Am I still paranoid if they're really out to get me?
December 12, 2008 10:04 AM Subscribe
My PhD Orals Chair just suggested I postpone my orals, scheduled for Monday.
posted by anonymous to Education (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I am a PhD student in the UC system. I've had problems with my adviser for a long time, starting the first day of school when I walked in and he said, "I know you got that letter saying that I would provide you support for at least a year and a half - I'm not giving you any money."
This blatantly broke departmental policy, but is a somewhat common procedure for Profs- they know that they won't get reported by the students, who need them to sign off on their projects.
From there, it has gotten worse. I have a strong background in his field, except I have been a practitioner and he has never been. He does not respect the field experience. I am his second grad student. Everyone else in his lab has known him for decades and has a very strong research background, which I lack.
I received a prestigious award which took care of the funding problem, but he has recently referred to it as HIS _____ and he explained to me that it was awarded to me because I was in his lab and because of all the help he gave me in preparation of it (both utterly bogus- he didn't even write his letter of rec, I did!)
This fall he told me that because he hadn't seen any progress, he was considering booting me from the lab, also because I had an interdisciplinary focus. I've spent the fall working my ass off and trying to get ready for my Orals qualifying exam, which he sees as a benchmark of progress.
He has been doing little things that don't help- told a couple of professional colleagues that he has "zero respect" for me (who later told me, I can't imagine who else he has repeated this to). He has also ceased being available to look at my Prospectus or give insights. Due to a death in the family (a distant in law) he has been gone for nearly a month and I've sent him updates, though haven't insisted on a reply - until I found out that he is still in communications with other members of the lab, just not me!
The Chair of my Orals is a very fair man, but also very good friends with my adviser. He has been asking me persistently to get my Prospectus cleared by my adviser (who has not even read it, despite it being sent to him weekly) and today emailed me to let me know that he was concerned about my progress and wanted to suggest I postpone my orals.
I am at the end of my rope. I woke up, saw the email, and started sobbing. I have been doing so much to prepare for this and I feel so ready. I would rather drop out of school than postpone my orals, but my partner feels like I will be destroying myself if I go into orals with a Chair who has already told me not to do it.
What should I do? Postpone the orals (and very possibly drop out of school)? Do I have a chance of success if I go ahead with my orals?