When I received feedback on the 3rd chapter of my thesis from Dr. Kimmelman, there were three really specific criticisms that didn’t make much sense to me. I went in to his office to ask about them, and he mentioned casually a paper that he had published in Science. (For people outside of academia, Science is one of the most prestigious academic journals in which to have an article published.)
“You had an article published in Science?” I asked.
“Yeah, a lot of your thesis is supposed to be based on it. Are you sure it wasn’t in that package of papers I gave you in September?”
“Wow. You would have had to do a lot of re-inventing of the wheel, huh?”
I have now read his paper in Science, and everything is so much clearer now. Over the weekend, I was able to write 5 pages on my thesis as a result of reading it. And it was easy writing those pages.
I feel like I’m actually getting some work done now, and like this project is manageable now. Also, I finally understand why my supervisor was so often confused by my confusion over the course of the year.