anxiety

Karen Allendoerfer ravena at cco.caltech.edu
Tue Apr 15 08:37:22 EST 1997


In article <a-schmi-1404972340080001 at vortex5.life.uiuc.edu>,
aloisia t schmid <a-schmi at uiuc.edu> wrote:
>
>I am having to go to a meeting for the first time where I am not
>presenting something (for a long list of reasons---some of them being my
>own fault!) and feel so embarrassed about that.  What is the appropriate
>and least self-deprecating thing to say to people when they ask why you
>aren't presenting? 

My experience has been that it's not really such a big deal to go to a
meeting and not be presenting.  Our Society for Neuroscience meeting
has over 15,000 people attending each year--thank goodness not all of
them have abstracts!  I've heard people make reference to the fact that
now they can really concentrate on learning something at the meeting
since they didn't have to worry about the poster/slides beforehand, and
didn't have to be nervous about the talk, or whatever.  My experience
is that most people ask, only, "are you presenting?" and then, the
appropriate, non self-deprecating answer is "no."  If people ask "why"
and they don't know you well enough to already know why, they probably
don't deserve much of an answer.  Maybe something like "the work didn't
make a complete enough story in time for the abstract deadline."  
(At Neuroscience, everyone is very sympathetic to the abstract deadline,
because this year it is April 25, and the meeting is in October!)

>And maybe this is more to the point.  When you all are feeling really low
>and really down in the dumps, because maybe you haven't produced as much
>as you feel you should have or because you are having to deal with surly
>creeps....(and I mean surly creeps beyond all comprehension!)....  What
>are the ways you all talk yourself back into being positive and up-beat
>and motivated to keep on working?

This may sound silly, but I sometimes try to work when no one else is in
lab and then I sing while I work.  I had a roommate in college who was
a great singer and she taught me some songs that I used to sing during
my boring work-study job washing pots.  It helped then, and it helps now,
doing mini-preps (lately I've been singing Madrigals about the arrival
of spring).  Sometimes I talk to my experiments, too, like talking to
your plants.  Listening to books on tape (upbeat ones) can help, too.

Karen

>
>
>                        Alice





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