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.
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