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

Friday, June 24, 2005

In the Grip of Inadequacy

i have got to be the weirdest person ever. for some reason, when i get a compliment in a certain context, i begin to question whether or not i deserved it. why can't i just accept it, feel good about myself, and go on about my life? because i'm a freak whose own opinions of herself overshadow everyone else's, that's why. sometimes i feel like such a fraud, like the good things people think about me are completely unjustified. sometimes i feel like i have no idea what i'm doing, especially with this whole TA thing. it feels weird because it's not my class. i'm a teaching assistant, and i never really know when i should be making decisions.

anyway, last night, after the longest day ever, o'brien thanked me for the help, told me i'm a really good TA, and compared me to the greatest TA in the history of TAs, julie (the marine bio TA when i took the class three years ago). ironically, this marks the beginning of my feelings of inadequacy. on the drive home i kept thinking of all the times over the past few weeks when i've felt like i really screwed something up or just plain felt dumb because i couldn't remember something that i should've known. since it was a day/night lab (comparing critters on the beach in the daytime to critters on the beach at night), we decided to cook on the grill under the classroom building. or rather, some of the guys in the class decided this. i mentioned the lovely red snappers we caught on our last boat trip in a previous post, and that, along with a bunch of shrimp fresh from mobile bay and hot dogs provided by o'brien, was what got cooked. the snapper served their original purpose of being dissected and their stomach contents and intestines examined, then they got filleted, grilled, and eaten. well, their guts were removed more carefully than usual when cleaning fish and taken up to the lab. red snapper eat crabs as well as fish, in case anyone was wondering. anyway, this one guy in the class basically did all the work. i felt so bad... but he did volunteer. i felt hella lazy and useless. but i survived. the actual lab activities went pretty well. i guess i could feel more inadequate than i do now. last summer i TAed for the marine botany class, having never taken a marine botany course before. then i felt really stupid. i knew next to nothing that was going on in that class. i was no help. but i was just a glorified go-fer so it didn't really matter.

ok, it's time for me to haul my feelings of inadequacy out of my office and over to admin to drop off some packing slips, then to the classroom for another lesson in the joys of fish dissections.


Holly said...

It might be argued that feelings of inadequacy point to a quality TA- many TAs I know don't care if they do a good job, or even an adequate one. Just a thought.

latina marie said...

hmm... that actually makes me feel a little better. not to shower the praise on myself or anything, but i've got a pretty good track record for accomplishments, but i've never really felt like i reached the point where i could stop working to move up. maybe i'm too hard on myself. and maybe you're right - maybe the feelings of inadequacy are just my subconscious keeping me from getting lazy and not caring. thanks.