Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Week After

If you haven't heard by now, I successfully defended my thesis on the 16th. This past week (and weekend) has been spent lazing about, reading books, thinking about putting the finishing touches on my final copies, and visiting with good friends.

The defense itself was, well, intense. I had prepared a twenty-minute formal presentation, only to be told the morning of that I needed to prepare to speak "no more than fifteen minutes". After the panic subsided, I figured I'd just go with what I'd prepared. When the defense began, my adviser introduced me and set an informal tone to the defense, so I ended up discarding my notes and just talking. And I think it went better than if I had been more formal.

Then came the questions. Oh, the questions! For about 40 minutes, they grilled me. I didn't have time to even be nervous about anything, though my adviser had to bail me out of one tight spot. Toward the end, the defense became a discussion on the writing and educational needs of engineering students from all who were present (I had three guests), which I thought was a great way to conclude. After receiving an "you're okay" gesture from my adviser, I stepped into the hall for a moment , chatting with S, an engineering professor. Then my committee called me back in and congratulated me. I was now a Master.

I thought I would feel some great sense of relief, but I was a little dazed after the intensity of the defense, and I still can't quite believe it's all done. But it is, and I felt pretty good. I learned a lot about large research projects, which should serve me well in my PhD program.

I've begun reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (great recommendation, Donna!) and I read Coraline on the way home from Little Rock. Coraline was good, and although the movie differs quite a bit, the film's changes enhance the story on that level. I enjoyed both for their individual merits, and would recommend them for children (probably seven or older, though).

I've also been cleaning and cooking, participating in the Kitchn Cure Challenge, and doing lots of yoga. I missed taking care of all the little household things like cleaning and cooking and keepting the house tidy. I'm sure I'll get tired of not working and schooling all at the same time, but it won't be any time soon!

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