So…my thesis is absurdly long. It’s actually a fucking book. And I’m still not finished with the writing. But I was feeling really confident and like I had everything under control. I was pushing myself too hard towards the beginning of the week and I let alums and other seniors convince me that I was in a good place. And they weren’t lying–I’d made a to-do list of every little thing that needs to be done between now and turning it in, and at this point only three of those bullet points still involve any new writing. I was feeling good, man.
And then I get an email from my advisor, after I sent him a partial draft a week and a half ago, containing lines like these:
“I would like to have seen more concrete statements about HOW you expect students’ college experiences to influence identity and the direction of change you expect to see. In order to sharpen and limit your analysis, I would also have recommended focusing on one particular group (such as African Americans in comparison with whites). Given the distinctive history and features of each group in the United States, I would expect to observe different patterns and processes of identify formation for Hispanics and Asians.”
“I would have thought that you would draw on these earlier studies to describe what is already known about students’ backgrounds, identities, and on-campus experiences”
“I would have focused on a particular group for study rather than gathering data from multiple groups with very different histories and experiences.”
“the appropriate statistic would be an overall measure of categorical association, such as Somer’s D or other indicator.” (I have legitimately never heard of Somer’s D, and don’t understand how it’s kosher to expect me to know about and use some statistical measure we aren’t taught in our SOC statistic class, but okay.)
“The problems mostly come in the execution of the analyses, which are not guided by clear hypotheses derived from prior research, do not really get at issues of attitude CHANGE on campus, consist mainly of exploratory bivariate associations, and could be presented more clearly. Specifically, the tables showing relationships between categorical variables would be better presented using percentages rather than absolute numbers and instead of showing multiple z-scores accompanied by an overall measure of categorical association. Hopefully some of these issues can be attended to in a final revision.”
Basically, what this man is telling me right now is that–even though I told him exactly what I was planning to do way back in October when we first met–he “would have done [the entire premise of my thesis] differently,” in a way that lots of other scholars have done and which I am specifically trying to go against because I don’t think it’s productive. AND on top of that, he doesn’t like the way I analyze my data, and if he’s actually going to make me re-do all of my analysis, that means upwards of 104 tables and 80ish pages I need to re-write in the next 8 days. But also he’s like, asking me to use percentages to describe my data rather than testing those percentages for statistical significance and I’m just like SIR, THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!
I sent him a length and assertive without being recalcitrant email last night, and now we have a meeting at 2. I’m trying to find a way to be like, “Lookie here, I’ma do what I’ma do and you gon like it,” without actually coming off like I think his opinions are idiotic and he just doesn’t get my whole point. I suppose that his opinions kind of matter to my grade and whatnot. The man is just infuriating me right now, though. I have EIGHT. DAYS. What is he tryna get me to do?!