Gratitude: "A felt sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life." Robert Emmons*
On the first day, they put me in solitary. Four walls, no bigger than a broom closet, desk, lamp, chair. No windows. No visitors. No outside communication. They said "Tell us everything you know." And I did. The interrogation lasted 8 hours after which I was free to go. For now.
Days later, the questions kept coming. I defended. I rationalized. I displayed all the knowledge I had and after 24 hours of interrogation, they let me be. For now.
In the days following my comprehensive exams (see here for details), I've wondered: Did I do enough? Will my committee members look past the places I obviously fouled up and focus on my good ideas? Will they give me a chance to explain? Will I have to re-write a section? Will I have to re-write the whole damn thing? What if I crashed and burned?
|Cape compliments of Mr. Timothy Huffman. Note the clever use|
of the ASU Sundevil pitchfork.
Pass or fail though, I've learned the secret to surviving comprehensive examinations, and maybe life in general: Good friends. And I am ever so grateful. Throughout the comps process, I've had a veritable army of supporters cheering me on, offering words of advice, comfort and encouragement. Although I spent 24 hours writing alone, I knew people were thinking of me, offering positive energy, and willing me to succeed. Thank you everyone!
And they didn't send me into the fray unprepared. In fact, a select group outfitted me with custom-made comps armor, a talisman, and a solemn oath to kick ass.
|A talisman borrowed from a dear friend. |
To see the "Caping Ceremony," complete with Eye of the Tiger sound track, click here. (Thank you Casey for taking video!) Below is a transcript of the oath that incredibly accurately forecasted the experience...
The Comps Oath, written and administered by Tim "Best-Cape-Maker-Ever" Huffman
I, Malvini Redden, S. (Read "Malvini Redden comma S period" in proper APA style),
Do solemnly swear
To kick ass on my comprehensive exams (Cue- Small cheer from audience)
While I may experience a moderate amount of fear,
I will be courageous as I read my questions.
While I may be struck with a moderate amount of panic,
I will have composure as I formulate my responses.
And while I may feel, at times, moderately baffled,
I know that I am smarter now than I have ever been,
And smarter than I am ever likely to be.
Words are in my blood,
Ideas course through my mind,
I am ready.
(Advisor presents cape): Let this cape be an outward sign of your inward awesomeness.
P.S. Being "caped" was such a cool experience, one that I will never forget! Thank you all!
|Love the clasp.|
|I'll sign it before we cape the next lucky comper.|
|Well done Tim!|
|Surely you've seen a caped crusader of knowledge before! (Note: It is more difficult than it looks to take a picture of oneself in a cape.)|
* Welcome to my new series on gratitude. I'm hoping to write a Grateful Heart post at least once a week!
Labels: Arizona, Arizona State University, ASU, Cactus Land, challenging things, friends, Gratitude, Hugh Downs School, Operation Kick Ass Comps, things that kick ass