Yesterday afternoon I successfully defended my Master's thesis! Sounds terrifying, right? It was. The past two years of my life let up to that point and now that it's over, I feel like I can breathe again. This is a picture of my advisor and I right after my defense. Not only is she hilarious (her first thought when I asked someone to take our picture was to grab an old champagne bottle, ha!), but she is brilliant and really cares about her students succeeding.
If you've never been to a defense (my first one was yesterday...yikes), here's how it goes. You give a 20 minute presentation (mine was more like 30 minutes) explaining the products of your thesis, why it's important, and what further research needs to be done. Then the floor is opened up for questions from the audience. Luckily, it's "break time" here in College Station since the spring semester is over and summer sessions haven't started yet, so I didn't have many audience members. Then your advisor asks the "general public" to leave and you're trapped in the room with your committee (mine had 5 members, normally it's 3) and they grill you for about an hour. Not fun. You have to be okay saying "I haven't thought about that yet, but I will look into it..." When the questioning is over (finally), your advisor asks you to leave the room while your committee deliberates. So, I sat on a couch in the hallway, scared to call anyone. Counting the minutes. When they're done, your advisor comes out in the hallway and congratulates you on successfully defending your thesis!
I have a few corrections to make before I submit it, but I applied for graduation and will walk across the stage (again) in August!
Poor Benson's first birthday was also yesterday. It was overshadowed by the craziness of my defense, but I did manage to snap his picture in a birthday hat :)
Unfortunately, he has a lower maturity level than most one year old cats. This is a picture of what I woke up to last week.
He was so proud of his overnight accomplishments. He is in every picture because he was running around, rubbing on everything and chattering about his masterpiece. Oh well! Here's to hoping he chills out in the near future :)