Take Today Off Too (a haiku)

Keep resting, pausing,

Breathing, thinking and holding.

It’s fine for today.


It’s a Bank Holiday in the UK, and following yesterday’s post, I’m encouraging you to take another day off from viva prep, if you’re in a period of actively preparing.

Probably you’re planning to stay home today! But that doesn’t mean you have to prepare for your viva today. Unless your viva is tomorrow – and even then, take it easy. Be rested for the final push, whether it’s a final 24 hours or your last six weeks.

Regular-type posts resume tomorrow!

(and more viva-related haiku here!)

Take Today Off (a haiku)

If you can, please do.

Rest. Breathe. Press pause on your prep.

Smile. Connect. Be.


I wasn’t going to do any more viva haiku in 2020, but this seemed like a good time to remind people – especially now – that preparation for the viva includes taking breaks. If you’re overwhelmed, stretched, stressed and tired then you don’t need to read your thesis more or check a reference. You need a day off.

And probably you can’t take a day “off” – you need to be a family person or a friend or an adult doing housework. You have responsibilities. OK. If you have to do those things, at least take today off from your viva. Just pause it. It’ll be there when you come back, and you will be prepared for your viva when the time comes. Please, if you weren’t going to already, take today off.

(more viva-related haiku here)

A Haiku For Submission

Done? Sort of… Almost.

Hard work done, but still ahead,

One challenge remains.


Submission is a milestone, but not the end of the journey. You’ve done most of the work of your PhD, but there are difficult things to come. If you’ve got as far as writing and completing your thesis then you’re more than capable of preparing for and passing your viva.

(more viva-related haiku here!)

My Viva in a Haiku

Tired at the start,

Challenged throughout, but happy,

Four hours? Too quick!


I didn’t sleep well the night before, and my viva was a draining four hours – but it wasn’t bad, not really. My examiners had taken the time to read my thesis and think about it. They challenged me on how it was written but gave me respect. My viva was four hours long, and in a way, over too soon. Compared to the three-and-a-half years that lead to it, my viva was an anticlimax.

I wonder how you might describe yours in a haiku?

(more viva-related haiku here)