I just formally completed my comprehensive exams. The oral defense was held today, I passed, and now I’m officially ABD (all but dissertation). This is the other side I said I’d see you on.
I think the defining harrowing thing about comprehensive/qualifying exams is that they come to us (1) without precedent (most of us who do a dissertation have already done a Master’s thesis, and gone through the same process of defending it – but when in our education do we go through a 6 day writing blitz, on subject areas we largely define ourselves, with little in the way of explicit expectations?), and (2) with seemingly infinite expectation (the feeling that no matter what one writes it can never be good enough, thorough enough, broad enough, or deep enough).
So now, I’m on to things with more manageable processes and outcomes.
I believe a glass (bottle[cask]) of wine is in order.