Comprehensive exam anyone? My goodness, the stress!

Things in my house have been a little anxiety-ridden for awhile now. When this sign showed up on the front door last weekend, I knew it could be a long week.

Right this very moment, Emily is taking her first comprehensive exam for her PhD in sociology. This school requires three of them. I can't imagine doing this two more times. The misery of trying to learn everything of any import from the last 150+ years of sociological theory is staggering. (Mind you, I mostly don't have any idea what she is talking about, but I try most days.) Many schools no longer require comprehensive exams. I maintain that if the coursework is rigorous enough, the exams are unnecessary. What a waste of a year of my life! (Oh wait, I mean Emily's life.)

Those of you who are or have been PhD students recently or are married to one feel my pain. And of course I chose this particular week to schedule the launch of a new course. What was I thinking? We have made it through (well I have--I won't see her again until it is over late tonight) with the help of a lot of tea, a few glasses of wine, and the occasional retreat to baked goods. And that was just for me. Emily has been a trooper. She doesn't need props and she is going to knock this out of the park.

Since the exam will take 9 hours, I am heading back to work on the Little Looms online class. I'm making sure it is all spiffy and nice for those of you who are registering on Tuesday!

I hope the profs who wrote this exam were kind and that they are mindful when they grade it. Stress takes a toll on a family. May we have much less of it and much more joy for the rest of this year. 

Though Emily hasn't had pizza or beer for many months now, I suspect tonight might be an exception.