PhD Exams, All Done but the Waiting, 1 Pass

I finished my third and final PhD exam today on the fictions of Philip K. Dick. I have already received a pass from Tammy Clewell on my Postmodern Theory exam, so now I wait to hear back on my other two exams. It’s a relief to be done, but it doesn’t really feel like I’m done with the exams. I suppose that will change when I hear the results on the other two exams.

The one thing that I am very happy about is that I don’t have to sit and write any longer in the exam setting. Timed typing has destroyed my finger-wrist-arm assembly: 28 pages in 5 hours on the major exam, 21 pages in 4 hours on theory, and 27 pages in 4 hours on PKD. Not to mention the mental numbness that sets in toward the end of the exam. In fact, I began to feel like an android by the end of each exam. Running through my tape, one instruction followed by another, and another datum passed through the memory banks and into the output. Dawn Lashua, the graduate student secretary, caught something that I had not perceived in my flurry of typing today. I was not consciously aware that I had wrote the last sentence on my last exam so that it  concluded: “the end.”

Published by

Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.