The countdown to the viva has started… 46 days left #go_gn



Chrissi a computer programmer in the Navy

Yes, I got a proper tape measure (actually 2 from the Poundshop, yes, for £1 both of them and I am not throwing away the 47-150cm bit but will make a lanyard out of it). Last time I bought one I was waiting to finish my service in the Navy. I had 150 days left then. Now I have 46 until the viva. So I cut the tape to 46cm… this is my starting point… and I will cut 1 cm each day… yes, not inches… every day I will cut 1 cm until the big day when there will be no tape left. There is a strange satisfaction in doing this and seeing the time pass in front of your eyes. 

My viva date was confirmed todayIt is the 8th of September 2017 and I am pleased that I didn’t wait to start preparing for it until I knew the date. Pleased I had my own internal deadlines. The main preparation I wanted to do is done.

I have…

  • re-read the thesis carefully and critically.
  • created one page hand written summaries for each chapter.
  • made annotations throughout the thesis, initially I thought I should keep the clean look.
  • added sticky notes to help me locate things quickly… hopefully.
  • I have found a few errors… things that I should have seen… frustrating!

AND, as a result of the above, I did definitely overcome the fear of reading the thesis, which is a good thing.


In a PowerPoint, I captured the following

  • a presentation of the study
  • questions and answers linked to the whole thesis and individual chapters
  • questions which I have found with the help of colleagues and friends and the web, of course
  • typed up the page summaries for each chapter
  • copy of all visualisations used in the thesis and two more that will help me explain the framework and my theoretical framework, I hope…

My plan is to print this powerpoint presentation and use as a mobile revision tool in the next 45 days… The whole thesis is coming with me to Greece again this year. It wouldn’t be the same without it… but hopefully next summer I will be PhD study free… 

Colleagues have offered to do a mock viva this Friday. I am very nervous.

I will also ask my boys to keep asking me viva questions on the beach. Soon they will stop asking me “Mummy, when will you get that PhD”… if I pass… 

What else do I need to get ready? 

Thank you all.

7 thoughts on “The countdown to the viva has started… 46 days left #go_gn

  1. Delighted for you, Chrissi!! Your viva preparation work has been amazing, thank you for sharing it so openly. It will inspire and inform my own practice once I submit my dissertation later this year.

    P.S. Re: the tape measure — I love this idea 🙂 I remember doing something similar before big events, particularly when my kids were young… making a paper chain of X links/days before a big event. It’s a lovely ritual to cut a link each day and see the chain (tape measure) getting shorter. Will be cheering you on every step of the way 🙂

    • Hi Catherine,

      Lovely to hear about the paper chain kit you used. I think something like this is a useful tool to reflect and manage time. Don’t know exactly how it works but it seems to.

      Pleased some of my prep might be useful for you too. I will also, after the viva, share the powerpoint I mention so that others could use/adapt for their viva. Each time I find a new question, I add it and try to articulate my response.

      I hope you are making good progress with your thesis. Please reach out if you think I could help in any way. Very happy to read bits if this would be useful.

      Take care and thanks again for your kind words and interest.


    • Hi Chris, thank you for stopping by. It was used extensively in the Navy. Handy that they are usually 1.5 meter… so 150 centimeter… and individuals who were near completing their military service used to have one… so I had one too… This one is much shorter, just under one third… 😉 Chrissi

  2. Well done, you are nearly there. You’ll enjoy the viva, believe me.
    Let me know if you need anything.

    PS You were in the Navy??

    • Thank you so much Bea. Might reach out for help in the next few weeks, if you are around.

      See new pic in the post 😉 I was in the Navy for 5 whole years… don’t ask…

      Thank you and all the GO-GN team for all your support and encouragement. I will never forget!!!


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