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Post Info TOPIC: Mean ol' lecturers


Regular Crew

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Posts: 12
Date:
Mean ol' lecturers



I am due to graduate from an English degree at a Russell Group university (of which we shall not speak) in June and in less than a week I will submit all of my coursework for the semester, and my finished dissertation, which I've been working on (despite some personal obstacles) for over a year. This should be all well and good...but...

I'm feeling demoralised and conflicted atm because of the dissertation supervisor I've been assigned this year. I feel kind of personally victimised by him even though he's never personally victimised me. Ostensibly, he's been courteous and professional during our brief meetings and he hasn't done anything worth complaining about. Even so, it's the way he makes me feel. It's one of those situations where the person doesn't really do anything or say anything you can put your finger on, but, nonetheless, I still feel awful whenever I correspond with him. I really do feel frustrated now because I know I would have done much better, had much more confidence in myself, and been more motivated to write if I had had a nicer, more approachable supervisor for the course of my dissertation.

When I have spoken with him, something about the aura he gives off makes me feel and come across stupid, inarticulate, and bumbling- and I'm none of those things. The feedback he's given me is WRITTEN LIKE THIS!!! NO!!!, which makes me feel like he's shouting at me or grimacing at me, exasperated, when I sit down to read it. 
There's more but I guess I'm hoping others have experienced something similar.

Logically, there's no reason for me to be so affected, I am over-sensitive and imagining things. But the fact remains.

 

Can anyone commiserate? disbelief



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Honoured Mook

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Posts: 209
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First off, congrats!

Despite all the obstacles and a frustrating professor, you've still submitted and completed all your work, and you're due to graduate! That's amazing! Many people might have given up in a situation like this so it says a lot that you were still able to get your work in despite the kind of feedback

I can commiserate a little bit, too. I had an English professor that I either loved/hated. There was no inbetween. I never thought, "Wow, Dr. Blablabla is okay." It was either "Dr. Blablabla is GREAT" or "Dr. Blablalba inspires me to set his desk chair on fire while he's sitting on it.*" My proff had a reputation for being a hard-ass and he never took personal interest in students.

our first meeting, which was terrifying, began with this question:

"Who taught you to write?"

Yikes. I braced myself and gave an answer I hoped didn't sound too defensive. Turns out, he was giving me a compliment, but it just came across so...awkwardly. Like he'd expected me to be so much worse. This was about the tone for every meeting and it did sort of take a jab at my self confidence. He was only ever professional and polite, but the all caps way of writing and the exclamation points made every wrong answer feel soooo much worse than the 'GOOD JOB' over something done correctly.

I'm not sure if it will help you, but it helped me to try and take it less personally by doing my best to remember that my proff was just a person. I was one of how many students in the English department that he was stuck working with. He had a job, a life, a family, and several hobbies he participated in. He didn't spend nearly as much time thinking about my work as I did. I was learning from my mistakes, too, so once I accepted that I was going to make them no matter how many revisions I made, it became a little bit easier.

But it was still frustrating as hell.

I graduated over a year now and I just flipped through my papers a few weeks ago when I was scrapbooking. I re-read some of the comments that drove me nuts and, now, I'm not entirely sure what I was upset about. I think the stress of doing all the work and trying and not really seeing any results was making me worry about things that now I can just shrug off. (Of course, having it be a year later helps, too.)

I'm not sure if this helps, but I did want to say again congrats on your work, and sorry to hear about your frustrating teacher!



*I have not and will never set anything on fire out of anger, I swear.

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Die, v.: To stop sinning suddenly. -Elbert Hubbard


Mookish Deity Most High

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Posts: 1663
Date:

From the other side, I had a dissertation supervisor who was lovely. He was friendly, supportive, and someone who I saw as a friend and who I used to have long discussions in the pub with.

I got a much lower dissertation grade than I was expecting, and it was because I expected a really good grade from him because he rarely criticised me. In truth, it meant he wasn't pointing out what was wrong with what I was writing (I famously managed to argue myself into a corner where necrophilia was entirely fine and he said nothing).

You might not like your supervisor, and he does sound harsh, but there are massive benefits to that. He is not your friend, he is there to tell you how to improve your grade! That will involve criticism. There's not much time left, power through and make the most of it.

__________________

too weak to labor on the farm

too indolent to do any exercise

too stupid for the bar

and

too immoral for the pulpit

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