I sur-viva-ed!

I promise the title is the last time I’ll use that terrible pun, but I couldn’t resist the easy out for naming this post.

It's real!
It’s real! Taken just before submission.

I had my viva last Friday, which was terrifying before the fact but actually quite nice in the end. (For those not in the UK, the viva voce is the oral defense of the thesis, held in front of an internal and external examiner in Cambridge.) I was really worried about the questions they were going to ask, but it ended up being more like a conversation about the work I had done. I was really grateful for their comments, since I had a few mistakes in the text and it gave me some idea of how people outside of the group would react to the research. In the end, I passed with minor corrections, so come October I’ll officially be a Master of Philosophy!

Rowing hasn’t stopped just because we’re out of term. A lot of grad students are starting as novices this term, so we’ve been having outings on the Cam with half experienced rowers and half novices in the boat. Some people definitely pick it up a bit more quickly than others, but overall I’ve been really impressed with how well the novices have been doing. We rowed in all eights for a bit on Sunday (as opposed to having two or more rowers keeping the boat steady with their oars), and it wasn’t half bad. Maybe next fall I’ll try my hand at sculling on the Charles…

This week is all about tying up loose ends and making the most of my time in the UK before I fly back to the States on Monday. I’m going to Oxford tomorrow for a mini-vacation, which is exciting; hopefully it won’t be too rainy! More on that when I get back. I’ll end with a bit of immature humor, below.

Oh, England.
Scaffolding in front of the University Senate House. Oh, England.
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