Have you ever asked a first year PhD student what the topic of their thesis is? Or even a second year?
Dear lord. I could pull my hair out and eat it.
The (inevitable) and terminal borefest that is the “methodology soliloquy”.
But, it is an inevitable step.
Somewhere around the third year it’s like a switch is flicked in their head. They take a step back and see the bigger picture instead of the details. Now, you can see why what they are investigating is important and interesting. Not the difference between clicking a mouse button on the right or left of the screen (yawn).
It is so nice to see students making this step. As a supervisor you realise that yes, this student might survive their viva, they may take that first step on the research ladder.
And, thanks to jesus, it means they can answer that inevitable question at the start of their viva or job interview as to “what did you spend the better part of your youth looking at”