Friday, December 5, 2008

Dissertation Angst, continued

So the whole defending in December thing fell through. No way to find a second reporter with expertise in the field we need who was also available the one day open for the whole end of the year. Mission impossible.
Let's shop around for a date in February. Francis said that February was good for him, and I hope he's not ticked at our frantic attempts to replace him in our December folly. February is good for me, and it's good for Marie-Laure. Aside from having to enroll for another semester at the university, that is. An extra 500+ euros for the delay is annoying but we're kind of stuck with it.
Let's hope the academic vacation schedule doesn't get in our way, though. The French do love their time off, and there's a two week chunk of February given over to winter break where everybody goes skiing or off to seek a little sun. And it's not the same two weeks all over the country, they divvy the place up into three sections and the 2-weeks overlap a week for each. Work around that trying to gather people up. It could be great because nobody has meetings then. Or it could be disastrous because they're off to the slopes to break a leg.
I send out a feeler for the first two weeks of February. Sylvie: OK for the first week. Pierre: OK. Yves-Jean: OK. Me: OK. Marie-Laure: OK. Francis: no response.
Awwwww, Francis! come on, talk to me.
Lets get Fabrice in here to go over the revisions of this paper, and while we're at it, he knows Francis well, we'll get him on the phone. I hate phoning, especially in French. Fabrice is great at phoning. Francis was his idea in the first place.
So we call up Francis and there he is, and he's very happy to come see this defence in the second half of February. First half, no can do.
We were so close.
But I jot down the four days in the second half of February that Francis is available, and off we go again for a round of scheduling. You good for the 18th? Yeah, I'm good. How about the 18th? OK fine. Y-J around on the 18th? No problem. Marie-Laure's good. Then I can't reach Pierre. rrrrrrr nailbiting gnashing of teeth. You don't get a day nailed down instantly it gets away from you when you're waiting for feedback. And I gotta go, on my way to Paris and on vacation for three weeks. Sylvie will take over (another Sylvie, our own admin assistant Sylvie) and coordinate everything.
Couple days later, check the gmail, YEA!!!! PIERRE IS GO FOR FEBRUARY 18!!!! Break out the champagne; we have graduation in sight!

Okay, it was way better in person.

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