Viva today

Today I find out whether I get a PhD. I’ve been strangely not-nervous about it, although I’ve woken up pretty early this morning. It’s difficult to `revise’ since most of what we’ll be talking about is what I wrote. I’ve been trying to refresh my memory of papers I cited (especially those of my examiners…) and of what I wrote, but it’s been so boring I haven’t done much. Let’s hope I don’t regret it later.

I’m fairly hopeful about passing – I would hope my supervisors would not have let me submit if it wasn’t going to pass, but I see the viva as being both a rite of passage everyone has to go through (i.e. a horrible experience that my examiners had to go through, so they want to inflict it on me, and a negotiation process about how many corrections I need to do.

I’m not worried about having a hard time today: I tend to stand up reasonably well under face-to-face pressure like this, and I hope I can robustly defend points of which I am confident, and give way in places where I should refine my thinking. I’m more worried about the corrections. I just can’t imagine getting back into writing my thesis – I’ve left it so far behind my thinking, I’m so sick of it, that the idea of writing another chapter or two is horrific. It was bad enough the first time.

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