Dissertation Defense

S L Forsburg forsburg at nospamsalk.edu
Tue Feb 25 06:59:55 EST 1997


JPotter wrote:
> 
> Hi to all,
> 
> I am a mere 5 weeks away from my Ph.D. defense and am quite nervous about
> the entire thing!  I was wondering if others who have gone through this
> would share their experiences....was it as bad as you thought it would
> be?  

Not at all--almost a let down, given the state of my nerves. 

> All of a sudden, my data just doesn't look as good as it did a month
> ago!  Is this common? 

Absolutely!  The important thing is to remember that YOU know more
about what you are talking about than anyone else in the room.  Don't
let your natural nerves get in the way of what you really know.  Your
data are fine.  The examiners may have  interesting questions, or ways
of seeing
that you hadn't thought of, but that's fine.  Remember,
they are NOT trying to flunk you.  Give yourself time to answer 
questions, don't just leap in.  Let yourself think.  If you get
yourself tangled up, look for a lifeline--the committee WILL toss
you one, and help you out of your tangle.  

This is a professional discussion, NOT an adversarial trial, regardless
of what your emotions are telling you right now  :-).   You are being
 welcomed to the community of scholars.  Be secure in what
you've accomplished, which is a lot!  You wouldnt be defending if
you werent ready and capable to do it.  Remember that you are the
expert in the room, and they are expecting to learn something.
All you need to do is teach them.

GOOD LUCK and congratulations!!!!

-- susan


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S L Forsburg          forsburg at salk.edu
The Salk Institute    http://flosun.salk.edu/~forsburg
La Jolla, CA



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