Friday, February 15, 2013

Presenting My Research Proposal

My research proposal was ready to submit to my master’s degree committee. I had revised it many times under the direction of my major professor until it was ready for my committee. At the meeting though, I was so shocked that my committee thought that my proposal was too large and impossible to finish. I knew my proposal was basically what my professor wanted me to do in order to finish my master degree. He should have known how much work is proper and it was out of my control. Dr. Ron asked me, “Do you want to finish your research? Do you know how much work that involves? You would need three assistants just to prepare your cores for measuring. I would hate to see you unable to finish. Practically, this proposal is not a master’s proposal. It is more than a Ph.D. You mentioned that you are going to use these two computer programs in the lab. Dave, my former Ph.D. student did not figure out how to fit these two programs into our mainframe. I hope that you can but I don’t want you to become frustrated and fail.” I didn’t know what to say. My major professor was quiet also. After they finished, my major professor said, “Yes, yes. They are right. Ying, you have to make some changes.” In fact, I did not change anything in terms of the amount of work. After the meeting, I felt that there was no way I could finish in one more year. Field trips were planned for three summers. There was no other way around it except to try to go along with the big project. Plus now, I really didn’t have anything to hurry for. I was ready for the challenge.
     The second fall semester came. I started to take classes again. Two new students arrived. One was Anthony. The other was Barbara. One morning, Barbara and Anthony came to my office door and asked whether I was ready to go to statistics class. That was the first time I met Anthony. He was of medium height, rather on the thin side, with dark hair and a moustache. Barbara soon got a job somewhere and left; her husband had just joined the college as an assistant professor. Anthony and I continued to go to statistics and other regular classes together. Except for statistics that involved lots of symbols and mathematics that I understood well, I borrowed Anthony’s notes for the other classes each day.  Although I have been there for a year, he just came as a new graduated student. I felt more comfortable with him as if he was there much longer. He understood what I was trying to say because he made a effort.