|How I reacted when taking the Finance I (Semester 1) and Healthcare Operations (Semester 4) Exams|
1. Ninety-Nine. Just like a deployment countdown, this week we crossed the triple-digit mark. Tuesday was a great day as it marked 99 days until I pull up stakes at the Alamo KOA and head north. It is truly downhill from here. I will miss my friends in Elizabethtown and the deep friendships that have developed over the past five years.
2. Vows. A very special Aunt and Uncle are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary this weekend. They are a true example of 'through sickness and health, 'til death do us part.' Something that is missing in today's marriages. A while back, my uncle had a tragic accident with a closed-head injury. Through much prayer and support he recovered with only a loss of speech ability and some physical function that requires him to use a wheelchair for longer walks. Today, when the world would expect the wife or husband to the spouse into an assisted living facility, my Aunt (with much help from family) persevered as a loving wife and has never left his side. He has volunteered at the local hospital for years and they are constantly travelling with their kids and being active grandparents! Congratulations!
3. Visit. My wonderful wife is coming for a visit soon. The kids are visiting their Gram and Grandad in Beaufort, SC and she is coming down. Even though I will be in school occasionally, she will have time to relax in 'the trailer down by the river'. Being an avid reader, she will have time to relax and read without interruptions!
4. Oral Examinations. For some reason, I am not overly concerned about the Orals Examinations at the end of our Didactic Year. On June 20th, we will individually meet with a panel of examiners for about 45" where they will quiz us on our classwork, projects, papers and knowledge of the past year. The purpose is to see if we are able to adequately bring together the various theories and concepts and articulate them as a potential health care executive.
This is not unlike my last orals examination that occurred in 1995 for my first Master's Degree at the University of Florida! I was grilled for two hours by two physicians, two PhD Physical Therapists, the Assistant Dean and my Thesis Chair. That was painful. The first hour was my research presentation on 35mm slides (old school!) that was frequently interrupted by the board for questions and clarification. We took a break where they huddled to plan their attack on my research, methods and results! Then we reconvened where they drilled deeper into my written thesis and picked it apart. When that painful process was over, they excused me from the room, and debated whether my work was worthy. Finally they brought me to come back in, congratulated me on successful passing my orals board, then gave back my written thesis with a list of required corrections prior to publication.
The bottom line, is to prepare and not start digging a hole that only gets deeper. Be honest and up front. Come across confident, yet not arrogant. Speak clearly and concisely and with command of the topic. We are not expected to be master's of everything, but we should at least be experts of our projects, papers and assignments.