This is long and pointless, which is why I'm posting to my personal blog. I hope someone reads it, though probably no one will.
So, for background, I'm a part-time graduate student getting my Master's (almost done *woot*); I also work full-time as a teacher in a private school. For a variety of reasons, I'm not super proud of my MA program; it isn't the most rigorous of programs, pretty much anyone can get in, course offerings are limited because they only run 3 grad classes a semester, etc. Immediately out of undergrad I had applied to and got accepted to a bunch of fairly prestigious PhD programs, but quit after one semester because of ... ??? A variety of reasons that are muddled now. Anyway, I wasn't ready, so I started teaching, and then right before my GRE scores expired, I applied to and was accepted to this program. It suited my needs because it offers classes at night for people who work, and it had a focus that was interesting to me. I've tried to go out of my way through the course of the program to make the most of it; since I've always chosen paper topics that were completely original from everyone else, and have made efforts to present at my and other universities, I've become pretty well-regarded among the faculty, which I appreciate.
However, I have major, MAJOR impostor's syndrome. I feel completely inadequate in every single way. I couldn't cut it as a "real" academic, so here I am at my piddly little program, pretending to be something I'm not. It doesn't help that many of my friends from undergrad are all PhDs with fancy jobs now. That I'm "just a teacher" who's barely finished her MA makes me feel inadequate, even though there's no reason to (I barely talk to them so it's not like they feed this or anything).
A few months ago, the department chair of my MA program sent out a Call for Papers from a Pretty Big University about 6 hours away from here. I had something from one of my courses that seemed to align pretty nicely with the topic, so I wrote up an abstract and submitted it. Almost on a whim, just to see what would happen.
I found out this weekend that it was accepted.
Here's the logistical problem: It's on a weekday, so I have to get a day off from my job and it's pretty hard since we don't have 'personal time'. We have to ask specifically for it and give detailed reasons why.
I already asked my boss for the day, figuring I'd give it a shot, and he said "Since I assume you'll be representing [the school I work for], you can go." However, I WON'T be representing the school I work for, I'll be representing my graduate school. I'm afraid if I correct this, he'll rescind his offer to let me have the day and I'll have to decline the offer or take a sick day (which I'm loath to do because it's a school and I get sick a lot).
Plus, if I say yes, I'm committing myself to two days of crap. If I leave after work, I'll get there at 9PM at the earliest, either pay for a hotel or stay with a graduate student, go to the conference in the AM and drive home afterwards, all on my own dime.
And while I'm excited and feel validated a little, I'm still terrified and confused. I'm afraid I'm going to go and get laughed at. Like "here's sad little PiggyWillow, she totally doesn't know how to present at conferences, and she makes stupid references she can't back up in her work, and she's dumb." Will this realistically happen? Probably not. But I'm still scared and almost wish I had an excuse not to go.
But it'd look so good on my CV!
So. If you happened to read this. What should I do? I need to decide by tomorrow.