I passed my viva (PhD defense) yesterday!! I was questioned for about 2.5 hours before they asked me to leave the room so they could make their decision. It wasn’t a bad experience, but it was quite tough. Fortunately I got away with minor corrections 🙂 I have 3 months to finish them, but I estimate it’s about a month of fulltime work, so that’s not so bad. This is quite a normal outcome here in the UK, but it does make it a bit of an anticlimax. You come out feeling quite criticised and overwhelmed by how much work you still have to do. It took a while before I was in a festive mood, but in the end I realised that I have a clear list with 16 issues (which are all quite reasonable). Once I have addressed all these issues, I email my examinors and they will check if they approve of the corrections, and that’s IT – then I just have to print and bind it. Doesn’t sound that bad, does it? 🙂
In the evening we went for drinks and a meal. It was Nem’s birthday as well, and another PhD student had just submitted, so we had plenty of reasons to celebrate! I really enjoyed the evening 🙂 Here’s a photo of me with Karel (on the left) and with birthday girl Nem (on the right).
I had a great time being back at my old university, and seeing my friends here. I lived in Norwich for over 3 years and have so many good memories 🙂 I went for a last walk around the lake and took this photo of the “ziggurat” student accommodation.
I’m flying back to Amsterdam tomorrow and will spend another 2 weeks in the Netherlands.
I would like to thank everybody for their support before (and after) my viva! I got so many emails, text messages, phone calls, blog comments, etc etc, from all over the world (seriously ranging from Brazil and New Zealand to the Arctic… wow!), and it was wonderful to know how many people were thinking of me and wishing me luck 🙂 it means a lot to me!