Surprisingly enough, it’s been a rather quiet holiday season here for me. I got all of my Christmas shopping done nice and early (and mostly online as well), so I didn’t have to partake in any of that last-minute nonsense. The in-laws are too busy groveling to Miniman to give a shit about what I say or do. I’m spending plenty of time relaxing with my two wonderful dogs. Things are good. Hope they are for you too!
Monthly Archive for December, 2008
So I went to see all of my committee members last week to give them final copies of my dissertation and thank you gifts. I had a nice long talk with Dr. Happy Surgery Collaborator and he genuinely complimented me on my work and how much skill I must have to have been able to rewrite my dissertation so fast. He’s always been nice to me, from when my experiments totally failed to going over my dissertation and helping me make sense out of the nonsense my major professor made me write. He was probably more of a mentor to me than my major professor ever was and I’ll miss working with him.
My other committee member was out-of-town, so that saved me plenty of awkwardness.
And finally, I had to go visit my major professor. I set up a specific time and everything with him, but when I showed up, I was told that he was in a meeting. I was surprised and asked what sort of meeting this was that he hadn’t told me about and learned that he was just bragging away to the poor new research associate in the lab next door. He likes to snag the impressionable ones early on to start his brainwashing. I figured that he would kick the poor soul out of his office once I showed up, but he didn’t. He just kept talking to her while I stood outside waiting. After awhile, he finally paused and asked me, “You have something for me?” without even getting out of his chair or ushering the poor soul out. So I just handed him my dissertation and left as he resumed his conversation with his victim. That was it. No “good job” or “congratulations” or “let’s work on a manuscript of your dissertation.” Sure, I wasn’t expecting much, but what he did was just shameful considering the hell he put me through. And I guess a fitting end to my ten years with him.
Throughout the whole process of writing my dissertation, he did not even manage to read my dissertation in its entirety once. He never made it past the introduction. He left all the work and editing to Dr. Happy Surgery Collaborator. And while both of my other committee members eventually commended me on a job well done, my major professor never uttered any such praise. All he managed to say was, “I’ll sign it. There are things I would have written differently, but I’ll sign it.” None of this makes me sad at all because it’s not at all surprising. His praise doesn’t mean anything anyway. I’ve actually found myself reading Dr. Happy Surgery Collaborator’s email in which he praised me over and over again because his praise means so much more because I actually respect him and I’m glad that I managed to live up to his expectations.
In the end, the path I’ve taken is one that I would not recommend to anyone unless they know exactly what they’re getting into. It sucks to no end and if you’re just a tad meek and non-outspoken, you will get lost in the shuffle and then be punished for it. Maybe it’s just my program that needs improvement. Maybe I’m just not cut-throat enough. Whatever the reason, let’s just say that if I knew then what I know now, I would have been perfectly happy with just an MD. Although, I still have to admit, the bragging rights are nice. And will be used to their fullest extent.