Friday, January 20, 2006

Wanting validation continues to be something that I struggle with every day. On one hand, I know how smart, witty, hardworking, etc, etc, I am. And I don't really want someone to say it to me everyday, cause I would think they were creepy stalkers and kissing my ass for some unknown reason.

But I do want to hear it sometimes.

For a little while, I tried some "Stuart Smalley"-esque affirmations, but I felt stupid. Then I went through a time where, dammit, I'm an adult woman and anyone else who doesn't appreciate me can kiss my ass.

So I waver through shades of all these stages. Wanting, rejecting, mocking, denying.

Part of my fear in applying for the PhD was the possible rejection. I wouldn't be smart enough, or attractive enough to be in "the club", and then my self image would be blown. The person I am pretty sure that I am would have to redefine herself as a "non suitable PhD candidate".

As angry as I get with myself for wanting to be in "the club", I still have flares of longing. Longings to be thin, longings to be likeable, longings to be easier to get along with, longings to be an Uber-Mom.

So I sent the application a couple of weeks ago, and my transcripts went out and my letter of recommendation went out too, and I have been waiting. I called people, I left messages, I followed up with email's. I heard nothing.

One of the challenges in being accepted into a PhD program is finding a Professor to work with you. Kind of like a mentor/research guide/person who promises to keep an eye on you. You have to establish a quasi agreement with a specific professor who agrees to take you on before you can get any further in the acceptance phase.

Then, out of the blue, I got an email yesterday from the one professor I had contacted asking if we could meet and would she consider being my supervisor. She had read my vitae and proposal and wanted to discuss it further with me. As I was not in Montreal, I emailed and told her that I would love to meet, but was not in the Country, so could I call her instead?

Yes, the reply came back. Call me at three.

I got nervous. Want to puke nervous. I began to pace and wander. I wrote down notes of things I wanted to remember to say, theorists I wanted to quote.

When the appointed hour came, I ran around trying to find a private unused space in my building where I could have an uninterrupted discussion with this woman.It was not as easy as it would seem. Every spare office or conference room was being used. I finally found one and sat down at 3:02 to make the call.

The conversation was to the point. Why did I want to do this? What would I use this for? Describe my methodology? How would this differ from my graduate work? What theorists would I use?

At the end, she said these words:

"I would love to be your supervisor. I'll send a note to the coordinator and tell her I've agreed."

This doesn't mean I'm in. Not at all. But I have jumped the highest hurdle on the field. And I feel good.

19 Baleful Regards:

V said...

Wow! That's great news! You must feel SO releived! And you sound like you handled yourself one who KNOWS the club.

Diana said...

You just jumped over one hurdle...congrats!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. I'm with V -- sounds like you handled it just perfectly. You might be in the club more often than you give yourself credit for.

Anonymous said...

That professor is one smart woman. And I'll be willing to bet she learns as much from you as you do from her. Congratulations.

mamatulip said...


Anonymous said...

Oh, sigh of relief with you! Good job! (I was thining the next line you were gonna write was that she anted to see you in Montreal and not accept a phone interview)

Hope your lucky streak continues, woman.

Sugarmama said...

Excellent work! This is great news--congratulations, and I hope all happens as you'd like it to!

sweatpantsmom said...


Congratulations. I'm sending good thoughts your way.

And, her name isn't 'Jenny Tall' by any chance, is it?

Fraulein N said...

That is excellent. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Dawn, you are good enough, smart enough, and doggonit, that professor likes you.

Also--rock on.

Anonymous said...

I'm crazy impressed. Congratulations!

Mama D said...

You smart. Well done.

Julie Marsh said...

That is wonderful news. I'm really excited for you, and also a bit awed. I honestly don't think I could complete a PhD program.

Anonymous said...


Dawn-- rocking the getting-an-advisor game!

Great, great news!

Lisa said...

Dawn, Dawn. Congrats! Yeay You. When you get accepted post asap to let us know. Because I for one (and I'm sure I'm not alone here) can't wait to hear all about it.

And I thought of you today with your posts from your childhood. And this post for validation is very timely for me. Long story but will e-mail you if I get time.

Hope you are great and you hear good news very soon.

Peggy Houston, TX said...

I am so happy for you! You rock, Dawn. You went for it instead of sitting on the couch - you got in the game. That is terrific.

halloweenlover said...

That is FANTABULOUS news. Wonderful.

I can't wait to hear that you've been accepted! I'm sure it's coming!

Anonymous said...

I'm totally referring to you as Doctor Dawn now.

Congratulations on beating back that bitch of an internal critic!

Meghan said...


I ordered a MENSA test, but am too scared to take it! I can totally relate.

I wish I would have come up with the "COMA!" game.
I had yet another game where I would enter my sisters bedroom, act like a crazy old lady, and then walk out, return, and act like I was me again, with no recollection of the crazy lady.

We were strange, bored children.

◄Design by Pocket