I just got notice today that I may now apply for qualification for candidacy in my PhD program. The first checkpoint on my path to a doctorate is nigh! And now I have to fill out a long form, corral some professors into signing them (it's like herding cats, which I suppose is the point - so I have some experience before I try and create a committee for my dissertation down the line), and give them a paper to prove that yes I am in fact able to do scholarship. The paper needs to be 15+ pages. I'm giving them a 30 page seminar paper and probably putting the translation I did along with it in the file just to make sure they have everything they need.
I'm excited about it, though now I just have to find the time to actually put all this together. Between teaching, a full load of coursework, committee work, and being union steward for the department, there's a bit of a full plate. At least it's not my Comprehensive Exams. Then I'd be in trouble. Those are still a couple years off, so no worries yet.
But soon I'll be able to call myself a PhD candidate, and not just a PhD student. It sounds fancier, see. And one day when I'm old I will be like Professor Farnsworth and you'll read this in my voice!