1.1 My current professor is a funny ego. He is always pretty confident about himself reasonably or sometimes unreasonably. The other day he asked me to show him some data which I never had. He didn’t buy it by saying, “How can’t you have it? You just showed it to me a couple of days ago.” “No, I didn’t,” I told him. “Yes, you did,” he insisted “I am pretty sure about it. Keep looking for it in your computer.” He actually believes to know what I have better than myself.
1.2 He and my office mate had been trying but failing to figure out a bug in a paper for more than a month. Finally my office mate figured it out and sent him an email, when he came to the office complaining like, “How did you do it? How can you figure it out but I can’t..'”
2.1 To Work with a funny ego is fun especially for a small ego like me. He and I were trying to meet a deadline the other day when he believed there was a bug in my code and asked me to debug it. At the very first moment, I told him, “I am pretty confident about my code and there is probably no bug in my codes.” But he insisted on his opinion and asked me to debug it.
What’s more, he was actually trying to comfort me by saying, “Mingwu, don’t worry. You are doing a super good job here. It is not a shame to have bugs in your codes. It is only a shame if you are unable to debug it…”
2.2 I had no choice but tried to debug the no bugs, a few days after which as expected I failed. So I worked to prove no bugs in my codes and show the evidence to him who also as expected refused to vote for it by pointing out some unexplainable things and claiming no convincing evidence had been found. To settle this disagreement, finally an office mate was asked to write the codes all over again and in the end get the same results as mine.
My office mate showed the result to him who desperately asked, “Did you use Mingwu’s codes?” “No.” “Did you check your codes with other data?” obviously he didn’t wanna give up so easily. Again the answer was “No.” “Then check EVERYTHING!” finally he found the way to make himself look a little bit better.
2.3 Sometimes, he asked me to do something which I believed didn’t make much sense, so I didn’t do it but tried something else. The other day he talked to me like, “Mingwu, I felt like sometimes you don’t listen to me and can’t follow my words well. You know to follow my advice is the shortcut to get your PhD done.” I agreed with him, “Yes, you are right, professor. But I have been unwilling to totally follow teachers’ words since elementary schools.” “But I am not your teacher. I am your boss!”
2.4 Around one month ago, he and I were trying to explain the better performance of my algorithm. The next day, I sent him an email with four sentences to describe the superiority of my algorithm. He showed up in the office during the afternoon and complemented me furiously like “Mingwu, I can’t believe your written English is so good. You know I am the only one to take care of all the group’s papers in the end since 2002. Finally there is someone like you to help me.” “Please quit saying that,” I pretended to be unreasonably humble, “I only scored full marks in the writing session of TOEFL. That’s nothing to be proud about…”
2.5 Whenever he couldn’t figure out some questions, he would say “Let me sleep on it,” before leaving for home. A couple of weeks ago before a weekend, he and I were working on such a question when he encouraged me by saying “Mingwu, let’s sleep on it for the weekend.”
So I worked my ass off during that weekend and figured it out. The next Monday he asked me, “Mingwu, did you sleep on it?” “Yes, I did,” I replied,” I did not only sleep on it, I also sat on it for the whole weekend.”
2.6 The other day my office mate showed something interesting to him who became extremely excited and complemented like, “Guanqun, I think you are a wonder. That’s the best comment I can make to my students.” “No, that’s not,” I tried to remind him, “you can remove ‘I think’. You know sometimes when people said ‘I think’, they don’t really think so…”