Contrary to the title of this week's blog, this is not a romantic comedy. Sorry to disappoint you there. What was central to this week was presenting and editing my research proposal. On Tuesday of last week, a research proposal was due. Approximately half of the interns presented that day, while the rest of us presented this past Tuesday. Although the writing portion of this assignment was the hardest, I have to admit that the presenting section stressed me out the most.
I am generally an extrovert so one would assume that I would be a good public speaker. Personally, I find public speaking very challenging, regardless of the atmosphere or topic, even introducing myself for 3 minutes in front of a crowded lecture hall gives me anxiety. The fact that I had to present my research proposal was almost excruciating.
I woke up early to practice presenting my proposal and to ensure that my presentation was within the time limit. Once I had dotted the I's and crossed my final t's, I printed it. At that point, it was 2:57, T-minus 3 minutes ‘til I had to present. I walk in and essentially all the interns are there as are the principal investigators and before I knew it I volunteered myself to present first.
I reach the podium; blood pumping through my veins, I can feel my heart beat quicken, my hands starting to tense all before I have spoken a word. The timer starts and I start presenting. I wish I could tell you that it went smoothly, but that would be a lie. My hands were shaking the whole time, even my voice trembled, but I reached the end of my proposal. I made it…
All I could think about at that moment was "I am so glad it's over". The rest of the interns presented their proposals as well and I was able to be attentive and enjoy their presentations.
Even though I had a hard time with this assignment, I want to state how clarifying and helpful it was. This proposal allowed me to organize my thoughts, to work on my scientific writing skills, and to compile all my knowledge to understand what I am researching this summer, finally reaching a comprehensive and important point in this REU experience. I now know that I need to work on presenting a little more. I want to be able to conquer the inability to overcome the anxiety of public speaking. Hopefully, by the end of this REU program, I will have done just that.
Thanks for tuning in this week!
Hi! My name is Kostantina Orselli and I am transferring to California State University of Northridge. My interests include hiking, kayaking, playing with my dog, hanging out with friends, watching movies and more. I am ecstatic to be experiencing this opportunity at OIMB!