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“I have handed in xxx” …

I handed in my thesis on Monday. It was a crazy day! For nights on end I had dreamed of my thesis, and write up, and things that go wrong with binding and printing. On the day of hand-in I left work at lunchtime, only planning to drop the print-out off for binding at the print shop and then go to an afternoon seminar. When I asked the printer: “What is the quickest you can bind it?” He answered not the expected ‘overnight’ but: “2 hours”

I gave him puppy eyes and said: “Oh no, I have a seminar in one hour in city center” ***sigh*** Then he said: “Go! Get a coffee, half an hour.” Whoopie. So I managed to buy an underground multi-journey ticket, get a hot chocolate, call granny for reassurance, and run back to the printers. Wonderfully bound, clean and neat, I picked up the both tomes that are the final excerpt of 4 years of labour, and went back to the underground—only to realize that I have lost my ticket! About to cry over the loss of a substantial amount of money I told the sales assistant about my bad luck, she remembered me, voided the earlier ticket and gave me a new one! How nice is this?!

Sitting in the underground my inner stress is piling up, doubts keep gnawing in the back of my head. What if I have forgotten something, overlooked some formatting mistakes, should I have written this or that, inserted this reference or another et cetera et infinitum. Nervously I counted the stops the underground made, anxiously glancing at my telephone for the time.

When I finally made it to campus there was a cue on the student service desk, 5 minutes to go to my seminar, one student in front of me, and the administrator cannot find his papers. I finally break down and ask her if I can ring for another administrator because my seminar was now only 4 minutes away. The administrator as well as the troubled student were nice and let me jump the cue—and then it was suddenly over. It took all of 2 minutes for the administrator to sign the paper, take down my student ID, make a copy and then she carried my dissertation away, having hardly even exchanged a glance with me.

That was probably the biggest anti-climax I have experienced in my life, grateful to be able to go to the seminar I hurried to another building on campus and up the stairs, not even realizing yet, what just had happened. Once I settled in waves of nausea alternated with spills of exhilaration. For the next day I was walking with a cotton head, all fuzzy and happy—until my supervisors told me the mock viva is going to be next week—but this is going to be another post!

Categories: Teaching

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Nathalie Sheridan

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