I felt sick to my stomach, I felt faint, I felt like crying. This was before the exam. (I also felt hungry...no lunch, which was completely my fault; I just couldn't tear myself away from studying because of the last-minute panic.) My committee is not made up of scary people by any means. They are three extremely intelligent women who care about my progress and wanted me to succeed. They've been very supportive along the way, but that didn't mean I should go into this thinking it would be a breeze. They grilled me for two hours. It was rough. My legs were shaking when they asked me to wait outside while they deliberated. I was terrified that if I stood too close to the door (thin), I'd overhear something like, "maybe we should get her to do this one more time. She just doesn't know enough about the motet or opera reform." So I stood well back from the door and even went as far as plugging my ears and humming when I heard snippets of conversation. I just couldn't bear hearing those dreaded words.
Lucky for me, I didn't hear those words when they brought me back into the room. They said congratulations, I passed. Then they gave me some criticism, which I was only too happy to listen to. I needed confidence and courage in my answers! (What gave it away? Was it the wringing hands? The cold sweat?) Anyway, they were all smiles again, and so was I.
Next up: an independent research project I'm doing with a history professor here, getting a paper of mine ready to publish, then my lecture-document proposal, so I can advance to candidacy this term, then the lecture-document itself for the next 6 months. That's right, I'm not finished with school YET. Good news: this was my LAST test!!!
After the exam, I had a lovely Mexican hot chocolate at Roma's with Bob, popped in at my favourite grocery store Trader Joe's, and went back to Katrina's where we made dinner and had some excellent beer...and some wine...and some champagne with our chocolate dessert. Hey, I deserved it!
I'm getting up at a ridiculously early hour tomorrow morning (some monks might be awake for morning vespers, but that's about it) to get to the airport, detouring via a colleague's house to pick up some reeds that I'd ordered for a methods class I'm teaching this Wednesday (she didn't have them ready earlier this evening...hmmm...someone else is pulling an all-nighter?). I fly into Omaha, and my mom is meeting me there, flying in from Calgary. Then we drive home to Iowa together. Nothing like a visit from Mom to make me feel good about my test! (Notice nobody was invited to stay with us right BEFORE I left for Oregon...)
Wow...I have to be up in 3.5 hours. Eeek!
Goodnight, all! Thank you so much for your support and good wishes! They came through loud and clear!