Monday, September 1, 2014

not really sure how to feel about it

so i had a meeting on friday with my old stat professor, as you all know. i was a little worried about the fact that i've forgotten most of the statistics i learned over the years, and if forced to talk stat talk i would probably just start panic yelling random words like standard deviation, bell curve, and outliers. i was also worried about the fact that, although i know i'm going to need some stat stuff for my dissertation because my question is "how effective" and my adviser told me so, i'm not exactly sure what i'll be testing or how i'll be measuring stuff yet. but, as it turns out, i could have walked into that meeting completely unprepared (which i did. okay okay i was more in the basically unprepared camp than the completely one.) and still walked out of it with a very enthusiastic and excited new committee member (which i also did).

along with my email asking the professor for a meeting and telling her that i took a class with her a million years ago so she should love me, i sent a brief abstract and outline of what i think my dissertation is going to look like so far. (people are really impressed by this document because they think it means i know what i'm doing. in reality, it's literally the only thing i have done so far and i still basically have no idea what i'm doing. the outline is really good, though. whenever i read it i even fool myself into thinking that i have things under control.) anyway, the lady read my idea and where i'm hoping to take it and got so excited about it that she went and talked to my adviser about joining my committee and what she can help with and where she thinks we could go and how thrilled she is before we even saw if we were "a good fit" in person. like, guys, she is really excited about this idea. which was such a foreign feeling to me. i mean, my adviser likes my idea, sure, but he helped to develop it so he should. most other people either don't like it or don't care or want to tweak it into something that fits their interests better. (i'm pretty sure that my other committee member still has no idea what my idea is. i'm pretty sure he doesn't care in the least bit.)

one of the main issues i had with finding a committee is that i don't want to just build a system. i'm not interested in that. i've always been more into analysis and investigations and storytelling. and most of the people who are eligible to sit on a committee believe that, to get a PhD in IT, you should build a system. this lady, though? she was so excited that she would finally get to help on a project with data analysis, because that is her passion. she likes security, too, which is basically my background so we hit it off there as well. and she really liked my adviser and is friends with my other committee member. it really seems like everything worked out exactly the way it was supposed to. it was just an overall good meeting, and i left it really excited. (as i tend to get when people are enthusiastic about my idea and encouraging and not the negative, rude, you-should-probably-drop-out kind of people that a lot of my other meetings were with.)

but because i am a brat, it did not take long for the excitement to turn into "ohgodohgodohgodohgodohgod now i actually have to do work and i'm going to be held accountable for things and the things i've been putting off but telling people i've been doing need to be done by the end of the month and i should pribably stop procrastinating and aaahhhhhhhhh." so on the one hand, this phd thing looks like it's actually happening. the wheels are spinning, the cogs are turning, we're brushing off cobwebs and finally making some forward progress. yay! and on the other hand, uggghhhh woooorrrk. 

(disclaimer: i know i sound obnoxious about this. i know this is a good thing. i will be happy about it at some point, hopefully pretty soon. at the moment, though, i'm just a tad bit super overwhelmed.)

*Stay - Rihanna

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