Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Public squeaking

I just started to relax, now that the univ. regular semesters are over for the summer, and I get an email giving me the schedule for the fall orientation sessions that I teach in lab safety. Jeesh! My stomach started up with the butterflies already! You know how everyone tells you that it's only natural to be nervous in public speaking, and how you'll do "just fine" once you get started? They're liars. I've had experiences so awful they make me cringe even now, years later. My voice has a tendency to quaver, and when I hear it, sounding like I'm trying out a really bad microphone, it makes it quiver even worse. It pretty much matches the quivering in my knees. The only thing I haven't done is throw up while at the podium, but give me time. I've gotten so sweaty that my glasses have fogged up til I couldn't read my notes. Ad lib? You must be joking! I couldn't remember my name, much less the fine points of laboratory safety. Last year I staggered through the one I give to incoming PhD. students, and then the next morning, as I'm sliding into my desk grateful for nothing more challenging than data entry, and my boss tells me the fire safety guy had a family emergency and I have to give his talk! In 15 minutes! With no notes! What the f*** do I know about state fire regulations? I thought fast and suggested that the fire expert email the students his powerpoint presentation for them to go thru on their own....and he agreed! Then I went and threw up in the ladies room.

This year, now that I've got the schedule so far ahead of time, I'm seriously thinking of taking annual leave for that whole week. Hehehe.

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