Meeting With My Adviser; or, My Brain as a Shape Sorter Toy

I’ve just returned from the dreaded meeting with my adviser.

Seriously…now I’m really worried he’s going to make me add a section on literature or film or something… that’s not my area, and I don’t want to do it!! Ugh!! What is so bad about my plan that he has to meet me in person instead of email? I knew I should have switched advisers…

The purpose of the meeting was for my final project adviser to give me feedback on the outline of my final paper I had sent him. My Masters paper is on the Irish language and Irish identity, mainly Irish diasporic identity as the survey I conducted was limited to adult learners of the Irish language in the US. My adviser keeps trying to push me toward the more cultural studies aspect, but I want to focus more on the linguistic and psychological aspects. The last two times we met, he told me I should discuss how literature and film have shaped the Irish identity. An interesting questions, but just not really my area of expertise.

The meeting wasn’t as bad as I feared it would be. He seems to have given up on the idea that I should incorporate film and literature.  But there were still things about it that I wish had gone better. These things mainly have to do with my inability to articulate thoughts off the top of my head (i.e. in spoken conversation).

Words flow much more easily for me through writing, and typically need a little time to organize my thoughts and translate them into just the right words before releasing them to the world. So when my adviser pointed out (not entirely accurately) that two of my sources seem to have conflicting views and wanted me to talk about that, I proceeded to sound like a complete idiot.  First of all, I couldn’t remember one of the authors’ positions – one of them I remembered fine, but for the other one I had to refer to my outline to remember. Then once I did I stuttered out some incoherent crap and made a lot of hand gestures but didn’t really answer the question.


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