This And That

My viva was done, and I was celebrating. There were a lot of people from my department in Bistro Jacques, and most of them had the same three things to say to me: “Congratulations!” – “How was it?” – “What corrections did you get?”

To which I replied: “Thanks!” – “It was fine!” –

-and on the last question I evaded: “Oh… This and that…”

I felt almost ashamed.

I had to re-structure and re-write two chapters, but that felt fine. I felt terrible about the typos! Particularly all of the places where I had transposed words or written “the the”. My spellcheck and proofreading hadn’t picked them up. They were silly, pointless mistakes that I should have found. Missing minus signs! How?! What was wrong with me?!?!

(I could, on occasion, be a bit overly dramatic in my youth…)

Perspective time: most people get corrections after the viva and for many they really could be described as “this and that”.

Mostly they’re cosmetic fixes to clear up typos and clunky sentences. Whatever scale of corrections you get they take time and work to do – but sometimes not much of either. You can feel bad about them, however small or large they are, but the point is that they help you make your thesis be the best possible representation of your work.

Most people get corrections. Go to your viva knowing you’ve done your best, but expecting to do a little more. You’re human.

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