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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?
Just make sure you don’t give your supervisor food poisoning…When I asked on Twitter what people were buying their Ph D supervisor I was surprised by the range of different responses.Some people had no idea what to buy and expressed interest in such a post because the etiquette for this situation is so opaque.Nothing I’ll admit I was surprised when some people questioned the idea of buying a present at all.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).It was pointed out that gift giving creates a sense of obligation and reciprocity, which can be awkward for a supervisor – especially if they have many students. Many people do not celebrate Christmas all because of their atheist stance, others routinely have their own religious holidays ignored by Australia’s Christian slant.
I’m not sure how you negotiate this social minefield, but perhaps, if you are unsure what is considered normal behaviour, ask the students who have been there longer than you.) therefore people may never tell you they don’t drink. So here is my problem: I’ll have the odd glass of something, but Mr Thesis Whisperer doesn’t drink at all, so there’s no occasion to open the gifted bottles of wine at home.I don’t want to use them to cook with as that seems rude, so I have a shelf full of bottles of wine which lovely people have given me that I have never got around to consuming.Make sure you ask more than one as opinions may vary.Finally: just because certain behaviour is considered ‘normal’ doesn’t mean you have to normal.Five years ago, a student gave me a little brass plate on a stand with an etched view of Hong Kong harbour.