When I commenced my PhD journey almost four years ago in August of 2010, Comps—comprehensive qualifying exams for Doctoral Candidacy—was just a milestone marker I would hit at some point. As I immersed myself in reading, reflecting reviewing, research, and writing, marking the passage of time took a backseat and Comps receded into my subconscious awareness. Then, on May 3, 2014, as the realization sunk in that I had attended my very last class of coursework, Comps became a blip on my radar, a steady ping reminding me that D-Day was fast approaching. Today, 23 days away from the actual exam on July 24, 2014, I pause for a moment to let the reality of what lies ahead sink into my conscious awareness. And my breath hitches just a little, my heart pounding like Barbaro’s hooves on the racetrack. Am I ready? I am a little unsure.
And then, as if he had read my fears and doubts all those miles away in den Haag, in popped a notification about a new blog post from my friend and colleague Rolando Sanchez with the following quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.”
There is no doubt in my mind that I have done my best to achieve “right performance of this hour’s duties” in the past four years. Perhaps that is why my teachers, friends, family, and colleagues seem to have no doubts whatsoever that I will be ABD (All But Dissertation) by month’s end despite my own ;). I take a deep breath and let calm settle over me. I am ready for this—or I will be by 9am,July 24. But wish me luck anyway, will you? 😉