Friday, April 20, 2007

Last weekend of freedom (well, for a month anyway)

You'd think I'd be partying my ass off, but I did that last weekend. This weekend is low key, hanging out, going to yoga, generally getting ready for what has come to be known affectionately as my "hibernation".

This is appropriate since spring appears to be happening everywhere but in Calgary, where we have had a rather large dump of snow and the flannel sheets went back on the bed this week.

I am going to be like a Bear of the Great White North... retreating from life for a time to go on a sort of Vision Quest, otherwise known as my PhD candidacy exams.

On Monday I receive three questions. I choose one. I have 28 days to research the answer and write it up into a 40-page paper.

It's a pass or fail deal, which for most people would be a relief, but for a pathological perfectionist, it sends you off into a tizzy thinking, "Oh my God, what if I don't pass? What if I absolutely cannot answer the questions? What if I haven't read enough? What if I write a lousy paper? What if no one likes it? What if...? What if...? What IF ?!"

So, I have developed an alter ego for the purposes of retaining my sanity through the process. Said alter ego (whose voice always sounds like Owen Wilson inside my head) slowly says, "Chill, dude. There's no way to prepare for this, so why fret? Better yet... your preparation is your ten years of university education. Yeah, dude... you... ten years... Really, you need to get a life, eh? So anyway... Just chill... How about this for a challenge... See how much fun you can have with this. Go on... I dare ya to like it!"

And I have to live inside this head of mine... 24/7.

God help me.

5 comments:

Turtle Guy said...

Funny, I had visions of the same thing only yesterday, and I don't consider myself a "pathological perfectionist", nor you for that matter.

Someone told me "It's just a chance to show off what you know..."

Perhaps there are some great words of wisdom here. ;)

Backofpack said...

Sarah,
Just for us incurably nosy folk, if you get a moment, post the three questions and the one you chose before you go into hibernation. I am sooooo rooting for you in this! I think you are incredible, dedicated and brilliant, and I am in awe that you are working on your PhD. I predict passing with flying colors!

robtherunner said...

I would love to know what the questions are as well. I'll be praying for you and I know that you will pass with flying colors. All the best.

Madcap said...

You're gonna pass, apple-so-lutely. Breathe, breathe, breathe.

craig said...

So this is the day. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you consider which question to write about. Here's hoping you find a topic you are passionate about. But then I have a feeling that you are the kind of person who brings a bit of enthusiasm to all you do.