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Ron Cooley, English Faculty

Grad Supervisor

How do I maintain a good relationship with my graduate supervisor?

Well, again, if we're thinking about English or humanities disciplines, I think the answer is simple: show your face. You know, pop into your supervisor's office regularly just to keep them up-to-date on how you're progressing in the work that you're doing. Exactly, because those conversations are the way you get back on schedule. They're the way that you get animated: you have a casual conversation about your work, you demonstrate that you are thinking about it -- even if you haven't got much written -- and chances are that conversation will generate some new ideas that, with luck, you may be moved to go back and put down on paper. So, obviously, keep your scheduled appointments, you know, show up when you've promised to show up, and if you've promised to have something written to show, have something, and if it's not as much or exactly what was agreed upon, bring something, and bring your explanation for why it's different than what was anticipated, but I think also have those casual conversations with your supervisor that generate ideas: go back and forth. Most supervisors would rather see you more often rather than less often.