This week I had my project defense.
The days preceding the actual day of the project defense, I was really scared. The thought of defense scared me. I called my friends in other departments who had already done theirs and asked all kinds of questions.
Some of their replies came as:
“summarize and rehearse”
“that defense thing is over hyped jare”
“just pray they don’t tackle you”.....etc
I was really scared oh. I dunno why. When it was time to buy a suit for the defense I made a fuss. The suits I saw were either too big or ugly. But I have to blame my skinny sef for not finding my size. Finally I chose and slim-fitted one MJ-looking outfit... lol. For me it was important I dressed sharp, because that’s part of what helps to build my confidence.
I followed the advice of some of my friends and ‘summarized and rehearsed’. With time the whole thing was stuck in my head.
The D-day finally came. Some people were carrying one yama yama rumour that I was going to be first to defend. I tried to fight back all the tension.
It turned out I was third to defend.
My name was called, I knocked the door leading to a sort of board room. Greeted the scary looking panel. The minute I saw my supervisor seated I wasn’t sure whether to be happy or to just fret. I sat down when asked to.
They made jokes, the panel. Probably all in an effort to calm me down and make me feel relaxed.
“Okay so tell us what you did”
I just started like a robot and rapped my way down to my concluding statement. When I finished they all let out a sigh and smiled (in what I took to be admiration). I started feeling good with myself.
I was even more relaxed and happy when my supervisor chipped in at the appropriate times to say something in favour of me (when I had thought she was going to tackle me)
The external supervisor went through my work, checked my referencing etc.
A few questions started pouring in. The ones I genuinely did not know I said, “I don’t know”. After all there’s no crime in that. But one of the lecturers there was so bent on making me feel bad.
She let out a dramatic “AHHH!” and gasped in disbelief at the most inappropriate times. I was unperturbed.
I was asked a final question which I half answered. I had been brimming with so much confidence ever since.
But I don’t know what happened. My eyes started to hurt. Tears were forming behind my eyes.
I thought to myself, “don’t fall my hand oh. You must not cry in front of this panel oh.. Why are you crying sef?”
I struggled to prevent the tears from trickling down my face. My eyes hurt. And suddenly a tear drop betrayed me and ran down my face. I was so angry with myself. At this point the external supervisor was giving me the correct answer to the question I half answered.
He stopped mid-sentence and looked to the other lecturers.
“Why is she crying?”
Chaii!! . Busted!
All of them looked at me. “ahn ahn, what happened.....”, “but you’ve done well so far.....”, “why are you crying...?”.....
The tears stupidly kept pouring down as I shook my head. My H.O.D gave me a handkerchief...smh.
The external supervisor made me know he had been impressed so far, but I had spoiled everything by shedding tears. So he was going to subtract from the already good scores he was going to give me.
I fought back the remaining tears.
Some of the lecturers started going on about how I had lost confidence in myself and how bad it was that I cried. “Is that what you’ll do when you go for a job interview”. I shook my head.. Oh no!!
I was finally told to leave. I stepped out and found the nearest bathroom to wash my face before my other course mates would see me.
One thing I knew in my mind was that I cried, not because I lost confidence in myself, but because I’m just human. Maybe it was all the tension that built up from the weeks before, or tears of joy..lol (like a friend put it), or the fact that I couldn't give a complete answer to the last question I was asked, or the annoying sounds coming from the lecturer that kept gasping in disbelief.
One of my friends also agreed with me that crying was not a sign of weakness.
Either way I’m glad it’s finally over
Oh, and did I forget to mention?
The result was released yesterday and I made an A!!!
All glory be to God.
Thanks for checking out my blog... mwah!!