If I could sum up the process of working towards gaining my PhD in four words it would be “No thank you please”.
- A micromanaging supervisor who is reactively aggressive and defensive lest his ideas be criticized. I have been spoken over, and provided with tautological fallacious explanations for why the status quo must be maintained because the status quo must be maintained whilst the status quo is maintained. Thanks for that.
- I have issues. Mainly with the epistemological direction my thesis is taking. I have other issues too, but I’ve put them in my handbag for now and will pull them out when looking for my bus pass next. My thesis belongs to another person,presumably my supervisor who changes it at whim and wants me to accept his suggestions, then criticizes them when I incorporate them into my writing. Inconsistent parenting at its finest.
- Being wide-eyed and funding hungry, I accepted a PhD where peer support is minimal.
- I run analyses for other students’ projects so my supervisor does not have to. This would not be a problem except that I am not paid for this additional work and on any piece of work submitted I am not named as a co-supervisor. It’s often tiring to perform because my supervisor is obsessed with finding significant results – so if I slave away for a day this can be swept aside and remain unacknowledged until the right, aka ‘significant’ result is found. Beyond being infuriating, it’s comical. I wonder if this happens to others?
Having vented some of my angst, I aim to create a step by step approach to finishing the damn thing.
1) My thesis needs to be between 60-100,000 words long. How on Earth is this going to happen? I don’t know. So far I have written a few papers up for publication (superficial achievement in my view as the papers don’t feel like mine mainly because king supervisor took over). I suppose these could form chapters, but how are the chapters going to be arranged?
2) I need to find out how PhD theses in my dept. are typically structured. It might help.
3) I need to have a series of clear things I do generally on a daily basis (e.g., readings, 100 words a day write up) and then a series of specific tasks that need to be completed. Gantt chart here I come (again… I I keep flirting with them, but never creating one I settle on).
4)I need to figure out what the hell I am going to do post- PhD… the money would be in the field of status quo-ism and I’m not sure I am broke enough to accept that. I think parts of me are dying off slowly and if I remain in this field of study within a field study, I am going to lose my marbles. They are going to spread out, some people with pick them up, others will slip on them and I will be left with no marbles whatsoever to play with… 2 weeks ago