Yay – congratulations! (now let’s never do that again)

14 11 2015

It was Jamie‘s PhD defence on Thursday. Fantastic having him here from Stanford, and we had a great examining committee set up: me and Lee from his advisory committee, Trevor DeVries as the chair, Andrew McAdam as the ‘internal external’, and Sergio Pellis, a if not THE world expert on play, as the ‘real’ external.

However, the whole thing was not quite as much fun as I was expecting. First of all the video conferencing system stopped working about a minute after we started. I’ve had this crap out on me twice before, in Jeanette’s defence and Walter’s QEs — both times a miserable experience — but everyone swore blind all the problems were now fixed.

After half an hour of trying to fix it (the room full of a trapped, restless audience, pen-twiddling, impotent examiners and a restlessly pacing Jamie), we gave up and used Kate Shovellor‘s iPad (thankyou Kate!) and Skype (see below). This worked a treat, and Jamie started. His talk went really well. But he then lost his voice (he had a sore throat), and at one point also his mind (Sergio’s first killer questions left him struggling for answers: something I had never seen before, in seven years of working with Jamie). At this point if frogs had rained from the ceiling I would not have been surprised.

Luckily it picked up from there, and the final unanimous conclusions were (of course) a pass, and also that his thesis made a truly major contribution to the literature on play. Now tonight, we party!

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