So, over the past few days, I have finally recieved a qualifier topic. I don't want to talk a whole lot about it here but its pretty cool and in another incarnation could lead to a grant for the research to actually be done. For those who are not familiar, part of getting a PhD in this country is the passage of a qualifying exam. This is typically a written document of some sort, in my case a proposal for original research, that one must defend in front of a large public audience and then in a smaller closed door exam. It is the first major milestone on the road to completing a degree and entitles one to be called a "PhD candidate". Thus, after Oct. 15h...you can all refer to me as such or maybe just "The Candidate." Whatever you feel would be best. Anyways, its also marking the beggining of a fairly stressful part of the process because in the event one doesn't pass their qualifier they are invited back to try once more and if that does not satisfy then they are asked to leave the program (essentially empty handed). I'm not particularly worried about that whole prospect but I do want to make sure I get it right the first time around. I know I promised a movie review and so here it is. Last saturday and part of Sunday, I watched "The Last King of Scotland." It the story of a doctor in Uganda and a brutally honest biopic of Idi Amin. Forest Whitaker is downright scary in his portrayal of Amin and the rest of the cast does almost as well. The movie slowly moves from hinting at Amin's brutality to an eventual visualize climax resulting from one of the more graphic and violent scenes I have ever encountered. The movie is totally worth a watch but it is far from mindless and should be given its own time for viewing. It will not leave you happy or optimistic on the human condition but will be eye opening to the effects of power in the hands of those not fit to weild it. That is all. Patrick OUT!!!