Aaaaannnnnnddddd I survived! To catch everyone up, you may have noticed that I vanished after April. This is because it was my turn to endure the tortuous, graduate school rite of passage…the qualifying exam. Also known as the comprehensive exam, prelims, or the ninth circle of hell. It is widely regarded as the worst experience of grad school (my vote can now be included in that- I’m declaring it with still a few years to go) and has, outwardly, a seemingly insufficient payoff: I get to pursue a Ph.D. But wait, you may say, wasn’t that what you were already doing? Sadly, no. During the first two years, you must acquire the knowledge and then prove you are “ready”. Yes, that rigorous, merciless raking-over-the-coals was rewarded with, effectively, a “Yeah ok, you can stay”. And yet it is EVERYTHING to a grad student. We’re insane.
You guys, that was my first meme!
Anyways, I am now a third year and right on track for the idealism plummet that, so I am told, leads to an actual, semi-successful career in the sciences. All-in-all, I’d call that a win!