As I go over my presentation slides once again, the realization of what I got myself into slowly dawns on me. I am presenting thrice, at two national conferences this year. And I am in no mood for merrymaking. I am in the second year of my doctoral program, the scintillating achievements of my seniors weighing down my shoulders heavily. Last summer when I wrote these proposals, it was more an exercise of self-assessment, to see where I stand, to find out if I can write convincingly and visit a few new places in the process. The proposals got through, and suddenly, it became serious business. I have spent a good stressful amount of the last few weeks polishing off the papers, making my presentation slides, and generally mulling over what to say in front of an audience who stare at you expectantly. I know I will fumble, race through my talk, even stammer. For public speaking is not my forte. Give me a pen and I can write you a novel. Give me a camera and I will give you a year’s worth of pictures. But the microphone makes me nervous. Standing up there, listening to my own voice, seeing all those stalwarts in the field, knowing that my adviser is tucked away somewhere in the crowd, listening to me inconspicuously, lest I become nervous. There will be questions and clarifications, there will be sighs and deep breaths, and there would be awkward silences. I have spent half a day last Saturday, picking up a formal suit in black and white that cost me three-and-a-half days worth my salary. Then there would be flights boarded, classes missed, and more work piled up as I spent the next three days at a conference. I think of all this, as I go over my slides once again, one final time, just to make sure that not even a comma or a punctuation mark is missing.