It Is Impossible to Schedule Six People Simultaneously
Well, not impossible. But very difficult! Especially if the five people that you are e-mailing don’t all check their e-mail at least every day or two. But after 31 total e-mails over the course of a week, I have a defense date – May 6.
I’m not nervous… Yet.
What this has shown me is that I must respond to graduate students by e-mail within at least 24 hours for me to be happy with my interactions with my advisees. I’ve been told by some that this is an unreasonable expectation and also, by others, that 24 hours should be an absolute maximum. I imagine I will ultimately land somewhere in the middle.
I also learned today that technically, the defense involves two components: a public presentation and a private examination. The presentation can technically be attended by anyone, although in practice, no one else ever shows up. So before two weeks from today, I need to prepare a short (probably 30-45 minute) presentation primarily about my results and discussion – all of the new material since my proposal meeting.
Also, now suddenly having more free time than I have in 6 months, I am finally able to get back to several projects that I have been putting off. I noticed during my second or third year of graduate school that my to-do list shifted from a procrastination model (putting off projects because I didn’t want to do them yet) to a necessity model (putting off projects because other projects needed to get done). I don’t imagine it’ll ever switch back.
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