Saturday, July 3, 2010

Exam recap

I have been meaning to blog about some exam stuff - or actually post-exam stuff.

Diploma exams in our Psychology Master Program always are oral exams with three examiners. I did not have a single oral exam throughout my entire university time - always written exams.  If I didn't pass this exam, I would not be able to re-take it until October. Understandably I was very nervous and anxious.

I really wanted M to come with me, wait in front of the exam room and be there for me to hug me right after and celebrate with me. Unfortunately M had a meeting that he simply could not re-schedule. I was quite sad because I knew that all the other students would have someone waiting for them outside, and I didn't want to be all by myself after the exam - if I passed, I wanted to have someone to share the joy with.

I didn't want to ask my friend Donata to come and be with me - she lives an hour drive away and her and the twins were just getting over a cold. So I asked Cathi, if she could come with me. Cathi and I met at the Institute for environmental hygiene here in Vienna. That's where I worked as a teaching assistant, and she was - actually still is - employed for a big EU project my (our) prof leads. He was her thesis advisor as well and she just took her diploma exam a month ago. She was kind enough to take off some time from work and come down to the campus to stay with me.

I was so happy to have her there. She waited with me upstairs until I was asked into the exam room and it was very comforting for me to know that she was waiting for me outside afterwards.

The exam itself was quite the experience. I don't want to blog about it - just know - that my prof was true to himself even during my exam - I did great anyway, I definitely did not let him get me down, and I passed with honours nevertheless :-).

Anyway, after the actual exam I was asked to go outside, as the examiners have 10 minutes to discuss the grades in private.
I walked outside, flew into Cathi's arms, told her all about the very typical behavior of our prof, when I looked to my left and saw Donata pushing the red twin stroller through the crowd of students. I almost couldn't believe my eyes. I was so touched that she had come all the way with the twins in tow just to be there for me!

I was then asked back inside, got my grades, and out I was - a Magistra rer nat (that's my title here in Austria :-). M was the first person I called, next my Mum - who of course broke into tears, than my Dad, and of course Peggy :-).

Cathi, Donata, the twins, and I then went to one of Vienna's most famous coffee houses to celebrate my exam success. What a feeling it was after the exam - I could hardly believe that this was really it, that I really had my Magistra, that I was done with my university education, that I had been able to overcome so many obstacles and still succeed.
M joined us too - and then my Dad called M's cell phone, M passed on the phone to me and Dad said: "Julia, we know how hard you worked, and we think what you really need now is a vacation. That's why you are going to Italy with M on the 10th of July." At that point M silently handed me the booking confirmation for our vacation. I was so excited and full of joy! M and I had cancelled our traditional summer vacation in Italy for money reasons. Something that had made me so sad, but of course I understood M's reasoning behind it. Hearing that my Dad was making it possible for us to go nevertheless, made me feel so happy! That's what Dad's are for :-) - to make things possible for their little girls, and I guess in that respect we will always be little girls for our Dads.

So, yes, tube girl is setting off for another vacation to Italy a week from today, with my backpack, feeding pump and formula in tow, and my trusted hand blender of course :-).

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