The Big Day
Posted on 2005/06/20 22:58:20 (June 2005).
[Friday 17th June]
This day was remarkable on two fronts. First, I broke my own personal record for number of taxi rides in one day - a rather staggering six. Second, I passed my viva, meaning that subject to minor corrections I have now completed my PhD, after almost seven years. Yes, once those corrections are approved (hopefully just a few days work) I'll be Dr John Hawkins.
I started off the day at my brother's. In a similar fashion to the previous day he gave me a lift to Guildford station on his way into work. Upon arrival at Reading, given that I had all my bags and didn't want to get all sweaty whilst wearing my suit, I got a taxi (number one of the day) up to the university. On arriving at university I spent a while chatting to Mark, Ben and Ian, before meeting my supervisor for lunch around 1 o' clock. We had a final pre viva chat - actually not particularly academic in the end, more of a morale boost than anything else.
The viva was at 2 o' clock. I wouldn't say it was easy, but it wasn't by any means horrific either. My examiners really kept me on my toes, but I was pleased that there weren't really any questions I couldn't answer - exactly as it should be I suppose! We finished at around 4, they had their little meeting whilst I waited outside for a few minutes, and when I went back in again it was all smiles and handshaking - fantastic.
The rest of the day was just a constant high really - I'd been told it would be an anti-climax, but it was really quite the opposite - an anti-anti-climax... I just felt really fabulous all day - it was finally over (ok, after the corrections)...! I was with my supervisor up until about 8 in the evening (after taxi ride number 2, into the centre of Reading), having a few celebratory drinks and dinner, which was all very nice. At 8 I began a complicated logisitical operation to get my bags from the university where I'd left them, and then find somewhere else to stash them before going out for further celebrations. Taxi journey number 3 whizzed me back up to the university, where Ben had very kindly waited with my bags, and then number 4 took me off to Tilehurst to David's house, where, as luck would have it, Simon still hadn't gone out yet for the evening. Everything just fell into place perfectly.
Simon, Vanessa and I decided we'd far rather go to Pangbourne for a few drinks than into the centre of Reading, so taxi number 5 took us off to my beloved Cross Keys, with the added bonus of being able to meet up with Kev too. I really couldn't have thought of a better way to round such an excellent day off like this than in the Cross Keys - really fantastic. Finally taxi number 6 took us back to David's house where I stayed the night.
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