‘Twas the night before my viva, and all through my place
Not a sound could be heard with my book in my face;
My thesis was filled with ideas and notes jotted
And I felt oh so bad for the typos I’d spotted!
I was anxious of all my examiners might ask,
And worried in case they should take me to task…
One last time I had settled to read by the fire,
But soon felt the need that to bed I retire.
When then from nearby I heard such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Away to my laptop I crossed with a dash
(and hoped that the battery had not caused a crash)
I lifted the lid and what then did appear
In a window: a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer…
And a kind friendly driver who seemed like a mate
-With my viva tomorrow this must be St. Nate!
Quicker than fibre his reindeer they came,
And popped out my screen as he called them by name:
“Hey Talent! Hey Effort! Determined and Steady!
Go Confident! Persistent! Survivor and Ready!
To that desk over there, the one by the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
My brain was disturbed as I watched them all fly,
And their landing place shocked me! I let out a cry-
The sleigh crashed down safely with an “Eek!” and a “Phew!”
And all eight deer were safe (and of course St. Nate too)
Then they pawed through my thesis, each with their hoof-
I thought they’d wreck my prep then I’d hit the roof!
As I drew in my breath to make some great sound
St. Nate caught my eye and stepped forth with a bound.
He was dressed in blue jeans and a faded check shirt
And carried a book titled Vivas Don’t Hurt!
His reading reindeer made appreciative whispers,
Like excited folks holding presents at Christmas;
He told me the deer were sure I was done,
And they hoped that my viva would be lots of fun.
“Your years of progress were not due to luck!
You did the work and got past being stuck.”
He continued, “Remember this, it’s true:
Your thesis contribution is all thanks to you.”
His smile was sincere and he reminded me more
Of the work I had done, and what now was in store:
A chat with two people for whom I’d prepared;
And while I was nervous, I was no longer scared.
My confidence lifted, he nodded his head.
(and I wondered if I was dreaming in bed…?)
He said nothing else but continued his work
While his reindeer team danced… And then started to twerk…
Then he whispered once more: “You’ve got this, alright?
Your examiners just want to talk, not fight.”
Then he jumped on his sleigh, to his deer gave a whistle
And I started to wake as they shot like a missile-
But I heard him exclaim, ere they left my mind’s sight:
“Happy Vivas for all, and to all a good night!”
Inspired by the wonderful poem by Clement Clarke Moore…
Merry Christmas from Viva Survivors!