As some of you may remember, I took my 6 PhD comprehensive exams last December and passed five. I retook the sixth in June, and must take it for the last time on Fri. December 8th. If the department follows the rules strictly, this exam must be passed on this attempt, or else I’m out of the program.
Consequently, I’ve spent much of my time in the last few months trying to study and prepare, and cut out all my distractions.
To recap, the exam is in Akkadian, the ancient language of Assyria and Babylon. It consists of sight-reading, identifying, and translating three different texts in Akkadian cuneiform without lexicons (though I can use sign-lists.) The texts are unseen (ie. we’ve never covered them in class, though they will be similar) and can come from any time period, script (Old Babylon cursive vs. lapidary vs. Neo-Assyrian script), or genre (letters, contracts, legal texts, historical texts, myths, financial texts.)
The trade-off this time around is that I have a longer time limit, but can’t use lexicons. That works best for me, since my problem is that I read so slowly, not that I can’t remember vocab.
And so, I’m asking that you keep me in your prayers, that I can focus hard on studying during this last month, that I remember what I study, and can adapt to whatever they decide to give me. And pass the darn thing so I can finally move on to the dissertation stage 🙂