A provisional pass. My defense was weak, apparently. But, I really don't know what went wrong. They didn't tell me anything other than that I have to provide a paper to them before the end of the semester in order to completely finish comps. They didn't say what was weak or missing. All they did was say that I needed to better communicate the important aspects of the theories. But I don't know what answer was weak. I don't know if the writing or the defense or both were not good enough. I just don't know.
What I do know is that I sat in disbelief initially when I had to take that in. I also know that what was to be the day that relieved me of all this stress that's been accumulating just became the day that added twice as much.
I'm disappointed and discouraged, but I can't say that I feel that way about myself. I should have asked for an extension on the exam. Getting essentially diagnosed with diseases of the immune system on day one of comps and then just powering on through definitely took its toll on the final products. Also, dealing with the symptoms of this all semester--the severe pain, sleeplessness, and side-effects of Vicodin--didn't help the preparation either.
This really has been the worst three months of my life, soon to be four. No one here cares about me as a person, only as a machine that needs to produce an acceptable product. And you know, I could scold myself for not explicitly asking for help through all of this when it wasn't offered to me freely, but when you already know that nobody cares why would you open yourself up for more heartbreak?
Ultimately, this will be fine. I have to write an extra paper. I graduate and didn't fail anything. But, you know, the only thing I will leave graduate school with is complicated health and lowered self-esteem. I can honestly say I hate it here and everyone who knows me knows that this is not a shallow vent over frustration related to comps. Some of the people I have met here, and certainly the environment as a whole, are the coldest, least compassionate, and most lacking in social graces I have ever encountered.
It goes back to the words to live by: If you're satisfied with anything [CU's Comm Dept], you're just too stupid to know better.
I booked my trip to Denmark today, though. And that I am excited for.