Category Archives: PhD VIVA

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, my PhD Viva (oral exam) took place. I’m trying to recall how the day went, but can’t really remember much at all. All I remember is counting down to it via my blog, and being in a strange mental place (somewhat detached, excited, fully pressurised, elated, a vacuum), and going to Morrisons on the way back to buy some smoked Bavarian cheese.

Roundabout the same time, my good friend A. split up with his missus (actually it was a few weeks after – just after the New Year I think) and, meeting up with him yesterday, here’s some real, solid proof how quickly life can change and turn its tables:

A. one year ago (roughly):

  • quite fat (well, big, overweight, but tall. Fat face though 😛 )
  • just about to be left by his missus of over 2 years
  • stuck in a hateful, despicable, exploitative job (working for Lidl 😐 )
  • stuck in a flat he was unlikely to afford much longer / on his own

A. now (roughly):

  • quite skinny (thin bordering on junkie)
  • in a happy, successful relationship since roughly August
  • in a great job with prospects, about to be promoted
  • living with his new missus and just bought a house

Thus, what initially looked like a devastating blow, able to fuck up his life and his dreams (missus leaving him), has turned out to be just the thing he needed to move his life on to the next level. A bit like a kick-start, or a punch in the face, that leaves you more beautiful after.

Lessons to be learned:

  • bad things aren’t really essentially bad – they can become something really positive, given time
  • do not fear devastation
  • do not kill yourself

Date for Final Submission

I’m trying out this Firefoxy plugin called Performancing. With it, you can manage your blogs (hopefully) more easily. I’m going to use this tool over the next few days to see whether it’s any good/useful for my blogging.

My first impresson is that it feels crap having to use a different interface to what I’m used to. It’s also annoying that you can’t preview it – I like previewing my pages before publishing them as I need to see what it looks like in context.

Anyhow, the deadline for submitting my revised thesis is 2nd March, 2007. I.e. this whole thing and blog purpose is going to drag on for a bit longer 😛 – I was going to change it, new pic and new heading, in the new year. I may still do it but the idea was to change once it’s ALL over. I guess I’ll have to wait until March.

The other thing about this Performancing tool is that it seems I can’t access and modify my pages. It only seems to let me do the posts. Hm… maybe the idea is to have a quick tool for posting, and not for the tool to replace the WordPress editor. I’m sure it’ll all become a bit clearer once I’ve used it for a week or so.

What I’m going to do right now is take a screenshot of this and include it in the post using Performancing.

Done. I dunno whether or not I can get used to it 😐

/me tries inserting picture

well the pic hasn’t worked – I’d need to set up some ftp or other settings and upload it first. Sucky. I’m going to publish it now, then go to my WP interface, adn do it from there. Great 😐 |||||||||


VIVA Result

It all went exceptionally well – better than the mock Viva in fact! The examiners have urged me to publish some of my stuff as they think it’s highly original and very good 🙂
The result is what I hoped: Pass (subject to minor amendments).

the candidate be awarded the degree subject to minor amendments, to be completed within two months

The other great thing was that they told me that I had passed as soon as I walked in (i.e. before the Viva had even started!). Apparently, they don’t normally do that – only in cases where they are extremely confident and where the work is exceptionally good.

Overall, they encouraged me to continue with my academic work and to seek publications as a next step. I don’t really know 100% how I feel about that but, once I’ve had a break from it all, I might be tempted 🙂

The next steps now are to do sweet f*** all for the rest of the year and then start on the amendments in early January.

/me drives home to do sweet f*** all




VIVA Countdown – 01 day to go

Today’s a funny day. First, my BF chats to me on IM, asking how I’m feeling etc. given that (he thought that) my exam is today. I’ve told him the correct date about a million times, but he’s really out of the loop with regard to my research and always has been. That’s a good thing though – I prefer to do it alone and solipsism is my preferred mode of being in general.

Anyhow, I had planned to go over some of the points my supervisors raised in the mock Viva last Thursday but just when I was about to start I realised I didn’t want to do it any more. I’m full to the brim. Nothing else fits in now. I’ve had enough.

I also didn’t do anything yesterday apart from some ‘conservative’-type preparations (making sure I don’t get ill on the last day). So, I’m totally ready. Whatever is thrown at me I can deal with. I feel impatient now more than anything else; I want it over and done with. I feel strangely calm like I’m some Buddhist monk or something 🙂

edit: I meant to post this: You are the person of the year  (Hype, anyone?) 😐