If it’s felt quiet around here lately, you’re completely right. But guys. Guys.
Guess who’s penning this post as a newly baptized English PhD candidate? (eeks!) Excuse me while I bust-a-move around the room a la old-school 90s arcade game.
So for those of you who are just like, Ala you big nut what are you even talking about we have no idea please speak English okay, I have basically spent the past few months working furiously toward writing a dissertation proposal (called a “prospectus”) that I finally discussed with my entire exam committee on Monday. For a little shy of two hours, we sat in a room and questioned and brainstormed and pontificated about my ideas on the construction of children’s fantasy literature (and yes, that’s my dissertation topic–booyeah!).
Then they sent me out of the room and were all like GO STEW IN YOUR SWEATY INSECURITY and closed the door and deliberated.
Okay, actually they sent me out at a really nice and comfortable point in our conversation, and basically everyone was grinning as I walked out and everyone was still grinning when I walked back in. I was honestly a little bit scared because I have never seen my advisor beaming so broadly before at me, and I expected a terrifying green imp to burst out of his skin at any second and shout, “NYAH NYAH, you failed!”
But thankfully, my advisor’s skin stayed intact and he actually shook me heartily by the hand as he said: “I am so happy to congratulate you on successfully passing your exam!”
I imagine there being a palpable exclamation mark at the end of that sentence. Like, never ever have I heard him use an exclamation mark and the word “you” in the same sentence before, so you know–pretty big deal! And the whole committee was grinning when I walked in, and I was suddenly flooded by this deluge of Congraulations and Drink at least two beers tonight, please as I walked around the room shaking hands with everyone. It felt kind of like being the VP, except instead of kissing babies I was hugging profs. Which is kindaaaa a big deal when you think about how many shows of physical affection usually go on in academia, i.e. severely restricted. It’s like if your cold aloof cat was suddenly warm and cuddly with your dog, who likes to annoy your cat with friendship. (I am the dog in that metaphor.)
Either way–here I am! Like a birthday come and gone, I feel eons older and none the wiser. Okay, maybe I feel just a little bit wiser–or at least less backlogged than I did when I first started this program and realized the sheer immensity of the climb ahead of me.
Still, there’s something (comfortingly) anticlimactic about taking the Part 2 exam, in a way that I didn’t feel after I finished my kind of terrifying Part 1 exam last year. Whereas my first exam left me feeling drained, I feel pretty energized right now to start working on this beastly dissertation (read: 280 – 370 pages) over the next year or two. I’m physically and mentally tired, but emotionally pumped–so hopefully I’ll get my butt back into the blogging way real soon (i.e. I have some really fun posts coming up these next few weeks, so stay tuned!)
Speaking of which, I have to introduce you to these Graham Cracker Crumb Cheesecake Bars with Golden Oreos. They are seriously insane and probably among the Top 10 things that I’ve made, in terms of them flying off the plates because my friends were devouring them so quickly. The top and bottom layers consist of a wonderful, easy no-bake graham cracker crust, and the center is filled with the simplest cream cheese filling you could ever ask for. Of course, I had to dirty things up by throwing in whole Golden Oreos into each creamy center, which adds a whole new universe of texture and flavor that nobody could identify straight-up but everyone LOVED. It’s like icebox-cake meets vanilla-monster meets ice cream. With like, cookies and cream white chocolate bar chunks on top, just because #YASSSSPLEASE. And it’s all really, really good.
And so easy.
And so popular.
I’m 99% sure this is the only reason they let me stay on the swim club even though I’m such an old fart.
More on my post-exam celebration updates next post: for now, I’m off to spend a night out for dinner next to the beach!
MAKE THIS, and bon appetit for now!