Different standards?!?!

Okay, I’m officially annoyed. Well, I think I was officially annoyed over this last week, but I was hoping it was going to improve/change this week. And it hasn’t. And so I’m still annoyed.

It appears that my supervisor has different standards for his graduate students. Standards that feel/appear to be arbitrary. The main thing I’ve noticed, is that for some reason, my standards being pushed a lot higher. And when I use the same reasoning that was given to me, for why I need to do more work on something, to suggest that someone else should do some extra work, it’s dismissed as unnecessary.

In the same breath as agreeing with me that a few more people (especially when you have a small sample size to start with) may cause some of the data to become significant (as in the sample size is probably not large enough to accurately determine if the results should or should not be significant, he dismisses the need for said student to collect more data. The reason? From what I can tell, it’s either “I don’t think this student should do more work” or “I’m so smart I just know that more data won’t make a difference.” And both of those “reasons” are crappy. (Actually, I’m annoyed over this to the point I almost swore in the last sentence, but edited it out. And if you knew me, you’d know just how rare that is! :evil:)

At the same time this debate has been going on (more than a few weeks), I’ve been required to increase my data and to recruit more participants. I have more participants in one of my sample groups than the other student has in total! Even before increasing my sample size, I still had about 50% more participants. 😯 Explain to me, why my data wasn’t valid, but this other student’s is? ARG!!!!!!

On top of all this, this same student continues to duck away from any responsibility. Never volunteers to do anything (or does anything) unless told/ordered to do it. I wish I knew what my supervisor sees in this student. As it seriously concerns me as to how my supervisor sees me!

But, for now, all I can appear to do is bite my tongue and try to ignore what’s going on. I’ve raised my point enough times, and been pushed back, that it’s just not worth pushing anymore. Instead, I need to just focus more on ignoring this student, and limiting contact as much as possible (which, unfortunately, can’t be completely eliminated when you work in a group).

Anyone else noticed behaviour like this? Any suggestions on how to deal with it?

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3 thoughts on “Different standards?!?!

  1. Hi akajb!
    I found your blog some months ago when I was looking for some tips on writing papers. Since then I have read every post but today it is the first day I find the courage to reply (I don’t feel very confident writing in English…).
    I don’t know much about the situation in your lab but I think that usually comparing ourselves to others is not helpful. You should concentrate on your work and be sure your work satisfies your own standards… On the other hand, it would be grat if you could see the situation as an oportuinity to improve. If your supervisor is more tough with you than with the other student you will probably do a better work than he/she. May be your reasearch is more interesting and worths setting higher standards.

    I hope you feel better soon!

    • Thanks for your comment. Please don’t hesitate to comment. Remember, the best way to get better in another language, is to use it (and I think you did an excellent job). Also, I can barely write a sentence in another language (so I’m envious of everyone who is quite fluent in more than one).

      I think this post was really just blowing off a lot of steam when I wrote it. I’m trying to focus on the fact that at least my standards seem to be higher, which should translate (like you said) to better work. And that I shouldn’t care about what this other student does, because I’ll be evaluated on mywork. However, it’s still mainly annoying because it’s often translated into more work. 😛

      • Well… it seems it worked and now you seem more calm and rational 😉 It is good to have people out there who can read you when you need to blow off more steam!

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