After getting all caught up on his doctoral assignments during Thanksgiving Break, Ben was FINALLY cleared to continue in the EDD program. We were seriously on pins and needles for a bit there while we waited for his professors to accept all his late assignments. We celebrated, albeit halfheartedly, when we learned that he would, indeed, be allowed to take the comprehensive doctoral exam, as we knew there was only more and more work ahead. The "exam" is really a written study based on a fictitious scenario in which the doctoral students have to make a written recommendation, utilizing and compiling every theory and concept they've learned over the last three years of course work. And to make matters more stressful, Ben was informed that only about half the students who take the comprehensive exam actually pass. Those who don't are required to defer their doctoral studies a year while they study and attempt the test again the following year. Alas, Ben received his exam topic the day after Christmas and had one week to complete the writing, which had to be done completely independently with no outside assistance or help. So, from the crack of dawn, until late into the night, he worked and worked and worked. The kids literally did not see him. To say that it was stressful is an understatement. Ben was completely beside himself, feeling an urgency to pass the exam, but sure he wouldn't, and even more sure that he wouldn't be able to handle another year of study, worried about all the money we would have then wasted because he'd never finish his doctorate...and on and on. I can't tell you the number of phone calls and texts I received from him telling me that there was no way he'd be able to finish. I was the annoying voice of the little engine that could and tried to just stay out of the way. At one point Ben was so overwhelmed and frustrated that I our friend over to Ben's office to give him a priesthood blessing of comfort and direction. It helped immensely! Our friend then reported to me that he couldn't believe Ben's office, that his white board looked like something from the movie "A Beautiful Mind."
Comp Exam Central
It was a relief when the week was done and the exam turned in, however; we knew there was a high probability that he'd have to rewrite at the very least.
January 9th may very well have been one of the happiest days of our lives! Such an incredible relief! So so proud of my husband. I kept saying I knew he could do it, which annoyed him to no end, and frankly I think I was trying to convince myself in the process. Some time later, once Ben returned to classes, we actually learned that he was the only student in his cohort who's exam didn't have any critiques or criticism. We are so thankful, and recognize a hand, more powerful than our own, guiding our paths, strengthening us beyond our own capacities, and magnifying our efforts. On to dissertation!
In the meantime I spent time with my family. Sure love my mom!
We made cabbage rolls at my house while Grandmom "supervised."
Poor Abby missed the action in lieu of a breathing treatment.
And we celebrated New Year's Eve with Costco appetizers and sparkling cider.
Ruby's the duck face master!
By the end of Christmas Break we were all exhausted. No rest for the weary!