Monday, June 18, 2007

A. B. D. is me

It's done. I passed!

The two hour oral exam was this morning. I fretted about it, of course... I fretted about what to wear, what to say, how to say it, how not to seem like an idiot, how not to ramble on... but mostly how not to sound like an idiot.

My supervisor gave me strict instructions:

  • I'd be required to give an introduction of myself and I was not to go over 10 minutes. Do not bore the committee!
  • Answer the questions. Don't talk around them. Don't ramble on and try and prove how smart you are. Just answer the questions they ask.
As it turned out, they thought I was a bit too concise and sometimes asked me to expand on my answers. Afterwards another committee member said, "You can just keep talking you know." So sometime before my thesis defense I'll have to work on that and find a way to make both the supervisor and this other committee member happy. But there's time for that.

As promised, here are the three questions I had to choose from for my written paper:

  1. Historically and currently, what are the major challenges faced by language program administrators who wish to market their educational programs to international audiences?
  2. What moral, philosophical and cultural perspectives influence the extent to which commercial business practices ought to be incorporated into public education?
  3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of a critical theoretical paradigm when engaging in a new historicist approach to document analysis?
I chose the first question and that formed the basis for the 50-page paper that I turned in. That paper was what the committee then based the oral examination questions on.

The committee consisted of 5 voting members and 1 neutral chair who ran the meeting. And me.

Yes, I was intimidated. No, I did not throw up (yaay!)

I am happy it is over. If I understand this crazy system properly, I am now known as being A.B.D. (all but dissertation) and passing this exam means that I'm now considered qualified to start my thesis research.

I'll do that soon.

But before I get into that, there's a small matter of a half marathon to take care of... then some R&R time with the family in England.

I'm looking forward to that!

For now, it is off to the Grad Students Lounge for some... er... refreshments!

PS: The pills the doctor gave me for running helped somewhat. No nausea during the run. It came about an hour after finishing, which is still not great, but it's enough of a solution to get me through the race - hopefully.


robtherunner said...

Congratulations, Sarah! No surprise though. We know you're wicked smart.

craig said...

Enjoy your time away Sarah and best wishes on the race. You've earned some time to decompress. Congratulations on getting past the paper and the oral exam. I guess you have a topic in mind for the dissertation?

Backofpack said...

Woo-hoo! You are one beautiful, SMART and awesome runner! A half will be a snap after that.

Granny said...

Congratulations. One hurdle down; on to the race.

Turtle Guy said...

A.B.D. stands for
Anything But Done.

This simply marks the beginning of the next path on your journey.
(with a rest stop, of course, at the Grad lounge - yeah!)

My theory is that your tummy troubles may now subside.

Fingers crossed.

ipodmomma said...

oh that is so wonderful! well done!!!

psbowe said...

Sweet! That's great news, congratulations Sarah!

Glad to hear about the running change too.

angie's pink fuzzy said...


John Vezina said...

Having some spare time, and wondering what the heck you were studying, I managed to find this post. I am not certain I understand it or what you went through but it seems you made the most practical choice of the three. I mean the first seems more down and dirty lets get things done, whereas the other two seem much more theoretical. I've never understood the word "paradigm" very well. I still don't understand what you're studying, but I'm working on it. Smiles.