I’ll serialize this so you don’t have to read one really long post. :)
Recap Part One: Four weeks ago, I wrote that degree paper on subject-verb agreement. Two weeks ago, I graded the papers I’d put off from the weeks before AND studied for the comp exams. I took my test on Saturday, March 10. The questions I got were to describe and support my teaching philosophy as it relates to an ESOL classroom and linguistics as an autonomous science. Here’s how I did: the teaching philosophy question is the TESOL question I was most prepared for, while the linguistics as an autonomous science question was the linguistics question was the one I had prepared for the least!
I felt terrible about that second question. I really felt like I had not be specific enough since I was working from basically no memory of what I had in my notes. I barely remembered the name of the theorists and linguists that I needed too; I only mentioned two of them, and I think I should have noted at least three. I did not include any specific linguistic examples. I was certain that I would fail it. My answer was short also–only 3 1/2 pages.
Then, the following Wednesday, I ran into Dr. Biava in the hallway. She assured me that she had not failed any of the comps she graded. BUT, they would be read by a second reader. I was–seriously–still a little nervous, until she reminded me that we didn’t have to make an A on the essay, just at least a C. Now I finally felt better! I knew I had pulled off probably a high C to a low B!
We were supposed to have received our results by Thursday morning, but on Friday morning, I ran into the comp director in the English Department office right before my class. I didn’t say a thing to her–I knew that every student who had taken comps was probably bugging her about the results–but without being prompted, she told me that we were just waiting on one reader. One professor hadn’t evaluated the comp exams she was agreed to have finished by Thursday. Just a few minutes later, I was down in my classroom, telling my class about the upcoming assignment. The grad director walked by my class, stopped, motioned for me to come out in the hall, and whispered, “Now, you can’t tell anyone else, but… you passed your comps!” She smiled then walked away. I went back into my class and said, “That was the graduate director and she just told me that I passed my comp exams!!!” My class clapped for me, and I started crying! I felt this huge rush of relief and satisfaction, plus my entire class was cheering for me. I thanked them and tried to go on with the lesson, but I was choked up. I turned aside and tried taking a few deep breaths to stabilize my heart rate and clear my mind, but it still took me a few seconds to gather myself completely.
It felt so good to know that I had that behind me. One thing I could mark off the list of graduation requirements–shew!
Twin Links of the Day: During the last few weeks, I have come across several very interesting Web sites. Here’s the first installment of Link of the Day.
BookCrossing.com: Register your books, fix book plates in the front cover with their BookCrossing ID number (BCID), and “release” them. Leave them “in the wild” for another book lover to find, read, and journal about on BookCrossing. There’s even an option for books in your “Permanent Collection,” so that you can create a record of books that you will keep in your personal library. I’ve released five books so far without them being “caught,” but I guess it takes time.
LibraryThing.com: Catalog your library, tag your books, then see which other members have similar taste. You are allowed 200 books for free, and then you can buy a year or lifetime membership to catalog an unlimited number of books. View a tag cloud (they’re all the fad right now), author cloud, or write reviews. I’ve only listed a few books so far.
I think I might stick with BookCrossing, since there is no limit and it encourages thinning out your library to share your books with others. I like that idea. :)