Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Things you've missed AND Quick blog while eating

Dog Jog 2007 in Piedmont Park. I promise, we did not mean to coordinate the Georgia gear!!! Believe it or not,I also saw some Winder folk there - it was great to see you Paul!

Me and Colby, the running warriors

Look at this cutie wearing "doggles"

Ready, Set, Go!!! Good thing there was no gunshot to start us off, or it could have been a disaster.

At the halfway mark!

Jonathan finishing the drill!
Brent's baptism at Union Baptist on Mother's Day 2007

Family gathering on Mother's Day 2007

The cousins and friends after a hard day of playing

/\ Me and my Uncle C on his visit from Germany. I'm so sorry I could not spend as much time as we wanted :(
Just eating T-Bell at CUPS and taking a brain break. Thought I'd write quickly.

I spent my time at Starbucks yesterday after CPR certification in the morning. WRONG day to be at Starbucks. Apparently it was the release date for Paul McCartney's latest album, and they played the same CD over and over and over and over and over again. I couldn't even drown it out with my ear plugs or with my MP3 player, it was so obnoxious. Don't get me wrong, the music wasn't that bad, but should be listened to in moderation, in small doses.

Anyway...going to get back to work. This morning was devoted to the creation and completion of a table for my comps, and this afternoon will be devoted to the 3 or 4 pages of text that go along with it. This evening, ...probably reading/researching.


My music for comps - Robert Randolph and the Family Band (LOVE!), Jeremy Camp (Unplugged), Selah (Hiding Place), Jami Smith, Third Day, Swing Kids Soundtrack


Hello there

Just wanted to give you an update. The last time I wrote you I was completing data analysis in marathon fashion. I did complete the analysis (with Brent’s help with data entry), though I still have a few reliability measures to complete, which should not take more than a full day of work – I’ll knock it out next weekend.

So, as of last Monday, I am now in full comps mode. The funny thing is, though, that when you ask me what I’m up to, and I say “comps”, I fully expect you to understand what that means to me and how much work is required. But why should you, when it means so many different things to different people, and means absolutely nothing to others?

“Comps” is short for comprehensive exams. This exam is based on the courses I have taken over the past three years for my areas of specialty (communication neuroscience, speech physiology, treatment outcomes); they assess my mastery of fundamental knowledge and skills, and my integration and application of this knowledge. Comps have many different forms – some friends have had a day of comps, where you study and study for several months before the dreaded day, and then go in and answer questions for 8-10 hours. Others have had two days of a similar experience.

So, what is my comps experience? My committee of five professors got together and concocted this evil page-long set of questions – two big interrelated questions with several sub-questions each. I have a little over a month to answer the questions, and my response is to be organized as a book with several chapters. My written response is due June 27th (I was granted a 10-day extension because of my surgery), and then my oral defense is August 3rd. There usually is not that much of a delay between writtens and orals, but because one of my professors lives out of state, we are working around his schedule. During this time, I will also be working as a clinical supervisor at the UGA clinic, so …time….where did you go…need more time…!

WHEN I pass :), I will then be a predoctoral candidate, or, as I prefer to call it, A.B.D. – All But Dissertation. I am finished with required classes, so in the fall will be teaching and working on my dissertation.

So, that is what I mean when I say “I’m in comps” :).

I’ll write again, probably after June 27th. Have a wonderful summer!

Love ya,



Hey there
This is Jess checking in. I have finally finished my last class that I ever have to take …I mean it…LAST (unless I choose to audit something for fun, which I probably will, but no more required classes) – WOO-HOO!
I have also finally finished grading my students’ research papers and final exams, and have entered their grades as well, so that big crazy part of my life is over too. I look forward to teaching in the fall, b/c I think I will only have ~30 graduate students, versus the 50-60 undergraduate students I have had for the past 3 years.
So, in an effort to keep you informed on what is going on over here, and to attempt to avoid this feeling of disconnection from the world that I am sinking into, here is the next chapter.
Basically, in addition to my graduate assistantship, I was also hired to do a job by a colleague who was awarded a grant for his dissertation. (Brent and I need the money, that is for sure!) Well, deadlines were pushed up ever so slightly so he could have his dissertation completed in time to graduate in August, so the job that I was hired to do needs to be completed by Monday!!! So, instead of heading directly into comps mode, I am doing non-stop data analysis…except for right this very second of course, because I am writing you while I am taking a headphone break.
Basically, I look at spectrograms and acoustic waveforms all day, and listen to the audio files with headphones, and analyze them…pretty boring stuff. But this is what is happening in my life right now, and is what I mean when having to turn down much preferred social engagements because “I’m doing data analysis”. I have a lot of work to complete before Monday.

So, thank you for your understanding, support, and patience during this crazy time. On Monday, I’ll explain more about my comps experience, as this is the next huge event in my life that will be monopolizing my entire summer.
I hope you are well, and even though I know I’m not the most accessible right now, you remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, Jess