Last Thursday, I did one of the scariest things in my life. I presented at colloquium. Colloquium is a weekly lecture series that happens every Thursday at my graduate school. The presenters are often Ph.D. wielding researchers. The topics range from tone analysis to phonology, morphology to anthropology, and everything in-between. During my first and second year of graduate school, these presentations were often way over my head. It was only in my final years of graduate school that the colloquiums started to make sense to me. The audience is full of field linguists (most of whom have a Ph.D.) and linguistic students in undergraduate and graduate studies. It is a tough crowd full of tough questions.
So, you may be wondering, how was I pulled into presenting?
My thesis chair and the colloquium coordinator approached me two weeks ago to ask me if I would present. After I recovered from the initial shock, I agreed. How could I say no to my thesis chair? I already had a presentation ready from when I defended my thesis (just needed to tweak a few things). I had no excuses other than fear. So, I presented.
It was a milestone in my life as a linguist. I was surprised that I actually enjoyed giving the presentation. I made people laugh and many people came up to me afterwards truly intrigued at my research.
When I started this program, I never thought I would be one of those presenters. Now, here I am on the other side wondering when I will present again.