In the comments on my last post, Nicole asked about my defense story. This is my lack-of-defense story. We didn’t have one. It was all a little anticlimactic (especially compared with exams–3 days written, a 3 hour oral, sent out of the room and then called back in to hear the outcome.)
English doesn’t have one and one other department, I think history, doesn’t have one. I don’t know if I wish we did or not. This was decidedly anti-climactic. Over a month ago, my committee chair signed me off. About a week later, my second committee member signed me off. Then I waited. And waited. I filled out all the paperwork for the university, electronically sent in a dissertation copy for format approval, did the surveys, and waited. And I got an email from the graduate administrative person as the professor’s deadline approached that it was really a soft deadline and it wouldn’t be met. So I had everything sitting on my table ready to go as I waited. Finally, on Tuesday about 5:15 with Friday the final deadline for posting Fall 2010, I received an email from the graduate administrator saying that I had the final signature. It was too late to take all the paperwork over, so I told Computerguy, but waited to tell anyone else until everything was official. The next day I went to campus. Thanks to construction on the freeway, I was a couple minutes too late to catch the administrator before the big holiday 2-hour lunch. So I went shopping, had lunch, basically killed time until I could go back over there. I picked up the signature form and walked my paperwork over to the graduate division where they went over it and printed a “certificate of completion” while I waited. (The diploma will be ready in 5 months or so.) They congratulated me and I walked out, sat down on a chair in the lobby, tried to absorb that this had finally happened, and then started texting, emailing, calling, and facebooking. And I think that started making it real.
As far as my name goes (and yes, I know it can be seen in the picture), I let inertia win. I never took the time to change it at the university. I’m kind of annoyed and kind of okay with that. Most of the reasons I chose what I did when I got married still apply. And I still really like that I have the initials I’ve always had. If it bothers me that the Dr. goes with my husband’s family name, it also goes with my children’s name and I need to just get over myself.
So that’s my story. It’s a little low-key, but I will be walking in June and I will be hooded by my committee chair and I will have a party then. Meanwhile, I’ll have some quiet celebrations and just enjoy having done this thing.
Edited to correct my weekdays.