About confidence and assertion

Although Kate thinks I’m being a pushover, I actually feel like I’ve been more assertive than normal lately. I actually told Russell off for only giving us a few hours’ warning that we were expected to spend last night grading. This is actually the second time he was rude to me, but I’ve finally realized that I have a voice, and complaining when people are rude isn’t wrong. This is a major breakthrough for me.

In the end, Russell’s rudeness may well have been a good thing for me. It broke Berkeley’s aura of greatness, so now all of a sudden I realize that I’m as good as these people. I may not be as smart as all these professors, but I may well be (though I certainly don’t have their knowledge). Russell has shown that he’s not actually a particularly good person, and Feldman is clearly in the wrong on the issue of computer intelligence. So, I am a better person than some professors here, and I understand things more clearly than some others.

This is great news. It means that I’m good enough to be here. I can face professors with confidence, secure in the knowledge that they’re merely human, and by recognizing that, I am as good as they are. They may have more knowledge and power than I do, but they’re not better than me.

I’m in a very good mood. I have finally reached the point where I fit into Berkeley. I have proven (to myself) my worth, and I am ready to take on the world. I can fight back when they are wrong, and I’m no longer wandering around in the dark. I’ve realized that I see as much of the world as they do, and I’m ready to stand on my own and control my own fate.

In summary, I’m a grown up. I moved from being an undergraduate to being a graduate student. I have finally become an arrogant young man.