Wenx’ World: PhD or actually professional?

I am currently caught in a trap. It’s a trap in between being a student, a PhD candidate and a professional academic. It is confusing; respect, contact and expectation seem to change according to the situation and no-one ever seems to have a consistent approach. No-one including me.

The thing is, that at this moment I am overseas for a research visit to a partner research institute. Here, so it seems to me, I am treated as ‘only’ a student. From Griffith, I am used to be treated as colleague. From a life before PhD I am used to be treated a professional.

So how do they see me? What do they expect? And moreover, what do they not expect? And how many ‘they’ are there? I am confused…

Are they professional? I once heard from our head of school, he’d expect all PhD students to be there 9-5, 5 days a week. One of my supervisors shows up around 11 every day. Professional? I’ve seen our post-doc office (usually populated by 5 specimen) dark many times. Role models? But then “Wenx, we need to be really committed here and get results soon.” Professional?

I tried to sneak away for a week of ‘snow office’ [student]. But I thought 3 days might be enough [PhD student]. So I asked my local and my home supervisors for leave [professional]. They both haven’t gotten back to me in 2 days [student?!?]. So I guess I’ll just have to put my foot down [professional] and leave for a few days in the snow [professional PhD student].

If you ever figure these levels of (non-)professionalism out, please let me know.

See you out there – Wenx