Dear Advisor:

Thanks for looking at my figures and figure legends for my thesis/paper. I know you’re really busy right now, so I appreciate you taking the time to help me move closer to graduation (which is, of course, in your best interest since as soon as I graduate, you can stop paying me–just sayin’). I’m glad you think they “look good.” I’m not exactly sure what you mean by that, though, because I was sort of expecting you to give those drafts back to me with your notations and corrections and stuff (written in red ink as you like to do, such that my writing looks like its bleeding–you know what I’m talking about). And you didn’t. I cannot imagine that you think they are perfect as is (particularly since you mentioned that I really need to remember to write in the past tense) and since I can’t read minds, I was just wondering if you were going to, you know, tell me into what you think I ought to fix or should I start consulting the Ouija board?

Also, I’m a little confused why you asked me to give you a draft of the results section “along with the figures” on Monday. What, exactly, do you think the figures I just gave you belong to? Do you think I’m going to change the figures in between now and then (because that’s so not happening until I get your feedback)? Or are you just anticipating you are going to lose the figures in between now and Monday?

Also, just so you know, I’m spending about 80% of my time these days reading papers and writing my thesis and most of the rest of the time working on my last experiment. The fact that the first time you came to see me in lab since impressing upon me the urgency of graduation and I happened to be, at that moment, looking at a list of the best sci-fi and fantasy books of 2008 is in no way indicative of my current work ethic (and don’t tell me you didn’t notice because I saw you glancing at my computer screen; I suppose I should be grateful I wasn’t blogging at the time. That’s all I need–you finding my anonymous blog).

Have fun at your study section!

Your Devoted Student,

Mrs Whatsit

4 thoughts on “Dear Advisor:

  1. Believe me, you have all my sympathies.

    My personal opinion is that they don’t actually pay attention to any of the questions one asks until they are asked in company with a raised blunt object (as in, who did it? The grad student, in the lab, with a bottle of EDTA).

  2. depends on whether it actually is for your thesis or not.

    thesis = doesn’t matter much
    paper = you’ll have your PI’s full attention when you start threatening to submit it

    hang in there

  3. ouh the pain the pain
    am in the same boat as you,
    am not a lousy student as i have 4 journals waiting in his computer untouched,
    ironically, “he” still keeps pushing me to do more experiments, with the current papers not published. Am just clueless what to do..its pain- esp seeing all those who came from a “better” advisor lab, publishing back forth and you are stuck with one or two lousy journals and a bunch of conference papers.

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