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countdown to convocation: day 30

March 31, 2018

lisa hammershaimb

March 30
Convocation Countdown: 33 days
Presentation Countdown: 7 days

Seven. Days. (and if we want to get obsessive….less than seven 24 hour time slots because it is now nighttime on Friday and the defense is late afternoon. ahhhhhhhhh.)

I have no large or exciting news to report other than today I was annoyingly aware of the time and trying to forecast what I “might” be doing between the hours of 4 and 6 next week…what part I would be on, if I would still be alive, etc. I am hopeful the answer to the latter will be an emphatic yes while the former really is anyone’s guess. All I really know is next week at this time something will have happened. I am trying to be immensely patient between now and then.

In order to turn my mind toward more productive things, I am also slowly working through a hot tip on “Questions typically asked in a Viva” I got from Helen DeWaard who in turn learned about it from Dr. Catherine Cronin.

When I asked the supervisor what I should be doing to prepare, he said “Don’t over think it. You’re the expert and be confident.” While I believe him and all, I also know his ratio of being correct only actualizes about 2/3 of the time so, because it has already been well established that I am a control freak…I’m doing a bit of side work. And in all honesty, the questions are open ended enough that they’re just helping to get me limbered up after being away from my research for almost four months. It’s been a fun process so far and I’m looking to digging in pretty hard over the holiday weekend. I am also toying with the idea of giving my presentation every two hours over the course of the weekend. We shall see at what point Ruby begins wearing earplugs!


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  1. April 2, 2018

    Hi Lisa – after all our intersections in various networks over the past number of years, it’s amazing that we are defending just a few days apart 🙂 I am just now working on my “post-viva” blog post to share some of my reflections. But I tweeted much of my prep using the hashtag #phdvivaCC. You likely don’t need to do *any* more reading apart from your own notes and thesis, but if you are so inclined I definitely recommend using a personal hashtag as you tweet your way through and beyond the defense. For me, it was a powerful way to share thoughts & reflections, and to take heart & encouragement from the network that has stimulated and sustained me throughout this whole process.

    The best of luck to you! You will be amazing, as you have been throughout. Your wonderful work will shine and so will you. Best of luck in these days before (this is the hard part)… then go *enjoy* it.


    • April 3, 2018

      Thanks so much Catherine!! And indeed…I kind of have come to think of you as my thesis mentor/inspiration in so many ways so I’m thrilled by our defense proximity! Looking forward to reading your own reflections as it seems (oddly enough) my new fav pastime is reading all things related to the final examination process. : )

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