Thursday, July 05, 2012

On completing my Ph.D.

Dissertation Defense
I headed to California the day after I turned 30, and the day after that, I had my dissertation defense. I'd spoken with my advisor about how to prepare for it, but I was still anxious and really excited to just complete it. Well, the whole thing was very pleasant: everyone on the committee was very kind and supportive. The feedback was all productive and given in the spirit of moving the project forward. Phew! It felt really fantastic to be finished. After the main defense, I was sent out of the room for a little bit while they deliberated, and when they invited me to come back in, they said "We're ready for you, Dr." Oh golly, it sounded great! Shortly after the defense, I drew a picture of it, so that I'd remember it as a momentous occasion in my life. After that, I had several days to fix my margins, check for type-os (though I'm sure I missed a lot), and submit all the paperwork. Then huzzah! How exciting, to be a doctor. During my trip, I had plenty of down time to hang out with cronies, and I got into the habit of asking Ethan for drawing challenges, one of which was to draw myself as Dr. Octopus from Spider-Man. Get it? Doc Ock, Doc Bak. I think it came out pretty well.
With all the paperwork and fussing, completing my Ph.D. didn't feel too ceremonious, so I was glad I elected to stay for graduation (initially I'd been sort of on the fence about it). I sat there in the hot sun, baking in my fancy robe, reflecting on all the hard work I'd put in, and imagining the possibilities for the future. Then I strode across the stage, got my fancy hood, snapped a picture with the chancellor, and emerged, ready for the next adventure.


Jill said...

Dr. Bak! This is a fantastic achievement Meredith. I'm so incredibly proud of you. So wish I could have been there to see you graduate.

Love the drawings.

Em said...

So excited and proud of you... and maybe a little envious. You'll be great.

Ashley said...

Awesomeness. That is such a feat.

Now what's next?

la_sale_bete said...

Hooray! Thanks, everyone.

Emilie said...

You're amazing Meredith Bak.