Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Fear and Self-loathing in North Manchester

Alas, I am an absolute idiot.

What can I do?

My character seems to be fixed.

I have just realized what an unbelievably insane thing I have done.

I volunteered to deliver a speech. And not just any speech! I am speaking at the HONOR'S CONVOCATION! Or, as I like to call it, the Festival of Horrors.

Let's chat about public speaking.

Every time I speak in front of my fellow human beings, I am overwhelmed with uncontrollable panic. The last time this occurred (while I was doing a photography presentation) I had an out-of-body experience. For those of you who don't know what this is, an out-of-body experience is when you float away from your body (hopefully not your soon-to-be corpse) and have the blissful realization that you are seperate from it. You feel horribly sorry for whoever it is standing there stammering on and on, but, as Vonnegut would say, so it goes. It took a full six or seven minutes of talking Monday before I returned to Being. I think that the philosophers who theorized about the human soul must have had panic attacks too.

I am a people-pleaser. Yes, I will bake you a cake. Yes I will ice it. Yes I will drive through three states and take a plane into the heart of Africa in order to deliver it. Yes I will track down your long lost third cousin twice removed who lives there, and whose name you do not know, in order to deliver this cake. Yes I will complete these tasks in time to edit your paper for [INSERT ANY CLASS YOU LIKE HERE] in time for you to turn it in on time. No, it isn't any trouble. I promise. No, I mean it. I really feel like I can do it! It will be TONS of fun! I can't wait!

So I have to develop an idea and present it at convo. For you non-MC people, convo is basically an all-school assembly. So everyone I know will be staring at me when I reveal what a hopeless case I am.

I am a trickster, you see. Somehow I have the ability to make everyone and anyone who meets me come away with the impression that I am educated, poised, maybe even talented. I have been awarded scholarships, fellowships based on this ability. Luckily, most of these people never see the true me. They never know that I am in fact a dissappointment. I must be a skilled liar to achieve this. But my lack of honesty is easier to believe than the possibility that I retain a shred of intellect, talent, skill.

When I humiliate myself, I will undoubtedly return to the cycle of panic attacks which plaged me in September and January-March. Know that I have warned you, and understand the development of obsessive-compulsive behavior, such as re-cleaning the Lounge, which will ensue. At least the horror will take place before finals, so that I will be able to channel the mania into studying for ETA and European History. If, however, the panic is too great, you may be seeing me on campus for academic reasons rather than just so I can add a teaching certificate to my English major. "So it goes."

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