Today was my results presentation for my research project. Presentation for 7 minutes, and then Q&A for 3 minutes. The presentation part has never been much of a problem for me. My greatest concern has always been the Q&A part. Doing a clinical research project, I have realized, is not easy at all. Especially since you really need experience in this field in order to do it well. The clinical lecturers are all so experienced, they know if you have missed out something in your work. Plus, there were just too many variables to consider that at times, it gets so stressed just thinking about it. But the worst part of my research is definitely the statistics. I did not have a strong background in statistics, and I overestimated myself, thinking I can do it without any help. Boy, was I wrong. From beginning till the end, my statistics keep giving me problems after problems.
The worst was last night when I found out I made a grave mistake in my study, statistically. It was my fault, entirely. I was well-aware of that point before I started my study but I didn't know how I could have forgotten such an important point during my analysis. When I heard about it, my mind just went blank. No words could come out from my mouth.
Last night, I was just so upset with myself. I totally regret myself for not taking the statistics part of my study seriously. But I also realized it was too late to change or correct what has been done wrong. It was time for damage control. I search all over internet hoping to find an answer, a good explanation to the errors of my doing. However, to no avail, it was a futile effort.
I woke up at 5.30am, hoping to continue my sleep. But my mind started wondering to the possibility of lecturers questioning me on my mistakes. What was I going to answer? Dozens of answers raced through my mind, but none of it satisfactory. It has occurred to me this is reality, it was not a bad dream. Finally, I decided to go for my last resort - look for a statistics lecturer for a consultation.
When I was in the bus on my way to campus, my mind was in a mess. There I was , worried like hell. I knew it was not easy to look for a statistics lecturer, especially at such a time constraint. I keep blaming myself.
The bus was almost full. An elderly Indian gentleman saw my roommate standing and offered her a seat next to him. She gladly took that offer. So he got up and let her in. After she sat, he still stood. Then, he looked at me and offer me his seat instead.
I was surprised. Here I was, a twenty-something student and an elderly gentleman, who could easily be my grandfather offered me his seat! Of course, I declined. How could I sit and let an elderly man stand? That is no good on my conscience. But he insisted, claiming that he has been sitting for a long time. No, it's okay, I said, you can sit. Finally, to avoid making a scene, I sat in his place as he stood until his stop.
That was the 1st fortunate thing that happened to me that morning. Growing up in an urban city like Kuala Lumpur, I have seen the good and bad side of the people here (well, mostly bad). It has never ceases to amaze me that chivalry can still exist despite all the selfishness I have witnessed. I wanted to tell the uncle that thank you, I have been having a really rough night and morning and your little gesture has made my morning a little better.
When I finally reached campus, I hurried to the offices of all 3 statistics lecturers. As I expected, none of them were in their rooms. I started to panic. There was 1 more hour left till presentation starts. And 2 more hours before it will be my turn to present. What if I am still not able to seek any help before then? But I decided to try my luck and waited outside one of the lecturer's office. 30 minutes passed and I wanted to give up and look for my supervisor instead but I convinced myself to wait a little while longer.
Finally, like a spotlight, the much-sought lecturer returned to his office. I was so happy I could burst into tears. I quickly told him my dilemma, hoping he can give me an answer that I want to hear. He was not pleased to hear about my mistake, saying that it is indeed wrong. However, he said that it was still acceptable. There it is, just what I needed, a reassurance.
So after thanking him, I quickly rushed to see my supervisor whose office was on the other side of the campus. I wanted to tell him in advance my problem and get his opinion on the matter. But as I got down from the lift, I saw him coming, heading towards my way. Another stroke of luck. I quickly consulted with him on the matter and he agreed, to state it as limitation of my study.
To keep a blog post short, my results presentation was not as bad as I imagined. There were 3 stern lecturers that I was afraid of. One did not come, and the other one went out of the room as I was presenting so she missed my presentation. Thank goodness, because I knew she will spot my mistakes.
I know that I always complain a lot about all the bad things that happen to me. I am a pessimistic person by nature, ever since I was a child. But sometimes, just sometimes, I should learn to appreciate the good things that happen to me. I know that every day is not going to be a lucky day like today. For that, I am grateful because although I will only have 1 lucky day, you don't know how much today meant to me.
Next stop is VIVA next monday. There is no escaping this. 30minutes of Q&A. It will be pure torture I know. Pray hard for me...