Speaking opportunity

So, remember that I went to that history conference a couple of weeks ago and I was feeling really insecure because everyone seemed to know what they were doing? Well, strangely enough, I now actually have an opportunity to participate in such an event–to be part of it, not just to go to it.

I received an email this morning from a professor in the history department, asking me if I’d be willing to give a short talk about my thesis, this Saturday, at History Day. She said she got my name from someone who thought I might be interested in doing this. I have no idea whether she received my name because my topic is interesting/I’m a good student, or for some technical reason that has nothing to do with my abilities. Either way, it’s a great chance, so I’m going to do it. Not that I’m not extremely nervous about it. There will be other students speaking–I have absolutely no idea how many–but aside from those, the other speakers are Chancellor Berdahl and two history professors. It’s shocking to think I’m going to be presenting my research in this milieu, even if only in this way–I get three to five minutes to speak, I won’t be on the program or anything, and students are presenting first so if people are late they’ll never know I was there.

I’ve been weirded out all day that I get this chance. I don’t know what I’ll say, or how I’ll come across. People might ask me questions! How will I answer them and still seem articulate and knowledgeable? But I will have some practice beforehand. On Thursday we have to give a five-minute presentation on our papers before we hand them in, and on Friday I’ll be giving another five-minute presentation at some point during the annual 101 Symposium, in which thesis students (well, those who volunteered to do this anyway) present their work. So hopefully people will ask enough hard questions during these two things that I’ll be totally prepared by Saturday…

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]