“That’s Interesting”

Two words, spoken by my internal examiner, as we approached the end of my viva.

Two words that came after he had summarised my final chapter.

Two words that followed a summary of “In Chapter 7 you detail your failure at solving a problem.”

“That’s interesting.”

Two words that seemed as if they were followed by a yawning void of time as I tried to understand what he meant.

Two words that I realised were not, in fact, a question.

Two words that were a simple comment, an observation.

Two words that I responded to by saying why I had felt it important to include preliminary results, why it still might help someone.

Two words from him, two minutes of talking from me and then a simple response of “OK” afterwards.


Two words or two sentences or two minutes of talking from either of your two examiners could make your heart skip a beat as you wonder what was meant and ponder what to say.

Take a breath, think, try to understand. What do they mean? Then respond.

Sometimes a simple comment is simply a comment: you don’t need to say much in response at all.