Thursday, August 21, 2008

Getting Oriented

Yesterday I had my orientation and a quick advising session to get me started in the program. There were 10 new Ph.D. students, many of whom were from Korea, a few Chinese students, one Iranian, one Spanish-German man, and I was in the minority with one other American. Everyone was really interesting and seemed very pleasant; I think it will be a good cohort.

At the orientation, we went over the sequence of courses and the qualifying exams that (hopefully) lead to the "Ph.D. Candidate" or ABD (all but dissertation/ all but dead)status. I liked that there was a balance between some solid core courses but there was also a lot of flexibility for tailoring to specific interests. (Aside: thankfully I have an interest area! This is in part what made my M.A. work harder). The expectations and responsibilities were very clear and I feel like I'm walking away with a fairly reasonable idea of what I need to do. As my friend Sharon pointed out, orientations can range from waste-of-time-boring to info-overload-freak-out and this one fell right in the happy medium.

Today I registered for all of my courses and am now looking at the books. I am an absolute school nerd! We'll see where I'm at in December when finals are looming...

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