For those of you who haven’t taken them yet, the answer is C!   :-D

Yesterday I took the oral portion of my comprehensive exam for DSU’s doctoral program. As the office had previously informed me, it was based largely on the content of the written portion.

I have no idea how it went: Dr. El-Gayar said I did very well, but he probably says that to everyone. The official verdict on orals and writtens comes down sometime in the coming few weeks.

I almost blew it: I stopped to drop Lake Herman water samples off at the bio lab, had a conversation with Dr. Hazelwood, and didn’t realize the clock in the lab was ten minutes slow. Outside, I glanced at my watch and found I had a minute to get to Heston Hall by the appointed time of 9 a.m. My leisurely stroll turned into an awkward run (backpack and old age are catching up). But not to worry: I got to the room in the nick of time… and Dr. El-Gayar was still getting Elluminate set up so Dr. Deokar could participate remotely. Dr. Sarnikar arrived around 9:10 a.m. I answered questions—probably correctly—until 9:30, when it was Paul Weist”s turn to face the panel.

I’ll admit, I was expecting worse. The panel stuck with prepared questions and did not give me what I’d consider a grilling. The facial reactions and body language from the panel were neutral to vaguely positive—though there’s no way to tell from Dr. Deokar, since he was online, audio only (I would absolutely hate to do orals online! Give me full social presence!). No bullet holes, no tears, no sense that the gatekeepers of academia had squashed another bug trying to sneak in under the door. (Was your experience different? Let us know!)

But we shall see. Given the amount of time and range of questions, it would appear the written comps are going to weigh more significantly than the orals. Cross your fingers… and then let’s write a dissertation!