Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Voices In My Head

A propos of the next Scientiae carnival- as usual, I'm just too late!- on inner voices:

Here's a surprise for you: I talk to myself. All the time.

In the lonelier years of grad school, I would have entire conversations with absent friends and relatives. I would come up with biting retorts- inevitably, of course, three days later.

The voice in my head is focused now. It's there to help me graduate. It talks about experiments, hypotheses, things I should remember. It says, every day, 'You can do it. You will do it.'

Most importantly, I have a stock of answers. You know when Professor Dinosaur says something horrendous? My inner voice always has a snippy reply. 'Such an attractive young lady!' 'I'd rather you pay attention to my genius ideas and brilliant mind, thank you.' When someone flames me in lab meeting, the inner voice pulls something out of the files. 'Yes, it is surprising, but real data's like that.' 'Shut up, I'm talking.' 'In my extensive experience with this experiment that YOU have never done...'

Sometimes the inner snark creeps into the outside voice in full-on Southern. 'Don't you ever talk to me like that.' 'I beg your pardon but I do believe you are mistaken.' And sometimes, when I'm really losing it, 'Listen to the WORDS coming out of my MOUTH!!!'

The inner voice gets a real workout when I'd rather be smacking someone. I recite every day, 'I am not here to vent my feelings. I am here to accomplish my goals. I am here to accomplish my goals. I am here to get my FUCKING PHD, what is wrong with these people?!?!.. Deep breath... I am not here to vent my feelings...'