Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tis the Season to...Finish Studying for Comps

Twitter is all awash of people finishing and posting grades (versus last week when it was just filled with sobs echoing out of the grading cave.
Student drama is over, or at least delayed until next semester.
You pack away this semester's notes. Maybe you revise things now while it's fresh in your head, maybe you threw everything in the corner to molder and possibly spontaneously combust.
Given that next week is Christmas many people are tidying up loose ends this week in preparation for travel.
For me, the three weeks we have off is for two things- reviewing for comps the first week in February and finishing solid drafts of CH 1 and 2 of the #DevilDiss to be able to give to committee members.

Comprehensive Exams
I've been told varying things about exams. It's meant to test if I can teach the survey course for that topic. I'll be fine. It's about big ideas and scope, not specifics.
I did all my reading for comps this past summer. One of my committee members has given me sample questions that we've discussed which was very helpful so I feel solid on that except that's also the field that has a nine page reading list so...there's that. My two other committee members have been on committee this year, so at this point (despite one saying otherwise) I don't think I'll hear from them.

Our comps are written. One field per week, three weeks in a row, four hours per field.

So here are my holiday comp review plans:

  • Take my comp binders and make flash cards for works, authors, and ideas to review. Particularly for my early modern list I feel like I need the review for names of characters and names of works.

  • Take comp reading bookshelves and clean out. While I designed my comp lists around my dissertation topic a lot of these works are not directly related to the dissertation. So I'm clearing out so this bookshelf becomes the dissertation writing shelf. I also think the visually clearing out will help my focus.
  • Try coming up with and answering sample comp questions for two fields I didn't receive any sample comp questions for. Anyone want to send me sample medieval and methodology and folklore questions?
I'm not worried about comps as in not hyperventilating and panicking. I think in part because 70+ pages into the dissertation I've been working with a lot of these texts. And for the early modern, I've taught a lot of them. I am a little concerned or nervous about the two fields I haven't really met on. One member orally quizzed me this summer, so I think that I know what will be the scope, but not sure. The other field exam has a radically different format than the other two but that format is also the same as the professor's midterm and final exams for class, which I took last year.

So color coded flashcards created from color coded notes in color coded binders.
What tips do you have for the last month and change before comps?

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