Thursday, September 06, 2007

Progress Report

Hello, hello!

Where am I at today? Well, I spent roughly eight hours straight sitting in an office at the university writing my major field exam in Early Modern French History. So, I am fairly exhausted this evening. But the professor had the grace to email me this evening and let me know that I did 'very well' on the exam. I have heard from the department secretary that I also passed the Mediterranean field exam from last week. So, I have now completed both the minor field written exams and the major field written exam. Whew!

Next Tuesday I will sit in a room with the three professors and answer their questions for a few hours, thus completing the cumulative oral exam. Provided that I do well on this- and, frankly, it's a lot easier than the written exams- I will officially be ABD, or 'All But Dissertation'. As soon as that's done, Claire and I are driving up to her parents' cottage in the woods to decompress for a week, and you know, get to know each other again, now that I'm being paroled from the library.


gregvw said...

Does your university have a publishing requirement? UNM wanted at least one refereed journal article before they forked over the diploma.

Doing the process a second time is a lot more relaxed. I basically aim to write four or five papers during my post doc and submit those as a second dissertation. The first one is already done if you want to read it.

Jen P. said...

Rufus, this is awesome! Congrats on passing those exams, and good luck on the oral!!

Holly said...

Well done! We'll look forward to having you back after your hiatus.

Rufus said...

Greg- sure, I'll read it. I can't promise that my comments will be the slightest bit helpful or illuminating. Actually, you can post it here if you want too.

The deal with history is that we finish the dissertation and wait to see if it's approved by a series of people, including some experts in the field who we've never met. When you take the first job, it's normal to work towards getting the dissertaion published as a book. In fact, most universities now require one or two published books for tenure. Articles are good too, but I think there's more emphasis on books. The problem with this is that there are a lot of books published in academic history that probably should have been articles.

Jen- Thanks! It's a complete relief. Now I can join those of you who are out on the archive trail. Actually, I think I'm probably starting at U of T this fall because you guys have such an incredible library there.

Holly- Thanks very much! I just look forward to being able to relax in the evenings again.

Hiromi said...

At the risk of sounding like one of your students, rock on, dooood.

Was it a triathlon, then? Two written and one oral?

Rufus said...

It's three written and an oral, so I don't know what you would call it. A quadrathalon? I still have to do the oral, but it's definitely less stressful than the written, at least for me. Some people really dread the oral, but I like to talk.

gregvw said...

Rufus- Here in the German speaking world they have a unique approach towards the tenure system. Instead of spending three to ten years as an assistant trying to bring in as much funding as possible while churning out papers and students until the review, the have a habilitation. The habilitation essentially amounts to a
second dissertation, but with more original work and greater depth and usually length. If you submit your habililitation and it gets approved, you are tenured for life and thus, practically untouchable. You even get a special D. Hab. to add to your business cards. If it gets rejected, you're basically screwed and can not work as a professor anywhere in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland.