05 August 2009

PhD Comprehensive exams done May 2009, onward to Prospectus Some other belated news to post. I officially passed my PhD Comprehensive exams on Friday, May 8th! It was a truly brutal five months of study to prepare for the week-long writing marathon and two hour oral defense, but now its done. Now that its August and several months behind me, I can say I understand why it was a required step in the path to a PhD in the Sociology Department at the University of Hawaii. The required organization, planning, and follow through was a learning process, but after five months of 3 to 5 hours of daily reading of research articles on my comprehensive topic lists, I feel like its become hard-wired into my thought processes. So it didn't really function as a gatekeeping academic hazing required to gain entrance into the hallowed halls of learning, but worked more like reprogramming in order to learn the skill set necessary to be a productive academic that will be required to teach undergrad classes, publish papers in journals, and conduct unique research over the course of my career. Several professors have said to me that they probably will never be as productive as they were that very intense week of writing up and defending the comprehensive exam, and to a certain degree, I concur with that assessment. After all, unless you are complete glutton for self-inflicted physical and mental punishment, I couldn't see myself willingly writing up another 80+ pages of cited, theoretically heavy material in the span of seventy hours over a seven day...

Michael Dziesinski

I'm a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Hawaii studying youth issues in Japanese society.

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