So I am sure everyone is sitting around wondering "gee, I wonder what ole lindsey is up to these days?". Well, maybe I hope that is what you are thinking.
Mostly I have been hiding out. I don't really know what's going on these days, and my future plans are kind of up in the air. I applied and got accepted to a year long Hindi language program, but I'm on the waiting list for a fellowship. I won't know for another month or so. So MAYBE I am going to India for nine months, maybe not. I'm not very good at this "wait and see" business.
Otherwise, I am excited that I just got a full time job! YAY! HURRAY! Not only that, but it is at a bookstore. This morning was my first day, and I did four hours of training, which seems to go rather decently. Afterwards I had class, then went to an interesting talk on M.A. and PhD people getting jobs outside of Academia Land. The woman who gave the talk, Susan Basalla, was very funny and I enjoyed her talk. I guess she also wrote a book on the subject, called “So What Are You Going To Do With That?”: Finding Careers Outside Academia. I didn't get it (coz I'm poor as dirt at the moment!) but it seemed like she had some useful and practical points.
Also, it was nice to hear other graduate students questions and concerns. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one struggling with the 'Academia culture' but today definitely confirmed that is not the case. It made me feel a little better. Whew.
What else? Well earlier this week my sweet dog Murray got very sick and I had to take him to the vet. Luckily he is feeling much better and got better quickly. Still cost 85 dollars in vet bills though.
Honestly though, I guess I have been struggling lately. I am sick of this cold place, for starts, and I just feel lonely. Added to that is the unknown future of funding, and school in general, plus I have come to realise i maybe be experiencing some dumb anxiety thing called SAD. Social Anxiety Disorder. Sigh. I guess it would it explain my horrible sweats, red face, shaking, and unable to articulate sentences during presentations or talking to those in positions of power that I am afraid don't like me. And of course, it does nothing to improve the situation, it only makes me look more incompetent. I realised this has kind of been a growing issue since my student teaching days when I had a student teaching supervisor/worked with a head teacher who were very negative about me in a very nonconstructive manner. Since then, I have pretty much avoided any and all circumstances that involve me teaching/working with kids where someone can scrutinize me because I feel so nervous and my mind goes blank.
Looking back, I also realized I used to dislike presentations, but never had the same issues I have now. Now, I also get the same feeling of fear, dread, and terror when I have to meet with professors/advisers. My coping method so far is not so good, I just avoid the situations. I see that they are getting worse. Of course they are only certain situations and certain people. But really, I need to find a way to cope. I can't let this get bigger. Since I came to grad school, I have avoided giving any presentation that was not required by grade, and those that did would cause disruption for a few days before and the rest of the day after the presentation.
Lastly, I just want to say, I don't like this label business. Sure, maybe this is an issue I am struggling with. But I hate it when people become their label. "Hi, my name is depression." "Really, I'm chronic back pain, nice to meet you." I don't want to be one of those people ever. But obviously, avoiding situations isn't making it better either. But I like to see it as an issue, and one that is not part of me. Certainly not forever. For example, I know perfectly well that I feel damn confident teaching kids when there is no one hovering overhead, writing down what I am doing or not doing. Also, I feel perfectly fine contributing to class discussions, and yeah sometimes I DO turn red, but mainly, I feel perfectly at ease giving my two cents.
So, I think the first step, is getting myself in a positive environment. Secondly, is figuring out ways to CHILL. (and no, I don't think codeine cough medicine is a good answer. ha)
So anyways, that said, I still know I want to work with kids, and I really hope I can end up working for some cool NGO (or starting one) in India as planned. I also have some other interesting future options as of late. I just need to get on them.
Anyways, I know I don't usually post such things, but I guess... if anyone has an suggestions/comments/advice etc for me, it would be much appreciated.