Saturday, May 31, 2008

what really happened

Okay so maybe it wasn’t an alien invasion. I apologize to myself and to my readers for not believing in my own abilities. The dry run was well worth it, as it reminded me to keep my information brief and to the point, ie tell the point of each slide if they want to know the details of how data was collected they can ask. My labmates also provided very good suggestions on how to (1) re-organize my slides for better flow and (2) which slides to add to also improve the flow. Our two female post-docs were amazing mentors as per always, one reminded me to be careful of my word choice so as not to give ammunition to the ‘dragons’ of our buildings, while the other reminded me that (a) I knew what I was doing and (b) it was not my comps, I have only been a student for 5 months if you take away my 1 year mat leave and I can not be expected to know everything. So Tuesday night I came home, fixed up the presentation slides and went to bed. Wednesday morning I woke up, got dressed, took monkey to daycare and then came home to practice. I had 2 hours to practice a 20-minute presentation, I got through one run as I found errors on my slides and couldn’t quite get the transitions correct, had to re-read some papers. You would’ve thought that the need to double check date would’ve freaked me out, and it used, but I just didn’t care. Its not that didn’t want to do could, but I realize I can’t know everything, and I don’t care if people think I am smart or not. At least that morning I did not, which is not necessarily how I feel all the time. When I arrived at the lab, FPD1 & 2 reminded that I knew my stuff and FPD1 verbalized my sub-conscious lack of stress. This talk will not change the most important things, Mr. SM and monkey will both still be home when I get there and will still love me. Everything else is just icing. Even 5 minutes before the start of seminar, I was amazingly not stressed and my stomach was not churning at 100 cycles/sec. How did the actual talk go? IMO it wasn’t too bad, when I started talking, I was going a bit last made the realization and slowed down. During the body of the talk, things I could’ve improved on: talk slower, and look at the audience more. I found myself scanning the audience, wasn’t seeing ‘friendly’ faces and would then move my attention back to the computer screen and / slide screen. Questions I think I handled OK, still have to work on not interrupting people, but didn’t get too defensive. Almost did but I stepped back and calmed down. I presented 2 projects as part of my mini-proposal, the one project I explained and executed quite well, the 2nd completely fubarred. However I somewhat blame my PI – should he not have noticed I fubarred it during the dry run? Mr. SM has severely pissed me off by claiming it is my responsibility to know everything, which is fine especially further in to my career. But right now, I think PI should’ve noticed and pointed out that I had made a flaw – he didn’t have to design the experiment or tell me how to do it, but he could’ve pointed out that it was designed incorrectly and that maybe I should think about what I was doing BEFORE my presentation. Which once again bring up the question of what is the role of your advisor? I don’t believe in having my hand held, but hey maybe throw me the ball?? It would be different if I wasn’t trying to get the PI to look at it, but I was. Oh well shit happens. I guess I will get post-docs to look before the day before.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Visiting from NCLM.

Sounds stressful! I hope it goes well.