Ubiquitous Yearly Review
I thought that since I am off on a wee break, I thought the best thing to post would be one of those look back at the year that's been thing with a look ahead to the year to come.
So I guess the most significant thing of this last year has been that I finished the PhD. Looking back, I'm sure the last four years could have gone far more efficiently than they did but that's the gift of hindsight. There's so many things I could say to people just starting their PhD, things that I've learnt that would really help get the thing done. I might blog some of them sometime, but really, if anyone had tried to teach me these lesson I'm not sure it would have made any difference. Everyone finds their own path.
Needless to say I've worked harder this year than ever before. By the end, it was every day, every night, every weekend. It's tough on you and on loved ones. You just have to grin and bear it because finishing is such a satisfying release. I wish everyone doing a PhD the best of luck, particularly my office mate Continuity Boy who is due to submit real soon.
But back to me. In September I submitted my thesis and it really did feel good. The postgraduate office was at the furthest end of the edge of town campus of the university and when I came out it was raining. But I didn't care. I had my I-pod with me and an amazingly weird feeling of relief and accomplishment. Not only was it a great achievement but it gave me time back to spend with my wife.
Getting my viva/defence sorted for December was pretty good and I must admit to looking forward to the grilling. I gave a talk before hand that was well received, attended by more people than I had expected. My viva the next day was alarmingly short. I was prepared for a three hour marathon, but when they opened by telling me they had already decided I had passed, I knew it would go well. It was a very enjoyable conversation, they both clearly enjoyed the thesis. It was a great complement. Upon returning after their conference, they welcomed me back by simply shaking my hand and congratulating me on becoming Doctor Nowson. It was a very proud moment in my life. It still hasn't really sunk in. I passed.
Obviously there are still some things to iron out but I'm going to save that for next time. I've actually written more here than I thought I was going to, so I shall save my look at what's coming up for another day.
Hope everyone is having a good holiday season.