A PhD defence day is actually quite similar to a wedding day. People dress nicely, friends and family are gathered, a ceremony takes place and a party is organised.
But on the day of a PhD defence, time is divided into two very different periods: the first part involves the greatest amount stress possible. This is followed by the second part, which involves the greatest sense of relief.
Christiana had to endure this. It was tough, but she nailed it.
I guess what helped her a lot was her ability to smile all the time, to laugh as much as possible and to look on the bright side. The day before D-day, Chris was using one of the best practices used to stay positive. “I am trying to focus on the party”, she texted me.
She also has the intelligence to surround herself with good people. Laura and Giovanni are both very happy and positive people, so having them as paranymphs must have helped her relax a lot. The trio met at the university where they were all working on their PhD in their “Mediterranean office”: Chris comes from Cyprus, Laura from Spain and Giovanni from Italy.
Because defending your PhD is really a show in the Netherlands, the trio had to remember a few steps to enter the “arena”, so while waiting at the beginning of the ceremony, they repeated their walk so that Chris could feel more confident on this matter.
A few minutes later, everything was over already and everyone could congratulate the new Dr. A few hours later, the PhD defence seemed to be an old souvenir well replaced by the good times of tasting de-li-cious food from the Mediterranee…
C’était trop bon.
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June 8, 2015.