Calling DrMentor

I usually call DrMentor at least once every semester just to say hello and briefly catch up on things. If I’m not able to call I would email him. Last semester, I opted to merely send him the usual Christmas card and since September, I have not called him nor emailed him. A part of me is evading the phone call because every since I decided to stop pursuing scientific research I have always felt that I have let him down. He has always believed in me and cultivated my research skills. He provided me the opportunities and had helped mold me to be the person that I am today. He saw the best in me even on days that self-doubt enveloped every bone in my body. He always knew what to say. However, amidst all these positive things, I also feared him. His knowledge and expertise intimidated me. He did not hesitate to point out my mistakes. He was a tough mentor. No sugar coating. No coddling. A combination of the tough, unforgiving environment and unwavering support has both strengthened and devastated me. Now, that I am far removed from scientific research, I extremely hesitate calling him. It already feels that I disappointed him by not doing my MSc right away and then now, by switching to a different field. I keep delaying this phone call. The more I do it the more I get anxious about what he would say to me. This time, I have decided to do it within the next couple of weeks. I think I am tired of waiting.

3 Responses to “Calling DrMentor”

  1. 1 b
    April 7, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Well seeing how I haven’t finished yet I don’t have to update my mentor via phone, but I can understand how you feel. Being here and not doing everything as well as possible is enough to make me feel like I’m letting my mentor down. I really hadn’t thought too much about the future me disappointing her, but I’m sure once I’m gone I will still feel like that down the road. In reality though everyone has to take their own path, and if you are happy doing what you are, then your mentor should be proud and happy for you too!

  2. 2 Psych PostDoc
    April 7, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    I had a little bit of that when I decided to take a non-academic position. However, I’ve found that my former advisor is nothing but supportive. Always wants to know how things are going, although we are still collaborating on a couple of things so I may not feel as far removed as you do to your former mentor.

  3. April 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    b: I never expected that I would have these questions before too. But then again, I did not think I was going to leave research as well…hehe

    Psych PostDoc: Do you still feel comfortable asking your former mentor for advise regarding certain issues you’re dealing with at your new position? I have never personally asked DrMentor for advice, but a part of me have considered it in the past especially with problems that I felt he would have good insight on. I’ve always wondered if once the umbilical cord is cut then you can’t go back.

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