Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Faced the Demon Dragon Lord and Survived!

My life often takes an epic turn. I think this could be the direct result of living on nothing but fantasy novels and films for all my life. I tend to compare the events and people in my life to novels, games and movies. Today, I feared I might be going on my last journey in my quest to gain my Masters Degree. I had to strap on my (metaphorical) armour and prepare myself to meet the Demon Dragon Lord a.k.a. my Culminating Project Director.

I've been in living the past month and a half in terror and playing the avoidance game with my Culminating Project Director; my final paper in his class was very bad which resulted me getting a "C" in the class. I sent him an apologetic email owning up to my faults and promising extreme revision and better results for my CP. I didn't check my email for the longest time and whenever I there was a time I literally had to, I made Dustin check it for me. Finally, my professor responded and Dustin read the email to me. It said exactly what I expected and already knew about the paper. My professor did state he was still willing to work with me and help me rewrite my paper. I was lured out to a gallery talk he was giving because it focused on medieval manuscript making and the museum it was held at, had just received a beautiful French Book of Hours. I still kinda avoided him, not that I could talk to him because he was swarmed with people with legitimate questions after the talk. It took me a week and a half to send an email making an appointment.

So today, I finally had to quell my fear and face the beast. I kept thinking of him as the final Demon Dragon Lord in an RPG that I had to beat to win the game. Dustin thinks I overeexagerated too much; he compared him to Chopin in the RPG Eternal Sonata.
(Here I'm using one! I am constantly reminded of my failure to use a spoiler tag for HP 6.)

Chopin is on your team and helps you throughout the game. However in the end, you have to fight and defeat him in order to secure the existence of your world. Once you defeat him and convince him of the reality (he thinks the world is a dream) and importance of your world, he puts all his power and being into keeping the world. Plus, he wasn't difficult to beat; there were much harder bosses in the earlier stages of the game.

Back on track, I went to my professor's office, and he was very jovial. No blast of flame or look of pure hatred. I told him my purpose for being there, and we had a good, informative conversation about the proposal and project expectations. I told him as I was leaving, I'm glad he didn't breathe fire at and eat me. He replied, "The Jewish tradition is very much like the Vietnamese tradition, we operate on guilt; what you do to yourself is ten times worse than anything we can do to you." True words indeed. Guilt and fear have been eating me up all through Christmas break and the beginning of the semester.

Dustin told me, "See he cares about you. You make him out to be some kind of monster, but he's not." My hopes were not in vain; my professor is a good teacher; he knows I'm capable of quality work, knows that I didn't live up to my potential, and is willing to help me learn and become a better scholar. I feel a whole lot better and am chiding myself for my paranoia and anxiety. Sometimes, I allow rumors and reputation to precede my own personal knowledge. Nevertheless, this doesn't give me an excuse to slack off. I have to get my butt in gear.

1 comment: