A VIVA Workshop

I'm actually getting rather close to the end of my PhD, if you can believe it (I have a hard time believing it)! So, it was time to take the VIVA workshop with tips and information about defending my thesis (a PhD thesis is called a dissertation in the US). I've been meeting with my supervisors every Thursday for several weeks now, going over edits of about twenty to thirty pages each go-round, which I then complete over the weekends. The plan is to submit my completed thesis in late November if all goes well. (One of my supervisors got Covid, so things like that might come into play. He's on the mend, thank goodness!)
     Come time, not only will I submit my 90,000 word thesis and the craft-portion of my thesis, a 90,000 word novel, but my printed versions will go off to three examiners (one internal to the University of Glasgow and two external examiners). They'll get two to three months to read through and make notes. Those examiners will then quiz me for several hours in what is called the VIVA. This is where you verbally defend your thesis, out loud, in front of people - no pressure. (This would usually happen in person, but will be online because of Covid.) Which brings me back to the workshop...
Two friends who I hadn't seen in ages were in attendance, which was a treat. (Hi Laurie and Saskia!) And I got to play the role of a mock-examiner, learning about two more fascinating theses in the process. What a smart group of people from all over the world. We talked about concerns (online tech was a big one), deadlines, what to expect, you name it. We all learned a ton and I'm so glad I was able to attend! (With teaching full-time, there was no guarantee.)
     So, am I ready? Hm. Let's just say I have a better idea of what to expect. I'm not sure I'll ever truly be ready! But I think that was my biggest take-away. There is no such thing as a perfect thesis, so embrace what you've accomplished and just run with it!

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