Wednesday, February 06, 2008

(I might be a) minor email annoyance

I was about to post a brief email correspondence between myself and a committee member, in order to neurotically worry about whether I had given her the impression that I expected her to drop everything and immediately read my chapter draft. But on reflection, no, I did not.

Speaking of which -- I'm having a hard time getting a sense for how often I am expected to *meet* with committee members to discuss my work. I'm planning to send them all drafts via email as I write them, but given that they're all strong in different areas I'm working on, it might be unrealistic to expect one meeting per committee member per chapter. On the other hand, given that I'm not on campus often, it could be nice to have one-on-one conversations that would also serve to remind them of my (occasional) physical presence. In support of that hand (a wrist brace?), they're all pretty interesting people to talk to.


luckybuzz said...

Hmmm. What are these "meetings" of which you speak?

(Yeah, clearly I don't know how that would work....But I'd say you could reasonably have short conversations--in person--with them about each chapter, right?)

AliceAcademic said...

I'm sure this varies institutionally, by discipline, etc. but, just to give you an idea of how it worked for someone else, I didn't give my committee anything until after I had given the whole draft to my advisor and made all the revisions suggested by my advisor. I think it might have been difficult to try to please everyone all at once, chapter by chapter. I'm working on my committee comments now, and they are not as detailed as what my advisor's were, so it is easy enough to address their concerns now.

Dr. Curmudgeon said...

Ah, committee management: the real lesson of graduate school.

The way I handled it was to prime the committee early on about which chapters I wanted their specific help on. I let them know when other chapters were done (so they could ask if they wanted them, they could ask) but beyond that, it was enough for me to give them progress reports.

My committee, to be fair, was meeting-averse, and I spent part of the writing time away with a visiting position, but I think some of this is idiosyncratic to the committee.

Belle said...

I simply asked them if they wanted chapter by chapter, and went along with their requests. They were all very busy, very different fields... and once I got rid of the Vampire, it was all good. Some never saw anything until the final was delivered. Most, actually. But I did keep them in the loop as to progress etc..

My mentor got everything as it was done. No feedback, but that was him. He tutored; he suggested. He was superb. I miss him terribly. At the time, he made me crazy.

kermitthefrog said...

Oh, that's really helpful. Thank you all--and I'm sure my committee members will also thank you for reducing the amount of work I expect from them. :)

It's fairly obvious from the subject matter of each chapter which of my committee members would be suited to give detailed feedback, and which would just have to sign off on it. The other half of the equation, which I didn't mention, is that my primary advisor isn't generally one for copious comments -- at least in the past, he's been pretty laissez-faire about student work, which has made me particularly insecure about wanting other feedback. But I'm meeting with him next week, so I'll see how that goes...