Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tissue or a beer?

This post by FSP led to a pop-up memory window in my mind.
I think a good measure of  how much mentoring experience your PI has would be to see if they have a box of tissues in their office. My current PI does and, considering that it was almost empty the last time I used it (oops!), he must either have cranky sinuses or a lot of crying students. Judging by how kind and soft spoken he is, I think I would blame the sinuses.

But any mention of  weeping in your PhD supervisor's room takes me back to Brisbane. I have the world's worst anger release mechanism. When I get angry, I start weeping. My Australian supervisor was the kind of guy who calls a spade a spade (or a crappy first draft, well, a crappy first draft). I don't know why I was so regularly offended by his adjectives considering I had seen him use them every single moment that I spent with him ever. Even his praise was peppered with expletives.

There were days when I used to sit in his office from seven in the morning until four in the afternoon going over my writing. Sometimes, especially towards the end of the week, my anger got the better of me. The resulting weeping would not faze him one bit. Instead of offering me a tissue, he would say, "let's get out of here. You need a beer."

Honestly, I had never thought that I would miss weeping in his office but I do!