Tuesday, May 01, 2012

In Which A Giant Ego Is Good For Something

My former advisor and I did not get along for many long years; in fact, until one day when I politely told him off.  He was, in fact, delighted that I had come up with a whole new project, made it work, set the old one on fire, and tossed it out the window.

You see, his ego was big enough to take being wrong.  Like a good parent, he was pleased that his lab children had outgrown him- that I had proved his theory wrong. *

Dr. S's current advisor... let's just say that the self-esteem isn't nearly as large as my advisor's was. 

And as a result, this advisor is more like the hand-holding helicopter parent whose 30-year-old children don't know how to do their own laundry.  Scientifically speaking.

I never thought I'd be grateful for overwhelming ego.

*To be fair, it was a good theory.  There were 73 reported instances in the literature of Condition X + Thing Y= Result Z.  I got Condition X + Thing Y = The Sitting Alone In The Dark Crying Experiment. 


  1. I always found my grad advisor's enormous ego very comforting. It was a like a large, lazy lion sprawling on the floor at our feet.


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