On the use of a planner

I love my advisor. Really. He's supportive, enthusiastic, kind, has kids, and is an eminently helpful resource. While reading the sections in Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day on advisors, I counted my lucky stars many times as he surpassed the list of things a good advisor does. I don't mind that his office is cluttered beyond belief, because I sometimes live that way too. I appreciate how busy he is, with student appointments (he has three doctoral students in the writing phase), faculty committees, and, oh yeah, teaching. But dude. He has a planner, and he usually writes stuff in it, but not always... so he often emails me at the last minute to reschedule our meetings or postpone them, because he's suddenly realized he has a schedule conflict.

This morning, Kent was up at 5 a.m. Yikes, right? After I dropped him off at school, I got home around 9:30 and went back to sleep, and I slept until noon. I couldn't believe it when I woke up and looked at the clock. I felt groggy, but I knew I needed to get up for my 12:30 meeting, so I got ready quickly, drove out to campus, parked myself in the coffeehouse, and sat down to check my email for the first time all morning. Somehow, I knew I'd find this email from him before I even read it... I just had that feeling. He had scheduled appointments with undergrads during our meeting time.

To be fair, he emailed me a few hours ago, and I usually do check a bunch of times a day, so he knows I'll generally get his correspondence quickly. But we meet at the SAME time every week (he's very hands-on), and he keeps forgetting what time. This happened to me with my thesis meetings a few years ago, too, and it took him about half the semester to remember the time of our regularly-occurring appointments. Now, he has a planner, and I watch him write things in it. I know he uses it. He says he just wrote in the wrong times for his undergrad appointments, so he hadn't realized the conflict until this morning.

He's not a terrible person, and I also want to cut him some slack, because I know what it's like to be so busy that appointment times get away from you. This was my life as an undergrad, when I was double-majoring and double-minoring, working as an RA, and serving as an officer in several organizations. I deliberately cut back when I came to grad school, though, realizing how easy it would be to wade back into that lifestyle and not realize it until I had gotten swept away. When I got a teaching job a couple of years ago, I learned very quickly that I needed a planner to keep things straight, and I've been surprisingly (to myself) dogmatic about using it. I just wish he could figure out how to do the same thing.

There are bigger problems to worry about. I just needed to get that out. Now I'm good.

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Hopefully it's a one time occurance. No matter how well intentioned the person is, it's understandable to feel irked!

PS--I gave you the letter J for my letter blog entry. ;)
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