Friday, September 22, 2006

Almost done. And another year begins.

This afternoon I had my quals exam. Unfortunately, I didn't think very well on my feet. I got over my nervousness, but in the process I lost sight of the "big picture." Missed the opportunity to think about and answer some good questions... afterwards, of course, I came up with all sorts of answers. Of course. But, I'm going to have something of a second chance, as I "pass conditionally," on having a talk with one of the profs. in my area, and asking myself questions. I was upset -- it's been a hell of a long summer, and I knew all sorts of facts and pieces of info and quotes, but hadn't really processed and distilled everything. So I think I'm going to make an "idea diagram," and get to the point of feeling like I've taken a step back from the micro- to the macroscopic. Jill, who is incredibly rational and helpful, gave me a pep talk. About my trying to work on speaking confidently all last year, and the benefits of getting some one-on-one help with that. She's right, of course, and I'm trying to internalize that. But I still feel rather dumb. I wanted more of what I DID know to come across, and I wasn't aggressive enough to interrupt and redirect questions. And I should have had more pre-thought ideas on hand.

So after wandering blindly (rather like the fallen angels in Paradise Lost, post-climbing-out-of-the-burning-lake) and thinking (which can make a hell of heaven, and a heaven of hell), I found myself waiting at the bus stop. I went food shopping. Two trips. Carried back yogurt, wheat crisps, feta cheese, ice cream, soap, dried mango, feta cheese, 100% cocoa powder, plastic wrap, italian plums, etc. It was soothing. Reminded me of White Noise -- looking at labels, smelling soaps, considering the sodium contents.

And then I came home and had my not-so-good TJ's sushi, while watching Grey's Anatomy & that new show on after it (which is the title I am giving it).

1 comment:

Mum said...

Dr. Marie Zuber on NPR Science Friday:
"It's easier to see excellence if it looks like yourself"
"We need to look at the real talent, instead of looking at the fit"
(gender bias in academia and the quals examiners)

You've got the real talent, Becky!
You'll pull it all together!!