Wednesday, September 28, 2005

So I just finished my first class and nobody killed me. I was trully afraid that these UC types would notice a CSU intruder. Today I may go home unharmed. Nine more days to go.

I definately have discovered that feeling like an idiot is ubiquitous in grad school. Recently I was present when a grad student fell apart for a couple of minutes in her regular day. Later I saw her at lunch: she was smiling. Isn't it such a roller coaster? There's been days when I want to disappear from this "science world" in the morning but in the evening be appalled by the possibility of not doing science anymore. What else would I be? There's nothing I love more than finding out how a chameleon is able to maintain its body temperature through behavioral modifications. Or how the elasmobranchs seemed to have originally been located in fresh water and then moved to the sea. I get to absorb information day in and day out as part of my "job" instead of driving into an office and sitting in a cubicle performing mundane jobs day in and day out. What else can I ask for?

Of course those days that I feel more like an idiot than normal make me always re-think whether I belong here. It is my first week of classes. I have attended one of my classes twice this week and both times I have been praying that I will not get called upon to answer any questions. I honestly don't think I would be able to answer them and everybody else seems to be following along perfectly. I hope they don't find out that I am an imposter. That I don't belong!

At a seminar this week I was asked: Don't you think that its not worth it? That the inserted gene will eventually be selected out?
Response: umm....yea....that makes sense.....( I hadn't thought about it really)
In class it was asked: How would you determine the specific heat of a mouse?
Response (in my head): I need a Coke.....what??
The questions are not really impossible to answer. I just don't seem to be paying attention and it takes me a while to process. What if I am called upon next week? They'll find out!


At 4:53 PM , Blogger Krista said...

good luck with school

At 5:29 PM , Blogger Cheryl said...

We all feel like imposters at one time or another during grad school. Man, if I only had a penny for every time I felt like one, I would be rich...and if I had a penny for every time a fellow grad student felt the same way, I could rule the world!

With regards to “response phobia”: Whenever a prof asked me a question to which I didn't know the answer, I would reply something to the effect of "I'm still processing that," and then I would ask a related question to divert the attention back to the prof. The prof would then give a long winded answer or open it up for class discussion. Either way, the heat was off me!

Bottom line: Don’t shortchange yourself. You made it this far for a reason. So, keep up the good work and enjoy the rollercoaster ride! ;)

At 2:45 PM , Blogger Soma said...

Thank you so much for the nice note! It made me feel better. I swear my adredaline is always going when I enter this building.

I kinds of went with you method of dealing with the response phobia. I decided that I wouldn't wait for him to ask me a questions, since that's what made me nervouse....being put on the spot you know?.....instead I offered a response. Kind of just blurted it out. It was wrong, but i felt soooo much better. It started a "discussion" and other people started responding so it wasn't so bad.....AND I stayed after class to ask him a question. I had been avoiding him since the beginning of class...which wasn't a good idea since I attended a party at his house last week and I work for his wife. It broke the ice. :0)


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