A Grateful Heart: Friends, the secret to surviving comprehensive exams
Gratitude: “A felt sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life.” Robert Emmons*
On the first day, they put me in solitary. Four walls, no bigger than a broom closet, desk, lamp, chair. No windows. No visitors. No outside communication. They said “Tell us everything you know.” And I did. The interrogation lasted 8 hours after which I was free to go. For now.
Days later, the questions kept coming. I defended. I rationalized. I displayed all the knowledge I had and after 24 hours of interrogation, they let me be. For now.
|Cape compliments of Mr. Timothy Huffman. Note the clever use
of the ASU Sundevil pitchfork.
In the days following my comprehensive exams (see here for details), I’ve wondered: Did I do enough? Will my committee members look past the places I obviously fouled up and focus on my good ideas? Will they give me a chance to explain? Will I have to re-write a section? Will I have to re-write the whole damn thing? What if I crashed and burned?
Pass or fail though, I’ve learned the secret to surviving comprehensive examinations, and maybe life in general: Good friends. And I am ever so grateful. Throughout the comps process, I’ve had a veritable army of supporters cheering me on, offering words of advice, comfort and encouragement. Although I spent 24 hours writing alone, I knew people were thinking of me, offering positive energy, and willing me to succeed. Thank you everyone!
|A talisman borrowed from a dear friend.|
And they didn’t send me into the fray unprepared. In fact, a select group outfitted me with custom-made comps armor, a talisman, and a solemn oath to kick ass.
To see the “Caping Ceremony,” complete with Eye of the Tiger sound track, click here. (Thank you Casey for taking video!) Below is a transcript of the oath that incredibly accurately forecasted the experience…
The Comps Oath, written and administered by Tim “Best-Cape-Maker-Ever” Huffman
|Love the clasp.|
|I’ll sign it before we cape the next lucky comper.|
|Well done Tim!|
|Surely you’ve seen a caped crusader of knowledge before! (Note: It is more difficult than it looks to take a picture of oneself in a cape.)|
* Welcome to my new series on gratitude. I’m hoping to write a Grateful Heart post at least once a week!
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