PhD candidate! A major milestone that was the culmination of months of writing, reading, research and revising. Late night meeting with my advisor (who was invaluable), pushing my thinking, drawing connections from my hazy unformed thoughts. I held a practice defence that was open to everyone in the department. Now that was nerve wracking. Four professors, one recent PhD graduate, three PhD candidates, and a MA student. And they asked questions – hard questions that really tested my conceptualization of my candidacy paper thinking. Two days later, following a day of editing the presentation based on the feedback from the practice defense, it was show time. The defense. My defense was closed, and so there were four in attendance: my supervisor, two committee members, and me. It was lovely. Relaxed, and supportive. Nods and smiles of encouragement that validated my conceptual and theoretical frameworks. I would do that again. I learned so much, in a positive and supportive environment. My first two years of study are over. I have completed my coursework and my candidacy paper defense. The first thing I did – change the signature on my email – wow – is that really me? “PhD candidate”, followed by an amazing dinner at a French restaurant with an excellent bottle of wine. The day was exhilarating. And now, one day later – on to the research proposal and ethics approval. On with the next phase of the PhD process. Bring it on!
Banner Image by Heather M.