Pish Tosh

Monday, May 1


'Nuff said.

*Okay, technically, I'm not sure if I become "ABD" after passing exams or after getting my dissertation proposal passed. I am one of the last students taking exams under the "old regime" in a department gearing up for the "new regime" in which people are supposed to be able to get through the program way faster. But anyhow, suffice it to say that while I did not necessarily knock academic socks off, I managed to pass my exams, which I have been working on for far too long, and thus I am ecstatic, mixed with some bemusement. Also, though it is but 1:21 p.m., I am pounding a beer. The PhD exams are a weird event. "Most" people pass, but yet it is dangerous to treat passing as a foregone conclusion as occasionally people DON'T... so I am relieved... it seems like an anticlimax, the passing, because I was quite sweaty during my exam, and felt nerves, and forgot my transitions in my thereby graceless opening statement.... but on the other hand, I got none of the intense skepticism I was expecting based on my slightly deranged written exam. I felt neither harrassed nor overly interrogated; if anything, I felt the questions were generous. My response: I occasionally rose to the occasion, but occasionally I floundered. Even my floundering was an anticlimax: I answered every question, even though in some cases I was not satisfied by my own answer.

I prefer an anticlimax to an occasion on which I cry, which is something that happened in an earlier meeting of me with my committee. Today, they asked a couple of useful questions, and offered one or two useful insights. I am neither fatigued nor intimidated.

Altogether, then, things are good.

Although my husband would like me please to re-shelve the approximately two-hundred books currently stacked in various elaborately contingent configurations around our living room.