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Subject: Dooms day.... rss

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Empress
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approacheth. And I am getting a bit antsy. And by ansty I mean panicy. As in the oh crap, what happens if I fail-fail out-I dont have a contingency plan currently-but I wanna do biology so I cant fail out-- kind of panic.

:sigh:

Any suggestions on how to deal? Other than burying myself in the stack of papers that I am reading, and the presentation, and working, which I am still doing some of?
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Lukas Litzsinger
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Sleep is the little death that comes in the night...all your worries will disappear, only to be re-animated in strange and grotesque ways via your subconscious.

...

That was originally supposed to be more inspiring.

That said, take some deep breaths, and realize that you aren't going to fail (and even if you did it's not the end of the world). Or drink.

Focus on one thing at a time. Try not and let your mind wander, we are prone to worry and all it does is slow us down.

That said, it is pretty much impossible to do. Everybody worries. Good luck, I'm sure you'll do fine! Worrying is sometimes the marker of preparation.
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Lucio Rodriguez
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Yep, more words here.
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Defense coming up, I take it? Masters or PHD?

If it is your defense, while I personally haven't dealt with this myself (but am looking forward to it, in some undetermined field of Biology, no less), I work in an Entomology lab at a local University. We've had several grad students in and out of our lab, and I've spoken to even more outside of our lab. The general consensus, especially from those who are looking back on their defense, is that their Major professors knew they were ready, even when the students didn't think so.

If your defense approaches, it means that someone thinks you're ready.

And you probably are.

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Just check your Biology more carefully than you proof your forum postings, and you'll have your degree in no time.
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Mndwrm wrote:


Defense coming up, I take it? Masters or PHD?

If it is your defense, while I personally haven't dealt with this myself (but am looking forward to it, in some undetermined field of Biology, no less), I work in an Entomology lab at a local University. We've had several grad students in and out of our lab, and I've spoken to even more outside of our lab. The general consensus, especially from those who are looking back on their defense, is that their Major professors knew they were ready, even when the students didn't think so.

If your defense approaches, it means that someone thinks you're ready.

And you probably are.



Candidacy defense/qualification exam.

I passed the written portion. Now I have to get through the oral defense. Which is where I have issues. Nerves make me forget the things that I know.
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MisterCranky wrote:
Just check your Biology more carefully than you proof your forum postings, and you'll have your degree in no time.


Spell checking is for those more talented than I am at editing.

And I am combing over the presentation for typos. Cause it would be embarrassing to have a glaring mistake where all could see. At least more that usual.
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Rukasu wrote:
Sleep is the little death that comes in the night...all your worries will disappear, only to be re-animated in strange and grotesque ways via your subconscious.

...

That was originally supposed to be more inspiring.


Great -- more fuel for exam related nightmares
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Sounds like you're focusing on the overall, big picture and getting overwhelmed by it -- letting it affect your ability to get through the moment. I can relate. In fact, this almost defined my academic career.

Difficult to do, but just keep reminding yourself to (as Rukasu said) take one thing at a time, breaking tasks/projects down into step-by-step manageable increments.

And give yourself more credit. We're always hardest on ourselves, but you will be fine! At the very least, helping to talk each other down from our freak-out trees is exactly what chit chat friends are for!

Good luck!
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Sungarden3 wrote:
Sounds like you're focusing on the overall, big picture and getting overwhelmed by it -- letting it affect your ability to get through the moment. I can relate. In fact, this almost defined my scholastic career.

Difficult to do, but just keep reminding yourself to (as Rukasu said) take one thing at a time, breaking tasks/projects down into step-by-step manageable increments.

And give yourself more credit. We're always hardest on ourselves, but you will be fine! At the very least, helping to talk each other down from our freak-out trees is exactly what chit chat friends are for!

Good luck!


I just need to accept the fact that by next Tuesday I either know what I need to, or I don't. For both my presentation, my proposal and the literature. And then I take what comes. My exam committee knows by apprehension and issues with oral exams. But this is also an issue I need to work through. I, in theory, will have to talk in front of people about my research at conventions, and answer questions from those in the field.

This is just a warm up for the bigger picture. Which is getting a PhD.

And I do know this stuff. And why I made the choices. Its just -- insert self doubt here -- what if I don't? Which is stupid. Since I know that I do.

I almost think I am spending too much time at home working on this and not enough time at work occupying myself with the science I will have to defend. But when I am at work all I can think about is how I should be at home, working on the presentation and reading papers.

So I shall distract myself with chit chat.

After I get some sleep.
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Remember the real doomsday is December 21, 2012. Until then we are all just killing time.
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James Smith
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I could say all sorts of things like imagine the chaps you are presenting your defense to nekkid, but that would be the last thing I would want running through my mind, why do people say that? I mean they should say imagine the people dressed up in arctic furs with big antlers on their heads, that would be more relaxing.

What I will say is that you have passed your written part which should give you some confidence. Nerves are natural and your examiners now this, they aren't out to see you fail. Never underestimate the power of taking a deep breath to get yourself back on track if something goes wrong, again people aren't going to rip you to shreds if you have a 20 second moment to compose yourself.

Good luck and the world will still turn regardless of what the outcome is.
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Don't worry, Toggy. You'll have nothing to fear from Doom or any of these other so called-super villains as long as Mr. Fantastic is on the job.


All my best,
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Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again.
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Toggy wrote:

I almost think I am spending too much time at home working on this


I'm sure you'll do fine! Fielding questions after a presentation isn't too bad. I would imagine, the questions pertain to the fundamentals, as these are qualifying exams. Questions about your thesis will probably be things you've gone over in your discussion. Have you presented at a conference?

I just began work on my Master's, forest/plant ecology realm, and I've been seeing a lot of people going crazy over the candidacy exams. Just pretend your playing a strategy game while your studying, VP awarded for each fact memorized.

Good luck!!

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Timothy Hunt
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Toggy wrote:

Candidacy defense/qualification exam.

I passed the written portion. Now I have to get through the oral defense. Which is where I have issues. Nerves make me forget the things that I know.


Oh. I thought you were talking about returning to Monday night gaming with Mr Creepy McCreeperson.


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Michael Barlow
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Quote:
Any suggestions on how to deal? Other than burying myself in the stack of papers that I am reading, and the presentation, and working, which I am still doing some of?


Skip it, go to Vegas, and have some real life experiences. Then go back to your school with a note from your "doctor" about some heinous disease you picked up and rewrite the exam later. Maybe you'll pick up some heinous disease in Vegas which will make for a better story.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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BagpipeDan wrote:
Remember the real doomsday is December 21, 2012. Until then we are all just killing time.


I knew my life would find purpose and you Dan have just revealed the purpose to me!
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Amy Wiles
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You should bury yourself in the stack of papers that you're reading, and the presentation, and work.

No really. Just keep pushing at it. It's the only way to know it backwards and forwards. And if you weren't antsy, you'd be in trouble. Being this nervous says your concerned and want to do well. Everyone does this. Just go with it. You've got, what, a week? Just panic, it's fine. And watch some Blackadder.

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Empress
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amwiles wrote:

You should bury yourself in the stack of papers that you're reading, and the presentation, and work.

No really. Just keep pushing at it. It's the only way to know it backwards and forwards. And if you weren't antsy, you'd be in trouble. Being this nervous says your concerned and want to do well. Everyone does this. Just go with it. You've got, what, a week? Just panic, it's fine. And watch some Blackadder.



9 days. And counting.
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I'm sure you will do fine Toggy. Just pace yourself and take breaks. Don't over do it! Good luck!
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Im not familiar with this stuff, would you mind Toggy explaining why you have to do this? Is this SOP (Stand Operating Procedure) for getting a higher degree than Bachelors?
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How disappointing... With a premise like Doomsday and talk about it coming up, I was SURE this was going to be a thread dedicated to Candlemass' new studio album - Death Magic Doom - with former Solitude Aeturnus vocalist Robert Lowe now permanently filling the singing duties, as he did so admirably in King of the Grey Islands.

April 2nd can't get here fast enough!!
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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
Im not familiar with this stuff, would you mind Toggy explaining why you have to do this? Is this SOP (Stand Operating Procedure) for getting a higher degree than Bachelors?


Assuming Toggy is being good and studying, I'll answer on her behalf. This is standard for getting a PhD. You have to take a prelim exam, or comps, or whatever your university calls it. Most often, this involves writing a grant. I had 6 weeks to write a 25-page grant on a topic not related to my research and prepare a formal presentation and defense. Toggy had to write up what she plans on doing her dissertation on. She passed the written part (I think hers was also a 25-page grant proposal), and now she has a few weeks to prepare a formal presentation, which will be followed by a couple hours of being raked over the coals (i.e. defense of proposal).

This is both easier and more difficult than an actual PhD defense. The final defense is much more nerve wracking. You have to go over everything you did for the past several years. Once you get to that point, you usually don't fail out, which is what makes the final defense a little easier. Where Toggy is where they fail you.

All you can do is spend every waking moment for a week prior to the exam "studying," which really means reading and rereading primary papers. No breaks. It's really the only way to get through.
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Brian Bankler
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You keep saying doomsday and I keep thinking "Last day of february."
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Amy Wiles
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The Doomsday Book:


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amwiles wrote:
This is standard for getting a PhD. You have to take a prelim exam, or comps, or whatever your university calls it.


This varies fairly significantly by university and degree. For instance at my graduate school the EE field was fairly laid back about this. If you got in, there was a general oral exam after your masters, but it was low key. (Electrical Engineering has so many subfields that you can't know even the basics of all of them, so the exam was tailored a bit, although you usually got a weird out of left field question. One famous one involves the electric state of a paisley tie pattern). The Robotics degree (which was partially EE and partially mechanical) had brutal first year exams meant to cull the field to the top half. (Some people would be allowed to finish their masters, but it was a "Fail and Out Now" for the most part.)

Of course, Amy knows Toggy's exact situation, but for those of you playing it home shouldn't apply it to other people. It varies a lot.
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