Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Aaaand, we're back! Four months to the day.

Whew, I've been away for a while! In the last post, I had just presented my required department seminar. Now that it is four months later, I have passed the PhD qualifying exam, procured a Department of Energy fellowship, and finished my thesis (which will be deposited Friday or early next week). In less than a week, I will have a master's degree. *yay!*

I have also discovered that I seem to have a problem acknowledging the magnitude of my accomplishments. I seem to think that having a camcorder set up to record my seminar, the first recorded seminar in department history, is a bigger deal than:
  • making my first poster
  • presenting said poster at my first grant-funded conference
  • winning a department award for said poster
  • presenting my department seminar in my fourth semester
  • passing the PhD qualifying exam at the end of my fourth semester, before finishing my master's degree (apparently this is not normal)
  • finishing my master's degree in two years with enough research to possibly make two papers,
which I did in a little under a year. Is it sinking in yet? That's a hell of a lot of stuff!

I think I'm starting to understand that, but the transition from a lifetime of minimizing accomplishments either to fit in or to avoid becoming an egotistical asshole is slow. I'm still worried about the latter, so I hope someone will tell me if I start down that path.

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