Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What Am I Doing Here, and Why Do These People Think I'm Smart??

I had my first meeting with the other students in my course today. There are 11 of us in total, plus 4 professors. The head of the programme, Dr. D'Avery, had us do that thing where you introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you, and then in turn you introduce your partner to the class. So fine, we start doing introductions. Then after my partner was done introducing me, Dr. D'Avery added in an announcement to the whole class, "Also, according to her recommenders, Colleen is one of the foremost up-and-coming experts in the history of religion, so if you need help in that area, she's the one to speak to."


OK-realistically, I know I've written some good papers. I've penned a couple of theories about the evolution of Satan in early Christianity that I haven't seen anybody else touch on. But still...that was just undergraduate work. That was playtime. I don't consider myself an expert in any way, shape, or form. But apparantly, some poorly misinformed person told somebody otherwise. As if I wasn't intimidated enough!

And intimidated I am. I mean, yes, I've got a good base of early Christianity, but I've had an estimation of ZERO experience in Medieval Studies. I couldn't even tell you the dates of the Hundred Years War. As everyone else got introduced, I found that the guy next to me graduated from Princeton and has already written an original thesis on Henry III. Another guy has been studying the medieval period since high school. Every time someone new was introduced, I felt more and more like the pity case who got in because she had a really good social worker or something. Like the bad egg in the omelette. I'm horrified at the prospect of even trying to compete with these people! And now, apparantly, I have to live up to being an authority on a subject where I feel more like a second-grader learning to read than an expert.


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