This Friday is big Friday for me, a day that marks the final examination of my PhD studies which I started on the 14th of January 2013. Four and a half years ago or 1699 days, or 4 years 7 months and 26 days including the 8th of September 2017 (I used TimeandDate to calculate this for me).
Throughout the summer I have worked systematically to prepare for Big Friday. I have captured this preparation here on my blog through a series of posts but also through visual messages on Instagram hoping that some of this will be useful for others.
In the final 10 days, Adam volunteered to grill me on a wide range of questions that I have prepared. I know some of you will say, but it won’t be a grilling… Every evening for the last 7 days, in our living room, I sit in my comfy armchair (I know I won’t have one on the day…), my thesis in front of me, a few empty pieces of paper, a pen and some notes I have prepared to take with me into the viva. These notes, over the days, have been refined. Practising has enabled me to find out what would be useful and what wouldn’t. The grillings were really helpful and I am grateful to Adam for helping me with these.
In the last few days, I also had a final conversation with Sandra, my director of studies and Keith my supervisor. Both conversations were really useful. I was reminded of the process, what would happen on the day and help me feel a little bit more confident. With Sandra, we also did a mini mock viva, which went well.
I have also re-read the thesis over the weekend and Monday. I did this slowly and systematically. I decided that not reading the thesis in a linear way would be more useful. So I started with chapter 1 (introduction), then moved to chapter 8 (conclusions), then chapter 4 (background info about the collective case study), chapter 5 (findings), chapter 7. (Framework), chapter 2 (literature review) and finally chapter 6 (discussion). This was a useful order for me.
Tonight is the last grilling. Then I need to relax and get ready for the day.
I have my outfit sorted… shoes will depend on the weather. Also, I have looked into what I should eat so that my brain works properly. I have started this process over the summer when I was away so hopefully my body and mind will be on my side on Big Friday.
A big thank you to everybody who helped me on this turbulent and equally fascinating journey over the last 1696 days… it is not over yet…
10 am this Friday, Edinburgh Napier University
I hope I will survive it!