Thursday, October 25, 2007

Trying Not to Barf, Part 4

Ever since my alarm went off this morning I've been having what Tessie calls a "nervous tummy."

Today at 2:00 p.m. MT (4:00 p.m. ET!), I am meeting with Potential Thesis Advisor #2, D. I hadn't heard from him for a week since I'd e-mailed him with a request to meet. I'd made up my mind to call him on Wednesday (yesterday) if I didn't get a reply. To be fair, I do know that D. is not obsessed with checking his e-mail like, say, I am.

Yesterday, when I opened up Outlook, I found the following message waiting for me:

From: [Potential Thesis Advisor #2]
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 8:16 PM
To: [Artemisia]
Subject: RE: Thesis

Hi, [Artemisia] --
I'm sorry. I really dropped the ball on getting back to you. Needless to say, I would certainly like to chat about how to proceed with your M.A. work. I'm a week late, but are you free this Thursday, assuming you haven't written me off? I have a meeting from 12:30 to 1:30, but how about after that? Probably to be safe I should suggest 2:00. If that doesn't work, I could meet on Friday. Let me know.
Hope to see you soon.
[Potential Thesis Advisor #2, D.]

I was so ridiculously, hyper actively elated that I nearly hugged my male officemate and I ran out into the hallway and did a happy dance, complete with an accompaniment of song. The song was something like, "He's so different than S., I can't believe it! He knows I'm alive, wooowowowowooo, woooo, wooo. yeah, yeah yeah." Or something. My neighboring co-worker came out of her office to see just what the hell was going on. Then she gave me a high five.

Do you see how nice and thoughtful How willing he is to work with me? OH MY GOD. I am still walking on fucking air.

I feel so relieved. I am pretty sure he knows I am going to ask him to be my advisor, and I am also fairly certain that he has an idea of what my experience with S. has been like. I am probably not the first grad student who exercised this particular brand of poor judgment. I think he'll agree to work with me. I do! And I am really pleased to be working with him, and not just because he acknowledges that I am, indeed, alive. (But, that is super awesome, I must say.) It has been his advice, suggestions and input that have gotten me as far along with my thesis work as I am. My former classmates that worked with him all have great things to say about the experience. Regardless of the poor advising from S., it makes more sense to have D. as my thesis advisor. Period.

You guys, I just know I am going to get The Thesis done. And I am so happy.

But I still have a nervous tummy for today's meeting! I don't want D. to think that I just disappeared and ignored my thesis for seven months. But I also don't want to sound like I am blaming S., either. After all, it did take two of us not to talk to each other. I mean, I suppose I could have camped out in front of his office for days until I finally caught him and forced him to interact with me, but I didn't. Though, I don't think I should have to do that. That isn't a good situation.

Now, since I am pretty sure D. has an idea of how difficult it is to work with S., do I just not bring it up at all? Do I just say, "Seeing as how S. is on sabbatical, will you be my advisor?"

I know I should resist the urge to sneak in a little passive aggessive crap, but what I really want to say is, "I've heard through the fucking grapevine that S. is already on sabbatical and will be leaving the county at some point. Will you be my advisor?"

Any advice?


  1. I would be SO TEMPTED to say something like that. Maybe just get a read on the situation and see how much he says or implies he already knows, then fill in the missing necessities.

    I'm glad it looks like it's going so well, and that you're feeling so much better about your thesis!

  2. I'd probably keep it as professional as possible, just to be on the safe side. If D knows S as well as you've said, he already suspects what happened anyway? Right? I'm on a big "don't say more than you have to" kick right now due to office politics, which pale in comparison to academia and its politics.

    Hey, congratulations! You sure did deserve some good news!

  3. Yeah, I'll bite my tongue. Thanks for the support you guys!

    Office politics? That sucks, too, though it usually isn't a freakin' POMPOUS as academic politics.

  4. I agree with the advice to say no more than you have to. If D. asks about S., you could just say that your schedules never seemed to mesh.

    Amen on the academic politics. Hate it.

  5. This is exciting. Good luck with the nervous tummy! Sounds like you are golden to me.

  6. I just found your blog (thanks, Baa Baa Black Sheep!), and since that makes me an expert an' all, let me plunge ahead and give a resounding YES to everyone else's suggestion, which is, Be Politic! It always pays! Maybe in a hundred million years when you don't even remember who S. and D. are, but it will pay.

    I've been there. I know. It always pays to be professional and a little remote, even if it feels like you're ignoring the elephant in the room.


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