Monday, September 14, 2009

More than Halfway Up the Climbing Wall of Prelims...

Deborah pauses, moistens her hands with chalk from the bag tied around her waist, and tightens the muscles inside her climbing shoes so that they curl more firmly around the footholds.

She looks down toward her feet to find the next sturdy foothold, then looks up. Look! The top of the wall! It looks so close now that her oral defense date is set for October 5, and now that all the written exams must be completed by next Thursday.

Only a few more footholds, she thinks. You can do this. Twelve hours of written tests down this month, eight to go. Three more in-house exams of two hours each, and finishing up that take-home before preparing for the two hour oral defense.

Her mental muscles are getting tired and a bit trembly, but the adrenaline is high. Surely she can push through. Moistening her hands once more, she takes a deep breath and moves one of them up toward the next handhold.

Onward and upward. Onward and upward.

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