Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dissertation Angst, last phase

This is it.
The day.
There will be no more changing the slides, only worries about the projector working. M-L went over to the Dissertation Room in the main building, and is not satisfied with the image quality from the provided machine, and so is both A) bringing her dad's, and B) asking me to bring one from the lab. Whatever happens, there will be a projector.
Then you can always worry about the jury getting here. We're required to have 'reporting' members of the jury, that do not belong to our university. Since there's only one U in town, that means the reporters have to travel from Lyon and Paris or wherever we find reporters willing to do this. (And their shoes have to be the right size, but we discussed that elsewhere.) There is no train strike today. Good. But some idiot could shoot at the train. That happened just two weeks ago: some fool took their hunting rifle and shot the Paris-Clermont train. No injuries, thank goodness, but it took out the whole front window so they had to change engines.
But these are minor concerns.
What if the jury hates your dissertation?
What if they think you're lame and stupid and unworthy?
What if all this time you were just dreaming you were getting a PhD, and were mistaken about the whole thing?
What if they say No?
It could happen. They're allowed to. Ain't over till it's over.
No, no, no. It's okay. If the jury had any serious concerns they would have contacted me or my boss to talk it over. They would have raised such concerns in their comments on the text, which we received and dealt with weeks ago. There was nothing worrisome in there. Really: No grad student is allowed to stand up and give their talk without everybody being fully content that this is a last formality.
Once you're on the far side of your degree, you see this is true. In these last hours, it's a rare student who can be convinced.

only..... only now I'm getting nervous too. I remember M-L told me she had all the necessary paperwork, but what if there's something missing? What if there's a paper she didn't know you had to have? The office where you get such forms is closed for lunch. What if the person normally in that office is on vacation today? And who puts out the cups and bottles of water for the jury in the Dissertation Room? Is that up to me? errrr....

And now that it's over, everybody smiles!


Reya Mellicker said...

I am keeping my fingers crossed that all goes smoothly.

Looking forward to calling you Dr. Sciencegirl.

Reya Mellicker said...

Love the picture of the fish drying on the house in Iceland!

sciencegirl said...

Everything went great!!! The champagne is still flowing My student is now Dr. Vuillaume
Felicitations, Marie-Laure!

Si's blog said...

Taught IB chemistry for three delightful months in Sophia Antipolis. Loved my time in France and the wonderful people there.

Well done. Now will you have to get back to real life?

sciencegirl said...

Amazingly enough, this is real life. I've been here 13 years and plan to stay until I've seen everything.