Day 85: My QE date is set
Well it happened, the date for my qualifying exam has been set. I’m nervous, I’m excited, I’m mostly just anxious to get it done. Quite frankly I’m exhausted, so it will be nice to get one thing off my to-do list. Let’s look at how I need to get ready.
The date is set, November 27, 2019. Assuming there are no last minute changes from my committee on the date, I need to be ready to defend. It hasn’t been an easy process to get here and the next few weeks will be stressful. Even though my presentation is ready, I need to be ready as well. That means that I can’t relax until after it is done, even then if you read my deadlines in academia post you know that I won’t be relaxing anytime soon.
For the next two weeks and one day, I need to practice my slides, review the biology behind what I am studying, look over my findings, and meet with my Co-PI at the local research hospital I have my fellowship with, just to name a few of the things that needs to happen.
At the end of the day getting the green light for my slides just triggered a whole lot of other work that needs to happen. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been studying the biology, learning the math behind the analysis techniques, and have done a massive and comprehensive review of the literature (or in my case the lack thereof). Unfortunately (or maybe thankfully), my PI is very particular about what I should know and there is a lot of things that I SHOULD know. That is one of the big reasons I’ve been blogging for the last 85 days.
Frankly, I’m exhausted. My head feels so full that if I turn it to the side I’m afraid the information will fall out. To be clear, I don’t mind public speaking. Frankly, I enjoy doing it, but this is a little different, it’s big, complex and there was a lot, I mean A LOT of steps to get to the compact presentation I’ve created. It isn’t a matter of just knowing the stuff I’m presenting, it’s also important that I understand the dead ends and roadblocks I’ve hit along the way and be able to articulate why those problems existed and how I overcame them.
Nevertheless, in two weeks it is expected (and I hope I will succeed) that I will go from a PhD student to a PhD candidate. A rather large milestone for sure, but one that isn’t guaranteed to be hit. I guess what I’m saying, if I am saying anything, is that I’m nervous and a little excited. Expect an update in two weeks and one day with the result.
Until next time, don’t stop learning!