Tuesday, April 1, 2008

ASK A GRAD STUDENT: Help, I hate my thesis adviser

Dear Miserable Grad Student,

I hate my thesis adviser. I really want to kill her with a bowie knife. I know that I should just wait till after I graduate, but that feels forever away. And my anger is distracting me from my studies. So maybe if I kill her now, I'll be able to work more efficiently. But then again, the department may look upon it unfavorably. And is a bowie knife the right tool? Should I use a bigger knife? Or nun chucks, maybe? PS. I LOVE your blog! Thanks for brightening my day.

Blood Thirsty in Baton Rouge

Dear Blood Thirsty,

Thank you for you warm praise. From your letter, I can see that you are a very creative person so I am quite flattered.

Now, I know that academia can be as all-consuming as a black hole. But let me remind you that on the outside, murder is illegal. It is also mean. The "I Hate My Thesis" blog and all subsidiaries does not condone violence in any way.

That said, you need to find a healthy way to vent. I would advise starting a blog like mine, but I don't want any competition. Instead I advise making a voodoo doll in the likeness of your thesis adviser. You can sew little costumes to make it look exactly like her down to the smallest cross-stitch. And then you can rip that dolly to shreds with your bowie knife...

Or, you could grow up, stop procrastinating, get back to work, and finish your degree. You must remember that thesis advisers are people too. (And if you're lucky, you may become one some day.) Yours wants you to graduate just as much as you do. So give her a break, bring her some donuts, and go onward to the finish.


Meagan said...

I was in this spot with my BFA thesis. He was a total waste of flesh and air. In some ways though, he was a good adviser because I think I only managed to finish my thesis to spite him. With a good adviser I might well have said "screw it" but I was so furious all the time that I HAD to finish. Sometimes hate is the missing ingredient.

Miserable Grad Student said...

Perhaps that's my problem. My adviser is a very kind person and completely un-hatable.

Isabella Lucas said...

I feel the same hate everytime I remember my thesis adviser, whose job is basically to disappear like a ninja on consultation time. I've thought about replacing him with other alternatives like getting a thesis help desk or another adviser, but unfortunately I'm stuck with him by default because my college doesn't allow replacements. UGH.

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