Graduate Defense in … 3 hours

It’s incredible to think that after so many years of hard work, countless time spent writing and revising, and so many hours secluded from the world with my only my reading list books…I will finally walk into my graduate defense to complete what I’ve been waiting so long to do.

I have always been grateful that I found this BA/MA program (allowing me to finish a BA and MA in only 5 years instead of 6), and I’ve also been very frustrated with some of the unforeseen complications that came with it. I’ve participated in two graduation ceremonies and have yet to receive a single degree (the result of both graduation dates being pushed back to allow for credits to double count). As a result, there were definitely moments when the sad reality of constant delayed gratification (a staple of graduate life) seemed like too much–that I just wanted to take my BA and leave. I’m so glad I didn’t.

That moment of gratification is finally here. At the end of my defense, I’ll either get a PASS or FAIL and finally feel some sort of closure. I am so excited for that feeling, I can hardly put it into words.

The weird thing is that even with only a few hours to go, I’m not very nervous. I read my 50 books and can probably recite my thesis from memory at this point. I’ve quizzed myself and had plenty of practice defenses in the shower. There just isn’t much more I can do. In a way, it seem anti-climactic.

My defense is a two hour oral exam. The first hour will be focused on my thesis–choices I’ve made, things I would do differently, things that worked or didn’t work, etc. And then in the second hour the exam transitions to a discussion about my reading list–how it related to my thesis, what I found helpful, what I liked, didn’t like, etc.

A friend of mine defended (and passed!) yesterday and said the defense was just a really chill conversation–and actually, kinda fun!

I know I am eager to discuss all the books I’ve spent so much time reading, and who doesn’t want to talk about their own work in depth with brilliant professors who have read and reviewed it intensely?

Maybe I should be more nervous. Actually, I’m nervous that I’m not nervous–like something is wrong. But I’m excited. It’s only a few hours away now….and then I am free to read any book I want and write and story that catches my fancy. Oh sweet freedom, you are in my sights!

(and since I won’t be nose-deep in books 24/7 anymore, I’ll actually have time to post again! woohoo!)


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