Imposter – self-valuation and failure

A PhD student describes the fear of academic failure;

I can feel that I’m not good enough and that I don’t know enough. I can think that others think I’m better than I am. I can also think that I’ll be found out and revealed as the impostor that I can feel that I am. To avoid being exposed and also to try to improve my skills and fill what I think are the gaps in my knowledge, I turn to self-study.

With so many areas that I think I can and need to improve in, sooooooo many videos and courses and books, and so much information to sift through, I can feel unfocused and overwhelmed which gives rise to the all-or-nothing thinking of perfectionism—either I try to learn all the things or I just give up because it’s too much.

Continue reading “Imposter – self-valuation and failure”

About the interns – on work mentoring

By Ben Kimmel;

The beginning of each summer is the usual routine of new interns who come in from their schools and work to gain experience in the workplace. I like this time of year. I like the look on their faces when I show them what I do and how unfortunately, they too will have to get their hands dirty—just like me. To be clear, however, and to be fair and true to who I am; I can say that I am an easy one to be paired with in this situation. At least, I hope so.

My position as an operating engineer has given me some interesting lessons. I have grown from a young man into who I am now, which, unfortunately is not as young as I used to be. My body does not do the same tricks anymore and oftentimes, I can be heard from a great distance; bellowing like the hollow cry of an old lion while trying to get up from the couch. My body has endured years of strain. My back is less than kind and my knees and ankles have frequent disputes with me. But ah, come the start of summer, I find the fountain of youth is upon me when the interns come my way.

Continue reading “About the interns – on work mentoring”

Dear Fresher, – reflections and advice from a recent graduate

By Megan;

Now that my three years of university have ended, I’ve found myself feeling much more emotional and nostalgic than I was expecting. Of course I knew it was going to be sad, it’s the end of an era, (and a step closer to being a fully-grown adult aaaahh!), but I’ve been hit by a wave of emotions that have really made me reflect on my last three years at the University of Kent.

In Fresher’s week I attended an induction talk for my course, I remember sitting down really nervous about what we may have to do or what we might have to discuss (the imposter syndrome was really settling in!). In this hour talk we were asked to write down some answers to a couple questions on a book we had to read over the summer. We were then told that they were going to keep our answers and return them to us at the end of our final year – kind of like a time capsule of our first literary thoughts at university. Now I’m pretty sure these answers were probably lost or thrown in the bin at some point in the last three years but I can tell you that they were never returned to me. However, it did get me thinking about what little Fresher Megan wrote and how much I have changed since then. From being a timid, first-year wondering whether I was going to make friends, do well in my degree or even if university was worth it— to now, an English and American literature graduate.

Continue reading “Dear Fresher, – reflections and advice from a recent graduate”

You Can’t Quit, We Need You! – teaching during the pandemic

By Tangela, first published on her site. She is a writer and educator based in the US.


When people have to go to work physically, there is a chance for folks to separate the two worlds. You could leave the office at the office and worry about your home life at home. The stress could potentially be divided between the two places. However, with more people starting to work from home, people can’t leave their job at the job.

Myself, for example, I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to work from home. I have a problem with constantly stressing about everything, but I could kind of put my home problems out of my head for a while when I was a work. So when I worked from home, that line of demarcation was gone.

I include schoolwork in this too. I used to get to work early and work on some assignments there. Usually, I didn’t have the energy to work on things after work. Once I got home, I didn’t want to exert so much mental power.

When I’m working from home, it’s all anxiety all the time. Productivity is always on my mind. I stress about work decisions and schoolwork all the time, not to mention home stress. Let’s just say that I argue with my husband before work. I’m in a funky mood, right. Before, I could fume and clear my head during my commute. Get my mind right for talking to the kids. When I’m at home, I have ten minutes between clock in and showtime. Not long enough to decompress at all.

I’m not saying I was in a hurry to get back to class. On the contrary, I want to work as safely as possible. It’s just that people like me that can’t “turn it off” are really burned out. Plus, this new school year feels so much different from years in the past. We are currently three weeks into the year and the stress level feels like a typical late April/early May. The teachers are overwhelmed, and a lot of the kids are over it already. Plus, the ever-present threat of being sent back into quarantine because of the new COVID variants. None of the students in my building are old enough to get vaccinated. We won’t quarantine as a district, but several classrooms have been sent back to virtual learning due to illness.

Over summer break, I felt so much better. I didn’t have deadlines breathing down my neck. I didn’t have work expectations to meet. It was amazing how different I felt. Now, that summer break is over, the stressors are back, and I can feel my nerves starting to fray again. That’s no good.

Other people must be feeling the same.

11 Sept, 2021

Tangela Williams-Spann