Thursday, May 5, 2011

Milestone of sorts

I defended my thesis last night. I should be happier than I am at the moment.

Yesterday was pretty awful. Awful enough that my judgment was compromised. I had one big thing going on over here, and then something else surfaced over there. Here's how my thought process went, and caution, it's long:

I am running out of time.
Don't think that way. I can do it.
I am running out of time.
Well, nobody else is going to do it!
OK. I have managed multiple disasters before.
I hated it! But I have to get through it.
Nose to the grindstone. Don't think. Don't panic. Just do.
Remember how everybody offered to help yesterday?
Well, it's too late for that now.
Don't think. Don't panic.
I can't do both, one has thrown the other off.
I have to finish.
I'm not going to get it done. My brain has short-circuited.
I have to get it done.
I'm going to pack everything up and leave.
No, I have to finish.
They'll say, 'You should have known something, anything, could come up.'
I did know! When did I have other time to work on this?
Well, my other professors offered extensions.
But I so wanted to be done with that stuff. I turned it in on time, I didn't WANT an extension.
I should have taken an extension, then I'd have been able to attend to this sooner.
Omigod, I'm wearing jeans, I'm supposed to be wearing a suit.
I didn't have to be taking a final yesterday. Or writing papers all weekend. When was the last moment I came up for air? I don't even remember.
My suit is in the bathroom where I hung it this morning.
I should have taken an extension.
OK, let me go put on my suit.
Suit on. Now I have to try to finish.
I don't have time. I'm going to be late.
I can't be late for the one bloody class that's a whole credit hour! This is my DEFENSE, I can't be late!
Finish. It's just as bad not to have what you're supposed to have.
I'm trying. I can't do it. Brain off.
So pack everything up and leave.

This is how I ended up LATE for my thesis defense, with 1.5 instead of 2 bound copies of my thesis in hand. I don't know what happens next. My presentation went well, but all the way there I was wishing I could add one slide and change the order. Obviously, everyone SAW that I was late: I came in at 6:20, in the middle of the first candidate's presentation. The professor addressed me -- she had been trying to reach me, she said. No record of that on my phone, what the hell? I had been trying without cease to reach the two people in the class whose numbers I had: no answer. So, with no warning or heads-up about being late to a person who was present, I was late -- to my thesis defense. IT DOES NOT SOUND LIKE ME. It sounds like *parent* me.

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