Bleary Eyes and Sundays Really Get Me Down

As all US Americans are probably aware, April 15th is T-Day, the day when federal income tax returns are due. Chuckle, chuckle, I have not had to file a return for 8 years, since I have no US income of note. 

But I bet no one knew the other big event deadline that also falls on April 15th this year. The ELTE Masters theses are due in their final version, bound, and ready to be read or red with a reader’s pen. Yes, this last part does not make sense to me as it won’t to other US Americans. Why bind the thesis if it is going to be marked up. Mark it up, let the student revise it, and then bind it for posterity. Nope! Not here. 

With this in mind, what I have been doing for the last four days is reading theses for the students that I am advising. During some moment of insanity or numerical amnesia, I had lost count of how many times I had said “Yes” when asked “Will you be my adviser?”

It was not until students who I don’t think I have ever set eyes on before, approached me in the hall to tell me some tidbit about their thesis. While my face is loudly projecting “Who are you and why are you telling me this?” the student would stop in mid-sentence to say “You do remember you are my thesis adviser, don’t you?” Saving Grace is more than a movie title, I had to say “Of course I do. It is just then I had a drop in my blood sugar, so drifted for a moment. I am back now.” 

It escalated on my concern barometer when I am in the grocery store, at the park, or in the dentist’s chair and people start discussing their thesis topic and research. There is larger cast of advisees than there were Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz. Just call me Glenda.

One of the reasons I am so popular is because I do give of my time. I want them to be the best of the best. If their name as well as mine will be on this, we both need to be proud of this fact. The fortunate thing about advising Hungarians is that they never finish in the semester you or they expect they will. Last semester, by all counts, I had a list of twelve Masters students to advise along with 3 BA students. The end result was Masters 4  / BA 1. Fearful of an overflow problem like a flooding river of students floating into this semester, the levy held: it only let a few seep through – 3 Masters / 2 BA.

However, did any of the MA people follow my rule of every time they write 5 pages to send it to me. I want to nip any problems in the bud early on. Get that pruning done early and you have a shapely tree. If you wait too long and it grows out of control, you could kill the thing trying to get it into its proper form. Well, the answer is no, they did not follow the rules. Two of the MA people sent me their entire thesis, one this last week. So, I had to kill a tree, heavily prune another, but the one who followed the rules somewhat, only had minor pruning that needed to be done.

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