Saturday brought both myself and the other comps-writing grad student in my lab into the lab. We're working our way through a joint data collection project, existing entirely because our advisor insists (from her position far from the university) that we be collecting data. As if comps weren't enough. We're both taking our time in this project, because we certainly don't have the time to devote to data collection and the impending time-sink of data analysis.
It was something like a mini grad student dinner, full of casual yet helpful discussion of our advisor. I am not the only one who thinks our advisor is ridiculously firm on the department deadlines given that 1) no one else in the department cares (there's a student who was supposed to defend last year and still hasn't, and has not been kicked out or denied funding) and 2) she usually doesn't know there even are deadlines until we tell her. We agree that it is probably due to her need to not look bad while on maternity leave. I personally can't wait to see how much of a stickler for deadlines she intends to be when she's on sabbatical in a different state next year.
I'm glad I have someone else to check progress and commiserate with, since the only other person in my entering year is on a different track and doesn't have to defend until next year, lucky SOB (of course, I consider him unlucky every time I see the classes he has to take for his double-major). We don't pressure each other about our progress, and it's nice to konw that someone remembers that I'm working on comps and is interested enough to make polite conversation about it. I sincerely doubt my advisor will remember me before December, when she'll remind me that the deadline is here or past.