Well, I took my written comps a week ago and passed my orals today. All I have to do now is write that dissertation, defend it, get a job, make full professor, retire, and die.
This is going to sound weird, but I think I’m more relieved right now than I will be when I actually finish my degree. I mean, I’ve spent a long time learning to grapple with other historians’ work, basically listening in on the conversations that scholars have been having. Passing comps means you’ve listened in long enough and you’re ready to join a conversation yourself, or perhaps even start your own.
Heck, I get to spend the next few semesters getting paid to do original research on a topic that fascinates me. How awesome will that be?
My first order of business, though, is some leisure reading. I’ve got a waist-high stack of books I’ve been yearning to dig into for months. Rev War books, dinosaur books, religion books, narrative history…all the stuff I love to read but haven’t had much time for lately. I’ve even compiled a bucket list of classic comics and graphic novels that I’m going to get started on; there are two volumes of post-Crisis Superman stories headed my way as we speak. I’ve always wanted to read straight through Herodotus and Thucydides, too, so maybe I can knock out one of those over the holiday break. Might even be able to squeeze in a couple of those thrillers Crichton wrote under a pseudonym.
I’ll get to all that, just as soon as I take a nice, long nap. Or two.