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Sam, Katy, and Noggs in Africa


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The third degree

On Thursday it was finally crunch time.  The occasion to which the past 5 years had been building up: my PhD viva.  For those of you that think i am talking about Las Vegas, the viva (pronounced “vai-va”) is the PhD examination.  It is short for viva voce (meaning “living voice”), and refers to an oral exam.  The examiners read the thesis critically, then at the viva they question the PhD candidate, who must attempt to “defend” their thesis.  This usually goes on for several hours.

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Reading the thesis in preparation for the viva

So I came back to Durham, scrubbed up, and to the viva I went!  One of the examiners later pointed out that I was dressed like a bride as I was wearing something old (my suit), something new (new pair of shoes – couldn’t find the old ones), something borrowed (a belt from Gareth), and although she didn’t know, I think I was wearing blue boxers!  Well, they started out blue anyway!

Three and a half hours later I emerged and was told I had passed with minor corrections!  My supervisor Russell broke out a couple of bottles of champagne (not sure if he was happy for me or he was just relieved I had finally finished) and we proceeded to the pub with friends to celebrate with ale and pork pies!

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