Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fire Under My...Well, You Know.

Last month, on "Like Singer With a Y:"

 - Megan was recovering from a wicked eye infection.
 - All three of us (and our two favorite sitters) were getting over a stomach virus.
 - Megan was pulling her hair out over candidacy, teaching, and everything in-between.

One month later, you are looking at (reading about?) totally different people.

Candidacy Exam
The candidacy exam was easily among the most intense academic experiences of my life.  Three hours, no less than 2250 words (mine ended up being around 2500), and three questions to exhibit ones qualification as a Ph.D. candidate.  It was a really surreal day.  I got to school an hour and a half early to do a final round of studying and to avoid getting stuck in traffic (it rained ALL DAY that day).  Only three other people took the exam in the morning with me, so we were able to spread out in the computer lab and really focus.  When I initially looked at the questions, I did not feel confident, but I just started writing about what I knew, and I later filled in the gaps.  Afterwards, I went out for lunch with Becky, gave my final exam to my students, ate dinner, read all of Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, and waited for the evening session to let out.  We all went out together after, which was fun, despite how angry and tired we all were.

Long story short: I passed, and I am now a PhD candidate.  Whoo!

Health
My eye has been problem free for a month and a half, allergies have been out of control, and we all recovered from the stomach flu.  Elliott took the longest, and we even took him to the pediatrician, who put him on the BRAT diet.  Bread Rice and Toast.  No milk.  That was the hardest part.  Milk was upsetting his stomach, but he didn't understand that and wanted the comfort of milk.  Poor E.

Summer
Academic summer has begun!  After I finished grading, I went to Philly for a friend's bachelorette party, which was a much-needed release.  I've read two books for fun!  I read Kaling's memoir, and I just finished The Help, which was very good.  I started J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy last night, and I love it already.  I love books about intrigue in small British villages, or just the everyday lives of fictional Brits.  If you are looking for a cute read that fits that description, also try Deric Longden's The Cat Who Came In From the Cold, not to be confused with the mystery novel.

My mom and I planted two tomato plants last night, so I'm hoping to have some cherry and beefsteak tomatoes come July and August.  I could eat summer tomatoes all day, especially with a little salt and pepper.  Mmm.

Finally, I've been organizing my office to be craft / dissertation central.  I just finished a project that I would post here, but it is a gift for someone.  I'll post it later.

Those are our updates!  I'll try to update more often now that summer has arrived in our house.

- M.