Thursday, December 10, 2009

On the slow, post-exam return to humanity

This week, I've experienced grad school at its most and least stressful. Most, the moments I had to stand outside the room during my exam, and least, when during the class I've been auditing, all the students still taking coursework were asking about the due date for their final papers and I was all, what's a paper? (A dissertation, fine, but my term-paper days are over.)

For reasons it would take a professional to sort out, I'd been convinced that my failure of not one but two road tests last spring was a bad omen for my qualifying exam. It turns out that driving around a block in Red Hook is simply more difficult than finding semi-coherent things to say about modern France.

Now, I'm in this odd phase of having adjust to actually returning email that's not super-urgent, to reminding myself that I can go to social engagements, to the presence on my bookshelves (and god knows at the library) of books not about my lists that I can read guilt-free...

So aside from the requisite catharsis over drinks with the others who just went through this, my post-exam plan, the immediate-ish one for after I teach tomorrow, is to take an entire afternoon off. Totally off! I'm not sure what one does with an afternoon off, but I'm thinking it will involve maybe some Uniqlo, some peeking into a store that had intriguing-looking ballet flats, some taking the fancy salon up on its alleged 'free in-between-haircut bang trim,' and if I'm feeling ambitious, some sitting in a coffee shop and reading something slowly. Yes, this is my one concession to the pro-slow. After reading many books in not so much time, and taking notes on (not in, thank you very much, fellow Bobst patrons, particularly those who write "Yes!" in the margins) each one, reading without the "Overall" blurb I intend to type up in mind might not be half bad.

6 comments:

Matt said...

So, are you officially ABD now? If so, congratulations. And don't be one of those who never get rid of the "AB" part!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. Enjoy your coffee, scones, etc. And pleasure reading. And "coffee and late oranges" on Sunday mornings. -- JM

Daniel Goldberg said...

I don't actually see in this post, confirmation that you passed, but I am assuming as such, so congrats!

Phoebe said...

Thanks - yes, I passed. Thus the difference from the driving test, which I've failed twice and will no doubt fail again within the next year.

Isabel Archer said...

Congratulations on passing!

Phoebe said...

Thanks!