Wednesday, January 6, 2010

This qualifies me to do...what exactly?

Christmas was beautiful and time with family in Texas was blessed.

Scott and I accidently slept through New Years after a reeeeally long drive back to the West coast, but our neighbors' fireworks so politely reminded us of the event.

It's been too long since I've logged in, but in a way it feels like not long enough. I don't have any huge news to tell other than to relate my anxiety. I've been reading non-stop all the way through the fall semester and then through the holidays to get ready for my upcoming qualifying exams for my Ph.D. program. Our school doesn't believe in giving the traditional 12 months--we only get about 7 months to prepare--so needless to say, I feel like I could have used a little more time. I don't think I want more time, though. I really want to get it over with.

I have done all that I could do to prepare, and now I just need to get organized. I have about 40 hours before I begin my major exam. I'll be taking my Major (19th c. British lit) on Friday-Saturday, my first minor (film adaptation) on Monday, and then my second minor (18th c. British lit) on the following Friday. Sounds easy, right? All nice and spread out...

Here's the catch. The university at which I teach (not where I go to grad school) starts its spring semester next week, so I'll be teaching on Tuesday and Thursday between my exams. I was upset to discover all of this was happening the same week, but then it occurred to me that I would much rather be taking my quals the first week of the semester than, say, one month in, when my students are more involved and their assignments require more of my input. This is actually perfect timing [she says with a grimace on her face, bracing for her impending head-on collision with academic destiny].

So right now I need to relax, take a deep breath, stop counting the cups of coffee I've consumed this week because I don't have that many fingers/toes, and try piecing the puzzles of all this knowledge together.

These exams are actually the easy part. After this I get to write my dissertation. My book. The manifesto of literary me. I can't wait!!!!!