Comps are over, and now begins the waiting game to see if I passed. Every college and department seems to do comps differently–some are oral, some are take-home, some allow you to use notes, some require you to just remember everything.
Our comps are comprised of three questions. We have three hours to write the first question, and four hours to write the other two. No notes are allowed. There’s been a lot of stress about this test, but here are some things that I’m grateful for, now that the smoke is starting to clear…
1. I have the best family and the best friends a girl could have. My family sent me an amazing package earlier this week, and friends called me, emailed me, and Kirsty even posted well-wishes on her blog.
2. The people in my grad school cohort are quite wonderful. They make me laugh, they constantly challenge me to be better, and even though we each have distinct personalities, I think we are all rooting for each other’s success. Here is a picture of Dave. The group is at the top of my stairs–we went to a Halloween party last night.
3. While I was toiling away at a computer, Kansas was absolutely shellacking Nebraska. One of the first pieces of news I received post-comps was the final score of the KU-NU game, and I jumped for joy. I hate Nebraska football. I was so glad they lost in such spectacular fashion.
4. Zicam really does a nice job of staving off colds. I suggest either the nasal swabs or the nasal spray gel. The oral treatments are truly gross.
5. I’m actually pretty smart! There are things I know that I’m good at doing–I’m a fantastic baker (my holiday goodie plates are legend), I’m a wonderful accompanist, and I’m a great teacher. And I don’t say those things to be conceited, but those are things I have worked hard at and have been doing for a very long time. Writing at length about cultural studies is a new endeavour for me, and I’m not always confident in my abilities. But as I was finishing the third question yesterday, I realized I had, over the course of 7 hours, written 17 pages (typed, double-spaced) of lucid, intelligent analysis of cultural studies theory. I’m happy I finished, and happy that I feel like I did my best.
6. It might seem paradoxical, but the two songs that got me through yesterday were Natasha Bedingfield’s “If You’re Gonna” and the LDS hymn “How Firm A Foundation.” But when you look at the lyrics of both songs, I think they accurately reflect the adage “Act as if everything depends upon you; pray as if everything depends upon God.” That’s exactly what I did, and it simultaneously brought me confidence and peace.
7. Here is what I looked like, post-comps. No tears, a little fatigue, but mostly all smiles. Here we are at Jed’s, awaiting the mediocre cuisine they consistently offer.
Who says Crips can’t get along with anyone? I wasn’t around for this pic, but Mike documented the evening, and I just love this picture.
Another stop in the post-comps celebration…I think this one is from Grumpy Dave’s (I was home talking to my sister at this point). One of the high points of the evening was at Mike’s apartment, where I briefly fell asleep, then had a complete laughing fit with Laura over Justin’s dramatic presentation of a scene from “Headbanger’s Journey.”
8. I’m so grateful it’s over. Time to start writing my thesis, now…