Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Maybe we just had an "off" day?

If your advisee comes to speak with you and, when you ask her how she's doing, she says she feels like she's barely managing, that she feels as though she has serial myopia and that every time she focuses on one thing long enough to get a sense of momentum going, she realizes she's overdue for doing about five other things and has to stop, so that she's making very little progress in any direction and feeling beyond frustrated . . . .

The most helpful and encouraging thing to say? Is probably not, "Welcome to the rest of your life."

Even if it's true, you know?

And if you have directed her to write a document which is exhaustive in a way that other students' versions have never been, she's been telling you the precise length of said document for months as it surpasses successive decade marks, you've been nodding saturninely at those reports while making remarks to the effect that she needed to "really make some progress," when she then presents you with a mostly finished draft of said document . . . .

Looking shocked at its heft and telling her that her committee is going to balk at reading said document and question its practical utility? Also not so helpful.

Just sayin'.