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)