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Old 02-24-06, 06:52 AM   #1
TallRider
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I'm taking my second comprehensive Ph.D. exam today, sitting to write for 9 hours about the study and understanding of culture within sociology. As such, I won't be posting anything today, and figured I would write this for two reasons
(1) to inform people here in the mech forum that I won't be around today, and fill in on a major happening in my professional life
(2) to set a precedent that will keep me from posting today and wasting time during the test (I'll be at a computer with internet access). Now that I've told y'all that I won't be posting, I'm less likely to post and waste time from the test. Whereas yesterday, studying for the test, I posted a lot, partly as procrastination.

One other big piece of news: Wednesday night I learned that I was selected for a major graduate fellowship, that will provide funding for my next 2-3 years of Ph.D. study (depending on whether I finish in two or three more years). This is great news for me, and opens up a lot of flexibility financially, geographically, and in use of my time (since I won't have to teach undergrad courses - which I do really enjoy - to fund my dissertation work). But I've not had chance to celebrate yet, since I've been gearing up for this exam.

I'll glance back at this thread after my exam, and post an update if I feel I did okay.
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Old 02-24-06, 07:53 AM   #2
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Good luck. My wife just finished her Masters in Nursing to become a practitioner. She just started her new job at Cancer Care Western NC. Pay raise, better hours, bonuses, and holidays off. Her getting this job was sort of a blessing I would say and I think God may have had a hand in it. Her dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer just prior to accepting the job.

Wish you luck in whatever you do. I continue to fight the methamphetamine labs in NC and dismantling them. That is my calling for now.
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Old 02-24-06, 08:00 AM   #3
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I guess you won't read this until afterward, but good luck on the exam. I had to take a comprehensive exam to get my bachelor's degree, but because I was well prepared for it, I actually enjoyed what could have been a difficult day. I'm sure your post-test ride (assuming you're going to take one) will be enjoyable.
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Old 02-24-06, 02:34 PM   #4
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Best wishes! In my doctoral program the written comprehensive exams were spread out over four biweekly sittings, which is probably easier than a single 9-hour stint. They were followed two years later by a two-hour oral thesis defense, which I managed to turn into a pleasant afternoon chat with the five faculty members of my committee.
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Old 02-24-06, 02:50 PM   #5
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Congratulations!
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Old 02-24-06, 03:07 PM   #6
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Good Luck! Afterwards, be sure to go unwind for a bit and have a good cold
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Old 02-24-06, 03:14 PM   #7
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GOOD LUCK!!!

<crossing all fingers and toes>
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Old 02-24-06, 03:39 PM   #8
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"Piled Higher and Deeper", eh?
Good luck to you.
My wife just got a Fullbright exchange to somewhere in the British Isles. I'm trying to decide whether I want the State Dept. to pay to ship a bike over just to have it vanish into some post-industrial Midland dunghole.
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Old 02-24-06, 05:10 PM   #9
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Best of Luck. I know what you are going through but second hand. My son started a PhD program in Physical Therapy a year ago after doing clinical work for 12 years and with a wife and two school age children. Not easy but it's his dream and we are proud beyond belief.

I hope you are equally rewarded. Report back when it's over.
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Old 02-24-06, 09:36 PM   #10
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Good luck Tim. Looking forward to hearing about your time. Go for a good long ride to unwind afterward.

Paul
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Old 02-24-06, 10:04 PM   #11
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The quick update: finished comp exam at 5:00 PM as I was supposed to, then went on an hourlong bike ride. I'd been munching on food all day, a sort of nervous distraction while typing, and wanted to do something physical instead of mental, as well as burning calories. I bonked halfway through, and the ride was slow (simple sugars can get burned off quickly), then just cruised comfortably the rest of the way. Went out wiht some friends, and now, to bed, more tired than I've been in a really long time.
Interesting replies to this thread. I'll come back later.
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Old 02-24-06, 11:24 PM   #12
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Congratulations on getting it done, Tim!
And the exam too.
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Old 02-25-06, 09:00 AM   #13
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Wait until you have to write the dissertation... then you'll be posting here all the time. Whoops, gotta go!
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Old 02-25-06, 11:06 AM   #14
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Congratulations Tim! Way to go!
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Old 02-25-06, 04:36 PM   #15
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All right, catching up on people's replies. Thanks for all the well-wishing. It's nice for me to be done with the exam, have some good sleep, as well as two bike rides under my belt since then. And yes cuda2k, a good cold beer.

A nice thing is that now I have mental space to celebrate getting that fellowship (the Harvey Fellowship). But now it's old news...
Still, it's wonderful for me not to have to worry about funding for the next two years. Or I may stay three. And focus on doing good research, and not have to earn my stipend through teaching. Even though I do love teaching.

msheron: sounds like you've got an interesting job. I do tend to be wary of saying "God had a hand in it" because (a) it's usually applied to things that we want to happen, and (b) it implies that God doesn't have a hand in the regular stuff. PM me if you want to talk theology on this.
On the whole, I envy your living in western NC. Chapel Hill ain't bad, but I'd wished the top UNC school was in Asheville. It's just that UNC-Chapel Hill is one of the top-ranked graduate sociology programs.

spider-man and John E: comp exams can be a lot of fun to write. I enjoyed writing my exam in sociology of religion last fall, and came into that one very well-prepared. This one, not so much, although I did have fun with one question. My department requires Ph.D. students to complete comprehensive exams in two subfields of their choosing. They could be a week apart, or a semester apart. Only offered at set times in the middle of the semester.

top506: I'd fix up an old 10-speed into good working order to take with you, if you're worried about the bike. You can get some of them in great working order, but still have them look old and ugly. That's what my commuter is...

oboeguy: I may end up procrastinating even more on the dissertation. Hope not. It's interesting stuff that I care about.
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