I have been reading. Lots and lots of reading.
Of course this is on top of the normal background level of reading, which is about 3 new research papers each week. It all depends on what catches my attention. Like,
- Do bears living around cities have good survivorship? [TLDR, no]
- Is it effective to move urban deer elsewhere? [TLDR, no]
- Has tree line changed in the Canadian Rockies over the last 100 years? [TLDR, yes]
But on top of that, I’ve started reading for my comprehensive exams. There’s a bit of variation from university to university on what a comps exam consists of, but usually it includes some kind of written component and an oral exam. My reading list for my comps is 92 papers and 4 books that spans three major areas of knowledge. Reading them all over two months. Yes, two months.
And then the writing phase will begin.
Once those papers are written, then I’ll have my oral exam.
And then once that’s all done, and assuming I don’t freeze up and bomb, I’ll be a PhD Candidate.
It’s pretty overwhelming when you think about it. Well, it is for me anyway. But at the same time it’s also a really amazing process. Never before have I had the opportunity to just read and absorb information for the sake of self-directed learning. And have the time to just sit there and think about the theories, the science, the philosophy of it all. And how it fits together into something… larger. Allowing the vortex of thoughts to just swirl around in my head until something really interesting coalesces and comes out.
Like brain precipitate.
That was as gross as Justin Trudeau’s “speaking moistly”.
So maybe the vortex of thought still needs more time to swirl around and mix.
So for now, I better get back to my long list of readings.