Sybil Vane is a new contributor at Bitch PhD. Bitch was smart to add her. Sybil is very good and young which I like. Her most recent post is about collectives and feminism and the lack of identification with the feminist movement. I spent the majority of my morning so far reading the comments to the post and visiting the commenter's blogs. I happened upon some blogs by women science professors. Those blogs linked to other blogs by women in science. I really tried to explore the blogs but found them VERY uninteresting. I know I am making the right choice to NOT go into academia.
Now I am inclined to re-evaluate my life strategy at 3 different stages of my life:
(1) Before Oral Exam: Run away from everything unpleasant.
(2) Oral Exam/G-skoo in general: Jump though the hoops and face the problems: act like a tiger.
(3) After passing all qualifiers: Run away! Run away!
Once I accomplish Goal 1: Relaxation, my next major goal will be to meet with my boss and discuss my path to graduation. This will be a 2 to 3 year path but I want to have it mapped out specifically so that I can see my progress. Meeting with my boss is something that will stress me out so I will probably meet with Red-Haired-Ashely for some advice on how to do this. She is at the end of her 4th year and has recently established a wonderful working relationship with her boss via very productive meetings about progress. *vomit* My excellent grip on reality makes it very clear that my boss (in his present and probably eternal state of being) is unable to have wonderful relationships of any sort. This being said, I hope that meeting with my boss will ensure prompt graduation, although my hopes do not extend to the development of any sort of relationship.
Onto Goal 1: Relaxation. This is hard for me, but clearly a necessity. To accomplish Relaxation, heh, I plan to blog, (check), lay out by the pool, (to which Jips said: That doesn't sound like Fermi!), and hang out with dogs.
I hung out with dogs a bit this morning. They are in the usual spring shedding process. I was scratching the rump of Dog 2, and hairs flew out into the air. It was so visible in the sunlight I was reminded of the Peanuts character who always had a cloud of dust around him. Was it Linus? I sat on the floor to pet the dogs because Dog 1 is having inflamed back disks again. The vet said we might have to have surgery if it happens again in 3 months, because Dog 1 is so young (5 yrs) and this has already happened twice. So Dog 1 is on steroids which cause him to pee and poop in the house even more than usual. And Dog 2 has been vomiting and farting TONS and TONS so our living/dining/kitchen room now is 90% urine smelling and 10% Dog 2 specialty-fart smelling. I sat on the floor because Dog 1 is not supposed to jump on the furniture with his back being bad, but he still does as often as he likes.
All of this: the dog hair, urine, and farting, compels me to clean the house. But that is in direct opposition to Goal 1: Relaxation. Fuck.
The same guy on the plane (mentioned in the last post) said to me: "You're Type A, aren't you?" I said, "I can see how I could be perceived in that way." While in my mind I thought: Who the hell are you to say I am Type A, you don't even know me, or anything about me! So I told my therapist about the previous conversation and she laughed and said I was Type A Plus. Extreme Type A. Both the therapist's confirmation and the plane guy got me thinking about how my graduate program is essentially a cult of Type A personality. There is a great deal of value-judgment based on how much and how hard you work. There are non-type A's, but these people (example: Chip) focus almost all of their energy on trying to appear to be working all of the time. The sad thing is that I felt the best about myself when I was prepping for my oral exam and at work all of the time. I really felt superior then. Which is fucked up because people who work all the time are not superior, they are just work-a-holics. And why do I care about being superior anyway? I just need to focus on being me.
It is scary how easily I can revert back to my factory settings. I was raised with the question: What did you DO today? which implied that the more accomplished = a better day. I went to alot of therapy in High School to change my focus to balance and peace. And now, I find myself in the position where I am surrounded by a small group of people whose default settings are like my own. And it was SO EASY to slip back into them. It is scary how easy it was.
This week I found myself in tears, because I lost who I was, and I lost who Jips and I were together. I was only my work. I am ready to be a stay-at-home mom TODAY. maybe that thought is inspiring my Goal 2: Meet with my Boss to insure a prompt graduation.
So the path back to Fermi starts through Goal 1: Relaxation. Even if I have to drag myself kicking and screaming to get there.