I did it!!!! yipeeeeee (My Phd Viva story)

posted
29-Sep-09, 13:21
by Lara
Avatar for Lara
posted about 10 years ago
======= Date Modified 29 32 2009 13:32:36 =======
======= Date Modified 29 30 2009 13:30:55 =======
======= Date Modified 29 24 2009 13:24:58 =======
I finally have my very own "I passed my Phd Viva!!!" Thread!! yipeeeeeeeeeee!!!! :-) :-) :-) :-)

I can now say officially, I have passed my Phd :-) wow sounds so weird and alien coming from me! I thought I would never see the day, that I would be able to say that. Still feels very surreal and I still feel like it's a dream.

Ever since I joined this forum, I have looked up in admiration for all those before me that have conquered their vivas and thought to myself. *sigh* I wish one day that will be me :-)
--
Before I describe abit about my viva. I want to thank each and every single member of this forum, you all have been such an inspiration to me, I absolutely could not have done it without the support of all you wonderful people!!! This forum completely saved me!

A huge thank you goes to :
Anthropologa, Miss Spacey, Rubyw, Armendaf, Tractorgirl. You guys went above and beyond the call of duty!!! I am extremely grateful for all the support and encouragement you all gave me, and especially last year, when we were all in the battle together! :-s

A very special thank you to the following people that have supported me, with words of encouragement and support:

K, Jojo, Kaymoy, Alpacalover, walminskipeas, Leopardi, HazyJane, bulbs, Bilbobaggins (you're so inspirational!), emmie, All the members of the nocturnals thread!!! especially the founder of the midnight train!! sylvester, PhdBug, Rosy, Cakegirl, olivia, liminalplace, keep_calm, Pineapple, Aloha, juno, pamw, badhaircut, chrisrolinski, eatingelephants, eska, pamplemousse. squiggles

I'm sorry if i've left anyone out! :$, I will add you as and when I remember!!

Thanks to the mod people on this forum!
----
Before I describe my viva experience, I want to say this, that you all have the capability and the power within to do this!! Believe me, no one and I mean no one, doubted themselves more than I did. Everyday is really more important than how much you do on a specific day, just keep coming back each and every single day to your Phd and that is what will get you through.
I have this stuck on a post it note, a quote from a personal trainer (jillian Michaels)

FEEL THE FEAR - DO IT ANYWAY!!!

And now I can honestly say it was all worth it, because it is really the best feeling in the world, and nothing will ever come close! It was the happiest moment of my life. :-)
posted
29-Sep-09, 13:28
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 10 years ago
Many congratulations Lara!! That's wonderful news :-) I hope the viva went well - looking forward to hearing all about it! Any celebrations planned?? 8-)
posted
29-Sep-09, 13:31
by Lara
Avatar for Lara
posted about 10 years ago
Part 1:

The day before my viva:
I read through my thesis summary questions: Basically for each chapter, I wrote answers for specific questions which I will post below:

To keep myself calm I used this trick of using a deck of cards, each suit represented a different chapter, and the number on the card represented the question I was to read. I went through the deck of cards. and the face cards, meant I could take a little break. It was a way of tricking myself to revise, without feeling overwelmed. I would just say to myself. just play the deck of cards!
--
Around 10pm, I finished reading that. And actually I was planning on going to bed early, cause I had to get up at 6am, but I wasnt tired and I wanted to re-read some papers. So I took a stack of papers to bed, and skimmed through them until around midnight, then I put them away and went to sleep.

Part 2 to continue....
posted
29-Sep-09, 13:31
edited about 26 seconds later
Avatar for Cakegirl
posted about 10 years ago
Congratulations Lara! That's fantastic news, I hope you're enjoying a well deserved rest and celebration after all your hard work :-) :-) :-) :-) Well done for sticking with it to the end
CG x
posted
29-Sep-09, 13:32
by Lara
Avatar for Lara
posted about 10 years ago
======= Date Modified 29 Sep 2009 13:33:51 =======
Quote From squiggles:


Many congratulations Lara!! That's wonderful news :-) I hope the viva went well - looking forward to hearing all about it! Any celebrations planned?? 8-)


aww thanks squiggles!!!! :-)



that's so nice of you! i'm glad you're looking forward to hearing about it!

aww yep a few celebrations planned :p
Thanks!!

Quote From cakegirl:

Congratulations Lara! That's fantastic news, I hope you're enjoying a well deserved rest and celebration after all your hard work :-) :-) :-) :-) Well done for sticking with it to the end

CG x

aww thanks so much cakegirl!! :-)
posted
29-Sep-09, 13:33
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 10 years ago
Great, hope you have a great time - you deserve it!!
posted
29-Sep-09, 13:36
by Lara
Avatar for Lara
posted about 10 years ago
*****************Part 1: The day before my viva:***************************

I read through my thesis summary questions:

Basically for each chapter, I wrote answers for the following questions:

1. basic definitions of the chapter.
2. what was known before?
3. what is the chapter based on ?
4. what was the result ?
5. importance of the result?
6. how was the experiment carried out? using which method?
7. limitations of the method
8. strengths of the method.
9. future experiments?

To keep myself calm I used this trick of using a deck of cards, each suit represented a different chapter, and the number on the card represented the question I was to read. I went through the deck of cards. and the face cards, meant I could take a little break. It was a way of tricking myself to revise, without feeling overwelmed. I would just say to myself. just play the deck of cards!

-- Around 10pm, I finished reading that. And actually I was planning on going to bed early, cause I had to get up at 6am, but I wasnt tired and I wanted to re-read some papers. So I took a stack of papers to bed, and skimmed through them until around midnight, then I put them away and went to sleep.

Part 2 to continue....
posted
29-Sep-09, 13:39
edited about 17 seconds later
by Carman
Avatar for Carman
posted about 10 years ago
Congratulations Lara! What an inspiration you are!
posted
29-Sep-09, 13:40
edited about 19 seconds later
by Lara
Avatar for Lara
posted about 10 years ago
Quote From Carman:

Congratulations Lara! What an inspiration you are!

awww what a lovely thing to say thank you so much Carman!! :-)
posted
29-Sep-09, 13:44
edited about 14 seconds later
by phdbug
Avatar for phdbug
posted about 10 years ago
Congrats again, and you mentioned me toooo!!!:-)(up)
posted
29-Sep-09, 13:45
Avatar for Alpacalover
posted about 10 years ago
Congratulations Lara, I can't imagine what it feels like to have that weight lifted from you, but enjoy the floaty lightness of it all for as long as you can :p

enjoy your rest and celebrations,
KT
posted
29-Sep-09, 14:07
by Lara
Avatar for Lara
posted about 10 years ago
======= Date Modified 29 Sep 2009 14:13:51 =======
*************** Part 2 - the day of my viva *************

My viva was at 10.30am. I got to the building at 9.15am. I wanted plenty of time, to get a coffee and calm myself down. I found my 2nd sup and told her I was here, and she showed me where the room was, and said, "see its not so scary" everyone was being really supportive and wishing me good luck. I got a skinny hazelnut latte and sat down and listened to my ipod (specifically listened to this podcast of jillian Michaels (she's a personal trainer) radioshow, helped keep my mind off my viva and I find her such an inspiration). I was nervous, but kept breathing.

10.20am. I go up to the room, and its glass doors, and my two examiners smile at me and tell me they need 10 minutes, so I sit down outside and by then my 2 sups come up to wish me luck and support me.

10.30am They call me in. I had a huge rucksack with me, with my thesis, 1 folder containing a summary of my entire thesis (I summarised each page of my thesis, into a few key highlighted sentences) another folder contained summary viva questions for each chapter and another document of viva questions and answers, a couple of the examiners papers, some random papers, another folder contained 8 papers that cited my first paper, and a bunch of other random papers. I had no intention of opening these folders or even using them, I just had to have them with ME ! on a physical level!! It was like a comfort blanket haha. I just wanted them with me. lol

Both examiners are very nice and friendly, and welcome me in, and even before I have sat down, the external examiner reassures me and says something on the lines of, I want you to enjoy your viva, and something positive about my thesis which i cant remember, but basically giving me the impression that they liked my thesis, liked my research and that it will just be a discussion, and not to worry.


(I felt abit relaxed when she said that because before i must have looked white as a ghost, and i felt abit shaky (probably due to the coffee aswell! haha but i still wanted to do my best and still defended my thesis as if my life depended on it lol )

So I sat down, and started taking out all my folders, Dr H (exterminal examiner) looked at me with a kind look and suprised and jokingly said "oh you've come prepared" and I sheepishly said , uh yeh I just wanted them with me, I probably wont even look at them, and she nodded reassuringly and said "like a comfort security blanket" and i said yes exactly :-)


So I sat down (my supervisor kindly had laid out pieces of melon slices and fruit and croissants and a large bottle of water) I had my own bottle of water (very important, take a bottle of water, as you will need to drink in between answering questions! so drink when the examiner is asking you a question!).
posted
29-Sep-09, 14:19
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for pamplemousse
posted about 10 years ago
Congratulations!!

I'm so proud of the way in which you have applied yourself to the whole process, even when things didn't seem to be going your way!

So Dr. Lara, enjoy!!!!

S
posted
29-Sep-09, 14:23
edited about 15 seconds later
by Lara
Avatar for Lara
posted about 10 years ago
======= Date Modified 29 Sep 2009 14:31:05 =======
******** part 3 - my viva ******************

The first question was by Dr H (external examiner)

"tell us abit about the background of your research, what led you to do your project"

luckily i had practiced this question as it was on my list of 63 viva questions (which I will be positing here later on for you all).

so i answered that. and then it was a really nice discussion about my thesis, about limitations, the external and internal asked my own opinion about what i thought about X Y Z, and they were genuinely interested in what i thought.

I was treated with respect and they really listened. I can't believe it , but i actually REALLY enjoyed my viva!! It was an amazing discussion.

There were some tough questions but managed to answer them, and the examiners help you out abit if you're struggling.

My sup said dont panic, if you dont know the exact answer, either say you dont know, and they will tell you, its okay! you wont be expected to know EVERYTHING.

Some of the questions I answered well and even I was suprised! lol It's true what they say, things you thought you didn't know , come spiralling out of your mouth, when triggered.

Each piece of information you read, even if you only read it for a 1 minute, gets stored in your brain, ready to be accessed. Trust yourself that you do know it. And take your time to answer a question.

And if you have forgotten the answer - admit it, like there was a question and I had just read the piece of information last night, but at that specific moment, it flew out of my head, and i admitted it. and it was fine - not a big deal.

posted
29-Sep-09, 14:24
edited about 26 seconds later
by kaymoy
Avatar for kaymoy
posted about 10 years ago
Lara, I am so so happy for you!!!! Congratulations. You really are an inspiration. Step by step your thesis came together and the great thing is that all those steps are here for everybody to see- your progress reports are something tangible that show all of us the accumulation of your work and that is a really motivating thing to be able to trace. Big massive hug to you. Now go out and enjoy yourself!

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