Thursday, July 27, 2006

'Tis the night before quals ..

... and I am ... not relaxed, shall we say. And the bit I'm the most not relaxed about is the prospect of being asked a bunch of probing questions about the classes I've taken. I'd originally planned to start reviewing class material a couple of months ago, which theoretically would have given me plenty of time to clear up the bits that I never got too firm a handle on [EM, anyone ?], make the connections that I missed, re-read certain papers etc -- basically, really get my head around all the totally-new-to-me stuff that I've been exposed to over the last couple of years.

Needless to say, that didn't happen. After my thesis project switch, it took me the last month and a half to learn enough about T7 to put together a coherent proposal and do enough preliminary work to justify even having a thesis proposal meeting. [Of course, all that preliminary work was computational -- I haven't done any experimental work with T7 yet, so if the subject of experimental technique comes up, it's likely to be followed by a strained silence.]

So, I've basically spent maybe 3-4 days reviewing the 8 classes I've taken and feel like the best I can say about the vast majority of stuff covered in those classes is "Yes, I've heard of that and can, in a hand-waving sort of way, tell you about it. However, should you have questions about specifics, I will be forced to resort to the Chewbacca Defense."

In short, I feel like a dilettante. Not a good position to be in when you're about to be asked to demonstrate a "sufficient depth of knowledge across a broad set of areas", and that you're ready to start doing some [mostly] self-guided research.


Anonymous PhilipJ said...

Here's a belated good luck! How'd it go?

9:17 PM  

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