Before I go into this week’s top five I wanted to thank for listing us at #33 in their recentĀ  ‘top 100 education blogs” . It’s an honour guys. There are a few great sites on this list for research students I might add, so it’s definitely worth a look if you are so inclined.

I also want to thank Pip at the University of Waikato for publishing an excerpt from the ‘It’s Time’ talk in their latest TDU talk magazine for supervisors. I read through all the back issues (I’m nerdy like that) and there is a ton of good stuff in there for supervisors and students.

Speaking of supervisors, this week’s top five came out of reflecting on myself as a research supervisor and asking – what makes me happy? As I said – these Top Fives will be opinionated!

1) Your answer to ‘jump’ is ‘how high Dr Mewburn?’
As soon as I email you asking for a status report you email me straight back with a gantt chart and synopsis. I like that about you. It doesn’t seem to matter if I have been maintaining radio silence for weeks on end – you are always ready to answer. I especially love the way that you don’t make me chase you down at Mr Tulk or another student hang out to get an update. That would turn me into Grumpy Old Supervisor. Nobody likes the grumpy old supervisor.

2) You don’t really dig the stuff that I dig, but you respect the fact that I dig it
I love the way that, even though you think Nigel Thrift writes incomprehensible gibberish, you remember that I love him. You actually take the time to read the Thrift papers I give you – before you tell me that his work is pointless for your project. I don’t understand why you don’t love Thrift as much as I do, but it would probably get boring if all our meetings turned into a Thrift love fest anyway. Besides, I enjoy arguing with you. And hey – if you convince me that someone has better theory than Thrift does about your topic, I learn something new – right?

3) I didn’t hear you say you were too busy – right?
You understand that I like a person who does what they say they will. I appreciate that you very quickly learned that saying “I was too busy to get that draft done when I said I would” only leads to a raised eyebrow and a rant. Usually the one which outlines the list of all the things I did (taught, changed nappies, wiped spit up, cooked, cleaned, solved world hunger…) when I was doing my PhD. You know that rant is very boring and you and I hate having to listen to it.

4) You remember to fill in forms and stuff.
I hate administrative forms. They are the enemy and I am bad at them. You, however, can do the form thing when it is asked for and I appreciate that. It means that I never get pesky emails from administrators telling me that you forgot to enrol or something.

5) You are going to finish your degree on time and not embarrass me with the result. I am now convinced you will finish and pass your degree with flying colours. At times, I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure you were ever going to finish, but I am happy it seems to be heading in the right direction now. You worked hard for that and I get to take some credit for it. Everybody wins!

What would make you happy if you were a supervisor? If you already a supervisor – what’s your top five?

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