August 31, 2007

On Surviving My First Week

Today marks the conclusion of the first week of my PhD program.

I have already learned a great many things, but the most important of them all is this: it can be very difficult to keep in mind the difference between one's stupidity and one's ignorance. Today has been a very long and emotionally draining day, and I find myself actually asking LL to assure me that my difficulties stem not from any innate deficit in my intellect but from a lack of knowledge. I am seeking reassurance that my ignorance far outstrips my stupidity.

I don't think or feel these things because of any particular insecurity. Every single human being possesses at least a little bit of stupidity and a steaming heap of ignorance. The most brilliant scholar who ever lived might know all there is to know about molecular biology and be absolutely clueless about what to do if his car's radiator sprung a leak. It's all part of the human condition.

Nevertheless, I am glad to be at home after consuming three quick beers at the departmental happy hour. I'll have dinner shortly and lose myself in a bad horror movie. Tonight's offering is Christina, princesse de l'érotisme. The plot synopsis on IMdB is:

A girl arrives from London to visit her estranged relatives in a remote castle for the reading of her father's will. After a while she discovers that they are all in fact dead and her decision to live with them turns into a nightmare. Unable to leave she's drawn into a macabre underworld through visions of nude satanic rituals and her own impending sacrifice.
Yes, that should suffice to knock off a few errant brain cells.

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