New exploration paths

This week, I came up with a new idea on how to do a segment of my research. I think it’s actually a really good idea. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to be something we want to use as we move forward.

However, I also realized how much I depend on my supervisor. Why? Because, as I’ve started implementing this new idea, I’ve been really wishing that I could run it by my supervisor first. However, I didn’t come up with it until after our weekly research meeting, and my supervisor was then unavailable for the rest of the week. Yes, I could’ve sent an email, but I wasn’t sure I could explain it concisely in one.

I did contact my supervisor to set up a meeting as soon as possible (early next week). So I will be able to show him and discuss it soon. But, I also knew that implementing the idea now, might help me explain it – as I could show him exactly what I mean and how it works. So I decided to move ahead with it.

At this point in my PhD, I feel like I should be more confident in trusting my own decisions and knowing if something is good or bad. But I don’t feel that confidence. And I don’t know if that’s just me, or if it’s just hard to break away from the student perspective of “the teacher/prof/supervisor/advisor always knows best” and to run things by them first.

And really, looking forward, it’s only if you become a professor, that you end up having a ton of control over what you do and have to make all the decisions yourself (although, hopefully you have advisors or past supervisors that you can consult with when unsure). If you become a PostDoc, you are still working for a prof (or maybe more than one) who is/are deciding what you should work on. It’s usually up to you to make a case for why you should do so one way and not another, but the ultimate decision usually rests on them.

So far, the more I get involved with this new idea, the more I like it. And the more I think it solves a problem for some of my work. Not a huge problem, but something that should make what I’m working on easier going forward. Because things seem to be moving forward positively, I’m feeling a lot more confident in my decision to just go with my idea. I hope my meeting with my supervisor doesn’t shoot it down. In order to try and prevent this, I’m using this ‘worry’ to help motivate me to implement as much as possible so I have something I can demonstrate.


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