Friday, September 4, 2009

Sorry It's Been So Long...and Exam Progress

Sorry it's been so long since I posted last, but the beginning of the semester has overwhelmed my blogging impulse a bit. I'm teaching 2 sections, taking my last officially required grad class, and using the first month of classes to take my 20 written hours of the Big Nasty Tests (to be followed by an oral defense).

Plus I've been blessed this week with the usual 2nd-week-of-school seasonal allergies. Thanks, Indiana--I'll find a way to repay you for this someday. Maybe drop an anvil on one of your fallow fields while no one is there. (That would be not harmful for anyone, but incredibly cathartic, don't you think?)

Actually, despite the busyness and the stupid allergies, as I settle in to teaching this course I haven't taught before and write my exams in 2-hour chunks, I find myself enjoying myself quite a bit. I'm very much enjoying my students, the class I'm taking will definitely be helpful, and I'm getting intensely good at writing 2000 words (give or take 200 words) in 2 hours in response to each of my preliminary exam questions.

In fact, I'm appreciating the learning experience of these exams much more than I thought I would. Reviewing the materials I've been learning over the last couple of years is really helping me synthesize everything I've learned. And writing the answers to questions in the areas I've studied that I'm looking to dissertate on is also helping me to transition to that area in my head as well.

So, despite the Big Nastiness of these tests, I'm--dare I say--enjoying them. Weird, I know. But true. I think--hope--I'll even enjoy the oral defense of these written portions next month. (I actually did enjoy my MA thesis defense, so there's precedent.)

Anyway, I have a take-home to work on this weekend (Labor Day DOES mean labor, doesn't it?), a few final revisions to that creative writing project I got hired for this summer, and, more immediately, two classes to teach this afternoon, so I'll sign off for now. More later.

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