I have one simple goal in life. It’s to be loved. I always said that if I ever found myself in a long-term relationship, I’d just have to stop teaching. What’s the point in students if you’re getting your love elsewhere?
I don’t have students any more. And all my focus is now directed at my PhD supervisor. What I want, more than anything, is for him to adore me. Worship me. Venerate me. Love me.
Our relationship had a rocky start. When I didn’t get funding for the course over the summer, I sent him a panicky email, letting him know my situation. He didn’t answer. When I turned up in September, he staggered back, in shock, saying “I thought you’d withdrawn. I’ve replaced you with another student.”
Is there a clearer way of letting someone know you don’t love them than telling them that they’ve been replaced? I was well and truly dumped.
Within an hour, he came to me and told me it would be fine, that he’d find a space for me.
The relationship didn’t really improve from there. I spent much of the first four months of my PhD working, sucking various groups of students dry of Connorlove and didn’t get much study done.
Since February, when I started taking my studies seriously, things have got better. I meet him regularly. I submit work to him. And he’s perfectly nice. But I don’t rock his world. In one meeting I think a suggestion I made excited him. But that’s it.
I want more. I want him to be amazed at my work. I want him to read something I write and say, through tear-filled eyes, “Everything I thought I knew was wrong. You have changed my world. When I die, I want inscribed on my headstone ‘He knew Connor’. I am not fit to supervise you any more. My feeble mind is not capable of comprehending your great one. Quick! Send for Chomsky! Summon Zizek! Send a telegram to Habermas and a pigeon to Badiou! They might be able for you.”
In my fantasies, I am a great mind. In reality, I struggle with almost everything I read for college. I’m not stupid, but I am, most disappointingly, ordinary.
I have managed to get some love from my supervisor though. Knowing I was in need of money, he asked me to organise a conference on campus. The first piece of work I did, collating applications and drawing up a timetable elicited the most enthusiastic response I’ve ever had from him, and I quote “Wonderful work!” I’m now meeting him twice a week, putting together conference packs and pricing dinners. He’s now excited about my work, so much so that he doubled my pay today.
Someday soon, my academic work will excite him too. But for now, I’ll take what I can get.