Unlocked: “Doctor” prestige class (Ph.D.)

So. I had my dissertation defense on Monday, which there was no way I wasn’t going to pass. Essentially I bludgeoned my audience with the sheer volume of data from my years as a graduate student. There was a horrified gasp from the audience as when I was looking for a slide of unpresented data to answer a question because I had hundreds of unused slides lurking behind my acknowledgements.

I overhauled my presentation 5 times over the last fortnight, the last being less than 24 hours before my defense. No to mention the data I presented at the end was generated last week.

I didn’t present as well as I would have liked. I really want to blame the lack of time I had to prepare and rail at my advisor for making me change everything at the last minute (really, not how I wanted to do it*), but it’s done, it worked, and I passed.

*Seriously, I’m a perfectionist. I’m always happier before than after because I am unable to change what has already happened. I was crying with stress the day before and the day after, from regret and knowing I could have done better. I didn’t get around to my slides where I thanked the people who were important to my grad student years, the only chance I had. *sigh*

…actually, maybe I’ll post them here. It won’t be as nice as showing the other grad students a window into my grad career (one of my favorite parts of defenses), but many who I wanted to thank weren’t able to attend, so this may be better too, especially since I won’t start crying while I talk about them. (Even the most composed students often break down in tears in the Kiss&Cry slides.)

Thank you to my lab for being a great place to be these last 6 years. I see these people every day for 8 hours a day and they've been great friends and colleagues. Thank you also to my advisor for being passionate about science and constantly challenging me.

Thank you to my friends, both near and far, for keeping me excited about my research. Whether it be contagious excitement about science (top) or making me take a break (bottom), it would have been hard to stay inspired without them.

I also have to thank my family for not only their genetic contribution (inside joke at my defense), but also their support, advice, and travels which I got to vicariously experience. My parents supported my early interest in science/math, which I'm sure puzzled them at first since there were no doctors or scientists in the family...unless you count my grandmother, who was a computer scientist. =)

And finally my husband, who has been my voice of reason for the last 7 years and the reason I have some semblance of sanity. Really, there would have been a lot more crying and frustration without him talking me through the day's frustrations. I cannot thank him enough.

So, uhm, I have some sewing updates too. But they’ll have to wait until my brain has recovered from shock.


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