Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm Dr B now!!!!!!!!!!!!

I passed my PhD viva with minor corrections the other day, so now I'm a Dr! It's quite funny really after all that time, effort and angst! My brother couldn't stop chortling on the phone and I've been getting cards addressed to Dr too, not sure what the postman thought about my sister-in-law's congratulations to Dr Death though!

It went alright, nice examiners who all knew each other already, they really liked my work and asked okayish questions. It lasted an hour and a half, then they spent ages, maybe an hour deliberating about the results before they called us back in to tell me I'd passed. We were wondering if they'd popped out for afternoon tea or something as it took so long. They asked if they could see the workshops as they seemed to find the whole art school thing very interesting, so one of the staff gave us a quick tour. And they liked the domed college foyer where your voice echoes in a really strange way if you stand in one particular spot.

Then my nice colleagues took me to the pub for a well earned drink. So that's nearly that, I suppose and I can move on to something else. Whaaaaheyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

One down, one to go!

My mock viva went quite well on Friday, it seems. It lasted about 2 hours, had some rather difficult questions, but my supervisors said I addressed them well. I found I had a tendency to forget what I was saying when I started answering odd questions, especially after a long intro to the question, so my mind went blank. I'll have to try to write down keywords while they're speaking to stop me rambling inanely in my replies.

To be honest, I was a bit gobsmacked by the good feedback I got, both supervisors were so enthusiastic about my work that I was a bit taken aback. Both said it had been useful to have a break from it and both hadn't touched it for months, so came to it fresh. Apparently it's really good, interesting, enjoyable to read, well written and I should be proud of it. And it would make a great book. And they loved my idea about a curatorial project and suggested one of the major London museums, which I had in mind anyway, though I didn't want to seem too big for my boots by suggesting it myself before I've actually got the whole thing wrapped up. Blimey!!!! :-)

So there we go, one exam done and the real thing next week. It's done my confidence a lot of good, so now I can just get on with revising as I have been and stop agonising quite as much. I'm not so naive that I think the viva's going to go as smoothly as the mock, I think it's wrong to take anything for granted, but it's been a really useful experience. I'm so lucky I've got good supervisors, it makes a hell of a difference.

So... I'll see what happens on Thursday.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Trying out Twitter

I just wondered what this Twitter thing is all about, so I'll be trying it out for a little while and see how it goes. More online trivia... great.... The whole blog needs a rethink anyway at some point and I'm still dithering over the pros and cons of anonymity.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I've been revising for my PhD exams (viva next week, mock viva this week) so am not around much on the blogging front, which will continue for a bit.

It's a bit nerve wracking, as the stakes are indeed quite high. I would hate to mess up all my work in the final stages by not being prepared enough, which I don't feel I am at the moment... I was told that you could swing the final decision on your thesis either way in the viva, which puts more pressure on you to perform well on the day. Not to over-exaggerate, but I really don't like this feeling of impending doom. It's a rather nasty final countdown at this point. It's like being on the academic equivalent of death row, though obviously the examiners won't finish me off physically on the day. It's the most horrible stressful thing I've actually chosen to do in my life. How the hell do I keep so much work and knowledge in my head on the day, under all that stress...???

Oh well, thank goodness for perky pop songs and Elvis in luridly technicoloured, Hollywood hip-swivelling mode. There are marginally better quality videos of this song, but this one crops out more of the stage and the prancing women. I'm afraid it's the most upbeat thing I could think of in my ongoing viva hell, with it's irresistible finger-snappin', foot-tappin' bongo beat.