Orals Hiatus


I am joining several of my esteemed colleagues (see links to the right) in taking a brief hiatus from blogging at the end of a very busy semester.

For a  little background, we have a 6-year PhD program at Berkeley. I am coming up to the end of my 3rd year (half way through!) and, in keeping with the program’s schedule, I have written three field statements (also known as literature surveys) and a dissertation prospectus in time to take my oral examination.  In theory, I will be tested over my knowledge of the three subjects I wrote about (visual semiotics, new media and archaeology, and place as recently imagined by archaeologists) but in practice, the field is pretty much wide open.  I have four examiners–three archaeology professors and a professor from the school of information.  They are all senior professors–at the top of their game–and I estimate that they have nearly 150 years of collective experience.  Totally amazing and completely terrifying.  I will open up with a 10 minute introduction of my work, which will be followed by questions from each of the professors, for a total of 3 hours.

This happens next Tuesday.

I have been studying for this, in theory, for the last three years.  Lately I have been taking what little time I have outside of other classes, teaching, and, y’know, eating and bathing to study as best as I can.  This weekend is all about tackling those books in the photo above, re-reading my field statements, and trying to stay calm.

Hopefully I’ll be writing here again next Wednesday as a PhD Candidate, instead of a mere PhD Student.  Time to get to it.