Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry


Unfortunately, I have to leave soon, so I only have time for a quick
update. In response to some things I've read lately, I find it
interesting that there are people who are able to function better
under pressure than when things are calm. I have a lot of trouble
functioning under pressure and I prefer to be able to plan things so
that I won't have to. An analogy I found useful was how former 49er
QB Steve Young described his maturation process in the NFL. After a
while, he was able to relax and let plays develop. Things "slowed
down" to the point where he was able to see the entire field, so
instead of having to rush a (usually poor) throw or take a sack, he
was able to find an open receiver or run for yardage. Not too long
ago, there was a thread on sci.math where a poster was having trouble
with math in general and needed some advice. One thread contributor
said that he noted an ability of some mathematicians to "slow things
down" to the point where they could understand them. I liked that
description and its similarity to Steve Young's.

Anyway, I am somewhat jealous of people's abilities to function well
under high pressure, especially the ability to do extremely well
academically. This ability would have come in very handy while I was
a student. I sometimes feel like I lost out on some career
opportunities because I didn't do as well as others. Logically, I
know this isn't true; there are lots of people with super academic
credentials who are unemployed. But I can't help feeling that way


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 26th, 2004 04:50 pm (UTC)
I know plenty of people who have super academic credentials but lack real-world problem-solving skills. So the perfect theoretical answer to the problem is all fine and dandy, but knowing what compromises you can make because you have to implement it this year is probably more imporatant.

I neither thrive nor break down under high pressure, but it's not enjoyable and I certainly don't seek it out.
Mar. 4th, 2004 06:49 am (UTC)
Don't feel so bad or insecure about yourself!! Browsing through some of your other posts I got the feeling that you were a bit disappointed about how certain things turned out for you. Sometimes I wish that I were really really smart and academically talented but college makes me feel inadequate quite often. I think it's good to be humbled, but then I also wish that I had some more talent, drive to work hard, or whatever. I'm definitely the calm/relaxed kind of person, but I guess when high pressure situations arise you just have to make the best of it and move on. Academic success doesn't necessarily lead to success in career or in later life, so there are no guarantees. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your years at UCLA (I am currently a student there) though I actually found you through the "academics anon" community just to read posts from people who are crazy enough to pursue a Ph.D. program, lol. Well, take care and relax. :)
Mar. 6th, 2004 01:09 am (UTC)
Thanks for the good thoughts. I will write more on this subject when
I have more time and energy.

My experiences at UCLA were pretty good, primarily because I was
involved in choral groups while I was a grad student.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )