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» Nauvoo Forum » Nauvoo Classic Forum » General Discussions » In over my pretty little head- advice please (Page 1)

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Author Topic: In over my pretty little head- advice please
EDGJanitor
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Earlier this year, I applied for a fellowship for a summer program back East. Despite my lack of academic credentials ( I didn't finish my BA) I actually got the fellowship. Since it is a graduate level program, I was pretty surprised.

So now, I going to bang the manure off my boots, and wing my way East. I am a little stressed. By "little" I mean that I quit sleeping a week ago.

First, I am worried about the weather. If you remember, I have an obnoxious little lung disorder that makes breathing hard. It is harder in heat. It is harder still in humidity. I will be in the NYC area so I am expecting lots of heat and humidity. Any tips on surviving NYC in July would be great.

Second, I really honestly am in over my head. I am going to participate in this institute with people who really did have the credentials to get in and didn't just write a really good application. Since my current idea of a professional discussion involves roping and hog tying things, I am feeling a little rusty. Anyone hang out at academic conferences? Any tips for the big faker?

Third, I know that I am supposed to go to this conference. I knew when I applied that even though it looked like a long shot, I would get in. I know I am supposed to participate. That said, I am very nervous about my participation and my family while I am gone. Is it OK to hide under my covers until the whole thing is over?

And for those who got excited about my absence, please remember that I usually moderate while running the farm, raising 6 kids, tending 2 more and doing everything else that comes my way. During these 2 weeks, I will just be going to workshops and writing a lot so I will have lots of extra time to devote to the darling citizens of Nauvoo.

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mirkwood
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What is the subject?

Tips for dealing with humidity and heat at that same time? Stay inside (no that wasn't a smartass answer).

[ June 23, 2010, 04:08 PM: Message edited by: mirkwood ]

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palmon
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Congratulations! Those academics won't know what hit them.
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Sparky
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How very, very exciting!!!! I am so proud and pleased for you that you got accepted. Go get 'em, Gracie!

Heat/humidity in NYC? Same as Mirk says, stay inside where it is air conditioned. Drink lots of water, even if you don't think you're thirsty. And as a result know where the restrooms are. [Blushing] If you go for walks outside, step into a store or restaurant or other public place periodically to refresh in the air conditioning.

Now, for the seminar/classes/program. I too am curious what the subject is. You may not have the actual academic credentials, but I know that you have the life credentials
  • dealing with government systems, law, etc. in dealing with helping abused children
  • dealing with all of us here on Nauvoo
  • dealing with a family and a farm
In all of the symposiums/programs/conferences that I have attended at a graduate level, what matters are thoughtful comments. I'm sure you'll have insights that the others won't have that will be very useful in the program. That's why you felt like you would get in, and why you actually did get in. And others may actually be able to provide some insights for you!

Have fun! Tell us how it goes! When is it?

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FlyByNight
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If you believe you are in over your head then you will be.

However, you were picked for a reason. You are not over your head and you need to believe it.

BTW, get some sleep. Because as soon as you get there you'll realize that you're not over your head relax, and fall asleep in the middle of a discussion. And that would be bad.

Been trying to teach my kids the same thing. They say I can't do it. I say because you believe you can't you won't, believe in yourself and you will succeed.

[ June 23, 2010, 05:23 PM: Message edited by: FlyByNight ]

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Pink Floyd
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Don't worry. Experience trumps academia every time, and you have loads of experience.

quote:
I will be in the NYC area so I am expecting lots of heat and humidity. Any tips on surviving NYC in July would be great.

Two words:
NY Mets

Oh wait. That's three words...

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jana at jade house
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Weather-actually, if you are at a conference you mostly will be sitting in an air conditioned hall most of the time. I would bring something to throw over your shoulders in the drafts. Since I live without airco most of the time, most AC places in the US are way too cold, and conditioned air irritates my lungs...New York is no different- even the buses have AC.

Smarts- A degree is not a benchmark of anything other than ability to spew out information in a testable manner. Application of said information however is another horse. Since I have up close and personal experience with you, I know you will be just fine. It is exactly like the ward community. Some folks are know alls, some folks are lovely, some folks listen, some folks contribute, and some are there for reasons only known to God. You will have good use of your BS detector. A faker you are not. Learning comes from many resources, your just come packaged differently. I know that some of the greatest minds I meet at conference are humble engaging people who answer my questions and entertain my opinions even though my expertise is in a totally different field. Stand in the light of who you are and what you know.

Knowing - read what you wrote. Take a deep breath, square your shoulders, and trust that the right words will arrive on the wings of the Holy Ghost. I am sure you are not leaving the family all bereft , alone and without preparation. Goofy Girl.


and oh darn, this was going to be our opportunity to run nacked through the street of Nauvoo bellowing epithets at the top of our lungs, pooh.

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Randy
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I applied for a temporary part-time contract position that I thought was a long shot, and have suddenly found myself on a telecommuting team, working with some extremely smart people.

So I deal with the situation the only way I can--to do the best I can, and hope it's good enough.

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Sparky
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And by the way, people with graduate degrees, of whom I know quite a few, can be really, really, really dumb, and really, really really stupid (not necessarily the same thing, though they can be tied together neatly into one person). [Big Grin] So don't let some silly paper that these people have put you into a tizzy. In many cases it just means that they paid a lot of money to sit, to listen, and to write, and got a nice little paper as a result, but not necessarily any new learning or understanding.
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Sparky
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Randy, that's really cool. And just so's you know, I think you're a really, really smart person, too!
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Sparky
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(See, I have one of those ole sheepskins, and I like the words "really, really" really, really a lot! So sheepskins don't necessarily mean a whole lot)
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Sparky
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(Unless you wear one of those sheepskins to cover your nekkidness which apparently Jana doesn't want to do. [Laugh] )
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yungmom
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I second drinking the lots of water.

I don't have an understanding of your lungs so this may not apply. I do have a hard time with humidity and my lungs. I found one of those back massagers that lay across a seat are wonderful for me. When I start getting very tight in my chest then I lay on one for awhile. I started doing this because when my oldest had RSV they taught us to sort of beat on his back to knock lose the things in his lungs. I don't know if it works the same way for me, but it does work.

I'm getting worried about going to NY as well. I'm trying to do the couch to 5K thing and the idea of doing it in the humidity for 2 weeks just worries me.

[ June 23, 2010, 10:10 PM: Message edited by: yungmom ]

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Sweet William
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quote:
Any tips for the big faker?
Realize that 98% of everyone else is a bigger faker than you are, they just like to use big words and word salad to somehow sound "smart."

I frequently wonder how some people with degrees could have possibly made it through college. I wonder if they paid their wife to take all their tests for them.

You don't have that particular option, unfortunately.

And what Jana Said.

quote:
and oh darn, this was going to be our opportunity to run nacked through the street of Nauvoo bellowing epithets at the top of our lungs, pooh.
Thank you for yet another charming image.

[ June 23, 2010, 11:06 PM: Message edited by: Sweet William ]

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Janey
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I always felt in over my head while talking to other lawyers. [Smile] One thing that makes you sound smart is to actually prepare for the meeting or class. Read the material and think about it before you get there. I was always surprised at how many people tried to just wing it. Preparation is surprisingly rare.

And I also agree with Pink Floyd - your experience will make your contribution valuable and interesting.

I'm excited for you. Be sure to let us know what it's like.

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V.
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What everyone else said! Go for it, Gracie! V.
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T2
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If you can moderate this place, you can do anything. Oh, and stay inside where there is AC.
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jana at jade house
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quote:
Thank you for yet another charming image.
I live to serve.
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scruffydog
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Speaking as an academic, I have to echo what others have said. The academics have the same insecurities, and the more sure and certain they sound about their opinions, the more likely it is that they are insecure about their reception.

The thing to remember is that if you have prepared well, you will know more about your topic than at least 95% of the audience. If you get questions at the end, just relax and answer them with the knowledge you have. Most questions that are asked are really just a device for the individual to register their presence, and they really don't care about the answer. You might get a buffoon trying to score points, but they end up looking like the idiot that they are and will normally get slapped down by the chair of the session.

Remember that academics are rarely well adjusted socially, and that the four characters in the Big Bang Theory are unrealistically close to normal people. If you do get any hostile reactions, it's just the way that academics sometimes talk to one another. They are like kids in the playground, so neither praise nor scorn from them should be taken too seriously.

The secret to giving a lecture at a conference is to remember that you are giving a performance just as you would doing stand up comedy or a poetry reading. You are projecting a persona, and that is what people are paying most attention to, not the content of the paper. Attention span means that most of what you say will shoot straight in one ear and out the other. What will stick will be the way you present yourself, the confidence of your delivery and how relaxed you are.

Bottom line, though, is that you will enjoy the experience, you will knock them dead and wonder why you were worried in the first place.

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Pink Floyd
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quote:
Most questions that are asked are really just a device for the individual to register their presence, and they really don't care about the answer.
[Clap]

Yep. You'll find that out in about the first 3 minutes.

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Randy
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Thank you Sparky.
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PaddingtonBear
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I agree with Janey about preparation; I am continually surprised by the high percentage of people who don't read the material, so to speak.

I'd also say, just be honest, and don't be a big faker. I always think it's fairly obvious who is pretending to more knowledge than they have. Most people are pretty forgiving of someone who frankly says "hey, I don't have all the answers and am just doing my best to keep up". Of course, that doesn't mean going overboard with the "I'm not worthy" prostrations, but I don't think that's a worry for you. [Smile]

And Gracie, I'd say that you are about the last person I'd ever worry about not being able to discuss "intellectual" matters.

Hey, if you get a chance, go eat at Carmine's and then tell me if you liked it or not.

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EDGJanitor
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So I got an email today that listed the assignments that are due the first day of class. I should have expected that but I didn't. I will not freak out, I will not freak out, I probably won't freak out.

Thanks PB.

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Dyany
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Gracie, remember that even if, against the odds, you ARE in over your head, it doesn't matter. You do your best, that's all that's needed. Even if you utterly fail, it doesn't matter, you are still a wonderful person and we love you.

And if all else fails, remember the words of my cheap grandmother who, when on a family vacation in NY in the 50s she found out that you couldn't use store bathrooms unless you bought something, she told the kids to pee in the gutter while saying, "These people will never see you again anyway."

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Sparky
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Dyany [Clap]
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EDGJanitor
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I survived. I got home yesterday. The next time I leave for a long time, I shall misreport my return date by at least two days. The doorbell and phone rang non-stop today since everyone knew I was back.

The Institute was simply amazing. I have never seen anything like it. The little group we had was lightning in a bottle. There were 32 people and we worked together, lived together, played together, and did our final projects together. Everyone got along for two weeks. Even me. I have never seen such a great group dynamic. These people were just some of the greatest people I have ever met.

My dorm room was a hovel but it had a/c so I didn't care. I had two lovely roommates. One of them knows absolutely anything you might ask about. She works with inner city children as a teaching artist. She has 2 doctorates. One in Russian linguistics.

People were every bit as crazy smart and accomplished as I was afraid they would be. But they were, to soul, generous and humble with their knowledge and gifts. I have never crammed so much into my little brain.

I got to wander around NYC and stayed in the city a couple nights. I got to take the train, which I love. And when I got a little claustrophobic, my friend took me to the beach so I could see the sky.

I played in the ocean, ate lobster, stayed up all night reading news articles, defended concealed carry alone when the whole class was against it, and killed the final.

In short, I had the time of my life. Thanks for your encouragement.

Go have an adventure. I just cannot recommend it highly enough.

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V.
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Welcome back, Gracie! So glad you had a wonderful adventure! V.
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quidscribis
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Aw, Gracie had a great time. Lovely, lovely, lovely. [Smile]
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Curelom
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Back in one piece, & it sounds like a great experience. Congratulations! [Hat]
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mirkwood
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[Hail]
quote:
defended concealed carry alone when the whole class was against it
Oh do tell that story!
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Sparky
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When I read that line, I knew Mirkwood would be very interested. [Big Grin] But please, tell the story! And what was the institute all about?
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Churchmouse
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Fox News cited a study a few weeks ago that found that cities that have enacted concealed carry laws have seen their crime rate go down.
Sounds good to me.

NYC. I love New York. Wouldn't live there if someone paid me to do so, but what a place to visit. I used to go there on weekends when I was stationed at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. Would get a bed at the USO for 2 bucks a night. Free tickets to Broadway shows, ride the subway for hours and just walk the streets and see the sites. I always stayed in the same room at the USO. Laying in bed at night you could see the glowing Empire State Building through the window. What great memories. I think I'm going to [Cry]

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Redd
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quote:
Go have an adventure. I just cannot recommend it highly enough.
I always thought your life was an adventure! I am so glad you are home safe and that you really enjoyed New York City. What a wonderful experience for you!
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JennaDean
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Read an interesting quote that has become the theme of our summer: "Life is a big canvas. Throw all the paint on it you can."

It has inspired at least one of my kids to try several things he ordinarily wouldn't have.

Sounds like you got a lot of colors on your canvas this summer, Gracie! Good job!

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Dyany
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Yay for Gracie! You don't know how much you inspire me.
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rayb
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wow. that sounded like quite an adventure. glad you had a great time, and that when you got back things were in one piece. [Smile]

( somehow I missed this thread. I love hanging out with intellectuals... never been one myself, but i love learning... my advice would've been to never take offense, because the ability to learn is far more precious than my own ego. that... and whenever you hear something you question, ask for a citation, then write it down and look it up in your spare time... )

--Ray

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EDGJanitor
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quote:
and whenever you hear something you question, ask for a citation, then write it down and look it up in your spare time...
It was a News Literacy conference. We were all asking for cites and checking them the entire time. It really makes you think about what you know and believe to have run every idea through fact check.

[ July 27, 2010, 07:51 PM: Message edited by: EDGJanitor ]

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LoudmouthMormon
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I wanna hear Gracie's story too.

I've never been in the position to defend concealed carry in person, but I have a collection of stories to pull from should the need arise. The first one I want to try:

"You've noticed the people who drive the armored cars and get bags of money in and out of atm's and banks are armed right? And you're ok with that, because they're trained and protecting something valueable, right? Well, over there are my kids playing. I'm trained too, and they're much more valueable to me than any stupid bag of money."

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Jim_Clay
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I'm glad it went well, EDG.
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Churchmouse
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Loudmouth,

So your point is, let the people robbing the armored car have guns, but not the men in the armored car.

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