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Now It Can Be Told

Now it can be told -- Comps results are in!

I passed four out of the five exams. I passed Ethnographic Essays, Single Sheets, ConFounds, and Modal Analysis. Yay, go me! I failed the 19th/20th Century History exam, but that's not such a big deal. In fact, of the five exams, it's the best one to have failed, for the following reasons:

1) I get to take it over next fall, which means that
2) I now have a whole year to study for it,
3) without the distraction of studying for the other four tests at the same time.
4) I know what I did wrong, and the extra year will help me correct that.
5) It's not embarrassing to fail it, like Ethno Essays (your subject test) and Single Sheets, but
6) It's not scary to retake it, like ConFounds, which I passed by dumb luck, or Modal Analysis, where I wouldn't get the gimp test second time around.

All in all, I think I did fairly well. Two of the other ethnoids also have to retake the history exam, so I'm in good company. Not bad. Not bad at all.


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
If you're pleased, I'm pleased.

I take it you only have to retake the exam, not an entire course?
Oct. 12th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC)
Only the exam. My main problem with it was that the question specifically requested that you cite researchers by name, and I have a terrible time remembering the names of scholars whose work I'm not terribly interested in.
Oct. 12th, 2007 11:35 am (UTC)
Congratulations! YOu're over the main hurdle and just have a little jump.

Here's a trick I used taking my comps about two centuries ago but I think it still works: We had to give cites too. So I memorized the main researchers in each area and then if I couldn't remember who said something, I just attributed it to one of them. Apparently that worked.
Oct. 12th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
Maybe that'll work, though the professors here do seem to know all the researchers in their fields (personally, if the researchers are still alive). I mean, everyone's met Richard Taruskin. Amusingly enough, we all seem to share the same opinion of him.

I'm only a little peeved that Bertoldt called me on the question about Romanticism (is it a viable historical category?) and wanted me to cite the name of some German researcher who wrote the definitive book on Romanticism . . . in 1948 or so. Hello, earth to Bertoldt! This is the year 2007, in the 21st century! That book is No Longer Standard, even for undergrads.
Oct. 12th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC)
Argh! That is a tough requirement. Well, now you have plenty of time to memorize them?

Lithuania! That's sounds really cool. I hope it works out.
Oct. 12th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think I'll ace the test second time around.

My summer plan is to attend the Vilnius Yiddish Institute. Fun and educational!
Oct. 12th, 2007 04:24 am (UTC)
a big mazel tov to you! You shall triumph evermore!
Oct. 12th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC)
Thank you! I figure, next time around won't be nearly so stressful.
Oct. 12th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC)
At least it's a subject with a comprehensible title, too!

Commiserations on the irritation factor of having to do it again, though. And congratulations on the others. They sound good things to have out of the way.
Oct. 12th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)
It'll be a pain in the ass, but a minor one. Just one test, not a week-long battery of them. A year to study, instead of a summer.

And maybe I'll even treat myself to another massage afterwards . . .
Oct. 12th, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC)
Congratulations, Pony! Well done.
Oct. 12th, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I figure, with just one test to study for, I'll even be able to justify going to Lithuania in August. Which I still really want to do.
Oct. 12th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
Wonderful news! Mazel tov and dancing!

I know a lot of 19th & 20th Century history... but not enough to cite sources. And asking for non-applicable source citations is SO not right of that guy...

But meh! I know you shall triumph and therefore he is but dust under your feet. Clap your shoes together and leave him where he is, then move on! YAY!!!
Oct. 12th, 2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
This exam was on music history, specifically. I couldn't even whip out the "I wrote an essay on the Dreyfus Affair in Hebrew so nyah nyah" argument.

But I'm perfectly happy with how I did. I passed the really easy exams and the really hard exams, I get a do-over on the last one, and it'll all be much calmer and more civilized.

And, yes, silly Bertoldt! When we discussed the Romanticism question, he started out by trying to define it as the period from around 1785 to, oh, maybe 1920, but still going on today, when the whole point of my answer was that defining Romanticism as an historical period is pointless, that you get a much better definition if you look at it as one among many stylistic options, one that happened to be popular during the 19th century. Or aesthetic, or ethos, if you, like Bertoldt, don't like the word "style."
Oct. 12th, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
Oct. 12th, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Oct. 12th, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yay! Congratulations! That has to be a big burden gone.
Oct. 12th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
Well, 4/5 gone at least. And the other 1/5 isn't all that bad.
Oct. 12th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
Congrats on passing those 4 exams!! And I'm glad the one you have to retake is one that seems reasonable to you.
Oct. 12th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)
It's not the best possible outcome -- that would have been passing all five -- but it's definitely the second-best. And there are some times when I'm quite happy to take second-best.
Oct. 12th, 2007 11:12 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, definitely. And hey, passing the exams you did pass is great!
Oct. 13th, 2007 12:27 am (UTC)
You go! Great job! Nearly everyone has to retake something or at least do what my department called 'deficiencies' (they made you write a massive paper, which delayed you getting started on your dissertation so everyone wanted to just retake the exam). Good for you!
Oct. 13th, 2007 12:52 am (UTC)
Were they actually so cruel as to call them "deficiencies," or was that just a student nickname for them?

I've heard that lots of people in our music department end up retaking one or two comps. It's not such a big deal.
Oct. 13th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
Were they actually so cruel as to call them "deficiencies," or was that just a student nickname for them?

Nope, that was the name. They posted a list of how many deficiencies each student got, in what area and which professor had given them and then you signed up for an appointment time with the prof (sign up sheet next to the deficiency list) to discuss what you would be required to do to fix it. That was for both Masters Comps and PhD qualifying exams. Graduate school was a humbling experience.
Oct. 14th, 2007 12:23 am (UTC)

I'm so glad we don't have to do that here at the U of C. It makes retaking the exam look so much more appealing now.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )