One of my supervisors dropped by today to ask for an update on my work, and looked guilty when I asked whether he has been reading the blog.
To save him from trawling through my various musings on teaching, blogging and Chomsky (and to save myself from questions about why, exactly, I spend so much time posting on teaching, blogging and Chomsky), I offered to email a set of links to posts that were at least tangentially related to the PhD. He diligently followed up on the first several of these, and emailed:
Like the self-doubts of two and three – probably ‘good’ for you to feel misunderstood – you have to go into the wilderness – it’s character building
This reaction captures some of the sorts of things I’ve been trying to talk about in recent posts on supervision. Even though I write here with the awareness that supervisors may drop by, I felt a brief burst of fear on emailing the links – the kind of black humour with which I tend to approach my academic work can provoke negative reactions… It’s good to confirm that my supervisor “gets it”, in the sense of not becoming worried about my ability to do my work (although he ennobles the situation far more than I ever would – I’ve actually excised some more embarrassing passages from his email… ;-P).