Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My Lessons on Reality Thinking!

Inner Dialogue 1
Reality Thinking 0

It was going really well over the last nine months of graduate school. Whenever my Inner Dialogue (ID) tried to become the pied piper and lure me off the path of Reality-Thinking, I valiantly inundated it with data:

Such as last month.

*Pipe music.* You tanked that essay.

Reality Angie crosses her arms and raises an eyebrow, "Really? Where's the data for that?" 

*Louder pipe music.*  Data schmaeta.  You feel it in the pit of your stomach.  Your gut is telling the truth. Listen to it.

"We both know that my gut is just your puppet. Let's get back to data: One, I did everything the assignment required...and more."

*Pipe music is quieter*

"Two, it read well."

*Pipe toots.* ID is unable to produce a tune.

"Three, it was a very cogent argument." 

*Silence*

"So there! " *Reality Angie sticks out her tongue* 

...Hey, it's my reality I'm allowed to be juvenile when I want to...

The piper clothing faded away. My now sweatshirt and jeans-clad ID sighed, flipped me off and vanished.

For those who know my Inner Dialogue (ID for short) that was a major defeat, and it has already suffered similar defeats over the last nine months. After this one, my ID decided to hide in one of the folds in my brain and lick its wounds.

...although thinking about something hiding in my grey matter and licking its wounds is kind of gross, but I remain committed to the metaphor.... 

Things were going well, then came the end of this semester. The end of my first year in graduate school...

My ID's energy had been restored—probably from feeding off of my brain. 

...That's it!  This is not a zombie movie!  My ID is many things, but a brain-eating zombie is not one of them... 

...Oh crap, I'm defending my ID....

Back to the story.

By some kind of non-brain-eating miracle, my ID is standing tall. Again in the guise of a piper, clad in a brightly colored waistcoat and tights, it began to pipe a rousing march. Complex and captivating. 

*Pauses music.* You know you tanked your classes this semester...admit it."

Reality Angie is slightly distracted by the music. "Ah...yes...no! Where's the data?"  

...This isn't starting out well... 

*More rousing pipe music.* My ID steps off and back from the path.

"Where's the da...Wow, that waistcoat is period. How did you....No!  I am not falling for that. My papers were fine!" 

*Pipe trill.* Fine?  Just fine?  What is fine?  *resumes music.*

"Fine, as in acceptable, adequate, satisfac...tor...Where did you get the cloth for that jacket?"

My ID grins. "It's a very interesting story,  but first, you wanted data?  Is this data to support your case for 'fine'?"

"Ah...yes...yes of course. I did fine, my grades will be just fine...."

My ID steps even further off the path and is now cloaked in shadow, "Ah, but fine isn't a 4.0, is it?  Logically, 'fine' is less than that, isn't it?  *Pipe music starts again.*

Reality Angie tries to buck up, but realizes ID isn't wrong. "You're right, 'fine' isn't  a 4.0. But it doesn't have to be a 4.0.  A 3.5 is fine....who tailored the waistcoat?"

My ID knows that it has won. "Come with me and I will tell you all you want to know about my garb, perhaps find a pipe and teach you how to play...after all...if you did get a 3.5, what's the worst that can happen? You will just be a less strong candidate for the doctoral program."  

Reality Angie is no longer standing on the path of logic, reality, and strength. Bereft of logic and data, Reality Angie follows the piper, who continues to lead her away from the light, from sanity. Within moments she's gone. In her place stands my ID, a triumphant smirk taunts me. 

"You know you tanked the semester."

Having been abandoned by Reality and left to the depredations of my ID, I go into full retreat and off to bed. In the morning I can find out how dismally...I mean fine....I did this semester.

Addendum: I did get a 4.0!

a blog of exploration, discovery, and recovery