Tuesday, August 11, 2009

18d to the GRE

Tuesday morning: Boost, 6mp, levisin, peppermint pill, probiotic.
Tuesday afternoon: Boost, ginger pill, levisin.
Tuesday evening: baked potato, peppermint pill, minus a cup of blood.

nausea (the kind that you get high in the stomach when you vomit nothing but bile for hours on end), fatigue, pain (stomach and intestinal), diahrrea, blurred vision, and an insane craving for Chinese food.

Well, I haven't studied for two days and I'm feeling anxious. But not enough to try to study between running to the restroom every ten minutes. I think I'm still on the right track, though. It can be done. I keep having to remind myself that the reason my scores aren't improving on the practice tests is because I'm not focusing and my attitude is, "I'll do better when I'm more alert"... as if magically I'm going to be more alert and less nauseas 18 days from now.

I plan on taking the practice exams in sections from now on (still timed) instead of all together. This should help the maintain focus. Should. I have no interest in masking this - it's fucking hard. The material is simple, but the task of focusing and blocking out the pain and the malaise and exhaustion is... well, exhausting. Honestly, my motivation to do well at this point is so that once it's overwith I can meet with my prospective mentors in California the following week with pride and purpose.

I'm finding the confabulatory prognostication of failure and defeat to be more harmful than helpful, as usual. Therefore, my goal for the next three weeks is to concentrate on what I'm doing now, and agree with myself that if I study assiduously, the outcome of the test will be indicative of that. Baring in mind that I am not a genius, and, in fact, have other qualities that trump that quality, I can be content with an above-average score... which is usually where I fall academically.

Speaking of research experience (which is my second most attractive scientific asset), I'm actually writing this at work. Truth be told, when my boss is out of town and my coworkers don't even see fit to come in, I have no quams about sitting here writing for the bulk of my time. I feel no obligation to perform above and beyond when my boss is not here. So I'll write, I'll get the critical parts of protocol done, I'll read some journal articles, I'll run to the restroom about twelve times, then I'll catch a bus home and hopefully be able to study a bit during the ride... and not have to get off the bus and waddle to the nearest public restroom and finally find one only seconds before... you get the idea.

This is a bit how my internal pep-rally goes:

I am not an academic prodigy, but... I have intelligent creativity, tremendous work ethic, astronomical ambition, indestructible curiosity, a history of begetting and carrying-out great things, and a unique ability to write and communicate that almost zero scientists that I have met can challenge.

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