Hello friend, I’ve been waiting for you

April 14th, 2008, 4:01 pm PDT by Kat

I’m giving this Friday’s Lunch Bunch talk in the department. For those of you at SFU, it’s like BISC’s Les Ecologists seminar. Today is Monday, and I just started working on my talk this morning. I’m supposed to give a practice talk to the lab on Wednesday afternoon.

For the past week or so I’ve been wondering when my friend, The Fear, would show up. Well, it finally got here today.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, picture this. You have a large assignment, exam, paper, or *ahem* dissertation due soon, but for whatever reason, you procrastinate… a lot. Then at some point, generally close to the due date, it finally dawns on you that you have JUST enough time to finish said project. You get this feeling of dread. What if you don’t finish? No… you HAVE to finish. Crap! Yup, you have what Greg and I have termed “The Fear”.

Sadly, it seems like I have made an academic career out of facing The Fear. It started with studying the night before exams. No problem. Then it was waiting until the last minute to write my MSc thesis. I cut it a bit close, but really, who doesn’t leave the printing of the thesis until the day that it’s due? The crowning glory to my increasingly unhealthy relationship with The Fear came the night before my dissertation was due; by 11 pm that night I had yet to write the introductory and conclusion chapters. I think I broke down at around 2 am and cried, but in the end, I made it. The dissertation was turned in on time (thank you Tina, Oli, and Em for last-minute proof-reading and help with printing!).

So now with the last talk I’ll ever give at UNC looming, I think I’ve finally got it down to where The Fear is showing up at the appropriate time. I think I can prep this talk in about 3 days, and technically I have 4 days until I have to give the talk. So maybe I’m heading back towards the more supportive (sometimes you just need a little push to get started) and less psychotic relationship that I had with The Fear when I was an undergrad. I hope so. I’m getting old, and the stress associated with The Fear is really starting to kick my ass.

Ask me on Friday whether today was a good day for The Fear to show up, or if it should have been here last week.

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