Wednesday, June 06, 2007


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,

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