Merciless Presentation Torture Camp

My apologies in advance for this boring post - but school right now. Seriously. As a McNair Scholar, most of my time these past two months has been spent with a research group following adolescents around in a park with a clipboard coding for instances of aggression. Now that we’re finished with that creeper good time, this week things got real. Hence less blogging fun happy time.

Starting next Monday, my group and I will be spending 8 hours a day for three days in a row presenting our research over and over… and over… where it (and our presentation styles) will be thoroughly critiqued by our super McNair-lovin’ faculty.

But, I absolutely fear public speaking. Due to this, I have spent the majority of my years avoiding things like, uh, presenting — at all costs. But in academia land, I've learned something very important:

There is no escape.

Aside from whining, this really is an amazing opportunity that will help me in the long-run. I’m crossing my fingers that this will beat the fright out of me. And, once it’s over, I will be a ragged, shrivelled husk that can speak in front of groups with no fear!

On day four, for this first time ever I’ll stand in front of an audience and present research at a local symposium. Then off we all go to present at another conference in Berkeley. While everyone else has to bunk up with other scholars, I get to bask in my own little pad because, awesome enough, Berkeley is trans-AWESOME and has transgender safety housing policies! According to UC Berkeley’s 2007 Transgender Brief (pdf):
Sensitivity training on transgender and gender identity issues has been provided to the staff in Housing Assignments/RSSB. We meet the needs of transgender students in housing on a case-by-case basis and house the student according to his or her gender identity.
This is a HUGE relief for me. I love that I’ll have a space to go to where I can have the privacy to remove my binder and just, relax. Then I come home on the 8th, where I’ll blog galore - and, at long last, my surgery on the 11th and binders be gone! I’d burn them — but, instead, I’ll hand-me-down to Aaron. Who won’t fit in some, and will hand-me-down to some other adorable trans individuals in need of busted up broken-in bindies. And then I’ll move beyond Day 5 of that ridiculous 30 Days to a Better Man shindig.


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