Monday, August 25, 2003

Panic attack
As mentioned, I was notified of the defense date almost a month later than I should, in order to organise everything in time. That means that I also received the comittee's comments on the thesis a month late. I was feeling pretty relaxed about that the first days, because I was so relieved that I had passed at all. Today I am panicking over it.

First: it's more than five months since I submitted the thesis, and it is about 400 pages long, including attachments. I have three days to get a grip on it.
Second: It has taken me five days to manage to sit down and really look at the assessment. I have skimmed it, and found "more important" things to do. Now I have to face it, and I find that I still can't do that.
Third: Volda College has never arranged a doctorate defense before. The infamous Media Department in Volda can do anything, as long as we all want it, and yes, all want to arrange this defense and the ensuing party. It's just that nobody knows what needs to be done, and we have 300 students arriving at the same time.

I really should complain. I really should start yelling, and tell the people who have planned their autumn to include a visit to Volda in the middle of September to reschedule. I really should assert myself, something people think is so easy for me, loud, visible and uninhibited as I appear, and demand the month I lost to the administrative errors. Give me a month, and I should be able to read that assessment.

I have three days.
So here is what I am doing right now. I am cutting the whole thing into paragraphs, using my very sharp scissors. I will read a paragraph at the time. I will read it disjointed and jumbled, and see what I can do about the argument before me, without linking it to the devastating argument over or under on the page. Doing this I am asserting my power over the criticism, which, right now, does feel like an attack. Hopefully I'll manage to read all the bits and pieces before the test lecture. If not, we'll see at the defense if I can fly. Or rather, as we would say in between the lovely fjords of Norway: If I can row.

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