Hah! I endured the 3 hours of oral interrogation by my committee members and emerged victorious. ..or, at least alive.
In doing so, I've cleared the first significant (and according to many, the largest) hurdle I will be faced with during my graduate education. Now, after some paperwork and red-tape, I will be advanced to the status of "candidate", and return to the normal grind of research and classes... except that I'm pretty much done with classes now, so I've actually cleared two hurdles. I look forward to another year and a half of being mired by wishy-washy research directives before finally reaching the ultimate stage of the doctoral program which entails productive work and dissertation.
..anyway, it feels good to be through it, and I've been able to breath a small sigh of relief over the weekend. Now I just have to get back to grading students work (which, after tonight, I should be done with also)... I can't wait for winter break.