I don’t often come here to chit chat, usually it’s to lay down something quite heavy and research driven; but this fall marks my last semester of classes in my terminal (read, are you crazy don’t take out anymore student loans) degree – this will make me ABD (all but dissertation) – you know where the pressure to perform a dissertation becomes the real white whale. While this was my first summer in my recent adult memory (that’s about 6 years to you youngsters) that I didn’t take or teach classes at a university, it didn’t stop my PhD progress as I embarked on the most terrifying of all tests you take as a PhD student…the comprehensive examination. ‘Comps’ as we casually call them while feeling the goosebumps take over. You know it’s *only* the examination of core classes as evaluated by the professors that taught them to you, graded basically pass/fail or as academia likes to sugar coat it to “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.” You know…the thing you can’t fail or else – or else what I don’t know but I wasn’t about to effing figure that out!! While “satisfactory” is not exactly a pat on the back, it is progress forward in what seems to be the neverending story of my scholarly attempts at “what I want to be when I grow up.” Every program is different it seems in terms of pass/fail – apparently there is an “honors” distinction that never in my networking have I known of a PhD scholar to attain – it is the unicorn of examination land. But as to the horrors, I digress because it’s over. I passed. I landed “satisfactory” among my peers and have checked off another box on my way to PhD wonderment. It felt a little like this scene from Tommy Boy because never have I prayed to the universe before for a “satisfactory” – it feels D+ ish:
Now…if I could just get my teaching institution to spell my name right [no it’s NOT Wallance]…it will almost seem real.