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).