Tolstoy could have been talking about research supervision when he said: ‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way‘.
Supervising a research student involves relationship work. Relationship work can be difficult; when it goes wrong it goes REALLY wrong. But when it goes right, the supervisor/student relationship is the best kind of teaching and learning experience there is. I don’t talk about this positive side of research supervision very often, so I’m going to meditate on how a relationship with your supervisor can bring you joy by telling you yet another sad story (they don’t call me the Mistress of Misery for nothing!).
This story is about a student I know, let’s call him Chung (because not all the fake names I use should be Anglo-Saxon in origin). Chung worked well with his supervisor, in fact, the two quickly became close friends.
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