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i've been swallowed whole by a first week of classes filled with in-over-my-head discussions

1.12.2012








i'm trying to remind myself that this is what first weeks always feel like to me,
and that they usually turn out better after a little one-on-one with the professors.
this week has been filled with yoga/affirmation/study hard routines:
ujjayi breathing, "i am that," "i am enough," happily looking up word after word in the
oxford english dictionary, making notes in the margins, writing papers that i attempt to feel confident about...

and then it all unravels in class yesterday. i felt like a six-year-old showing up to
a summer birthday party at a swimming pool wearing my favorite sweater and scarf and leather boots.

"what did you write about?" well, uh, obviously not what i was supposed to write about--
or really not even close to what everybody else wrote about...did i miss something?
what are you guys talking about? i'm pretty sure i read the same poems and essays you did,
but i don't understand a word you're saying? i think i have the same questions/concerns you have,but somehow i can't seem to process what you're saying in time to give a response, or evenask a question...

i'm trying to remind myself that this is how i always feel the first week of classes:
unprepared, anxious, questioning how thick my skull really is, ready to find out that maybe all those nay-sayers were right after all. phooey. 

i'm battling with this head and heart of mine as i prepare to meet with the professor and
"confess" my anxieties, ask my questions (no matter how thick), and receive his verdict.
oi. bless my soul. 

so i'm off to re-read everything. using a different colored pen for round two.
ready to find my voice, and ask my questions (i think. i hope.).

will let you know how it goes...tiwanda!!!

(p.s. doesn't this breakfast look so pretty, tasty, and relaxing...this was breakfast last week. this week it's been mostly oatmeal. no time for pretty little meals this week. boo.)

{update: didn't meet with my professor because i unknowingly scheduled our meeting during the middle of my other course...oops! i've seriously got to get this calendar thing imprinted on the brain a little better. but no worries. it gave me a chance to talk briefly with a class mate, which helped to settle this racing heart inside this anxious body. and thank you(!) for all your soothing, supportive words. you're all lovely people that i wish i could bring to school with me}

14 comments:

joanne said...

Oh your post made me smile. You talk about a very familiar feeling for many artists, self doubt, uncertainty...even Virginia Woolf was racked with this self-doubt. I'm sure you're professor will put your mind at rest. We are all individuals - including our minds and ideas and though processes. It's so great that we aren't all the same!
Good luck with classes...I'm slightly jealous ...

Cassie said...

The fact that you ask these questions of yourself makes you being there the most perfect. Why are you there if not to learn? You will be wildly successful in your pursuits wtih your lovely humble attitude.

nacherluver said...

Sounds like you know your process and you are right on track. Not to worry! Soon you will be in week three with the first sticky two weeks safely behind you. That was your get-up and here comes your go!

Great post. I love self-reflection and growth.

The Egg said...

stay tough girl! i know you can do it! never be afraid to ask questions or set aside a time to meet with the professors, which sounds like you are already doing. release all of that stress in yoga. bikram is where it's at!

xo the egg out west.

Marilyn said...

The breakfast looks delicious! Good luck with classes and adjusting. You will do just great and it would be rather boring if everyone thought the same. I hope the professor understands that.

Leslie said...

You're right. It's just the first week. You'll be going along swimmingly before long...

(blueberry pancakes are my favorite :)

Mizi Moo said...

Have faith! Deep self knowledge and wisdom is perhaps being aware of everything you don't know!

So what if you read everything differently - it's different, not wrong.

Next Week I start the Spring term of my masters at Oxford and get all my winter term exam and essay grades - it's meant a few weeks of mindless eating, panic, fear and constant nibbling of nails as I read, re-read and worry about my upcoming classes. I will try to follow your example, remembering this is how we grow!


xoxoxoox

Elisse Newey said...

Its a little odd I guess, but I am hugely jealous of that feeling. I love my job but sometimes I wish I could just go back to a class that would stretch my brain with conversation and debate.

good luck!

the wild magnolia said...

tiwanda...indeed. above and beyond. you are intense, and possibly a perfectionist, and you are very smart. the dust will soon settle and you will thrive, in a crazy wild, turbo wild sorta life. this is where you are right now.

good honest post.

wishing you a New Happy Year.

tinyparticlesoflight said...

My heart goes out to you for I know that dropping sensation in your stomach when you realize you're the only one who got it wrong. Or at least it FEELS like that. But usually life is so much worse inside our own heads - I think you're incredibly ready for this challenge.

xo
cortnie

madelief said...

What you write about is good. It may not feel great, but it is good. It means you are an individual, an original. Oh my goodness, once you've hit your straps you are going to be a force to be reckoned with in that class.

RetreatingAndAdvancing said...

This sounds so familiar to me! Typical first week, isn't it? There are always people who are better prepared or even know more, but don't care about this too early. Try to go on and stay tough! If the problems are still there after two or three weeks, talk with your professor :)

Miria said...

thank you so much for your honesty, this is so familiar to me, too. everytime I read your blog - it's about half a year now I think - I can tell, it makes me feel better 'cause I get the feeling, there are people out there who are thinking alike.
so - thank you, for sharing your minds. I don't know if it's a challenge for you but it would be a big step for me - telling people what I really think, even though I don't know them.
miriam

Alexa said...

Hi! I can't tell you how much I love your blog. I'm a PhD student in history at The University of Toronto- and I'm constantly doubting/in fear about whether or not this is the right path for me- because like you, I have so many interests, and I NEED to live in nature. Thanks for the solidarity. xo