February 25, 2008

What He Said / What He Meant

It's becoming clear that my advisor is either a very keen and sly man capable of manipulating graduate students in unthinkable ways, or he simply has a poor memory which allows him to continually contradict himself. Therefore, hoping he isn't reading this (even though he has a good enough sense of humor to know when I'm just blowing off steam), I offer a look back at some key moments in graduate school.

What He Said: Don't waste time getting your masters, you can skip it and work directly on your PhD.
What He Meant: If you get a masters, you'll most likely be content to leave it at that and get a job - meaning I won't get any publications out of you.

What He Said: You should be able to finish your PhD with only an extra year and a half or so.
What He Meant: I run out of funding for you after three and a half years, so you had better finish in four or be prepared to work for free.

What He Said: As soon as I'm finished with this other paper/research proposal/lecture preparation/meeting slides, you will be my first priority.
What He Meant: As soon as I'm finished with this other paper/research proposal/lecture preparation/meeting slides, I will have another paper/research proposal/lecture preparation/meeting slides to work on which will take precedence over your trivial work in which I am no longer interested.

What He Said: This is fantastic! You're going to be famous! (He actually said that...about a plot I showed him once.)
What He Meant: No one is famous for this type of work; and by the way, I'll find minor problems with the work 2 years from now right before you attempt to graduate.

What He Said: It's no problem if we have to push your graduation off until August.
What He Meant: You may not want to drag this out and work for free this summer, but it's no sweat off my back.

2 comments:

david said...

Aww man that sucks! Maybe you can serve better as a grad school translator and offer your services to prospective grad students.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, your phrase simply excellent