Sunday, May 07, 2006

Crunched Time

So I've got this thesis thing.  I imagine this seems normal to all you academic folk out there, but I've never dealt with a long-term project lie this before.  The deadline is approaching in a most unfriendly fashion, and although I've got enough ego for several folks, I'm beginning to realize that I don't know what the hell I'm doing.  I'm terrified of sending pages to my advisor because he's going to realize what a vapid hunk of crap they are, revoke my recommendation letter and get me kicked out of PhDland before I even get to go.  Then of course they won't let me teach the summer course (and let's face it, that may be better for all involved).  In a month and a half I'll be asking strangers if they want fries with that.

The funny thing is that I'm used to reading about how many academics have the whole 'what is the world discovers I'm a compete fraud?' complex, but for some reason, I didn't think I would get that.  But now that there are more things riding on my performance, I see myself feeling exactly that. 

I always thought the trick was never to give anyone the impression that I thought I was anything more than I am.  That way no one would ever be surprised to realize that I don't know jack and I haven't read Foucault.  I guess that plan didn't work out so well.

sigh.  7 hours is enough work on this beast today.  I'm going home. 


Bill Tozier said...

Everybody gets Imposter Syndrome. Big ego makes it even easier. Trust me.

Just like everybody gets depressed. It's part of the whole academic socialization thing.

zerodoll said...

i thought everybody felt like that always. i keep wondering when people will realize i don't know nuthin' 'bout no chemistry, even though i play one at work. keep pluggin' away!

mendi-la said...

i'm with zd - i keep waiting for folks to figure out what a dunce i am and i make it a point to stay under the radar - at least until recently but that is another story - and fries with that? i serously doubt it but if it ever does come to switching careers, let me show you some cool stuff in photoshop CS2 :) - you are great and your ideas are great, keep at it and before you know it, you'll be our very only phud :) xoxoxx

sheepish said...

Cheer up, man. Everybody gets the Imposter Syndrome. What's even better is that it never really goes away! Several years into a faculty job you'll most likely still think you're an utter fraud. I know I do. (Think I'm a fraud that is, not think you are.)

Hope that helps!

BrightStar said...

Join the club with the imposter syndrome, man. Join the club. I agree with Zerodoll. Everyone feels this way sometimes. ("Everybody hurts, sometimes...")

(Oh, there's my boyfriend right there... Hi, Sheepish, Hi! You're not a fraud, you rock! I mean, I'm the fraud, you're not!)