Monday, June 7, 2010

I feel invigorated today, after a meeting with Dr. Awesome to discuss publication options.  Zi has kindly offered (in the form of a friendly command) to help me prepare and edit a journal article based on parts of my diss.  Since I now have to regard Dr. Chair as a ghost of academia past, it's immensely comforting to me that Awesome can/will still lend a helping hand of guidance.  I have a month to transform diss material into Journal Article #1.  And away I go!

On a side note, I should post here -- for where else would such an observation be more appropriate? -- that I had a minor panic attack last week while setting up today's appointment with Awesome.  I noticed that hir emails were increasingly brief and hard-sounding as we zeroed in on a time and place.  I started feeling all stressed and lachrymose, wondering if I had somehow angered Awesome, and did that mean that zi would now cut me loose, since I'm no longer the charge of anyone in the department?  What would I do for academic guidance?  What would I do??  Where would I go???

And then I realized that I was having a moment of insanity, and I talked myself down.  The emails were increasingly brief because you don't necessarily have to write "My dear Dr. Koshary" in the third email that day about a short appointment with a junior colleague.  Awesome is busy; our appointment was but a small matter in hir day; we're on a first-name basis and don't need to write flowery emails all the time.  (I mean, I certainly have to do that at first to Awesome, but that's power relations for you.) 

What amazed me about this when I was calm again was that I was acting like I'm still a student, anxiously awaiting words of praise from a teacher.  But I'm not a student anymore.  My teachers have become my mentors and senior colleagues.  I can't and shouldn't read all sorts of political and emotional subtexts into one-line emails saying "Let's meet at my office."  I suppose I may have to regain this neurotic habit once I have a tenure-track job, but for now it's just overkill.  Awesome was glad to see me; zi offered me clever and useful advice; and zi did this out of no other obligation than friendship and slightly parental concern for my professional advancement.

Does this mean I can stop being a basketcase now?

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