So the past month I have been a bit preoccupied with preparing for what is known as a committee meeting. As a graduate student we not only have our mentors, the person who is essentially our boss/slave driver, we have about 4-5 additional faculty members who also oversee the fate of our futures. And starting in our 3rd year we have to meet about every 6 months with this "committee" to go over our research progress. Yesterday was my first meeting. Being as I have been in the lab for about a year and a half now I had quite a bit of data to go over and prepare for this meeting. I knew my mentor expected a good presentation from me and therefore started early. Luckily I know my stuff. There were only a few revisions and my final run through with her went very well. However, my worries were not with her. I know her faith and confidence in me. This was my first meeting with the rest of the faculty who come from all different backgrounds. I had no idea how they were going to respond to my ideas and research. So there I sat, 5 minutes before the beginning of the meeting waiting and worrying about my competence as a scientist. Talk about stress!
Then 2 hours later, I walked out alive. Yes, it was a 2 hour presentation. Granted there were many interruptions for questions and discussions. And thankfully they all agreed that what am doing has scientific significance. YAY!! The last year and a half has not been a huge waste of time! But now what this really means is that I have a whole lot of work to get done in the next few months. Because then I have not only another committee meeting, but my admission to candidacy meeting, where they will decide if I am fit to finish my PhD or not. So, I'm letting myself enjoy the rest of December, but come January, its on!