the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Monday, April 04, 2005

Just Stand There and Look Pretty

that was marcus's advice to me this morning when i came in soliciting lots of questions for my discussion. the geolocial oceanography class wasn't that talkative today. that sucked for me. as promised, my presentation was short...then, i just had to stand there looking pathetic while doug implored people to participate in the discussion. i'm not good at just standing there looking pretty. i get fidgety. i'm not a fan of being stared at unduly. when i'm talking, it's fine. there's a reason for people to look at me then. but to be in the front of a room, just standing there, being stared not fun. if it had been a less serious occassion, i would've done a little dance and made everyone giggle. i feel like, if people are looking at me, i should be doing something. i actually did make people giggle a little during my presentation. i used the word "poop." yes, i said "poop" in a presentation for a graduate-level course. actually, while giving examples of critters that cause bioturbation, i said, "...and detritivores like sea cucumbers [points to picture of sea cucumber] that ingest the sediment, extract organic matter, and poop it back out." larry the engineer laughed, and the presentation moved on to a discussion of trace fossils. anyway, doug said i did good (even though no one talked much), that i chose good papers to read, and that's what counts, since doug's the prof. i think it could've been crap, and he still would've said that because he likes me and doesn't want to give me a bad grade. have you ever been in a situation where you suspect that your reputation has clouded someone's opinion of you? like when people first meet you, and they have certain expectations, so whatever you do will be judged according to what they expect. so, if they think you really know a lot about something and ask you a question, no matter what your answer is, they'll take it as gospel because they assume you must be right. i hate that, and it unfortunately happens to me a lot. especially in the academic community. i really don't think i'm all that great a student. i'm lazy. i procrastinate like crazy. i cram for tests. i don't do things unless i'm told to. i've got next to no initiative. yet, when i enter into a class with a new prof they've most likely heard of me via other profs i know pretty well, and they automatically assume that i will be an A student. which i am, but sometimes i wonder if i deserve my A's all the time. think cher in Clueless. i'm not that manipulative, but sometimes i would swear that my excellent reputation among professors is at least partially the result of their predispositions toward me. i think i'm a fairly likable chica. it's rare for me to have a prof who doesn't like me (not that i'm being cocky, it just happens). and that's part of my current self-doubting state of mind. i really have very few enemies. actually, i don't think i have any at this point in my life. which is good. but, what if profs go a little easy on me because they like me? or because they expect me to get A's and think that if i don't, it will upset the balance of the universe? what if all this hypothetical "going easy on me" is sheltering me from all the scathing criticism out there? what if when i get out there on my own in the world of science, i discover that i don't have what it takes? i guess i've been fortunate so far not to have worked with any uber-assholes. but maybe i need to experience just one mega-mega-biiitch (to quote cartman's "kyle's mom's a bitch" song) to fully prepare myself for the world of egotistical, self-centered scientists.

and maybe i'm distressing over nothing. maybe my laziness really isn't a problem and i'll make it just fine without the protection and shelter of senior scientists. i'm not a little girl who needs to be sheltered and protected anymore. but sometimes i feel like people still treat me that way. ...and all of this came from doug telling me that my half-assed presentation was good. maybe he's a little biased. i met him in the context of "charlyn's boyfriend" not "dr. haywick." i really do think he'd feel bad if i did badly in his class. but, based on his comments when i took his introductory earth history class, i also think he respects me as a scientist. he freely admits that i know more about some biological processes than he does. so maybe it wasn't as bad as i thought, and i don't suck as a biologist and a student just because i procrastinate. i do get things done, even if it's usually at the last minute (or sometimes two weeks late). at least people like me (or, they act like they do), so i won't be one of those hella-bitches people can't stand to talk to and won't listen to anyone's opinion but their own. i've been warned about a few of those...and met one of them. dr. v. says he doesn't want me to "get mixed up with that crowd. there are some real assholes there." oh, speaking of dr. v., my plea for him not to have class on 4/15 was successful. here's how that went:

LaTina's email:
Pretty please with a cherry on top don't have seminar on April 15th. I think that Christian is going to ask this of you, but I thought that I would also contribute a plea. If you don't have seminar that Friday, we'll have a make-up Phys Oce class that morning. But if you do have seminar that Friday, we will have an all-day Phys Oce class that Wednesday (4/13). I don't think I would surivive 6 hours of Phys Oce in one day. My brain would explode. Okay, I'm exaggerating a little, but I would definitely absorb more if the class were spread out over two days. I can only take in so much physics at a time. Have mercy on everyone taking Phys Oce this semester.

Dr. V's reply:
I promise.

i have a tendency to be a bit dramatic. can you tell?


Vanessa Mae said...

Maybe a tad dramatic. But I think I have my moments as well. Drama is inevitable, we are after all women.

I think you're too hard on yourself. You're much, much smarter than you appear ... er, seem ... you know what I mean. It seems to me that it doesn't matter if you put off homework, or get lazy ... you know your stuff, and that's what counts.

But even I still get surprised when I get a high grade on a test. I guess we know more than we give ourselves credit for.

latina marie said...

thanks, nessa. i know what you mean, though. i don't come off as the smartest chica in the universe. my scholastic abilities often come as a surprise to those who don't know me well. for instance, marcus seemed quite surprised yesterday when he found out i was valedictorian in high school (probably b/c of all the giggling that goes on b/t lindsey and me in biometry - marcus sits behind us). but charlie had my back...he informed marcus that he was salutatorian in high school, which also surprised marcus...if you met charlie, you'd understand why this could be a bit surprising. but if you knew him, it wouldn't surprise you at all. to quote jack o'brien, "when you first meet him, he seems like a redneck, but he's incredibly smart."