succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Not Panic-Stricken

Things are fine again. Actually, things were fine within about 24 hours of my meltdown, thanks mostly to an advisor who totally kicks ass (kids - never underestimate the importance of an advisor who supports you and genuinely looks out for your best interests). The general consensus is that my committee member was being a butt, even if he perhaps did make a semi-reasonable suggestion. (actually, upon further pondering, I do think his suggested measurement is good to use, but I'm not at all convinced by his argument as to why my original measurement was wrong...I think both measures are 'right', and I'm working on writing up that particular argument. including both measures in all my tables, of course)

The meltdown was also out of proportion to the reality of the situation, but it was just one too many rejections in one week - first the fellowship, then a student paper, then a workshop application. I couldn't take my professional world telling me one more time that I was inadequate. Of course, my therapist's advice that I have to learn to measure adequacy internally, especially in a profession where external rejections will be a perpetual part of my life, was sound. But at the time that she said it I wanted to respond, well fuck you.

So I have a To Do List now that outlines all the things I need to complete my dissertation. It fits on one page. It kind of freaks me out. Granted, some of the items are large-ish (finish writing discussion section in chapter 3). And my committee members can always ask me to do more. But. Whoa. This thing I've been living with for 3+ years is actually within range of being a completed thing. Holy shit.

I remember when I was little and pulled my Dad's dissertation off one of our shelves. Just like a volume of the encyclopedia. Even then I knew I was grad school bound (see earlier post about my ridiculously over-educated family), but the idea of producing something like that scared the hell out of me. And here I am. 117 pages and counting of ideas that came out of my brain. Who knew?

So I leave Monday for home. My first xmas home in three years (last year was FL and the year before I hosted here at my place). I can't wait - the brother is spending the holidays with his new wife's family (host family, to be precise - she stayed with them while attending school in the states) - so it will just be the three of us. I predict 7 days of pajamas and books and wine. With occasional trips to visit Grandma. It will be absolutely lovely. Oh! And a friend's baby shower! The first of our little group growing up. Hooray to procreating, but hooray even more to postponing until you're a full fledged adult person! (at whatever age that may occur for you)

So, all in all, I'm working my ass off, but life is good. Again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Now that I've (mostly) recovered from the sobbing hysterical mess I was this afternoon, I've moved from panic-stricken to pissed off - how is it possible that no member of my committee bothered to read my proposal thoroughly enough to notice that I was using the wrong estimate to measure performance? Sure, I should have known, but they should have, you know, DONE THEIR FUCKING JOBS prior to one of my committee members off-handedly saying to me today, "You expect to graduate soon? You have a lot of work to do, in a little time."

Imposter syndrome, thy name is today.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dear students,

Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching you this semester. Please don't sully my fond memories by grade-grubbing now that final grades have been turned in. Also, given that so many of you demonstrated an inability to do arithmetic, let's assume that out of the two of us, I calculated your grade correctly, mmmkay?

Things that suck

I know I shouldn't complain, what with getting my dream job in the midst of a crappy economy and feeling like a rock star for all of November all that, but still, this balancing out of karma or whatever is a bummer.

  • not even making it to the interview round for that fellowship I applied for - I know, it's a moot point, but still, that rejection e-mail stung
  • getting rejected, again, for a student paper award at our annual conference. bah humbug.
  • still not having an updated offer letter from my dream job - they sent the official one right away, within a week of my in-person interview, but then the boss and I negotiated salary, and no new offer letter. I brought it up while out at the retreat and he blinked and said oh, yeah, we'll get a new one out. No new letter. I mentioned it again to the secretary handling my reimbursement for the trip out to the retreat. She said she'd look in to it. No new letter. I e-mailed my boss about it again last week. He's looking in to it. I know it will be fine, but until I sign on that dotted line, I'm pretty freaking nervous.
  • dealing with my crappy TA - he flaked out at the end of the semester, and it's mostly all wrapped up now, final grades entered and whatnot, but I still have to deal with him - deciding whether to give him a satisfactory or unsatisfactory, discussing his performance with his advisor, and sitting through the in-person apology he feels compelled to give me.
All in all I'm just grumpy and out of sorts today. Thank goodness for an afternoon full of four year olds to bring me around.