Ph.D. Madness: The End (or so I thought)

Things are coming to a close, at least regarding the official exams and ceremonies.

On Friday, thanks to your butterfly nets and shark tazers, and thanks to my colleagues and their buffet-prepping, food-bribing skills, my Ph.D. defense will be held. God knows (and so do all of you regular readers) there were  periods over the past six years where I thought I’d never see this day.

Over the past month, I actually managed to organize three professors in a room for two hours, consisting of both my supervisor, the assistant supervisor, an expert from abroad AND a delegate of the dean, who will all be asking me mean questions which I will hopefully know how to field.

Afterwards, there will hopefully be much champagne and rejoicing, and then I’m off to edit the whole thing (welcome, Anik’s summer!), change the footnote system from European to Harvard, add literature that came out since autumn,  correct whatever the supervising team wants me to correct and trim the whole thing to the editor’s style sheet.

Once that is done, the whole publication/financing issue will be upon me, which I refuse to think abut for now, but it still puts a damper on the festive mood that should rule this Friday.

Knowing my faculty, it won’t be very festive anyway. The committee will start late, misspell my name, quote things from my biography that aren’t in there, I am sure the supervisor will show up in a polo-shirt and jeans (we invented Casual Friday!), the only one sweating in a skirt suit will be me.

The big hall, which is never properly filled for such ceremonies, will be equally empty and unimpressive, and then everyone will have to listen to excerpts from the expertises, to be contrasted by a half-hour presentation by me, which will in no way live up to the glowing reports (the nerves!!), then the questions round will be opened and depending on how that turns out, I’ll crawl underneath the buffet table with the secret vodka stash as soon as I’m allowed to leave the lectern.

And before that I still need to make it through the acknowledgments to friends and family without starting to cry.

Sounds cozy, right?

Technically, there’s also the possibility to FAIL a defense, though I don’t really know what happens in that case and I don’t really want to consider the option.

…to be continued on Friday… (or on Saturday with a hangover)

15 thoughts on “Ph.D. Madness: The End (or so I thought)”

  1. “Gran Estreno Gran” for a six-year-preparation opera!! At last!! It’ll be a grand opening – I’m sure- and a big success!! You’ve earned it with hard work, Anik! Congrats and taste every second of eagerness-uncomfort-nerves [part of the preparation previous to curtain raise]. Bravo!!!!


  2. I’m sure you have nothing to fear, get up there and show them what you have got. Very well done and grats I’ll have a good malt ready to toast you on Friday night.


  3. All thumps up… where will it be held? (and is it public?)
    I don´t guess I will be in the area but actually: I AM quite curious 🙂

    You will rock it all

    All the best,


  4. i somehow vaguely have memories of these things :-). Best of luck to you!!
    (ps- footnote from European to Harvard, does it mean your paper size needs to change as well from cm to inches? 🙂 )


  5. Ha! After all the years of hard work, just a few more days before the finish line! 🙂 in boca al lupo, Anik. Teu, Teu, Teu! 😀


  6. anik, i know it may sound crazy to you right now but try to enjoy it, even the nerves, this is a HUGE accomplishment and you deserve being proud of yourself, sweating in a skirt suit and looking like the professional you are! cheering you on from the peanut gallery – zeig’s ihnen 😉


  7. Will be cheering from afar! I have no doubt you will rock after all the hard work you have put in. And I agree with yvonne, try to enjoy it and celebrate. You are ready for this moment!


  8. One more practical examination for you and me, and we’ll be over the finish line (for this semester at least for me). C’mon Anik YOU CAN DO IT!!!!


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