Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Holy Update Batman!

It's been awhile but it's been a bit crazy here. I've got a boatload of posts to put up. Let me start with the biggie:

Fluffy is vanquished!

Though I was prepared with an arsenal of Holy Hand Grenades of Antioch and an army of killer bunnies willing to protect the magic carrot, Fluffy died with a whimper, not a bang.

Let me back up briefly. Two days before my defense, I was doing a dry run of the presentation with my chair. Hir only suggestions for improvement were to add a few summary slides so that ze wouldn't have to pay attention the whole time. Just as ze was getting ready to leave, ze says that there are some people in the department who think I'm stubborn and willful and might try to put me in my place. Though I am both willful and stubborn, the only person who would attempt such a petty move would be my advisor. Yeah, I got threatened by my advisor two days before my defense because ze's passive-aggressive and petty.

I posted this threat on facebook and asked for suggestions for a response. Some serious, some funny. My personal favorite was from a family friend who suggested creepy late night phone calls full of vague threats. That seemed on par with the transgression and liked the image. No, I didn't do it but it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

The appointed time arrived. I was armored in a business suit and pumps. FYI: patent leather shoes with a broken big toe nail is really unpleasant. Anyway, I looked awesome, there was coffee, and several of my killer bunny army brought food. We discovered years ago that it is much harder for people to be arses if their mouths are full.

The presentation went well. Everyone laughed at the appropriate points. Important people nodded agreeably throughout. People had only those bizarre questions they come up with when they can't think of anything relevant. Folks got hung up on something that was utterly inconsequential but it made for easy questions. Most importantly, my advisor didn't get a chance to be an arse.

And then, that was it. It was done. Some revisions are needed. Papers were signed. The food was cleaned up and taken care of. Friends went out to lunch with me. And...well...that was it. Not with a bang at all. I went home and took a nap. This is apparently a typical ending.

I haven't really recovered from the stress. Some of that is due to going pretty much straight from the defense to a conference where I also gave a paper. And then there was a job interview there. But it hasn't kicked in yet that this whole escapade is over. Really. Seriously. I don't feel a thing. It's a little weird.

But that's why posts haven't been forthcoming. Hopefully soon I'll catch up on this backlog of posts. Here's some teasers for some upcoming ideas:

- Treading Dangerous (Psychological) Waters
- WTF! Where'd that interview come from?!
- Deciding When to Hold 'Em and When to Fold 'Em


recent Ph.D. said...

Congratulations! It feels good for at least a day or two, right? And I'm totally impressed that you had slides. I just talked. A lot. No handouts or fancy stuff. I figured if I talked enough, no one would be able to get in a word fast enough to be an arse. Worked for the most part. Anyway, cheers! Looking forward to the upcoming posts ...

Currer Bell said...

Yes, I agree that the defense was a little anti-climactic.


WTF have I done with my life? said...

Nice one!!

Our process is a litte different, but I can tell you, that the end result is exactly the same. I went to the beach on a day when everyone else was at work or something important and revelled in the sound of... nothing... Nothing at all. (except the wind and the waves) I think I fell asleep too.

Well done you. The hard part is over. :)