Friday, February 15, 2013

The Only One Left in the Project Without Money

Luckily Porter finished his master’s degree in two and a half years even before Mark and I finished our lab work. Then, he joined another project for his Ph.D. I was the only student left on the project since Mark quit. The only thing I did not expect was the money also ran out. I actually used all their data together with mine for the analyses. It did help me to get more interesting results. Very soon, I finished my thesis draft. My major professor was away at the time so I sent it to him in the mail and one to my co-professor. A model of the tree decline that I put together to explain our results shocked my professor so much that he could not believe that I had come up with it. He actually called the college and asked my co-professor on the phone whether it was his idea.
   Overall, he was happy with my thesis although there were grammatical errors, but Anthony had already edited for me before I gave it to him. There was one error about which I was right. The tool I used to sand my sample wood is called a “plane.” He disagreed. So, he asked me to change it to “plan.” I did not; instead, I wrote beside the word he circled, “please look for the word in the dictionary.” The next time, he crossed out my word again and said he did look in the dictionary, and that it was spelled “plan” without an “e.” Finally, I made a special trip downstairs to his office and asked him what kind of dictionary he used. He said, “I am sure I was right.” Then he turned around while still sat in his chair and took a Webster’s Dictionary from his shelf. “Plane” is a tool that carpenters use and there was a picture that showed what one looked like. Then he said, “Well, I did look up the word in the dictionary at home. Maybe my dictionary at home is too old.” I left his office without a word.
     Later, my professor wanted me to change the axis on two of my figures. He used the red marker as usual and told me that these were wrong. I told him that I would check it. I found nothing wrong in using the two figures to explain my point of view; of course, it was also all right to change it a little. But his big red marker “wrong” made it difficult. I went downstairs to his office and showed him the sources for the style of my figures, meaning that there was nothing wrong here. Again he refuse to accept that. I had no choice but change it to the way he wanted