Yesterday I got up at 5AM to drive two hours to go to a conference. This resulted in me not feeling so great yesterday, and sleeping ten and half hours last night. But I did meet people who might have blackberry for me to study, which is great. And I feel so upbeat this morning. If I can just study all day today and all this weekend, then Monday morning I'll have my last practice exam with the lab and in the afternoon I will chill out and probably review some of what I have studied. Then Tuesday morning I will take the exam and then it will be over. Unless I don't pass, which would suck monkey balls because it would mean that I would have to study for another month or two and then take the exam again.
Two months (broken up early on by a vacation) of putting my research on hold to do nothing but prepare for a three-hour oral exam.
In the exam, I have to defend my proposal in order to prove that I can do research in genetics, and show general knowledge of genetics to prove that I could teach it at the undergraduate level. And maybe I should know who's up for the Nobel Prize this year to prove that I'm not living in a cave.
Failing out of the program entirely is highly unusual, but it is not uncommon to get a "no pass" and have to retake the exam. Most people pass, and I really, really hope that I do.
Passing means that I "Advance to Candidacy," which is a fairly abstract concept as far as I can tell, but it does mean that I get to put together a dissertation committee and officially start my dissertation research.
Really looking forward to getting this over with. I might celebrate by clothes shopping or going to see Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
I realize that people in professional programs have to go through much more stressful stuff... but hey, they'll get a higher salary after graduation too.