So, while I work up the nerve to speak with D., who I hope will be my new advisor, I decided to distribute even more surveys at the greenbelt. I guess I am hoping that if I have loads of data collected I won’t look like such a total train wreck to Advisor #2.
The thing is, I feel so predatory when I am distributing surveys to folks. I see parents eyeing me as I approach them. Their eyes none too subtly communicate their concern with my approaching them, what with their precious, precious children, the hope for our future, so near and all. I clearly have something in hand and a purpose in mind. I feel so icky. Thankfully, this look of anxiety or accusation usually falls from their faces as soon as I explain I am a lowly master’s student, who is just trying to finish her goddamned thesis already. So! Harmless! So! Ridiculous!
(I can immediately tell if I am speaking with someone who has worked on an advanced degree; they usually grin, snap up my survey immediately and promise to return it as soon as possible, as they’ve gone through this hell themselves. It’s funny, and a bit sad, that there is such an instant camaraderie.)
Happily, I’ve had amazing success at getting these surveys returned, (somewhere around 67%) and I chalk that up to the fact that I approach these folks myself, complete with batting, pleading eyes and because I’ve included self-addressed, stamped envelopes with every survey. Look! You don’t even need a stamp. Please just complete the absurd survey and help me move on with my life!
If this process sounds half-assed, it is because this is totally crack research. WHATEVER. But, my advisor and committee—including Potential Advisor #2—approved it, so I place full blame on them. Hmmff.
But I still feel kind of crappy every time I go out to shove my surveys onto unsuspecting joggers, strollers, dog-walkers, bikers, and, you know, those adorable future Nobel Prize winners.