So I thought I should provide a little update on the school front (in case anybody is interested in that little aspect of my life :-P).
Here’s me in a nutshell:
AAAAOMGCOMPSPROPOSAL OMGBOOKCHAPTER OMGSTUPID*#$%STATSCLASS OMGAAAAAA!!!
Did you catch all that?
My comprehensive exam (and the proposal upon which it is based) is happening as early as mid-May. Mid MAY. I am freaking out. I am plagued with near-nightly school-related nightmares that reinforce my firmly-held beliefs that: a) I am not prepared; b) I will never be adequately prepared, and; c) everyone knows that I suck.
Now, there is a slight chance that none of this is actually true. Yesterday, my advisor said “I’m pretty sure that, if you had to do your exam today, you would pass”. I argued and rebutted and tried to convince him what a lousy student/scientist I was, but he held firm to his assertion. “You’re your own worst enemy”, he said.
He’s probably right. I recently learned that there is a name, nay, a SYNDROME that describes my crippling and self-defeating thoughts: impostor syndrome. Have you heard of this? It’s when perfectly competent professionals (often scientists and oftener grad students) think that they have achieved success completely by accident; that they’ve somehow cheated the system, have no right to their current jobs, and will be found out for the phoneys they are at any moment. Oh, and that everybody else in their office/lab/department/faculty is smarter and better than they are.
I am soooooo impostor syndrome-ing, it’s not even funny. I know I have to get over it, and that I CAN do this (and that I’m good enough and smart enough and gosh-darn it people like me and all that). But…gah. It’s an old habit.
The rest of that bolded rant up there consists of:
1. I am working on a book chapter. It is due in June. This is exciting and the subject is quite fun, but I don’t want to screw it up (impostor, I say!!!), so I’m a little stressed about it.
2. I am stuck in a ridiculously useless and frustrating “statistics” course, which is sucking up tremendous amounts of my time and emotional energy. I was hoping that it would help me brush up on some stats for my comps, but it is not. I’m not actually sure if it’s really a stats course, or if it’s a programming course thinly veiled as a stats course (we’re using the R programming language). Either way, I’m not learning much about stats OR programming. My anger-o-meter is reading at a 10/10 over this. Gah.
You may have noticed that teaching isn’t on my list of AAAAOMG. I completed my teaching duties just before reading week. It. was. so. GOOD. It took up a ton of time and was loads of work, but it was worth it. I felt good about it (heck, it was a riot!), I got tons of excellent, positive feedback, and my students were happy. The teaching was a big ol’ WIN. (Interestingly, I am not plagued with self-doubt about my teaching abilities. I wonder why that is?)
On another positive note, I FINALLY have time to get some serious lab work (i.e., sample identification and documentation) done. I am sooooo happy to have gagillions of nicely sorted and labelled vials of beetles and other goodies to play with. They’ll keep me busy for a while.
Anyways, that’s what I’m up to. As much as I’m stressed, I am still in love with this path I’ve chosen for myself and can’t wait for this phase to pass so I can move on to the next one.