This is the week I've been preparing for over the past couple of months: The PhD written comprehensive examinations. I am likely never going to be totally prepared for them, but time's up. I hope God gives me the clarity of mind to get through this ! It's four or six hours a day of written examinations where I'll be shut in a room with just a barebones computer and a calculator, pencil and scratch paper. It's exams on the nature of geophysics, earth geological history, and the study of the Siberian craton. It's anything and everything that my advisors think I should know in order to succeed at my degree. Oh, and lest I fail to mention, there are no grades on these exams. You either pass them all, or you don't.
Assuming I pass them, in about a month or so, we will then proceed into the oral comprehensive examinations, which are a "think on your feet" battery of exams. I'm told that these are NEVER fun or easy, and that they are designed to see how much you know, by asking questions and questioning your answers until you finally run out of answers. So you don't really succeed, per se - You only fail at a level that is either satisfactory for proceeding into the next phase of the program, or...you don't!
No pressure. After hearing that, who here is now willing to step up and commit two years of their life to see if they can pass their comps? In a week from now, I might just end up being a Walmart greeter for the Christmas season. Well, probably not, but maybe I'll end up being Santa's helper at the mall.... I could likely do that job . I already got the fursuit for it.