Dr. Lynn argued with me about different philosophies of science. I was realizing that I don't ask enough "why" questions - which is what he does most of. It's a good reminder that I need to ask more of those. It's more imaginative, I think, to ask why questions. I tend to take things as they are at face value more often, think of them like 'tools' and how I can use them. Asking why questions more opens things up into a fantasy level plane of study.
I intend to focus on what one could do with the interesting carbon nanotubes that Lisa has, with their charge gradient. I think you could use them in a motor type idea like Dr. Sen mentioned. I've been thinking about this since May, in fact, off and on. Dr. Lynn thinks this is an interesting question as well and says he has no idea what you could do, but there are lots of possibilities. I shall talk to Lisa later. I've been wanting to think about this problem anyway. It shall be a fun little thought diversion. Maybe it'll have some cool spokes that can radiate out into other things I do.
Also, I am getting Dr. Lynn to read my proposal. I gave it my best shot and now it needs focusing. This is not bad. Dr. Lynn mentioned some questions I should address that I have not. I shall think on this more. It'll be good for me to get feedback from several different people with widely differing backgrounds.
Morgan is getting settled in. I talked to Mingda earlier and offered to introduce him around, but he said, not yet. Hmm. Let's see where the science takes me. It'll be fun. So much more to say, but there's work to be done first.
Sometimes, when Dr. Lynn talks - I get stuck thinking tangents about how differently he thinks and about philosophies of science that I forget altogether what he's talking about. Dr. Lynn's conversations are always so nebulous to me. I prefer more focused conversation. I know he must do this on purpose. Ah well. Right now, I mind less. Before, it was more frustrating. Dr. Lynn also likes to be difficult. He wrestles ideas with people.
Frustrated and over-wrought
Ummm. I have a pretty good idea I should NOT, in fact, be writing right now, but I'm doing it anyway. Coming home, I just boiled over with intense frustration with Dr. Lynn and then had a complete meltdown and it's not even logical. I think I'm over-tired, exhausted and - yeah - something is just wrong with me. I'm not sure what's wrong with me. If anyone in the Lynn lab reads my post - don't worry - I think Dr. Lynn is super smart, amazing, nice and just super nice - he just is also super frustrating sometimes, to me - but - that's probably my fault. It's ok. I'll get over it.
I think my frustration with Dr. Lynn just reveals my intense insecurity - that I'm not really thinking hard enough. That's WHY I'm in graduate school - because more than anything, I want to really learn to think for myself, design my own projects, lead my own experiments - it's WHY I will insist on having my own projects - multiples of them if I can - just to prove to everyone that in fact, I can think on my own without help - or that I'm doing everything I possibly can to learn to do so. For some reason, I'm intensely insecure about this. I constantly worry I'm not thinking hard enough. I know I err on the side of doing more experiments than not and maybe I'm a little overactive - and I constantly worry that this means I'm not putting in enough thought - but I try VERY HARD to ensure that this is not true.
I showed Dr. Lynn my data and we talked about it for a half hour. He said that I had made a lot of progress. I think he was impressed - but he looked displeased. Then he emphasized how making progress was not what was important - it was THINKING. The way he talks, he makes me feel like, he's suspicious that, in fact, I was not thinking this whole time. If I was, I couldn't possibly have gotten this data. In fact, it wasn't anything to do with me. It was very ... "lucky." I said as much. But, I think I just also said things by accident that made it sound like I don’t do any thinking.
He says/implies you have to struggle with lots of failure and trial and error because your first thoughts just aren't the best and probably won't work and I feel like he thinks that if you aren't failing, or you made progress more than he expects, then you must not REALLY be THINKING. Maybe this isn't true and isn't really what he thinks. But it's how he makes me feel. And it's completely and THOROUGHLY infuriating.
I know it's true, I like to do experiments a lot. Can't one like efficiency AND still be thinking? Can't one accidentally succeed at times AND still be thinking? Are these mutually exclusive principles? Dr. Lynn makes it sound like they are, to me. I worry myself ALL the time that I'm not thinking enough. Maybe ... I need to think harder. Maybe I need to do fewer experiments so I can think more. His insistence on these points plays into my fears and I think - you know - maybe I really don't think enough. Do I? I don't know. I try with all my might to think through everything myself. But it could be, I don't think as much as I think I do. *headdesk* I think I'm getting tied up in knots.
The way Dr. Lynn talks - just his whole general demeanor toward students - constantly challenges them to think - which is a very good thing. But, to me at least, the way he does it makes it sound as if he is already suspicious that said student is not thinking and I have to PROVE it to him. They are just a student after all. Of course we can’t think like he can. Something like ... "Hmm. You think you've thought this through? You think you can do X? Hmm. We'll see. Prove it."
It makes me mad and want to rise to the challenge and do something impossible, just to prove to him that I AM in fact thinking. But this is ridiculous. I shouldn't be mad. It's like someone calling me chicken on a dare, and having to prove I’m not – which I know is dumb – but this fear is actually similar. Or having someone say (like my grandmother did once) – that girls just shouldn’t be mathematicians – they didn’t have the head for that. It made me want to be a mathematician just to PROVE HER WRONG. I don’t particularly love math, but it’s not because I CAN’T do it. Girls can think. What the HECK?! This is really irritating to me. I think it just means I'm insecure. Unfortunately, it's true.
This is something I'm EXTREMELY insecure about and I will go to tremendous lengths to prove to MYSELF that I'm thinking like I should. It doesn't help to have someone else add to this insecurity. Can't you have a little faith, here? Can't you just believe in me? Do I have to always prove myself to myself AND someone else? I always doubt myself anyway. And maybe I am not thinking hard enough – I will try to fix this – constantly – until I do. Fearing failure and that I’m not good enough is a constant battle. I constantly strive to improve but I’m never good enough – not to myself, anyway. I’m always worried about this – especially in the area of thinking.
I also think it's possible I could never really satisfy Dr. Lynn that I was really thinking hard enough. I'm not sure he'd ever really be 'happy.' It's an impossible situation, almost like Bijoy. The more I thought, the more he'd push me to think harder. This is defeating and frustrating, to the nth degree.
Why does this not bother other people? Maybe it’s not something other people are insecure about as much. I don’t know. I think I just need to eat a piece of calming pie and sleep. I was totally fine this afternoon, after talking to Dr. Lynn for almost two hours, and then, this evening I totally fell apart into a mess and got more and more upset, angry and just upset and horrified the more I thought about it. This makes no sense. It’s intensely illogical. I was thinking when I got home – what is WRONG with me?? Seriously. But this has always bothered me about Dr. Lynn. I’m just going to have to face this fear of mine. I feel like, I can’t argue with him, because he’s a super smart professor and it’s entirely possible he may be right and maybe I don’t think hard enough. He doesn’t say that. It’s just how he sounds when he talks.
Dr. Lynn is always going to be around. I feel like I have to find a way to prove to him that I can think, whether I’m a part of his lab or not. Having someone nearby who is suspicious of my ability to think is like … I don’t know. It’s like a speck of dirt on a clean pane of glass that I can’t stop looking at. I have to clear it up. I think, I’ll be finally settled over it, when I can prove to myself that I can think – that I’m not, in fact, doing something wrong. When I can convince myself of that – I won’t care, as much, what anyone else thinks. I’ll pray that the Lord somehow proves to Dr. Lynn that I can think, because I’m not sure I could do that, or that he’d believe me. Maybe I just need to pray He’ll remove my insecurity. That too. Yeah, that’s what I need to do, really. I should just stop worrying about it. Dr. Lynn probably doesn’t want me to be so up in arms. I’ll probably be fine tomorrow. I think I’m just tired. My fears seem more horrifying when I’m exhausted and stressed.
I appreciate Khalid, a lot. Khalid respects me for whatever reason, even if I’m not exactly perfect, and believes in me. I can feel that, from him. I feel like, I don’t have to prove myself to him, which is tremendously freeing. Then I can worry about pushing myself really hard to be the best I can be because that’s what I WANT to do more than anything, not that I have to do so, to prove it to somebody. Then, it’s no longer fun. And it actually stymies thought. I shouldn’t work for anyone anyway. I should work as to the Lord. Working for approval is a trap.
I think I’ll go sleep now. Sorry for the rant. So sorry. Dr. Lynn is super sweet. He really is. Contrary to what this post sounds like, we actually had quite pleasant conversation today that was even fun and stimulating. He reminds me of my granddad. It’s just that sometimes, he also makes me want to slap him.