It was his way of telling me I had made a difference and I was touched.The little plate has sat on my bookshelf ever since and is often a subject of discussion when colleagues visit me.So I thought I would just tell you about the four types of responses I got and leave it up to you to decide what to do!
Some explained that in their culture it was not the done thing to give a gift to a teacher (make note all you students in Sweden).
Some people were not sure they wanted to give their supervisor a gift because the relationship was strained.
Christmas is a great time to make edible gifts as there are so many ‘themed’ choices in the tasty treat department.
Have a look at this post on Christmas baking for some ideas.
Last year at this time I did a post on what to buy a Ph D student for Christmas, so I thought I’d continue the tradition this year with one on gifts for supervisors.
When I asked on Twitter what people were buying their Ph D supervisor I was surprised by the range of different responses.
Finally: just because certain behaviour is considered ‘normal’ doesn’t mean you have to normal.
As I highlighted in my story, experiencing the gift giving norms of another culture can be delightful.
Wine / chocolates If you do decide to give a gift, in Australia wine is considered a safe, socially neutral choice.
Unless, like me, your supervisor is not a big drinker.
In Australia, being a non drinker is considered a weird thing (I know – it says something about our culture doesn’t it?