A weird thing’s happened since I’ve decided to leave: I find it easier to talk to faculty.
Let me backtrack and–at the risk of sounding like I’m bragging about basic people skills–say that I’m pretty fine with most social interactions. And yet I’ve had my fair share of shyness with professors. Not all professors, or all the time, but it’s definitely more self-consciousness than I’ve had with bosses or coworkers elsewhere.
And that’s the rub. I think this new confidence shows two things: (1) part of why I was shy is that I always dreaded the “how’s the research?” question, because deep down I didn’t want to do freaking academic research anymore; and (2) faculty and graduate students are not coworkers, which I’ve always known, and I’m sick of it, which is new.
This quarter is kicking my butt! I’m teaching, and trying to get an accelerated summer syllabus together; taking both a theory seminar and a pedagogy class; trying to knock out an incomplete paper from last fall; and, the most important and hardest and most terrifying of all, trying to get my prospectus and dissertation committee together. I’m glad to be moving into dissertation territory, don’t get me wrong, but…
Look, I know it’s not like I have it worse than anyone else. But it’s like, okay. When I go talk to faculty, I know how ridiculous I am.
(Speaking of Chris Traeger, did I mention I’m trying to make it to the gym?)
And whenever anyone asks me about anything related to the project, I’m all: