Sam is still just a committee member on paper, but is without question my advisor. Since I came back from my last trip to Ukenzagapia in November, I think that Sam and I have been working together especially well. I am more comfortable with him now that I understand his personality and communication style, and most importantly, I know that I'm not a disappointment to him.
There have been a few snippets of conversation that we've had recently that have reiterated to me that he respects me as a colleague.
Before Sam left for a trip to Ukenzagapia, we were talking about what's going on with the database.
Sam: "So, if anything happens to me while I'm in Ukenzagapia, you know what to do, right?"
Me: "What do you mean?"
Sam: "Like if the plane crashes or something."
Me: "Oh! You mean if something catastrophic happens do I know how to continue the database project without you? Yes."
Two things are notable about this exchange: 1) He wants the project to continue even if he dies, and 2) He thinks I can do it.
Then when we were meeting with the interns, Sam said, "You can basically think of Karina and I as one person, professionally." That was a little weird, but I think the sentiment was that whatever I say holds the same authority as what he says.
I've recognized recently that some of his weaknesses are some of my strengths, and he appreciates that. For example, he's not very tech-savvy so I'm always teaching him better ways to do things. I also think I'm more careful and detail-oriented than him in many circumstances.
I foresee continuing to collaborate with him for quite a long time, especially since the database project is a long-term kind of thing. This is all to say that I'm quite happy with my professional relationship with Sam right now.