Saturday, April 14, 2007

A long and arduous journey

I'm thinking I need to blog about this week sooner rather than later, because every single piece of information that's in my head is starting to fly out my ears.

Coming to the city this week on Saturday rather than Sunday contributed to the slowest passing of time that I've ever experienced. It was an extra day to be alone, an extra day to worry, and an extra day to feel guilty about leaving Mom alone to take care of Grammie all by herself. But, I realized that I had to try to push through.

Try being the operative word.

The more years I spend in school, the harder it gets to motivate myself to do things ahead of time. Most of Saturday and Sunday were spent staring at the computer screen, moving slides around within Power Point, and freaking out. I did think about the thesis a lot, but I didn't read the actual document again, and I didn't practice the talk. My classic paralysis set in, and because no one was around to keep me in check, it stuck around until Tuesday, when Dad came back.

I managed to get up early every day this week, and catch the bus into the uni. I would plunk myself into an isolated corner of the lab, stare at my slides, and listen to encouraging comments from my labmates. The support was nice, but there was a huge part of my brain that believed I was going to end up screwing up.

Hubby arrived on Wednesday night, and we were back to the hotel by midnight. I had been planning on doing a practice talk, but that didn't happen. Thursday, we both went into the lab, and again I was going to do a practice, but all that happened was that I explained what i was planning on saying for each slide. The idea of sitting down and actually going through from start to finish was giving me anxiety attacks.

Thursday night - back to the hotel. No practice talk. 10PM - we planned on doing a talk, but it didn't happen. I kicked hubby into the other room, and tried going over it myself for timing purposes. Now, PhD candidates at my uni have exactly 20 minutes to talk about four to six years of their lives. 20 minutes. So, I started going through my slides.

31 minutes.

11PM - Ellie has a panic attack. I knew I needed to cut slides out, and speak less on the ones that I kept, in order to get down to 20 minutes. So, I started removing some slides; by the time I was done, it was half past midnight, and I was in no mood to do a practice talk. Hubby encouraged me to try and sleep, so that's exactly what I did.

Try being the operative word, again.

I probably got a couple of 20 minute naps, and before I knew it, it was 5:45AM. The alarm was set for 6, because we had to a) eat breakfast, b) get dressed decently, which for me included putting on make-up and blowing my hair, and c) catch the bus by 7:30AM.

We didn't do too bad, even managing to meet up with Dad for breakfast. The weather was uncooperative - slushy and snowy - so Dad made himself late for work, and drove us over.

And, then, the fun begins...

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