Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The student I have been co-supervising

has reached the point where she is heartily sick of the whole thing, wondering whatever possessed her to even start and why she was less than ultra careful with ALL her references. I did warn her. I lost a reference once. It took me two days to find it again. As a VIP (Very Important Point) hung on it I was getting a little anxious.
When she had finished having a little weep on my (virtual) shoulder I told her to take the weekend off.
"But I only have until the 30th!" she wailed.
"That's fine. You have the conclusion to finish and the references to check - just do another back up before you leave and then go off and do something entirely different."
There was e-mail silence. I wondered if she had actually taken my advice. It has been a long hard road for both of us. There were problems not of her making, two changes in university supervisors - supervisors with very different ideas - and the usual problems which arise when working with children.
I can remember myself at the same point. My internal supervisor offered no such advice. My external supervisor offered no advice at all. Computers were still those strange machines somewhere on the far side of the university. I knew nothing about them. I typed my own thesis. I had to. Even if I had been able to afford a typist a typist could not have read my writing.
Three friends turned up three weeks before I was due to submit my thesis.
"We are going out," one of them announced, "And so are you."
"I can't!"
"Yes you can. It's all arranged. Forget that."
We went to an exhibition we all wanted to see. We had icecream at Marine Ices in North London. The next day we went to a concert with Karajan conducting and had Greek food at the usual student haunt.
I managed to get my thesis in with a day to spare. I am not sure I would have done it without my friends.
This morning there was an e-mail from my student. There were no words at all - just a smiley face. I hope her friends did something like that for her.

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