A little PhD update for those who have been asking and especially those who listened to the podcast.
Last week I was able to take my qualifying exams on the road to finishing my PhD. It was two days of testing where you work to prove proficiency in all areas of study and being capable of finishing a dissertation. Basically, the university asks you eight different questions that cover areas like history, theory, theology, and your core area of study and you have two hours to answer each question. Two weeks from now, I go before a three-person panel to defend and expand on my answers for another two hours. If they deem my answers sufficient, then I move into a new status of being called PhD candidate, or what is commonly called PhD ABD (All But Dissertation).
I am so glad to be done with this phase. Of the three phases, course work, qualifying exams, and dissertation, I always knew this would be the hardest for me. From day one of orientation, they tell you that everything you do in your studies is leading up to this moment. Every book review, every article you comment on in weekly posts, every paper you write, will be helpful in getting you ready for these tests. They have hung over my head for the past five years and now they are almost done. I wasn't even sure I was going to be able to take them, or even wanted to, but now that they are over I am so grateful.
It has been a crazy, wild road that has been just about the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I am so grateful for all those that have encouraged me to keep going and supported me along the way. I actually feel different now that the major part is over. After the first day of testing I slept better than I've slept in at least a year.
From here, I will know my results on October 6 and be working to finish my dissertation over the next year, most likely in theology of comedy.
Thanks again for all the support, prayers and kind words. It means the world to me.