That's what my room mate, Gord, said to me this morning when I told him that I was done with my candidacy paper... Done as in, it's edited, in envelopes ready to be delivered to the committee members and also, done fretting.
I am a "fretter extraordinaire", type A, pathological perfectionist, relentlessly driven by (usually self-imposed) goals. I'm trying to curb this somewhat, as it takes its toll on a human soul after a while, but nevertheless, the essence is there.
When I told him I was done fretting he said something to the effect of, "Won't do you much good now, anyway". Then we both chuckled.
Since I didn't know what candidacy exams were all about before I was smack in the middle of the PhD program, let me explain by saying it's like a big-huge take home exam. You get questions that only you can answer, based on all your research and studies, so getting help is out of the question.
You go away and write. For 28 days. Solid.
For those of you who were jabbing me because I finished the first draft early, I remind you that my draft was 13 pages longer than the 40 page limit. That means, I had to spend a good deal of time cutting out about 25% of the paper. Yeah, like that's easy.
Then I had to read and re-read, since it was littered with typos and silly mistakes. I suspect there are still a few, though I should be most grateful if my committee graciously does not notice them.
The final version of the take home exam is then delivered to 5 professors. 4 of them I have met before, 1 of them I have not.
They have a few weeks to read it. Then, you have a 2-hour oral exam.
Passing or failing is a package deal. All 5 professors must unanimously agree that you pass both the paper and the oral exams, or ... well... you fail.
If you pass, then you then go from being a "PhD student" to a "PhD candidate" (hence the term "candidacy exam"). All that means is that they've decided you're good enough to go do a thesis.
That then consumes your life for the next few years.
Anyway, my paper was delivered into the campus mailboxes of the committee members today.
And I'm off to have my first meeting with my new trainer, Kevin, in a few moments. The fellow I was working with before, Chris, took a higher level position elsewhere. It's nice to see him move ahead in his career and I have to say that I came a long way training with him over these past couple of years.
I figured it would be good to break Kevin in gently. I've challenged him to train me for a half-marathon.
It's July 8. I've already registered.