A Defense

Well nothing much exciting happened for a while there. I went indoor climbing once. There were five of us which made for an interesting journey as the climbing wall we went to is about an hours drive away and I was sat in the back both ways. Really that appears to have been the most exciting thing I did for a couple of weeks.

One of the PhD students in my lab defended his thesis on the last day in January or to put it another way the last possible day he could without having to pay for an extra term’s tuition. He even managed to get all the paperwork etc done as well, although I believe it was a close run thing. He was not happy at having to answer the same question for three different organisations finishing surveys and all of which had to be completed before he was officially done. A defense serves the same purpose as a viva back home although the format is slightly different. It normally consists of an hours presentation followed by about an hours worth of questions by their committee. Lucky gits I’d have much preferred that to the three and a half hours of questions I get. Although, bizarrely, their supervisor sits on the committee and helps decide whether they get a PhD or not which I find a little odd given the potential conflict of interest. I doubt I’d have liked that aspect so much given the sometimes rocky relationship I had with mine.

Anyway after his defense we all went all for food and then back to one of the professor’s houses. Needless to say things all got a bit drunken and I didn’t leave to the early hours. I then went into uni as I hadn’t expected to not go back to the office between his presentation and drinks and wanted to pick up my laptop as I had plans to call my parents the next morning. Oddly I bumped into my equally drunk boss in the office which was a bit off a shock to both of us as I don’t think even of his make a habit of being in the office in the small hours.

It occurs to me that I’ve not really said much about the students Mark has and who are also in his office. He had two PhD students who he is co-supervising with someone in herpatology. Jeet is the guy who’s just defended and appears to have gone from collecting animals in the field to spending all day in front of a computer. Why is quite beyond me. He also quite likes cat. That may be an understatement. If there was one thing several different people told me about Jeet it was that he likes cats. He also has his own website. The other student in my lab is Jamie, the one who had the “puppy” party and who I’m sure will get mentioned again as I don’t believe he will be leaving that soon.

And before anyone (Colin?) moans about me using the American spelling of defence I decided that as it was an American event American spelling made sense.

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