Virgin's Guide to Burning Man

A Virgin's Guide to Burning Man can be found here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Thank the heavens! I've just got an email from my adviser saying I'm (finally) ready to defend. It's only been, what, 6 months of editing and re-editing...and re-editing my dissertation proposal and now I can finally go ABD (All But Dissertation).

I suppose I should be more nervous about the defense. It's basically two hours where you give a 20-minute presentation in front of a committee of three faculty members and spend the rest of the time answering grueling questions about whether or not a) your research proposal even makes sense and b) you know enough about what the hell you're doing that you can do the research. From what I hear from friends who've already done this, the faculty ask you all kinds of questions you'd never have thought of, sometimes even questioning the most basic things, like: "You know, I think your dependent variable is problematic." What?? You couldn't have told me this earlier?! But surprisingly, I'm not that nervous--at least not yet. But I take solace in the notion that they don't really let you defend unless they think you're actually ready for it. I'm starting to think they just bombard you with tough questions to see how well you deal under pressure. I guess as long as you don't collapse in a puddle of tears or start screaming at them, I think really it just becomes an opportunity to discuss how to make sure your project is solid. So pretty much everyone passes it--though your knees might be Jell-O by the time you're done. I still need to prepare responses to any wild question that might even possibly or impossibly come up, but hey, I'm on my way!

In other news...we just saw "Once" last night, which is a cute movie about two musicians who fall in love while making music together. It's a bit slow, but I loved the ending and the music is great. I've been listening to the soundtrack all afternoon. :)