I just got a call from…

I just got a call from Katie, my chair. I passed the written. (And Vince sent me e-mail saying that he thought I did very well on it.)

I've passed my qualifying exams. I'm now officially ABD (all but dissertation).

I'm not so much excited as very very relieved. Whew!

15 thoughts on “I just got a call from…”

  1. Congratulations Mary Anne! Finding a balance in how much time and effort to devote to the dissertation and how much to your own professional writing may be a challenge. But you seem amazingly capable in such situations. I am really impressed that you did as you said you would and did not let grad school dominate your life.
    It certainly dominated mine for four years, and I was initially skeptical that it would be possible for you to have a different experience. But so far, you have done it! (With, of course, understandable exceptions, as during the recent interlude when you were preparing for and taking the exams.)

  2. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!


    Congrats to being ABD.

    Does this mean that a year from now we’ll be reading your first novel? (at least in draft form?)

  3. Congratulations indeed. Actually you have achieved a kind of degree. You are not just ABD, you are a Ph.C. (Candidate in Philosophy) and you will get a diploma to that effect, and you can frame it and put it on the wall) Now you have three more official letters after your name. And now is the danger point. And both as one who did it and as one who was once a professor judging those people, here is where people slip or slide or stop. The temptation is to let real life intrude into the work of the dissertation. Try not to let it happen. I took four years to do mine and found it a terribly heavy load. Only you know how vulnerable you might be, but Excelsior!! And hearty congratulations.

  4. Thanks, everyone! Still sinking in, somehow. 🙂

    GAC, that bit about the PhC was interesting — I had no idea. Cool. Katie warned me about the desire to slump that follows after passing the exams; she says lots of grad students basically do nothing for the next six months. Luckily, I think I have enough deadlines that that shouldn’t be a problem…

  5. Actually, there is a bit of a story there. I got my doctorate at Madison. After the exams were done, I got this diploma thingy in the mail. It looked just like a regular diploma “The Regents of the University of Wisconsin…..” except that it was cheesy, sort of mimeographed. I asked my director what it was and got the Ph.C. story. The unnerving part was that it stands as a terminal degree for a huge number of people who don’t have the steam to do the Big Write afterwards. Traditional schools will still give you the cheesy diploma. I know one from the University of Washington that is framed and above the desk of a permanent ABD. It would be amusing were she not one of the brightest students I ever taught. By the way, the most beautiful piece of paper I have is my UC diploma; now there is class.

  6. It *is* awful purty, isn’t it? Sometimes I get so smug about the U of C, even though I was a total slacker and barely pulled a 3.0 average when I was there.

    I didn’t, in fact, actually manage the 3.0, and had to take a few creative writing classes as a grad-student-at-large, afterwards, which somehow got averaged into my transcript, for reasons which are still a mystery to me, but which I accepted gratefully, since plenty of the grad schools I wanted to apply to wouldn’t even look at you if you didn’t have a 3.0 — of course, they all rejected me anyway, both the first year I applied and the second, but now I’m finally finishing, so nyah nyah nyah to them. 🙂 Even if it is about, oh, seven years later than I’d originally planned to have my Ph.D…

    Hee. Which reminds me about this great moment in Bujold’s Vorkosigan series when Ilyan and Ekaterin are reminiscing about the plans they had for their lives when they were 20… Hee. Hee. Maybe I go read that bit again.

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