Maria’s big day

26 08 2014

Maria‘s defence was today! Things got off to an alarming start, with “internal external” examiner Lee Niel calling in sick this morning. Would we have to postpone? (Then what about Maria’s student visa, due to expire in 6 days? And next semester’s fees? And the sheer agony of getting all psyched up for nothing, only to have to go through it all over again?). But the Office of Graduate Studies was great, and suggested that chair Jim Atkinson ask Lee’s questions. After this scare, the fact that no IT guys could be found all morning (and that Acqua, where M was booked to get her hair done, simply did not open today) barely registered as stressors.

Things kicked off at 1pm. Maria’s talk went down well, and then the examiners got to work. Ron Swaisgood was our “external external”, Skyping in his terrific questions from San Diego, while Elena and I were the advisory committee member examiners. Maria handled the questions pretty much perfectly  — and at some point, as so often happens in defences, suddenly realized she was enjoying herself. The top picture shows us 3 hours later, at the very end of the defence; then below that, a few of the big gang of us who went out to the Delta later (including my sister Katy, at the far right, visiting from the UK), and the gummy bears Maria very sweetly (pun intended) treated her whole audience to; and then Maria celebrating her congratulations presents (all signed by Nigel Warburton; we’re giving $300 to Philosophy Bites in her name too) with a delicious cocktail … (Thanks to Heather and Alexandra for the pictures)

Maria's defence 2

M with gifts