Thursday, 12 February 2009

Happy 200th Birthday, Charles R. Darwin

I had a long meeting with my supervisor yesterday evening and left from it feeling a good deal better about this whole fieldwork thing. And about other things as well.

We spoke about the two people in the research group who thought my PhD was about re-inventing the wheel. My supervisor thinks that they just didn't get it. It's a problem with these "lab-chats", because there's not enough time to explain things properly, so questions are posed pre-supposing knowledge of the project detail. This basically results in feedback and suggestions that aren't particularly useful. So, basically, what the two sceptics pointed out was not related to shortcomings of the concept for the project, but rather to the deficiency in my explanation. So, I guess I need to learn to explain my PhD succinctly - I'll try that on this blog a bit later.

I owned up to essentially wasting my time with GIS. Needless to say, he wasn't particularly impressed. We put that down to stubborness, perfectionism, and a touch of pride. Most of the time, these character traits of mine do result in something positive, as I tend to get obsessed with things and in the end come out of it with a better understanding and a good piece of work. But they also make me stressed out and getting things done takes five times as long as it should. In this case, the output was minimal as well. So effort was wasted. I won't be doing that again... Actually I probably will, but I'll try to learn not to!

Because I got pre-occupied with GIS, that document of bird survey methods wasn't done. Again, he was not impressed. But I tried to make it better by offering to tell him everything there and then. He seemed very happy with the information I gave him and he was satisfied that I've done a sh*tload of reading. I still have to write it up though.

Finally, about site selection. He gave me a few ideas to think about, and we'll be meeting again, along with my second supervisor, on Friday afternoon to talk about this in much more detail.

So I guess it's not all bad. Tonight I'm going for drinks with a few friends to celebrate the start of my fieldwork and Darwin's 200th. And tomorrow, I pack and head to London for the weekend, before flying back home on Monday morning.

P.S. I saw my first jay a couple of days ago.

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