When I wrote my senior thesis 14 years ago on Chinese history, my advisor went on sabbatical for the entire year. I basically wrote the entire thesis on my own with no advice and it didn't turn out so hot. Many of you know I had some difficulty finding the right Chair for my dissertation committee. I spent at least one afternoon looking at other programs trying to decide if I needed to transfer. I am very happy with the person I've found, but it remains the case that I'm sort of forging my own path using the various skills of different people in the department to set me straight. I need one person's knowledge of language learning, another's expertise in experimentation, another's knowledge of phonetics, and a fourth's knowledge of math and computation -- as opposed to the more common method of one's dissertation extending a primary advisor's research in intriguing directions.
However, I've just learned that the second language studies department might be hiring to start in the fall one of the people who does EXACTLY what I am trying to do. He has all the skills I'm trying to develop and a couple of his papers are critical references in my literature review. What are the chances of your university hiring precisely someone with the knowledge I am trying to teach myself right when my dissertation proposal should be finishing up?
My Chair and I already have plans to write to him and see if maybe he can give me some tips over the summer as well.