Don’t you think?!

by theodotdoron

Finishing my Masters degree, I had only one thing to do: face the oral exam. The first time ever presenting a piece in class, all those years ago in my first year, I had a full blown panic attack. What with seeing stars and everything. The second time I had to turn my back to the class so as not to experience the same embarrassment. Another time, now already in grad school, I again did not get a word out. Something in my neuronal connections goes haywire when confronted with having to be verbal about what I just learned. 

Panic grips me weeks ahead of the presentation, and everything I have learned just slips through the cracks. So, just before my final ever oral presentation in University ever, I sit with my genius hubs who now does a phd in the very subject I master in. We go through the stuff that might come up. here is a small line of argument which is the very basis of the entire paper I have handed in as my thesis. The incompleteness theorem. Not understanding that will be my down fall. As is is, I tend to forget stuff as soon as I have to actually form a word coming out of my mouth, so sure enough the argument is lost.

Hubz says, do you want to look at it again before you go in? No, I say, it will make me too panicky. Lets better not. And, you have guessed it, as soon as I sit opposite my Prof, the very first thing he asks me is to show him this line of argument. I absolutely freeze. Not getting a word out, I remember some of the stuff we just briefly brushed over whilst deciding not to look at it in depth again. Yes, I could have written it on the black board. But I am paralysed. This of course made my grade plummet. Steep, into the basement of grades.

So, really, what I often find to be lacking is a whole lot of body and a cat who got my tongue. I simply can not get a word out. Afterwards I talk freely about rubbish and I don’t mind. It gives the impression of being very confident and thereby erely stupid. Great, win win, eh? Cat spits out my tongue just soon enough for others not to notice that I have just had a panic attack. This really is not fair by any means. There ae times during my studies that I really have been able to talk. People always look at me as though I am possessed. “We thought she is stupid beyond stupid, and here she seems to actually know stuff, weird!” So, after one successful presentation I was straight away invited to join them for drinks. After two years. Two years no one wanted to hang with me since I did not say a word.

My husband is the opposite, he can speak freely and confidently in university settings yet in social settings the cat got his tongue. Trust me, there are not many people inviting him. Well, I guess that is why we make a great pair. I am designated minister for exterior, whereas he is the prime minster. I remember meeting a hot shot university prof. If I were to tell you his name, you would probably know him. I chatted away at him about all sorts, even my faith. He is a famous atheist. I did not know though, only after he left, the girl I was with muttered under her breath: Do you know who this just was? She was utterly in awe. I did not know who he was. Only, the whole night I did not once say anything about uni related stuff.

My brain goes cross wired. Its super odd. Also, in church settings, we sometimes have discussions. I feel very propted to say something, yet I sit there with a beating chest for sometimes 15 minutes, the panic attack fully unfolding. My heart is racing, sweaty hands, my throat dries up, I literally see stars. Eventually though, I spit it out. And it feels though it is literally jumping out of my chest. Sometimes I speak so fast and excited my tongues does a few twisters. e and public speaking is a strange combination. Once it is of no importance what I say, I just yap on and on, but once it matters, I get tied up inside. So, I guess these are my 10000 spoons. Cheerio!