Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Oral exam.... again

This morning, I passed my PhD oral qualifying exam. After I failed on the first try, this wasn't an easy process. I haven't been this nervous since my high school final exams in another life time.

Do I feel elated? Not quite the right word. I'm relieved to have it over with, but more than anything, I have this incredible urge to run around and do all the things that I wanted to do the past 6 weeks, but couldn't because I was either depressed from not having passed the first time, or too busy preparing for today.

I have stuff to do! I have to prepare two posters to present at a national meeting this Summer, I have to write a paper to submit to a journal, I have 3 experiments to set up, two to keep going, one to analyze. I need to blog more, and spend time with my family.

Aaahh, my family, what can I say? They have been indescribably wonderful through it all. The kids, have driven me crazy, demanding my undivided attention in both good and bad ways. In doing so, they have forced my mind away from my failure, forced me to think about things other than oral exams. They have forced me to see, again, that getting this degree is the best thing I can do for them in the long run. That I need to do this for them as much as for myself. My husband, tried his best to keep the kids away from me yesterday. I had gone into our office to study in a quiet atmosphere, and instead of P1 and the kids being far, far away, they all congregated in my room, making me laugh, and happy, even though I had this big dark cloud hanging over my head. I wouldn't have been able to this without P1. He's the best. Most of all, because he would have loved me no less, if I had not passed today. He wouldn't have been critical of me. He would have lashed out at my committee members, without ever considering that I did something wrong. He is my rock.

My adviser. He was supportive from the start. He probably was too overconfident for my first exam, but he was visibly proud of me today. He's always been very upbeat, with nothing but good things to say about me. He protected me from other committee members, while making sure they could ask their questions. He told me to refuse to guess, and I did, and when I was pushed harder, I refused even harder, and said that guessing wasn't going to make me a better scientist. I wasn't about to allow anyone to laugh at my foolish guesses.

I could go on and on, but this is probably enough. I passed, and I have to go. I have work to do. Have a glass of wine on me this evening! I know I will.

7 comments:

CAE said...

Woo hoo! Good for you!

knobody said...

woot! double-dog woot!

now? coffee? finally?

makita said...

Hi knobody!
Yes, definitely coffee. Finally!! I'll give you a call.

ScienceGirl said...

Congrats!! I am happy for you!

EcoGeoFemme said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so happy you passed. It sounds like it was the experience it should have been today. Isn't it great to have it over with?!

makita said...

Yeah, it feels great to have it over with. I really, really want to graduate at the end of this year. I have an enormous pile of things to do. But that's ok. Right now, I'm just happy to continue doing what I like to do. Do science! It feels like I'm on vacation.

ScienceWoman said...

Just catching up...Congratulations! Has it sunk in yet?