Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Quals Part 2

I am neck deep in the part 2 of my qualifying exam.. my review paper is about 2/3 completed and I think I can finish up draft 1 tomorrow. I had hoped to have draft one completed today but I am just too tired to keep working tonight.

I cannot explain how truly, completely mentally exhausting this process has been. My bff told me she had never felt so smart and so stupid as she did the day of her quals. I can honestly say I've never had so many details crammed into my head at any one time.. I joked that I needed to put some cotton in my ears to make sure it did not all leak out before the exam. Writing all day, vomiting knowledge onto the papers and hoping they matched what the question was upon, had me completely tapped out Monday night. We went out to dinner and I stared at the wall.. I was going to have a toast to celebrate and my brain was fried I could not decide on a drink and just had water! I literally was overwhelmed by a beer list. Boo had a school skating party that he begged me to take him to which was actually a really good break for my brain and some activity for my poor legs after sitting all day. It was the first time in weeks I was not going over molecular and metabolic pathways in my head and was fully engaged in NOT science. It felt as good as an oasis in the middle of a desert, the change of pace and scenery! But then had to go home and start part 2.

I thought I was tired on Monday.. however two days I've spent digging through the literature, taking notes, compiling information, and writing has brought me to the Challenger Deep of exhaustion. Sitting on my gluteus maximus, staring at my computer and typing furiously has been the entire extent of my daily activity and yet I feel as if I just swam for two days. My muscles hurt, my brain is exhausted, I have no fingernails left to speak of! This is taxing in ways I had never anticipated.. I think I'd rather run a marathon with no training (ok.. maybe a half). The purpose of quals has always been to test our knowledge but I think it is also a little bit about testing our stamina.

Tomorrow I must finish draft one so that I can proof on Friday and get it in well before the noon deadline. But right now my vision is blurry and my fingers are sore so I shall retire and leave you with a picture of my current best friend, Mr. Ubiquitin.
Creative Commons License by Wikipedia user Rogerdodd


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