week 10

there is this one professor who scares me a little, because he's brilliant and direct and critical. because he scares me i always seek him out for feedback on things. i make it a habit these days to do what scares me.

today i met with him for comments on my research proposal essay for the NSF fellowship application. which was double scary as this is the first research program i have ever developed.

he said "this is a good topic. this would make a good dissertation." in his scary, matter-of-fact way.

i had a complicated reaction. yay! and: wow, how in the hell did i actually stumble across a good diss topic in my first year? and: oh crap...does that mean i'm actually doing this thing for real? yeah i guess it does. huh.

mostly yay though.
mostly i got crazy interested in a phenomenon and if i choose, i can spend the next few years studying it from every possible angle.

it's funny to meet with a lot of people for comments on an essay because some of them are like "no, this part has to go." and the next person is like "i love that, it is just the right note to end on." one person who studies X is like "you must focus more on X in your plan" and the next person, who is more interested in Y, says "i think you should play up the part about Y". i don't know, i am just trying to prove that i have great potential as a researcher, in two pages max, one inch margins, 12pt times new roman. not an easy task, kids.

i am vaguely aware that the world does not, in fact, revolve around me & my NSF application. i have heard rumors to this effect. but for the next four days, i choose to disbelieve them.

and one more nice thing:
e: hi amy, how are you?
a: really tired.
e: of course you are. you're a first-year.
a: yeah.
e: don't worry. it gets better.
a: really? (perks up)
e: yeah. you don't get as much done. but you get a lot more sleep.
a: cool!

people in my department are so nice to me this week.