So like I said, since the other person changed to a different track, it's just me at this stage in my program. And since it is a new program, I've been the first person to take the comps in it, the first to select a committee, the first to do a topic proposal, the first to fill out each form. Even though my advisor has worked with PhD students at other institutions, I'm his first at this school, and the policies here are different than they were where he has worked before. Basically that means he and I are figuring it out together. (I wrote about how we both misunderstood the topic proposal process...Whoops.) It was really inevitable that something would slip through the cracks, and on my birthday (thanks) I received the following letter in the mail.
It seems I could not be advanced to candidacy. The grad school department had not been notified of whether I passed the comps. Last they heard, I'd applied to take them (way back in June of last year). So as far as they knew, I hadn't passed them yet...and thus could not advance.
I knew I'd passed, and figured it was some sort of form I or my advisor had forgotten/not known to fill out. So I called the graduate department on Monday and asked them what needed to be done to correct it. The person on the phone gave me a bit of 'tude and told me if I had questions about my comps I'd need to ask my advisor. But my overly sweet and inquisitive attitude won her over and she soon explained to me that there was indeed a form they were missing. ("But really, your advisor knows this. You should be talking to HIM.") My advisor and I had a chuckle at this when I recounted my phone call to him later.
My advisor quickly found the form in his office, filled out and signed the appropriate places, and gave it to me. I collected the additional signatures I needed and turned it in during my lunch hour from work yesterday. Just one thing worries me a little: the form said it must be received by the department within 25 days of passing or failing the comprehensive exams. That would have been before Christmas. Whoops. What can I say? We didn't know. Since my post-it note strategy worked so well with the IRB, I stuck a Post-It Note Of Genuine Apology For Ignorance on this form. Now I'm hoping for the best!
I really don't mind being the first person to go through the program. It makes my life a little more difficult, but also probably grants me some lenience in the form of people just not knowing what is going on. It also helps that my advisor is easy going and doesn't pretend to know everything, either. He and I are definitely in this together, trying to figure out how to get from point A (acceptance into the program) to point G (graduation!).