It’s already mid-November
I has teh coldsweatz
It’s already mid-November
I has teh coldsweatz
Columbia, huh? Yeah…that’s where real students go. I wouldn’t even attempt to go to their fraud seminar for fear of getting the bum’s rush.
“It’s like we have this trick scale,” says Valerie Young, a traveling expert on the syndrome who gave the workshop at Columbia. Here’s how that scale works: Self-doubt and negative feedback weigh heavily on the mind, but praise barely registers. You attribute your failures to a stable, inner core of ineptness. Meanwhile, you discount your successes as accidental or, worse, as just so many confidence jobs. Every positive is a false positive.
By many accounts, academics — graduate students, junior professors, and even some full professors — relate to this only a little less than they relate to eye strain.
It’s amazing how common feeling like a fraud is. The article goes on to say that roughly 70% of, well, everyone (men and women) have felt as though they were imposters at one point of their careers. Through personal experience, I suppose almost all the grad students I know have mentioned feeling inferior at some point or another, and the truth is that I’ve not paid that much attention to these comments because of my admiration for their work…and my inferiority to them. Heh.
According to Ms. Matthews, a person with impostor syndrome typically experiences a cycle of distress when faced with a new task: self-doubt, followed by perfectionism, then — sometimes but not always — procrastination.
But if it weren’t for my procrastination cycle, I wouldn’t post on my blog at all!
It is 10:15pm on the eve of my 35th birthday and I’m signing off. Himbly, queen of all that she fakes her way through.
Yeah. I bet most of you don’t get to go to work and see boobies that regularly. Some of you do, I’m sure, but most of you don’t. Ha! Now, how often has seening boobies been directly involved with doing a master’s thesis?? Double Ha!
Again…I got to see boobies at the lab. Oh! Ha! (again). I lied last time to protect the boobie lady…she breastfed while at the lab and just before I started the experiment. But that was long enough ago that I don’t even remember who it was anymore, so I’m sure I can come clean about that now.
Today I was in a similar situation where the baby was hungry. This time I got a bit of forewarning: “do you mind if I feed her before we start?”
Suddenly, my (male) collegue was nowhere to be found. haha.
“yeah…no problem”, I said, “do you want some privacy? I can close the door.”
“nah, you can leave the door open, I don’t care. You can stay and talk, too, unless you’re shy or something.”
That, friends, was the woman being kind enough to give me an out. Me, however…I interpreted it as a challenge so I kinda gulped and said, ‘uh, no…I’m fine’ and sat on the floor across from her (she was on the floor, too).
Actually, it wasn’t that uncomfortable at all. The mother was a very nice and calm woman, so it put me at ease. I have to admit something, though, that I realized only a little bit later. I TOTALLY stared.
I admit it. I stared at the lady with a baby latched onto her boob. I would like to go on here about the miracle of birth and the mother/child bond and the beauty of such an intimate moment, but the truth is that none of these things crossed my mind. This is what crossed my mind, though:
1- if you are in a room and a baby is in the room, too…it is very difficult not to look at the baby.
2- if you are in a room and an uncovered boob is in the room, too…it’s even more difficult not to look at the boob
3- if those two objects (the baby and the boob) were at opposite ends of the room, it would be a difficult choice as to what to look at and so you’d spend your time behaving as though you were watching tennis
4- if those two objects are in close proximity to each other…joined, even…you’re going to stare at the new object made of babies and boobies because, holy crap, how often do you see that 10:30 am?
So, I watched as the baby fed. Not to be completely without depth, I did think, ‘holy shit! we make food for kids!’ part way through, but then I kept talking to the woman and staring at her boob and baby. It was quite a cool moment. I think I might do the same the next time it happens to me.
good to be back. My computer is healthy and lovely and all is well except for burning cds and that’s a little irritating but I’m sure we can fix it. Maybe she’s like a pet who gets pissed when they’re away from you for awhile so she’s making me throw out once perfectly good cds. Bitch.
I didn’t mean that.
So, I came home today and goofed off. Then I napped (apparently goofing off was tiring). Woke up ready to start the work I need to do (there is lots of it) then realized that, though there’s lots to do…none of it is really all that pressing and I worked all weekend so back to goofing off.
Once I made that very informed decision, it was like all those objects associated with things I need to do decided to march on me like an army. Banners were waved saying, “yeah, but I need done ASAP so that my friend here can move forward…” and “don’t forget me…november is just around the corner”. I’m back to feeling guilty and we (my stuff) and I negotiated some blog time and then I’ll work.
Plus I’ll write it in “my list”…”my list” has, in conjunction with “my dayplanner” ruled my life.
So…what’s been up with me? Things have been going rather well. My work is moving forward reasonably well, the learning curve that I experienced when I started to TA this current course has evened out a bit (still steep, but I’m faking it better and feeling less guilty when I answer a question with ‘yeah, I’m not sure but I’ll check on that’). Money is short…in fact, when I found out how much less I’m making this semester, my breath was short, too. But, I’m not starving and it’s not like I”ve got a fast paced social life filled with fast cars, loose women and expensive nights out on the town.
Back to talking about my work. What prompted me to write this little update was something I read in facebook. A cousin of mine wrote something about counting down to the weekend…again. My first reaction was, ‘huh? It’s only Tuesday!’ but then I realized something. I remember one reason I got into this life and out of my old one was because I hated hated HATED the idea of living for my weekends. That I would only really appreciate 2/7ths of my life…because, also, not much was going on in my evenings that I could write home about.
I’ve just backspaced my way out of about 4 semi-paragraphs in an attempt to describe how I now feel about the things I do every day. Each one of those deleted passages was too sappy and embarrassing to recall here. Suffice to say that I no longer look for the weekends to redeem myself and allow me to do what I want to do. I’m doing what I want to do all the time now. It feels good.
Funny, though…as much as I would like to write about my research here I just can’t bring myself to do it.
Firstly, I’m addicted to this (thanks Jacqui)
Secondly, my computer has been deciding to shut off whenever it damn well pleases. This leaves me with limited time to do anything on it so it’ll be going to the mac hospital on monday to have itself sorted out.
Thirdly, school has sprung and my life got considerably busier quite suddenly. You oughta see my dayplanner…it hasn’t seen that much action for quite some time, I’ll tell you. It and I had to powder our noses.
I’ll combine this post with a couple more youtubes:
yes, that is Steven Colbert dancing and singing…
So, things are good but I have a lot on my mind which has put my blogging on the back burner for now (as tends to happen when my head is in a swirl). I can’t even remember what I said about it in my last post, so I’ll just leave it up to mystery…or not.
The other day I had someone change chairs away from me when I told them what I do. That was funny.
I’ll leave you with a clip from The Forbidden Zone…Danny Elfman’s brother Richard’s first film:
The truth is that this has been a difficult summer.
Looking back, I wish I had been more prepared and more determined to do well in the courses I took but, well, they weren’t really required or related to my field anyway. Still, the slight pangs of shame I feel every so often (once every few hours or so) have knocked my confidence down a few pegs so that I have honestly become shy about my PhD and where I’m going to apply. I feel lost with this PhD stuff…so much to consider. So much.
I considered today my first day of school and got to the lab early and did a good few hours of work. After coming home, a quick nap, some food and DVDs later, I’m back in the saddle and taking a break only to say hello to you, dear reader. I’ve been working through the summer and aside from those nasty courses, my research has been progressing. Nearly finished my first study (booking babies is my only obstacle) and starting on my second asap. That part feels pretty good, though I’ve had a terrible time concentrating on much else for the past few months and have almost wondered if I ought to see a doctor what with all the sleep I feel I need.
Right now, however, I’ve sat down to write my first draft of my first abstract to be submitted to my first conference. I wrote the first drafty title, I wrote my name and my advisor’s name under it, I wrote my department and my university….and….now what? Gad.
I think I’ll need some coffee for this. Wish me luck.
Call me a mama’s girl…call me lazy…call me Carrie (see photo)…
…call me whatever you want, but the fact is that I’ve moved too many times to not take advantage of not having to leave here and set up house in 24 hours. Yes, it’s been a week since my stuff got moved into my new place and yes, i’m still here…but at least I have a ~really~ clean kitchen and bathroom set up and ready to move in to tomorrow. Whatever…it was worth it.
Funny how it just doesn’t seem like my own place unless I’ve scrubbed the bathroom and kitchen top to bottom. It’s like a new beginning. It’s like saying to the apartment, ‘Apartment, that was old dirt. Now let me introduce you to my own special brand of disorganization and filth.’ So, as of tomorrow, I will be doing just that. I’ll be showing that new apartment how we do it in Himbly-town.
I probably, however, will not have the interwebs until Monday. Dang.
I tested another baby today…only my third, so it’s still pretty exciting. Watching a 6 month old from a monitor in a control room is funny. It’s very funny and cute. I can’t think of a better way to spend one’s thesis research, frankly. This one today puked all over his mom…twice. I love my research.
I’ve currently hit a small…well, crisis is the wrong word and so is snag, but those will have to do for now. I’ve hit a small something…where I have now realized that I don’t know a_bloody_thing about my research or the research leading up to it or linguistics as a whole for that matter. I spent two weekends ago at a workshop and met so many incredible people who are so effing smart that it snapped me back into my place so fast it made my head spin.
After about a day of moaning and clutching my belly…certain that I’ve made a terrible mistake and that I ought to start practicing answering phones…it hit me what I needed to do. Work harder. Well….I work hard, but I need to work more efficiently and on the right things. And read…I need to read like crazy and think…think like crazy. I need to ~be~ the baby. I need to get into their little heads and scoop out what I need. I need to know what I’m doing, how I’m gonna do it and why i’m doing it. I am entering a new phase. A more focused phase. And I’ve got to come out with questions.