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Re: Distress tolerance Dinah

Posted by seldomseen on August 13, 2009, at 9:36:05

In reply to Re: Distress tolerance seldomseen, posted by Dinah on August 12, 2009, at 23:47:06

I've mentored a lot of graduate students through their qualifying exams.
In my field there is a horrible oral exam in which 7 experts in the field can basically ask you anything they want for two+ hours. It's horrible, but a hoop you have to jump through to become a candidate for a Ph.D.
I always ask them, what is the worst scenario they can imagine. Invariably, they say "failing the test".
I remind them that - "No, that is far from worst case scenario". In actuality, they could get so nervous that they pass out, hit their head on the table, evacuate their bladder, have to be rushed to the hospital, have a hole drilled in their head to relieve intracranial pressure and potentially never be the same again".

That, or they could ask to be excused for a drink of water and pull the fire alarm. Sure it's a felony, but it would give them time to compose themselves.

They always laugh and it helps to relieve the stress.

I guess the moral of this long tale is that keeping some kind of external reference frame is important especially when one's current frame might be skewed and there is always always an out.





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