Picture two friends: the first has just passed their viva, the second is trying to unpick what happened…
…I was really lucky with the questions-
-lucky? Why, were they easy?
Well… No, they were pretty challenging in places. I was lucky because I knew how to answer them well.
Lucky? The answers just came to you?
…noooo, they were things I’d considered before. Or I could figure them out. They were tricky, but I could deal with them. I guess it’s lucky my examiners decided to ask those particular questions.
There’s that word again! Lucky? Did they just use a big list of random questions? Was it super-lucky that those were the ones they picked off the list?
OK, I see what you’re saying! My thesis will have guided them a bit-
…I don’t know! What do you want me to say?!
Your thesis didn’t just happen! None of it’s “luck”! You did this!
I know, I know. I get what you’re saying… I still feel lucky!
…did you get corrections?
Do you accept responsibility for them?
Then accept responsibility for the rest too!
It’s not luck that did your PhD or helped you through the viva.