-"You can't act when other people are in the room. A cheese plant can send you into a panic."-"Cheese plants can be judgmental."
As someone who has never had a problem in front of an audience in a theatrical context, who couldn't care less about belting out some kitschy 80's tune or another during karaoke night in a crowded bar, a phobia of speaking up in class seems anomalous. For me, something about the academic setting, about placing one's own thoughts on display for the scrutiny of classmates and professors, induces a case of "the chokes" with few exceptions. It is not always so simple as self-trickery - it is not the same as reading a script that someone else wrote, taking on an alternate persona, or singing in front of drunk people. An awareness that more people will perceive me as unintelligent or lazy for lack of input (or obvious apprehension when input is coerced) doesn't do the trick, either. Psychiatric medication helped with the not-giving-a-damn aspect, but was negated by the severe lethargy that accompanied it. A lot of good that does when you don't make it to class, because you nodded off in your chair after drinking an entire pot of black coffee. Getting over oneself, while admittedly not impossible, is not as simple as the phrase implies. All going to pose the question: what can be done?
Maybe learning computer language (and finally taking the dreaded student loan to return to square one in a new field) wouldn't be a bad idea... At this point, primary interactions with machines rather than other people, and logic based communication via code as opposed to the often overt subjectivity of theoretical musings sounds like a reasonable and potentially sanity-saving goal.
I don't know.