I passed my exam!

This was the last major step before completion of my dissertation (hence the initials ABD, common in academia: All But Dissertation). The dissertation and the defense thereof will be scary, but in a totally different way than the general exams were scary.

I went through just about every emotion imaginable in the last 24 hours, and I had a serious fight-or-flight response when I got to school this afternoon. Luckily for me, though, I overrode the impulse to run and instead put my game face on. It worked out well, I think.

There are always things the student doesn't know, and I've been running through those in my head of course, but I've also been thinking about how many things came up in the exam that I was able to answer intelligently but that I didn't know a few months or even a few days ago. I'm really proud of how much I've learned, actually. Ever since I left the exam, I've had various parts of Beethoven's Ninth playing in my ears. This is due in large part to the fact that we spent so much time talking about it today, since it influenced practically every symphony that has been written since its premiere, but it's also due, I think, to the fact that, for the well-known "Ode to Joy" choral finale, Beethoven uses a text about the ultimate triumph of humanity. I'm feeling a little triumphant.

On Epiphany Sunday every year, some mysterious group of people at our church makes little paper stars with different words on them, then everyone from the congregation draws a star out of the basket and is supposed to think about that word throughout the year, both in a spiritual context and more generally in their daily lives. My star this year simply had the word "Joy" on it, and I decided to pin it to my sun visor in my car so that I'd see it regularly and be reminded of the many joyful things in my life. It hasn't been hard with a baby on the way, but not all aspects of school have been full of joy; nevertheless, my Joy Star has been quietly reminding me to seek it. Now, though, I feel that I'm capable of Joy in this facet of my life. This is very good.

The German word for joy, repeated so often throughout the finale of Beethoven's Ninth, is Freude. I've got your Freude right here, baby.

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Hooray for you!
Freude indeed.
Horray! Congrats! Just for old times sake, I'll give you a.... [toaster] :-)

P.S. the word I have to type to get this to post is "ijaxd" which is hilarious since Jax is my hubby's last name! LOL. I could use "jaxd" as a verb - like, when I signed the marriage certificate, "ijaxd." ROTFL.
Way to go!!! Mom and Dad A
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