations and semi formed ideas. We need to work those up to being respectable before sending them off to someone else.
I'm not being as blunt as to say "don't send me garbage" but I am saying that along with courage, we need to have the self respect to send of what we think is our very best shot at the time. Good academics can tell the difference. I know from bitter experience the embarrassment of sending something (that wasn't the very best I could do) to someone I respect.

1 comment:

  1. The way you teach makes me want to get back in to learning.