It happened so quickly I didn’t realize it had happened until I was in my car. My class ended and I was walking with my professor to the parking lot.
“So, how is the novel coming along?” She asked with sincerity.
“It’s coming. I was actually wondering if you would take a look at what I have so far since I’m thinking about making it my thesis.” There were other words exchanged that I can’t remember but suddenly I was saying, “I wanted you to look at since, I was going to ask you to be my thesis chair.”
She looked at me surprised, but agreed to be my thesis chair saying, “it’s still early and if you change your mind don’t feel bad.” I couldn’t stop talking and if my car had been parked in the same lot as hers I might of continued.
Because of my inability to use a filter when I speak, I now have a thesis chair. I’m stoked because she gets booked quickly and I no longer have to worry about the awkward meeting that I was going to have come fall. Some of my friends in the program who are a year ahead of me, graduating this spring, told me about how terrified they were to ask their professors to be their thesis chairs. They feared their professors would say no or that they were too busy. There is also a process with asking, you’re supposed to make an appointment, go their office, find a reason to be there before you casually ask, sweating, your hands shaking, “I was wondering if you’d be my thesis chair.”
I have to say that, although I went about the whole thing casually and in an unconventional way, probably against the good advice of my peers, I have the thesis chair I want and I don’t have to have a stress attack in the fall. Instead, my professor can help me get my thesis/novel ready sooner.
I’ve heard horror stories from my friends, some of whom have been rejected by professors and I’m glad I didn’t sit in my professor’s office nervous. I’m horrible with words when I’m nervous, I can’t articulate what I’m trying to say and just sound crazy. I wonder now if I should have waited until the fall to ask my professor. Did I miss out on a right of passage by not sitting in her office sweaty and rambling?
What do you all think? Should I have been patient and asked formally? I would love to hear some of your stories about your thesis committee.