Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Soufflés and Anxieties

For those of you who were wondering: the soufflé was a success! (I think? It went all puffy and it tasted fine, although it was lumpy on the top and I suspect that I whipped the egg whites too much, because they were really difficult to fold into the yolk/white sauce mixture.) I next want to try the Joy of Cooking's Goat Cheese and Walnut Soufflé, but I'd have to find people to come over for supper for that, because it makes eight servings.

My next expedition will be making bread, which I will do today, provided that I get the dishes washed and enough books read.

In other news: do any of you have advice about building up my confidence, regarding my upcoming exams? My anxiety has taken over entirely. I'm haunted by all these questions -- what if I don't finish reading in time? What if I can't remember everything from the beginning and I fail miserably? Am I really capable of handling this degree? What if I disappoint everyone?

The exams have built themselves up to be huge in my mind. I think part of the problem is that the whole "failing to get [Shirk-alike] because I'm still working on comps" thing did some bad things to my confidence.

So: how do I get back to feeling like a capable person again? How do I keep myself from being frozen by my anxiety? How do I set all of this aside and just get the stinking reading done?

Any suggestions?

4 comments:

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

One way to think about it -- what would happen if you failed? Then play it out -- chances are you'll have another chance to take the exam... most places do. Chances are you'll need to do some extra work to prepae and maybe you'll be delayed in graduating.. those aren't the end of the world.

Worst case scenario you end up working at Borders or something.... which wouldn't be a world-ending situaiton.

LynnieC said...

Good thing you can always fall back on your shoulder shimmying.

Speaking of, where did you get the "Wait until you see me dance" shirt. My friend Jill is getting married and she's the best dancer I've ever seen and I'd like to get her one.

Oh yeah, and you're so smart!!! You can do anything you set your mind to. Look at everything you've accomplished, and against what odds! You married the most wonderful man, even though most of us thought your pale skin and cankles would prevent it.
Plus, you got your Masters and are kicking butt at PhD!!

And in other news, I'm listening to Sean Connery read the words to "In My Life" by The Beatles. This is the strangest moment ever.

The History Enthusiast said...

Having just been in your shoes, my main advice is this:
1) Know that stressing out will not help the situation. This sounds easier than it is. But, think about it: I kept saying to myself, "Stressing out will only make this worse...it doesn't help anything," while taking deep breaths.
2) Know that God is in control of your fate. If He wants you to pass, you'll pass. If He has you fail, it is for a reason . I failed at something during my M.A. program and it hit me REALLY HARD, until I realized that by failing at that endeavor I was taken out of a potentially bad environment and put into a much healthier environment (sorry for being vague here). Now I'm glad.
3) Be prepared, but take off a few days before the exams. Your head will be much clearer. It was hard for me to resist the temptation to keep reading, it was REALLY HARD in fact, but RESIST THE TEMPTATION.

Good luck! I will be sending good vibes and prayers your way!

Ky said...

These people are giving you good advice, Maryanne. You are going to be fine. "The sun will go on rising and setting, whether I fail in geometry or not." But you won't fail, because you are going to rock the comps.