Sunday, October 28, 2007

The joy of doctoral exams

I haven't posted on my blog this past month as I have been busy concentrating on my comprehensive exams for my PhD in history. Comprehensive exams or comps as they are called are a two day testing process where you are tested over the entire field of European history from 1600 to present. You are not allowed notes or other study aides, just some clean notebook paper, your exam questions and a lab top which you type your answers into. Day one consisted of European history 1600 to 1815 while day two was 1815 to present. I don't feel like I did very well at all. The only thing that I am sure of is that I know absolutely nothing about European history or at least that is how I feel at the moment. I will not know find out if I passed or not until a couple of weeks from now. If I did actually pass (which will be a miracle) I will get to move on to the oral examination which is two hours of grilling by my committee members about what I did not write down in my exam or what I got wrong. So, if I pass the orals, then I will have passed my comps and get to move on to my major and minor field exams and write a dissertation.

Now back to my post comps feeling like my brain is fried.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The highs and lows of pregnancy

There are many things that are wonderful about pregnancy and not so wonderful. The not so wonderful things are nausea, exhaustion, headaches, and the emotional craziness that comes along with it. The wonderful things are seeing the baby on the ultrasound, hearing its heartbeat, and the comfortable yet stylish maternity pants that you get to wear. I am looking forward to feeling the baby kick and to find out if we are having a boy or girl so that I can stop buying gender neutral clothing for the baby. Now I have a quick story to tell about my baby, Jiggs.

I went for my 12 week appointment last Friday. They could not hear the heartbeat on the doppler so they decided to do an ultrasound. As they are leading me back to the ultrasound room, I am sobbing with worry, thinking that the worst has occurred, that Jiggs is no longer with us. But as soon as they put the wand on my belly, Jiggs appears in all of his or her glory on the screen. This time he/she looks like a real baby and not some sort of blob. He/She was kicking its legs, jabbing its fist into my stomach and slapping itself upside the head with its other hand. It turns out that there are two reasons for the heartbeat not being able to be heard on the doppler: (1) the placenta is located at the top of my uterus and acts as sound proofing to some extent and (2) the baby was moving around so much and wasn't laying still long enough for the doctor to be able to get a heartbeat.

So, everything looks good with both Jiggs and me. I will keep you all posted as we progress through this wonderful journey.