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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First-day jitters

Considering how much time I spend talking in front of large groups of people, you would think that I would eventually stop being nervous about it. And for the most part, I am way more comfortable than I used to be; for example, I no longer rehearse my conference presentations word-for-word in front of the hotel mirror the morning of my session (well, not word-for-word anyway). But I'm still waiting for the semester when I don't feel really, really nervous before my first class meetings (and I'm talking 'think I need to go throw up' nervous). And it's not just because I have 500 students - I get this way before my smaller classes too. The thing is, I know that as soon as I walk in and start talking, I'll be fine; it's not like I'm imagining some disaster that I won't be able to handle, or I think the students will totally hate me. But knowing that I'll be fine doesn't seem to diminish how nervous I am beforehand.

I suppose, in some ways, it's a good thing - I'm sure some people would say that it's a sign that I care. And maybe the year I'm not nervous I'll realize that it's time to do something else with my life. But right now, I just really would like to get this day over with!


  1. I sympathize with your "first-day" response, but it's something I've never experienced, not even when at age 22, as a first-year graduate student, I had to walk into a classroom and begin to teach intro micro. But, then, I sometimes think my best alternative career would have been as an actor...

  2. At starting days of any profession person first hesitates but experience makes the man perfect.


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