Advisor Language at the Thesis Defense
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 96 00:34:44 -0800
Subject: Advisor Language at the Thesis Defense
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WHAT YOUR ADVISOR SAYS WHAT YOUR ADVISOR MEANS
Look at this as a learning You're going to suffer
Let me explain the format of the Let me make you even more nervous.
I'm here to lend you support. I'm here to destroy you so you won't
look smarter than me.
I found the overall concept This is my token compliment before
interesting. ripping your idea to shreds.
I would like to have had more time I didn't read it.
to study this.
I have some concerns about the I hate the theory, but I can't insult
theory upon which your study is the author so I'll insult your work
There are some aspects of the I read it but I just don't remember
study that I would like to hear anything about it.
Your hypotheses are not strongly You came up with an innovative idea
enough linked to the existing and I want to make sure you never do
literature. it again.
Your research is an interesting Why didn't I think of this before you
extension of my own work. did?
You have failed to take into You failed to cite me.
account some of the more relevant
I would like you to explain... I don't know anything about this stuff
so you'll have to explain it to me.
Your statistical results don't I don't understand statistics.
seem to support your hypothesis.
Your selection of statistical I'm the only one here that understands
tests is rather simplistic. statistics and I wanted to rub it in.
How did you ensure that you had I had to come up with at least one
drawn a random sample? question and this one always works.
This is a great topic for your This is some grunge work that
thesis. will help me get tenure.
You will be ready to write up You have now become a useful slave,
soon, but need to do just one and I am not about to let you graduate
more experiment/program/chip. without doing more footwork for me.
Your funding is secure. Maybe.
Your funding is probably OK. Start worrying.
I'll see what we can do about Start looking for another advisor.
Think of this as an investment We're going to exploit you to the
in skills that will be useful gills.
to you in your later career.
Don't listen to XYZ, just Both XYZ and I are fools, but I'm
listen to me. funding you.
Let's wrap this up. I'm hungry.
Could you step out of the room We decided beforehand to give you your
while the committee comes to a degree, but we still want to make you
decision? sweat some more.
Write another chapter. Write another chapter.
© 1996 Peter Langston