02 April 2012

Affirmation

The couple of weeks ago, I had a conference presentation. In order to prepare for that, I presented dry-runs in my lab and in front of the department, to get some comments and perfect the presentation before I actually headed down to the actual site. It seems that I impressed my committee, as all three of them, in separate occasions, told me that I had done a great job in the presentation.

Now, usually, I don't blog in order to toot my own horn, but actually, that wasn't meant to be one such instance. The thing is, I have great respect for my adviser and my other committee members. I value their opinion, which is why it is their opinions that count for me. If someone who I don't care about tells me that my work is crap, why would I care? His opinion doesn't count. But my committtee's opinions certainly do.

There are times when I am in the lab, and I present my research, and due to the fact that sometimes, the ideas haven't been polished yet, my committee would poke holes at it, and find its weaknesses. I really do not mind that, in fact, that is their job. I'd rather know what the weaknesses of my argument are here internally, than find out about it when I am presenting it somewhere else.

The thing is, sometimes, it can make me feel like crap. You know, it's the feeling that you get, when you have already spent 5 years in graduate school, and after those supposedly constructive criticism, you feel like you're back in Square One. It has nothing to do with them, it has everything to do with simply the fact that it is their opinions that I care about.

So yeah, I go through a very brief I-feel-like-crap phase, usually lasting a day. After that, I convert that negative energy into positive, using it as momentum to go ahead and fix whatever it is I need to fix.

So, given that background, it was really great, a big relief, to actually hear not just my adviser, but my other committee members as well, telling me, that I did a great job.


(Another Ceiling with Light Fixture, from my Cathedral of Learning Series)

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