hang out a sign that says “do not disturb”

well, first things first.

i passed my exam! exciting news. it doesn’t mean i’m a doctor. i’m not a doctor yet. it means, though, that i am officially admitted to phd candidacy. it means that i have met all of the prerequisite requirements to beginning the dissertation process. it means that, save the defense, i will never have to take another exam as long as i live.

that is GOOD news.

the exam itself was painless. i was very nervous going in, but i was also praying a lot. i thought about calling my mom an hour before, crying to her about how i felt like i was going to throw up and worrying about it with someone who could talk me through it, but i decided instead to exercise a particle of faith and lean on my Heavenly Father.

it was a good choice.

when i walked in there, i knew that i had done all that i could do. i had read (at least somewhat–i’ll admit to some serious skimming the night before my exam) everything i said that i would read. i had kept my word and gone as far as i could. i knew that He would make up the difference. and He did, as He always does.

it wasn’t very long–only an hour and a half. in the grand scheme of things, considering how many hours i put into the process, it seemed so short. i really didn’t want it to end because, by the end, i was having fun. i knew what i was talking about. it’s a nice feeling.

they asked me to step out, so that they could talk about whether or not they were ready to sign. that’s the most nervewracking part. i was probably only out of the room for three minutes, but it is a long three minutes. my director came out and said, sarcastically, “it was a very hard decision.” of course, she’s never sarcastic, so that was sort of different. but it was nice to do so well as to not even elicit any concerns at all. i have to do a revision on my prospectus, but that’s for next week’s worrying–and it’s completely do-able.

but it’s strange, really. i don’t feel any different, except that i’m really, really tired. i don’t feel like i, myself, am any different. in fact, it was a bit anti-climactic. i expected to feel this giant weight lift off of my shoulders, and i didn’t. i called my mom right afterwards, and i told her how it went, and she told me that she was very, very proud of me and that i should be proud of myself.

i think it’s only when i think of things that way–how much work i put in, how hard i worked, how much i tried to have integrity in the process and keep my word–that i feel the import of it. and when i think about the fact that no one else in my family has ever gotten this far. i am the first, but i know i won’t be the last. it’s nice to be a trailblazer in that way, i guess. i am proud of myself. i know i should be more so…but it’s a strange sort of vacuum that i’m in right now. it’s good but it doesn’t feel done.

i suppose that’s a blessing, really, since i haven’t even really started the real work of the dissertation. it will be so much reading, so much writing, so much thinking. it’s good that i haven’t adopted this idea that i’m done–that would make it so much harder to get started once more. but at least now i get to take it piece by piece, step by step, and really concentrate on the stuff i like–analysis, reading, writing my arguments–rather than the stuff i don’t, the global sketching out of a larger argument. that will be good.

but i was really hoping for more of a vacation afterwards. but since i don’t really feel any different, and i still have 1 million and 1 things to do every day, i still feel like i’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. that’s no good. i’m hoping next week will be better. it’s the lull before the next storm, which is my conference in kentucky. i still have to write that stupid paper. oy.

i think what i am right now is introspective. i’m tired. all i really want to do is watch netflix and be a bum.

but instead, i have an adventerous weekend planned which, for the most part, i’m looking forward to–an all-day concert, dinner with the sister missionaries, movie night with the girls, dinner on the grounds, and conference sessions all day sunday.

sigh.

but i know i’ll be ever-so-grateful for monday, when all i have to do is sleep and watch netflix and plan for class. it sounds like bliss on a stick.

who knew i’d be looking FORWARD to monday?

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