Thursday, September 01, 2011

One Step Closer

Despite not spending enough time preparing for it, I did the endurance marathon known as the Graduate Record Examination this morning and walked out with a 'range' of my potential scores. Suffice to say, even if I only achieved the bottom of both scores, they still exceed the minimums needed to be accepted to my doctoral program.


In a sense, I was holding my breath, wondering if I am good enough, if I have what it takes. The GRE is a snapshot of one day when presented with questions I've never seen, my answers will tell whether I have the skills to continue advanced studies.

Yes, I know it sounds strange when a third semester graduate student is wondering this, but a doctoral program requires so much more. The same skills, yes, but also the ability to look at an issue, analyze it and hypothesize a solution. I think I've got it, but me saying I do isn't enough. Now, I have test scores that say that I can handle the course work.

Me being me, instead of relaxing, the thought process was "what do I do NOW?" So, I visited the program coordinator, who congratulated me. We talked for a bit and she told me to speak to Dr. S, who just happens to be my professor for two of three classes this semester.

He and I spent a good twenty minutes after class tonight talking about what I need to do to get my application packet ready. I wanted to know what recommendation letters are preferred and what else I can do to. Writing is a skill he stressed over and over, then a classmate who was with me in the spring said "She writes a blog, of course she's a writer!" We discussed the writing I do and he suggested adding writing samples to the packet.

Next on tap is to assist a professor doing research, which he suggests doing in the spring. He even said he'd write a recommendation based on my performance in the two classes this semester. This seems strange, because he is the advisor, but I'll take that letter, thank you very much.

It's a pretty good feeling to know my ducks are in a row and I'm popping them off one by one...

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