Thursday, December 07, 2006


Stress can actually manifest itself physically, I didn't know that. OK, I knew, but this was different from what I usually experienced. Last night, preparing a midnight snack, I felt a sudden tense on my upper torso, my shoulders got into a shrugging position, and I felt like throwing up. Luckily, the episode ended there, I ate my yogurt, the half portion of mie goreng, and something else I forgot. Then, I went to bed. I actually got a good night sleep.

The presentation for the prelim was at 2 PM. But before, we had a research group meeting at 9:30 AM. At the end of this meeting, the advisor, who seemed to be chasing somekind of a deadline, asked me to make sure that I would not cross the 30 minute line for presentation. He also said that as soon as I am done with the exam, I should immediately start on the next project. Boy, do you know what I drew from those? That he guarenteed me a pass already, before I even take the exam.

Moving on to 2 o'clock. One professor, whom actually is a substitute for one of the committee member, was late. His office was just around the corner from the exam room. When I peeked into his office, he signaled an I'll-be-there-I-just-need-to-finish-talking-to-this-person. And then I found out that I forgot to bring the folder containing the paperwork they need to sign. I fetched for it back upstairs to my office and when I got back the door was closed with all the members inside. The advisor asked me to excuse them for a few minute since they needed to discuss something beforehand. Hmm...that's weird. What was the subject of the discussion? I can't even start to imagine. Is it a good sign or a bad one?

Btw, I fitted into my good old brown suit, from 1998. :D As for the shoes, I sticked to the navy blue square pumps, also an old pair. So where were we? OK, the presentation. I thought it was pretty good. The other day, I was just thinking about the fact that I am going to be inside a room before four male professors and just couldn't help to reduce it into a war of the genders. Will I be slain? Will I have enough confidence? Will I be resourceful enough? Will they think of me as just another stupid graduate student presenting another worthless research for the sake of finishing the degree so that she/he can just get out of the school already?

They behaved nicely during the presentation. Three were paying close attention to what I presented. One was falling asleep. And then came question time. They were not too terrible, some were really fundamental, some were too far down the road. The advisor asked me some stuff too, but mainly to support my respond to the other committee member's questions. These 30 minutes seemed forever, though.

In the end, they asked to be excused again meanwhile they were discussing the merit of my research. To kill time, I stopped by to the secretary to the graduate affair for a little chit chat. When I walked back to the room, the advisor called me from behind and shook my hand. "Congratulations, you have passed." One of the committee members that was walking with him congratulated me also. The remaining committee members managed to find me and two other rounds of congratulations were in order.

So yay, I passed. It didn't sink on me yet, not until I text messaged the parental units (at 5 AM their time) and got an immediate reply.

"Selamat lah ya nak. Mama berdoa utk anak2 semua. Sekali lg selamat ya in. Terimakasih pd Tuhan."

I was about to cry but I was in the middle of conversations with fellow students so I thought it would be best if the crying can be postponed to a later time.

As it happens, today is the holy day of obligation for Immaculate Conception. At the Mass, surprise-surprise, instead of the usual piano and guitar ensemble, we had a guy playing the pipe organ. What a beautiful Mass, indeed. It brought back the memory of the days of when I was one of the five organist at Santa Lusia. I regret that I did not do it wholeheartedly then. I probably can start practicing again here. Anyway, with the music and candles around, I couldn't help to let out a teardrop or two. The overwhelming emotion has to be released somehow, no?

The rest of the evening went smoothly. I went to the Rec, did a 15-min walking an incline, 15 -min running at the threadmill, and 15-min at the elliptical. I also did a couple of sets that cover most body parts with the weight machines. Not bad for a jumpstart.

All in all, what a great day, what a balance life!

Bonus... ;-) Ah, that Glenn.


kodoque said...

kak..the whole thing about stress manifesting itself's true..ika stress bgt nih akhir2 ini..mual teruss..muntah terus...and it's all b/c of this stupid exam which i'm about to take in 4 hours. which i havent been preparing for b/c i'm too sick to study. ah bodo ah..

i am so happy for you tho. so happy. congrats yah kak. love you!

Xinda said...

Ehhhh....good luck, dear.
Kelas mana nih?


Anonymous said...


i didnt know it was 30 minutes.. i thought it'd be like, for hours hehe.. congratss yaaa!


nadia said...

kinda hon.. im very proud of you.. eventho i dont really know anything abt any of these prelim stuff.. but im guessing you are one step closer to that PhD title right? ade juga gi pusing belajar nih.. huh siyal.. will i be seein u tonight at the xmas party?

ika is stressed out like a mother. i believe we all need some relaxation time tonight. :)

Xinda said...

Bu Didi...iya makasih ya selamat nya. SMS-nya itu nyampe pas saya lagi di tengah2 presentasi, hahahah..."Hum..what's that vibrating sound?"

Ade...I don't think I would be able to make it tonight. We're going to Beng Yu Kok's birthday dinner. Nonton aja giman? He he he