I've finished my generals, yipee, yahoo!!

I just passed my general examination, a three-hour oral exam testing my comprehensive knowledge on five different graduate-level mathematics subjects and a necessary step toward finally getting my freakin’ degree. I’ve been doing almost nothing but review for this exam for five full weeks. Five long, hideous, stressful weeks of studying for one three-hour exam on an incredibly large subject area.

And I am DONE!!!

Take that, Poincare Duality!

And that, Cauchy’s Integral Formula!

What’s that, Classification of Finitely-Generated Abelian Groups? You want some? Fine, you can stand over there and get your butt whooped, right next to Hadamard’s theorem and Gauss’s Theorem Egregium! And tell the Gauss-Bonnet formula that if it ever shows it’s ugly face around here I’ll kick it’s butt too!

And your L[sup]p[/sup]-spaces!

I will now strut and revel in my mathematical superiority.

[strutting commences…]

Congratulations, Math Geek!! It must feel great to be past this.

If I may ask, what year are you? I suspect what you call “generals” are what I think of as “quals” (usually taken in beginning of second year to qualify for the PhD program). I know Princeton does it differently, though (and their qualifying exams are unusually horrendous compared to other places).

What year I’m in depends on who you ask. Y’see, I transerred from Caltech to here when my supervisor accepted a job here. So I’m in my fourth year of Ph.D. study, but only my first year at Princeton, which is why I have to take the general exams even though I’ve already passed qualifying exams at Caltech. And yes, that does suck.

I could technically have taken the exam next year, but I’ll have other things to do next year, like writing up a thesis and so forth.

The good news is that Princeton doesn’t have any minimum-credit requirements, so I can theoretically get out of here in only one more year instead of three or four so long as I pass the generals (done!) and submit a thesis complete with oral defense. So even though Princeton doesn’t officially recognize my time at Caltech, I’m didn’t lose any time by transferring.

[strutting continues…]

GEEZ! I must get more sleep!

< total hijack > My degenerate mind misread that as “genitals” not “generals.” :eek: See below (with edits as I read/skimmed over it).

< /total hijack >

In any case, congratulations on your fait accompli! I envy your math skills!

Yay! Congrats!

Well done **Math Geek[\b], makes us all realise that there’s light at the end of the tunnel yet!

Now I just need to get through my general paper for my Masters’ - a three hour paper on three years worth of work - and not the past three years, no, the three years prior to embarking on my masters!!

My lovely and brilliant wife is just about to finish her generals. The PhD in epidemiology, as I understand the sequence, will follow after orals, the dissertation, and the defense.

And the last couple of weeks have been very, very difficult for her. So congratulations – we know what it’s like.