Monday, November 12, 2007

Admission is not defeat

Last night, I finally allowed myself to admit that I was not going to be able to handle the month of December as I had it mapped out. The short version:
  • Very beginning of December, drive down to Capital City with Trillian and Scooter.
  • Fly back a few days later.
  • Mid-December, seminar exam.
  • 3 and 4 days later, exam over 1st half of comps (it's two 1/2 days of writing).
  • Next day, packers box up all of our stuff.
  • Day after that, movers load up all of our stuff.
  • The following day, my seminar paper is due.
  • Finally, I fly out to my family.
For a long time, I convinced myself that I could manage this, that I could balance everything and not flip out worrying about moving just before I had to go into my exams.

But the past couple of days have brought a few new things--niggling little things, a presentation, a proposal for the second half of my comps, a committee meeting--that have stolen study time. Just a few hours here and there, but enough to derail my study plans to the point that completing all of my comps reading becomes a greater source of tension.

So I sent an email to the supervisor of this part of my comps this morning. Admitted that I'd packed my December too full, that I would be dealing with too much at the time of my exam to write with a clear head, that it would be a huge weight off if I could push it back to January or February, that I was hoping to write the exam remotely (this had been mentioned for the second half of my comps). That I would stand by my original date if this was too difficult a request for any reason, that I could still be ready, but that I would really appreciate the chance to do this when I wouldn't be feeling so overwhelmed.

I hate admitting when I've taken on too much--not so much to Trillian or my friends, but definitely to people in positions of power over me. I worry about showing anything that might be considered weakness to those whose judgment of me can affect outcomes. And so I very carefully pick the moments when I do this, when I ask for some concession or accommodation, when I admit that I can't do it all.

Now I just have to make the best use of this reprieve that I possibly can.


bubandpie said...

Have you heard back yet?

Mouse said...

Neither this supervisor nor the graduate advisor (who is in charge of the administrative side of this) have a problem with me putting off my exam, so it looks like I'll be able to breathe a little easier for the next month.

Aliki2006 said...

Good for you--for knowing your limits at this busy time. If I remember my comps it was an ordeal I really needed a clear head for and I was thankful to have had the chance to do my best without juggling too much.

Lisa b said...

Good Stuff.
You are very hard on yourself.
Think how relieved they must be not having to mark it over the break! They are also invested in you doing well.
People have been in your situation before. I have always been surprised to find how understanding they can be.