Jun. 8th, 2011

Comp Exams

Jun. 8th, 2011 06:31 pm
tehuti: (Default)
Today was Der Tag. My written Master's competency exams. Two out of three went really well.

I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. So let's back this up a smidge, and begin at the beginning.

As many of you know, I had planned to do my comps back in early May, naively thinking that I would be able to continue to work with a new baby at home. My plan was to read while up with him at night.

That went about as well as I should have expected. So I admitted defeat, rescheduled my exams for June, and kept on preparing. I finished my prep last weekend, and went into review mode for the first half of this week. Then, yesterday, I did nothing. Kept my mind blissfully blank. Ideas would bubble up and around, but no active studying. It was heavenly!

Today, I got up to campus around 9:30, got my questions and instructions, and went to the library to write. Three questions, six hours, plus a bit for lunch. My questions for the Early America and Public History fields were fine. In one case, I had a choice of two questions to answer. Both fields had questions which were based on conversations I'd had with the two professors in question about my reading list over the course of the semester. In short, they were questions about stuff I was prepared to talk about, and to some degree already had.

The question for Global History was almost completely out of left field. Most of my list was about world-systems theory. The question I got was almost pure economic theory, based entirely on Marx and Smith. To prepare for this exam, I could have completely ignored almost my entire reading list, and focused only "Capital" and "Wealth of Nations". In short, I felt that this question was completely unfair, and did not address my reading list in any appreciable way. I said as much in the essay. I was pissed, and couldn't contain myself fully. When this whole process is over (orals are next week), I'll share the questions here (and maybe my answers, too), and you'll see what I mean.

So now, as I tweeted shortly after I finished, it is out of my hands. Until next week, that is. I get to do orals next Wednesday. Should be interesting...

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tehuti

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