Friday, February 24, 2012

Ego Management

This week has been full of awkward talks. These conversations start with "Professor, do you remember how I said I'd be out of town for the midterm? Well, that's next week. So I'll see you after spring break. I'll be a whole new person then, but I'll be sure to re-introduce myself, in case you forgot who I was. I'll bring you some autographs of Lady Gaga or the cast of How I Met Your Mother. Or a foam Statue of Liberty or a T-shirt or something. Also, if you insist, I'll make up that midterm I'm missing. You know, if you have any extras lying around and if I don't have anything better to do. Okay, thanks!"

And as formal and serious as these conversations are, there's just no way to say "I'm going to present my research to the United Nations" in a way that sounds humble. In fact, I've been saying it in front of the mirror just to practice. On a scale of one to Donald Trump, I'd have to say it's still pretty self-congratulatory. "Professor, I am presenting to the UNITED NATIONS the research I've conducted. It's a huge deal, but no need to mention it in front of our 200 person class. Truly. It's going to be fantastic, and I'm a rock star, but let's not get carried away."

New York cliches aside, I am deeply humbled by this opportunity. As Abby would say, it's truly a blessing. Getting to do the research was one thing, getting to go to the UN was another - but the most powerful thing this fellowship has given me is an eye to the future. WomenNC accepted us for what we could contribute, during this time and after our fellowships commence. Moreover, this has been such a dynamic group of women. We're a powerful sisterhood, ladies, and what we do this week is just the start.

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