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The Wrong Shoes...

Six months without my primary supervisor has taken its toll, I think. I wasn't really noticing it because I was busy preparing for my first conference presentation and eventually also doing a bit more creative work, but over the months I must have lost focus.

As it is with this kind of work, a researcher is constantly exposed to new ideas. New ideas are a lot like new shoes. They look so fabulous, you feel if you don't possess them, you life will somehow be diminished. So, you go into the shoe shop and try on a pair, and maybe they don't fit quite right - they still look great - but they pinch a bit. You try to convince yourself they'll grow around your foot with a little wear and they'll look fabulous and you'll look fabulous wearing them. So, you squeeze your toes into them, and if you''re particularly desperate, then ugly-step-sister-like, you might even consider cutting off your own heel, just to get the pretties on.

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The new shoes are all the rage, and you're sure people think your old shoes are daggy, or so-last-season, or just plain ugly. So the desperation mounts, and you pay at the counter and walk out with your ill fitting shoes and your sore feet.

A supervisor is like a good friend. She will come with you to the shop and sometimes she'll agree that the shoes are fabulous and all they need is to be worn in a bit and she will support you all the way. Sometimes she will look at you with doubt, and strongly suggest you don't chop of your heel to fit a shoe that will be last season, next year anyway.

Sometimes, she'll be brutal and tell you if you think those shoes will work with your outfit, then you've totally lost the plot, and you'll nod knowing that even though you love the shoes, you can trust her judgment because she's never let you make a fool of yourself before...

I've been shoe shopping without my friend, and well, I've fallen in love with a pair of shoes which are much better suited to picnicking in the park than dancing at the royal ball, if you can follow my metaphor... I totally had my card at the ready to pay for the shoes as well, when at the very last moment, my friend burst through the door and screamed, 'Over my dead body! If you where those to the ball, we won't even get through the front door. Come back and get them when you're invite to a picnic, honey.'

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They were such pretty shoes, but I know she is right. I just kind of wish she'd been here to steer me away from the shop before I saw them...

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