26 February 2014

Defending and the Aftershock

This past weekend, I celebrated the hard work of prepping and then defending my dissertation.  That moment – in the school room with my three committee members (one via skype), my colleagues, my tutors, my accountability partners, and other teachers – I reached my limit.  

There was something about the mixture of public speaking, summarizing my work, embodying the vulnerability that is foundational to my work, navigating desires to please my mentors, and also dealing with paperwork; this mixture was almost too much.  Too much in the way that calculus and chemistry and physics were for me in high school and undergrad.  Too much in the way that scuba diving through a tunnel 12 meters below the water’s surface were for me in the Philippines.  Of course, I imagine that one day, I’ll be fine tackling mathematics and diving and perhaps even speaking about my work.   But, nearly two hours of defending my study with all those other elements mentioned above was crazy making. I am trying not to analyze the “why” behind my feelings too much at this time; instead, I’d like to accept these feelings the way in which I accept my brain doesn’t quite understand, at this time, higher levels of math and deep levels of water.   

Celebratory Dinner at Gracias Madre
Thankfully, I will never have to participate in a “dissertation defense” (so "masculine" of a term and action as a friend writes and as I concur) again.

That is, my dissertation was approved!  I enjoyed much needed rest and relaxation these past few days: therapies of all sorts including massages, the company of friends around a fire, hiking, and kayaking through tunnels (above the water of course).

Now begins the final final revisions of formatting and tightening up everything.  

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