June 24, 2005
The solstice is barely over and it was 96 degrees today! That doesn't count the heat index, which is something I don't really understand yet. I just know that it was hot outside today, and I wish my car had A/C. At least my house does because I sure have heard from a number of people who don't have A/C at home and I can't imagine going to sleep in the hot stickiness that is Minnesota right now.
In the Northwest hot is not until August, and even then, it's not usually 96 and best of all, people can escape to the ocean for coller temperatures.
As if the heat isn't enough, the days are already getting shorter! (okay, not by much, but it's true!)
June 14, 2005
Summer in the Cities
I am giving myself a little room to complain here about summer in Minnesota! Last summer, I had the complete luxury of spending the summer in Portland, OR, where the hot temperatures come without humidity and don't last so long. In fact, one interesting thing about Portland is that when it's hot, it's NOT rainy, whereas here, summer heat often comes with thunderstorms. I'll take a Portland summer any day.
Yesterday, it started to rain on our way home. I was driving my dad's car (he's visiting), which has A/C, unlike our own car, so I didn't notice how humid it was. When I got out of the car, I was standing on the hot and steamy asphalt feeling more like I was in a Finnish sauna than on a street in South Minneapolis!
What makes thing worse is that our house is pretty hot and sticky. Our landlord hasn't put the air conditioners in yet, so we have to rely on open windows and fans, but not while we're gone. Last year, our house was broken in to, so we're pretty sensitive about security.
It's not that I even mind the heat so much as the linger of moisture in the air. Last summer, I didn't even care about the heat when it was in the upper 90s--but it was also dry. I feel like the humidity just sucks me down.
Anyway, today doesn't even seem that hot--just sticky. And then there's the mosquitoes--don't even get me started!! Those little bugs irritate me to no end! Someone told me they don't like garlic so I'm going to work on upping my garlic intake this summer (pure torture--ha!).
June 11, 2005
Prelim Lessons Learned
Over the last week, I've been reflecting on my experience of my prelim oral exam. As time goes by, I already remember less and less of what actually happened in the exam itself. More than anything, I have impressions and feelings, particularly the feeling that led me to want to say, "Enough already!!"
I remember doing my thesis defense for my master's degree, and thinking that it would be really hard and somewhat contentious, etc. Well, it really turned into a celebration of me having finished my degree. There were good questions, but not hard ones, and a few suggestions for revision, but nothing major. I mistakenly thought that this oral prelim exam was going to be a little more like that. Well, was I wrong!
As I look back, I think the oral prelim is one of those moments of initiation, and as such, it's tough. It's even tougher if you're thinking of doing something a little less traditional or if the methodology you're hoping to use is less known or understood. I think the challenge increases exponentially with the number of committee members, too.
So, here's my advice: find a friend who will wait for you outside of your exam so that when they get to the part when they send you out and then spend what feels like a year talking about things that you could hear but don't want to, you'll have someone to help that time go by a little less painfully. And, after they pronounce you a candidate, by all means, go out for a drink! You'll have earned one!
June 5, 2005
Say Hello to the Candidate!
On Friday, June 3rd, 2005, at roughly 12:15pm, I became a doctoral candidate!!!
I truly had underappreciated the importance of this occasion until that time. To be honest, after having survived oral exams for my MA in literature and an oral thesis defense for my MA TESOL, I was surprised at how difficult this exam truly was. It was hard. It was long. It was definitely grueling. But, it's over and I am now a candidate!
I can't rest on these laurels for too long because now I have to get my research proposal together for the next round. When will it end??!