Thursday, June 02, 2005

Adventures in Feeling Really Nervous

The nervousness is beginning to kick in now. I don't know if I'm just nervous about my upcoming interview, or if it's nervousness over the entire month's festivities, but I'm feeling very jittery. I'm afraid that I'll get sick, too, which I really can't afford to do. The only good thing that might happen is that I might lose another five pounds due to indigestion, like I did at the end of March just before I went to Sandia.

It's funny, because really it just started yesterday. On Tuesday I was fairly placid and serene. Up until yesterday afternoon, I was calm as can be. Then I guess I finally understood what was going to happen in this crazy whirlwind month.

Allow me to summarize:

This week:
Today: Tweak interview talk. Invite more people to party.
Tomorrow: Call park district about boat rental. Also, make sure that when they said on the invoice I was renting a podium, they really meant I was renting a grill.
Weekend: Pack for interview. Ask Russian lady at Farmer's Market about a special order of pirozhki for my defense. Finish putting quarter round around the kitchen and hallway. Try to get lots of sleep and to stay well.

Next week:
Monday: Go over final draft of dissertation with my advisor, correcting anything that needs to be corrected. Turn in final draft to committee. Also, get his approval of talk to be given at interview on Wednesday. Do final packing for trip.
Tuesday: Travel to New York. Dodge heavy traffic in an unfamiliar vehicle and try to locate my hotel late at night.
Wednesday: First day of interview. Dress professionally in uncomfortable clothing and shoes, drive myself to strange building, meet lots of strangers, present a seminar and entertain questions, all the while behaving as graciously as possible. Probably go out to lunch and dinner with strangers and try to eat as politely as possible.
Thursday: Dress in another elegant outfit. Pray that I am no longer allergic to silk, and hope that if I still am, the hives disappear before the next Monday. Meet more strangers and be as polite and gracious as possible, while answering hard questions about math. Try not to fall asleep due to exhaustion while talking to them. Navigate heavy traffic and make my way back to the airport in time to catch my flight. Change clothing in the airport. Buy presents in airport for my husband and for the woman who covered my karate class on Tuesday night. Arrive home late at night and collapse.
Friday: Recover from grueling ordeal. If I haven't done this already, send final draft of thesis to committee. Catch up on e-mail, especially messages pertaining to my next interview.
Weekend: Continue to recover. Make last-minute preparations for next interview. Try to get lots of sleep, eat little salt, and if I'm lucky, start my period. If I'm not lucky, start dosing myself with naproxen sodium. (low sodium + pain killers = my way of taking out some insurance against bitchin' cramps during my interview in case the menstruation gods are not on my side.)

Week of June 13:
Monday: Travel to Oak Ridge. Interview may start right after I leave the airport, so dress nicely but comfortably enough to walk across O'Hare airport without my feet cursing me. Possibly go out to dinner with people I've never met and who haven't yet heard my seminar. Or, maybe my seminar is scheduled for Monday afternoon. I guess I'll find out. In any case, be gracious and accommodating, ignoring any semblance of PMS.
Tuesday: Spend most of day interviewing at Oak Ridge. Leave mid-afternoon to catch my flight home. Again, dress nicely, but comfortably enough to walk across O'Hare, or, change clothes at the airport.
Wednesday: Recover from grueling ordeal. Catch up on correspondence, especially pertaining to next interview and the other interview that has not yet been scheduled.
Thursday: Work on defense talk. Practice it upon unsuspecting officemates and other suckers. Teach karate after missing almost two weeks.
Friday: Continue work on defense talk. Maybe even practice it upon my advisor.
Weekend: Buy tableware, plates, napkins, name tags, and decorations for my party. Try to get lots of sleep and stay healthy.

Week of June 20:
Monday-Wednesday: Prep for defense and party. Prep for next interview.
Thursday: Dad, bonus mom, and sister arrive. Make final preparations for party and defense.
Friday: My big day. Eat nothing and stare at the wall. Tell bad jokes badly out of nervousness. Dress in uncomfortable clothing. Supply tasty pirozhki and assorted beverages for audience. Give defense talk. Answer questions graciously. After audience leaves, remain unfrazzled by committee's questions. Return to my office as they confer, and try not to think about the fact that they're in that little room talking about me behind my back. Jump up and down for joy when I pass. Go out to dinner with husband, sister, dad, and bonus mom.
Saturday: Day of my party. Go to farmer's market in the morning. Enjoy the day. Set up for party at 6 p.m. Enjoy my guests and the potluck food from 6:30-9:30. Clean up afterwards.
Sunday: Recover. Say farewell to departing family members. Thank my dad for underwriting party.

Week of June 28:
Monday: Make final preparations for Los Alamos interview. Pack for trip.
Tuesday:Travel to New Mexico. Drive 100 miles to strange place in unfamiliar car without getting lost. Listen to some good music on the way.
Wednesday: Dress in uncomfortable clothing. Give seminar, interview with many strangers, behaving graciously at all times. Eat as politely as possible.
Thursday: Drive back to Albuquerque. Travel home. Buy souvenirs for my husband and for the woman who covered my karate class on Tuesday.
Friday: Recover from trip.

Over the course of the following weeks:
Review my options. If unsuccessful, find other jobs to interview for. Ask people I met at conference for their help. Otherwise, decide which job to take, and begin preparing for move!


team bigham said...

You are going to do so well. I will miss your party, but I hope it is wonderful. Good luck, cousin!


Laura said...

GO BECCA! You are my strong, smart, sassy sister, and you will do such a wonderful job. I know it! It's going to be hard, but good thing you're SO FREAKIN AWESOME because you're going to get through these grueling ordeals with flying colors and kick some serious butt this week.


Laura said...

I meant to say this MONTH. sorry. :-)