Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Fitting My Breeches, Once Again

I am still busy reading new literature and rewriting my thesis prospectus (note, the change from "revising"). Hence, not blogging as much lately. My advisor, Preeminent Federalism Scholar, has read all of the literature, has written half of it, and is very kind and helpful. For example, he assigned me his chapter of his constitutional law book, telling me to look up (read: read everything) the long string of articles he cites. He still goes over all the federalism law and cases with me when we meet, and I appreciate this. Although I have read a good deal of it, it is always nice to discuss the literature. It's a good refresher.

But throughout our hour-long conversations about structural constitutional theories and cases, he keeps asking, "Am I going too fast for you?"

He isn't.

I don't know why he asks this so much. I don't think it is my facial expressions. My tendency is to look super engaged and in deep concentration, with my uncreased brow furrowed with a youthful attempt at gravitas. My eyes, focused with intensity on Preeminent Federalism Scholar, means that I don't look "blank." My lower lip is firmly pressed in serious contemplation against my upper lip, by which I mean to say that I do not sit with mouth agape or slack-jawed.

Maybe it is my youth, and how in our first meeting, in my nervousness, I blurted out "Kimel" when I meant to say "Nevada v. Hibbs," or maybe it's just what he does when he talks to students. I don't know--he's my advisor, but not my professor.

In any case, I do feel slightly stupid whenever he asks this. I kind of wish he wouldn't, although I know it is for my benefit. It is good that he is so solicitous as to check with me and check his pace.

But it just serves to remind me of how young a scholar I am, and it definitely puts this young whippersnapper in her place. I now fit my breeches (whereas previously they were "too big") and I am no longer suffering from a cerebral edema (the swelling of my head has stopped).

Thus, back to the drawing board I go.

Am I going too fast for you?