I spent a long time indoors over the last six months or so. When I ventured back out again I decided I was going to explore my home town. Walk up and down roads I didn’t know. See every path of the lovely park I would normally walk through briskly. Me and my daughter would wander around making up stories about fairies and it was a lovely way to get back into the world.
One day a few weeks ago we were walking along when she called out, “Hello Little Pixie!” and then kept on walking.
“Who are you talking to?” I asked, and she pointed back to a tree stump next to the path, a tree stump I’d passed without a second glance.
There are little fairy houses all around the park. I must have walked past this tree stump a dozen times in the previous month and never noticed a little friend waving to us. I needed my daughter’s perspective to see it.
As you prepare for your viva, consider when you might need someone else’s perspective – not when you might benefit, but when you might need another point of view.
- What questions could someone else ask to help you prepare?
- What experiences could a PhD graduate share with you to help set your expectations?
- What feedback from a friend could help you to communicate your research better?
- What perspective could someone bring to help you see your work a little differently?
That last one could be really helpful. Your examiners might have nothing but praise for your work, but they will still see it differently to you. Find help from other perspectives to help you feel confident for your viva.