Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Where have you been, Ninny B?

I've just been in the world of "the literature" thank you very much... which is a scary, exhilirating place to be. I'm reading article after article after article in preparation for my first papers and my first RESEARCH PROJECT (that's right, RESEARCH...let's say it again, RESEARCH!) I don't think I really understand everything that I'm reading and I am amazed at the way these scholars are able to extrapolate theories and connect the dots in their lit reviews. It's made me think a lot about my intellect and question whether I'm academically fit enough to write a thesis. It's as though I can't ever really be complete secure about ANYTHING. I get the body image thing somewhat under control and then I'm like, oh, where is there a soft spot now? Brain. There's a soft spot in my brain. You thought you were smart and creative, try this, brain. what? Can't do it? muhahahahahahahahahah! (evil rubbing of hands) Bastard.

Yesterday I was reminded of something. I was struggling with these feelings of inadequacy and blaming it on the fact that I skated through my undergrad which left me unequipped to deal with the challenge of graduate level research. But you know how memory is usually kinder than it should be. I was remembering what it was like to be a senior undergraduate, FOUR years into the program. THAT was easy only because along the way, I had those FRESHMAN crying phone calls home to my Dad when I was paralyzed with fear at writing my first 8 page essay for a feminism class (don't get me started...this was the class that prompted my grandmother to say,
"What? FEM-I-NISM????? you'll come back as one of those LIBERALS!"). I was reminded that my freshman year, I constantly doubted my capacity to swim with the big dogs...wait, I think I got that wrong...but again, you know what I mean. I always told people that I got into Penn so they could fill their diversity quotient (because every ivy league school is looking for another white girl from the north eastern united states). I never thought I belonged there in the beginning.

The point is that now is not that different. I'm a baby. I'm a little freshman! And I'm not really up to the task of writing a thesis and understanding every theory perfectly and connecting ALL the dots....YET. But I'm here. And I love to learn. And I'm diligent. Soon I'll be a senior and before I know it, I'll be remember grad school with the soft lense of time. I might even remember it so fondly that I (gasp) sign up for a Ph.D. program. But probably not.


Marianne & Clayton said...

Well, feel glad that your endeavors make me want to say words like "edumacated" and "saxamaphone". You are amazing.

Tamara said...

Oh Ninny... Have I mentioned that EVERY DAY I was in grad school I was waiting for them to just kick me out and claim my admission was a mistake? My whole time at Columbia was basically spent feeling like a big fraud. On average, I cried three times a week. I felt like the biggest idiot ever.
The learning curve is TOUGH after being out of school for so long. It's supposed to be. Just feel as if every tear you shed is you getting your money's worth.
Keep your chin up. You can do this!

I still want to go back for another master's degree. Apparently Columbia didn't abuse me enough...

Nancy said...

Grad school made me feel dumb. I'm not even kidding.