Monday, November 20, 2006

That's Dr. ScienceGeek to you!

Yay!!!! The defense is done!!! I passed!!!

Now for the details...
The day before my defense I had a bit of a breakdown. I went to the University to practice my talk one last time and pick up the projector I would need for the next day. I ended up getting the crappiest projector and my images looked awful. I had a bit of a breakdown due to my images not showing up right and how this was supposed to be my time to shine yet my presentation looked like crap. The next morning I got to the University bright and early and tracked down a much better projector. Things were much better after that. Although I was dead tired because I had the crappiest sleep ever.

The presentation went quite well. I was a bit nervous but not too bad. I probably would have been less nervous had I not found out two minutes before my presentation that the person I would be having an interview for a post doc position the following week was coming to my talk.

After the presentation a fellow grad student friend of mine comes up and says, "Man you've done a lot of work since I last talked to you about your project". That was nice to hear since this particular grad student is a workaholic who makes every other grad student look bad. Of course I got all the "nice talk", "congrats", "good luck" comments as well.

On to the defense...
That part I wasn't nervous about at all. I was quite nervous a few days before but the projector freakout made me worry less about the defense and more about my talk. Plus, I enjoy sitting down with a bunch of scientists and talking the talk. It also helped that the first few comments out of my examiners mouths were, "I really enjoyed your thesis", "Your thesis is very well written", "Your thesis is very well organized". I knew after those comments that the actual defense was more of a formality than anything. My external examiner (who conference called it) was probably the toughest examiner. She is closest to my field so that was expected. Although one of her first questions was quite difficult but I found it sort of a useless question. She was picking on some term I used in one sentence in my thesis. Oh well. Overall there weren't any really tough questions in my defense. There were some I didn't know the answer to or drew a blank but those questions were more broad science questions than thesis related questions. Such as, how do you make a transgenic animal that has a missense mutation in a gene. I totally blanked. I also enjoyed when they put my supervisor on the spot by asking him a question. I'm not sure how that happened but I enjoyed watching him squirm for once. I know, I'm mean. Based on Sheepish's examiner archetypes I would say I had an examining committee consisting of an Insider, an Outsider, a Freethinker, and an Examiner. It was a pretty good combination, I thought.

Then onto the deliberation, of course. That didn't last too long thankfully. When they called me back in the Chair of my defense gave me a thumbs up so I knew it was all good. In hindsight, I actually enjoyed the defense. Besides the external and internal/external, these are researchers that have been with me since almost the beginning, some even before the beginning. It was nice to have them congratulate me. They seemed to be beaming too. I suppose it is a happy time for them as well to see you succeed.

After the defense I went out for lunch with my supervisor and then home for a nap before the celebratory dinner. I was so tired. I never got that nap though. I was visiting with my family who came for my defense and then I got a call and got offered a position that I interviewed for a while back. After that I was too excited to sleep. A PhD and a job all in one day! It was a huge stress relief. I did still go for the post-doc interview today though. I'll post more on that later. It's getting late, I'm tired, and my show is on soon. Oh the joys of being done the defense, now I can watch all the TV shows I've been putting off or feeling guilty when I do watch them.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!

ScienceWoman said...

Congratulations! A defense and a job offer in one day is quite an accomplishment!

nomansaleh said...

A very informative article, today students find very difficulties writing their dissertations, there are many sites which help students in such issues, i come across one such site, i would like to share it with your readers, i highly recommend this site, they have expert writers http://writing-dissertation.org

noman saleh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
noman saleh said...

A very informative article, today students find very difficulties writing their dissertations, there are many sites which help students in such issues, i come across one such site, i would like to share it with your readers, i highly recommend this site, they have expert writers.
"http://writing-dissertation.org/