The Sound of Impostor Syndrome

I posted this video on my Twitter and Facebook a few days ago, immediately after I finished my talk at Penn State University. For the sake of posterity, I am also posting it on this site.

You may not know what this is. I've been lucky enough to give several talks at universities in both the US and Canada about the struggles of grad school and my advice on how to deal with those problems. It is strange that anyone is willing to listen to me talk about those topics, but I'm grateful for it. As part of that presentation, I discuss impostor syndrome. I spent a while thinking of the best way to capture it and finally landed on this. 

Not to brag, but I think it's one of my finest creations. 

Seriously? A CV?

Yes. How could I consider myself an academic without a CV? The real question is why I didn't make this any earlier. (Let's ignore the obvious answers, which include the fact that it's ridiculous, and that it somehow makes me feel worse about my actual CV.) 

I've created a new page on the site that links to my CV. I'll do my best to keep updating it as things change. Because this is a silly document that only vaguely follows the structure of a typical vitae, I'm open to any suggestions you have about things I could add to it. Also let me know if there are any media appearances you know of that I have missed. 

Click here to see the CV. (Check the CV page for all subsequent updates.)

Volunteering to serve on the graduate admissions committee, the grad student is consumed by inadequacy as he skims the applicants' CVs.

Volunteering to serve on the graduate admissions committee, the grad student is consumed by inadequacy as he skims the applicants' CVs.

Building a Third Post in 90-ish Seconds

I know that SO many of you have been waiting for another video, right? Well, I managed to film another one of these, so here it is. For the first time in a little while, we return to a part of the seminar/conference room.

People often ask me if I have things pre-built, or whether I always make everything from scratch. The only room I have built and set aside is LGS's office. However, as you can see here, I do have bookshelves and books saved up. I use them frequently enough, and they are compact enough, to keep around. To rebuild this room, I look back on my old posts to remind myself of the dimensions of the space. This would be a lot easier if I made a blueprint or took some picture as a guide, but that hasn't happened yet. I like to live on the edge.

This took about two hours to make. And yes, that is a Beamer slide. I agree with some people who have commented elsewhere that the default Beamer template is ugly, so it's questionable just how "unequivocally fantastic" of a job talk this could be. But what matters is that you recognized it was a Beamer slide, so my mission is accomplished. 

Building Another Post in Two Minutes

Let's get one thing immediately out of the way: This video is a mess. The first 35 seconds or so of this video are out of focus. I actually failed to record about 25 minutes of building time when I tried putting down white floor molding and then pulled it off. 

But if you're willing to forgive these shortcomings, then you can spend a couple minutes watching me put together the "Leading" build.

This time, the video is sped up by 7000%. This took a lot longer to put together than last week's build. Last week took less than an hour. This one took closer to three. You can also see that this took more than one day to put together, as the lighting changes from a lamp to natural sunlight. 

There are two reasons this took more time to make. First, it's literally just a larger build with more pieces. Second, this lecture room I made was not based on anything in real life. Last week's post reflects a very real location in my life, and having that reference makes it easier to build something quickly. The process is much slower and involves more trial-and-error when I'm making a scene without any real reference like this one. I do look at images online for inspiration, but that's different from having a single image that does everything.

Random comments:

  • The semi-built object on the bottom-left corner of the frame is the Assembly Square set, which I have slowly torn apart over time. (I never felt like sitting down to disassemble an object with 4,000+ pieces, so I've just done it gradually as I wanted to use pieces.)
  • I did tiered seating just because I just wanted to do something more interesting. And it would help with visibility of all the students in the picture.  
  • Near the end of the video, you can see that I replaced the colorful assortment of "books" on the tables with the same bright green "books." I belatedly realized that using the same color would give a much stronger idea that everyone had and did the same reading, which was the point of the post. 
  • I chose to put LGS out of focus because he's clearly lost with respect to the reading. Deep stuff, I know. 


Building a Post in One Minute

Something new for the site: Enjoy seeing my hands move at about 5000% speed!

I can't guarantee I'll do this for every build, but I tried filming the process of making today's post! I have to admit, it felt weird to build with a camera on. I didn't quite move things the same way I would if left alone. Maybe I'll get more comfortable with it if I keep doing it. I also would need to get a camera that's able to film more than 20 minutes at a time so that I'm not constantly meandering back and forth to check the remaining time.

But in any case, here it is! I hope it doesn't diminish your impressions of the final image/post.

A quick view of the building process for "Roaming."

Roaming by a cluster of first-years that are too young to know him, the grad student is pelted by quietly judgmental glances.

The site is open. And there's no need for it.

Here it is--the website that nobody was waiting for.

In many ways, there is no practical need for this website. All my other social media accounts do everything just fine, and it is highly unlikely that people would regularly visit this page instead of one of the social media pages that are so much easier to visit. 

If I'm honest, two things motivated my choice to make this site anyway. First, procrastination. Second, maybe I can think of something more interesting to do with this site that isn't as easy or possible elsewhere. I don't know what those things would be, but I refer you back to my first reason for making this site.

So welcome to this page. I'm glad to hear your suggestions about things you think I could do here, so feel free to leave a comment. (No guarantees I'll do any of it or that this site will last, but I appreciate your interest in any case.)