defense report

So, for those of you who want to know: the dissertation defense was great. I was nervous, of course, but I have a lovely committee, all of whom came in and said insightful things about my project–probed the holes in the argument, suggested areas that need development or refinement, and offered brilliant contextual thoughts. It was a helpful and rich discussion and–despite my nerves–I enjoyed every minute of it.  I felt totally inarticulate, in the moment, but even so, the conversation was a great thing. It’s a one-of-a-kind event (when else will I have a group of warm, intelligent scholars gathered in one room to discuss MY work?).

It is an odd procedure, in some ways–but it caps off the Ph.D. process nicely. And it has been a process. I’ve been working on this degree since 2004. My dissertation has changed and evolved over time. Even though there are always things to fix–and I’ve got a list of them!–I am pleased with the final product and I think it has potential to be a book (which is the end goal). I’ve worked on this dissertation during my office hours, in the mornings before the rest of the family got up, while I was nursing a baby, in the car on the way to visit family, etc., etc., etc. It’s amazing to me that it’s finished.

After the defense, Conor and the kids picked me up and handed me a gin and tonic and we drank a toast there in the parking lot (the kids did NOT get gin and tonic). And we went out to dinner and I tried to absorb the idea that I am done. Done.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tara McClelland on May 4, 2011 at 10:16 pm



  2. Posted by Vicki Kummer on May 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Congrats….enjoyed following your progress…what is the next project?


  3. Posted by Grandma Cal on May 6, 2011 at 3:08 am

    What a process it has been just to watch you work on this for so long. Can’t even imagine being the one doing the work. Totally thrilled for you that you have accomplished what you desired to do from the very beginning. What an achievement! Can’t wait to see you put on that fancy robe and strut your stuff at graduation. I’ll take my tissues with me:)
    Love, MOM


  4. Posted by sandy on May 7, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Congratulations! What an adventure this has been for you! We’re simply amazed at all you have accomplished, Dr H. Looking forward to reading your book.


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