I am not alone. That is the great part about doing the defense here in Volda.
Ingvar Elgesem, our administrative director, keeps a keen eye on the formalities, negotiating protocol and procedures with the University of Bergen, while making the practical parts of the defense happen.
Sverre Liestøl, our dean, is cutting through the worst knots of who does what and who spends money on what. The sum the University gives the institutes in order to arrange the practical things around the defense (travel and board for the comittee not included) is almost symbolic, so Sverre manages to find what else is needed to print and publish.
Thomas Lewe has made the cover for the thesis. It is so beautiful, I'll want it framed on the wall afterwards.
Øystein Sande takes care of the type-face. If I hadn't done the defense here, I'd have been spending my days going through the thesis looking for stray fonts now, not struggling to read the assessment.
Jan Ole Bolsø is taking care of the defense dinner. It's one of those things he does for a living (among innumerable other things, all useful), so it is running quickly and smoothly, and I can just lean back and send him addresses for invitations.
I may at times yell and rant and kick and scream at these men; for their pigheadedness, meanness, inability to understand and sheer contrariness - but once you are embraced by this department, you're not just an other colleague, you are family: with the good and the bad. And right now, it feels so, so safe.