First, I was not the last person to submit my paper. The last paper was submitted at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, roughly 6 1/2 hours before the presentations were to begin. Secondly, my presentation went well (but more on that later), and lastly, I'm starting to get it in my head that maybe, just maybe I'm not quite as dumb as I thought.
Okay, we all know that I got no sleep between Friday and Saturday because of the paper for my CS 716 class [Comparative Studies 716: Theorizing Culture], but what I didn't know was that I was going to end up not getting any sleep before the big presentation of said paper to the class on Wednesday. That, and I didn't anticipate being pegged to do a focus group on facial cleansers right before the presentation, but $150 was too good to pass up.
This story's interesting, so I'll elaborate.
I got to the focus group at around 8:46. The early-bird drawing is for people who get to the session 15 minutes or sooner, and I had just missed it by one minute (they're strict about this) after rushing around to make sure I didn't forget anything at home since I was going straight to school afterwards. I was already stressed out and bummed that I didn't get the $25 bonus, but then they called in people by table color and I wasn't called to go in! Normally, that would've been okay by me because I would've gotten paid and gone home, but I was upset because I could've just as easily stayed home, polished my presentation, and gotten some damn sleep! Well, the check-in guy noticed that one of the people called in for my table wasn't even there, so the woman in charge apologized, offered me a chance to go in, and I went to participate in the focus group. I won't bore you with the details about the other people at my table, but I was surprised by the last announcement of the day: I had won an additional $75 for the best essay drawing (yes, they made us do homework and were paying us for it) which will come in the mail. Yay!
P.S. If you ever go to the Hyatt on Capital Square and you use their valet parking, be aware that their valet drivers will smoke in your car. Damn douchebag. I don't need that smell in my car.
Anyway, I got to school and I was very, very nervous about doing my presentation. When my turn came, all I had was my rough notes and my six manga images to facilitate people in knowing what the hell I was talking about when I said manga [and if you, dear reader, do not know what manga is, check out my Library Thing list on this page and you'll find many examples]. I was not only able to spit the words out without getting flustered (I'm good at setting myself up for failure by psyching myself out), I got people interested in my topic.
My topic? Looking at the manga series Basara, how does it compare/contrast to the struggles of Japanese women in modern Japanese society? I hypothesize that the post-apocalyptic, 27 volume series shows that women in Japan can free themselves from the good wife, wise mother role, but there will be a cost for deviating from the norm.
Anyway, my professor said that I had a good argument (finally!), so now I just need to polish the paper for the final draft which I am trying to get turned in my December 6, 11 p.m., so wish me luck.
I also went to my second class and spoke three times (which is a big deal for me because there have been several sessions where I never said anything). The person who did a critique on my paper (or would have, if we hadn't ran out of time) thinks my dissertation will be phenomenal when it's done. Yay, again!
As proof that I did well on my presentation, I ran into one of my classmates today and she told me that she found my topic interesting and wanted to know more after I had finished presenting. Getting someone interested in what I'm doing means I did my job well. Cool.
In other academic news, I'm improving in my work for CS 651A (Framing the "Other": China and the West) and managed to get an A on my second assignment even after getting a B+ on my re-write on the first assignment. I have a topic for the final paper for her class [Looking at the manga series Adolphe and analyzing it for signs of cruelty], so I need to buckle down and hammer out my points. I also met with my professor from my third class, and she told me that she can tell that I am getting the theories we're talking about in class and that I need not let other people silence my voice. She's also approved my project concept (To create a syllabus for an undergraduate class on "reading" graphic novels), so I need to break butt to get that done as well.
And, to top it all off, I got a letter in the mail saying I earned a $400 scholarship for an OSU alum who is doing well academically in grad school. And I can do whatever I want with the money. Even more yay! My husband saw the scholarship as a sign that someone really wants me to be in grad school.
So, to sum up: I'm doing better in my classes than I thought, I've gotten a windfall, and I've got a stupidly high amount of work to do, but it's do-able. I even got recommendations of people to talk to who can make my projects even better, and I just have to believe that what I say is just as important than what anyone else says.
Oh, and I have to face the professor who told me not to apply to grad school, because she is doing much of the same work that I'm covering (but in Women's Studies). At first I was dreading it, but now I see it as an opportunity to show this woman that I do belong here.
But I'm tired and have a long day ahead of me tomorrow and the three of us are going to try and get a family photo done on Saturday. Trust me, that will be scanned and uploaded as soon as it arrives in my hot little hands.
I go sleep now before baby wakes up [We learned another lesson this week: Switching formulas by accident = very gassy, unhappy baby. He will never make that mistake again.] I'd relax, but I'm not done yet.