Sunday, September 14, 2008
Defending the Thesis
Well, Ken and I are now "Dr. and Mrs."
Okay, not totally official yet -- he still has to submit the thesis to the grad school, and the university awards degrees only in December and June. But traditionally, defending your dissertation marks the end of a very long process, a last great hurdle. And that is what Ken did on Friday.
It was a two hour long talk of 170 or so Power Point slides, every one soaked in blood, sweat, and tears. (And don't think I'm being figurative about the blood, either. Lab injuries happen all the time.) It was a strangely bittersweet two hours. Even though I'd seen him rehearse the talk a half dozen times, seeing all of those figures and pictures, reliving the past few years in front of an audience, was moving in a way that I didn't expect. A lot of what he, and our lab, had done seems much more successful in retrospect than it did at the time. This stuff is hard -- our advisor even gave a little speech about how hard, by way of tribute. And it looks pretty damn impressive, all piled up together like that.
I can't announce anything yet about the "what next" part, except that it won't be the unemployment line. There are a couple of possibilities, and we should know within the next week or two which one it is.
To celebrate, we bought some fancy beer for the weekend: