Continuing from last week, I have to do a crapload of work to gather data and I am so tired right now from working late last night. Anyway, guys, part of being in grad school is hearing "grad school lore" about worst case scenarios in order to keep the anxiety flowing (because education is fueled off of anxiety). I did a poster presentation the other night and was talking to a doctoral student in Physics about our comprehensive exams. She was saying that she heard about a student who slipped up at the beginning of his oral exam and was grilled for eight hours.
She asked me about mine and I only had a one and a half to two hour oral exam. I did pretty well in my written part so it wasn't terrible. I'm sure examples like an eight hour oral exam are rare—mostly because professors don't want to spend that much time there. But I have heard of them getting into arguments and failing people because of interpersonal issues.
My fear was always the dissertation proposal. I knew someone who came in after spending a year on her proposal and announced she could not pass it because her committee would not agree on a research strategy that they found acceptable. When she told me that, my blood ran cold. I was lucky. My proposal was passed (I won the award that they give annually for it!). But I also had a committee that got along. However, I spent an entire year convinced that I was going to fail just like she did.
Anyways, talk about your grad school lore.
And as far as goals go, I have to gather more data. I have 3 or 4 people on deck that I have to coordinate. I have to apply for this conference in the next week or so. I'm continuing to read for my literature review but I got to get more serious about writing everything. And I have to start thinking about another paper that I want to publish and start that while also sending the one that I've been working on into a journal.
I'm so fucking tired. And I still have a bunch of papers to grade and a presentation to give before the end of the month.