Day 1, down!

I won’t divulge the details about my exam questions, but I think Day 1 of PhD exam-taking went well. I hyped myself up this morning by listening to the Black Eyed Peas and told myself that I was just going to school to take care of something for 4 hours, then I’d go straight to the gym for my Cardiofunk class. Just your every day routine on Mondays. I think this visualization exercise worked too.

I got to school early to check out a book fair, score some free finger sandwiches, and scope out the exam room and computer I’d be using. In the past there has been an ancient Dell in there and I’ve heard horror stories of machines not saving work, etc. But since I was flying solo today, I knew I’d have more space. All looked nice and organized, although besides staring at the computer I’d be facing the wall instead of the glass door. I guess that was for the best since I could easily be distracted by people walking by.

When it came time, my proctor and I chatted briefly before the exam began, then it was nothing but me and the sound of typing for 4 hours.

The time thing was interesting because any time I asked my fellow grad students and my professors about how long the answers should be, everyone would just say, “Spend an hour each on the long essay ?s and 15-minutes on the 4 short answers.”

“OK, but how many pages should I aim to produce? Like, will I not pass with distinction unless I have five pages or is three pages just as good as long as I drop some names?”

Their response, “Make an outline and make sure to budget your time…”

So without knowledge of any precendent set ahead of me, I ended up with 12 pages today. I know the page length issue is subjective, but you’d think that the professors would be able to offer some sort of response about what they’ve graded in the past. It’s not like my proctor gave me one question at a time and then said, “OK go. You have 1 hour!”

Nonetheless, I shouldn’t babble too much longer. I feel good after working out and am sipping on a Cherry Picker smoothie. Oh! I weighed myself again this morning and it turns out I’ve lost 6 pounds in the past few weeks. Yay!!!

OK. I need to go home and make up my note cards for the next day of test-taking. Laters…

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