To watch a viva

Last week I was give the most amazing invitation ever – to go and watch a viva.  An actual viva.  One of the lovely senior PhDs extended this gracious invitation and my reaction was both “WOW, really?” and awe at the prospect of being invited to witness such an important event in one’s career.

It made me wonder if I could do it, that could I come to the end of my PhD journey with the confidence in my own research to allow, no, willingly invite someone to come and witness my viva?  She seemed so excited and thrilled to be having her viva and was actually looking forward to it in many ways.

Another friend recalled her viva as the best moment in her career because it was the one and only time that someone actually fully engaged with her work at a level that was both challenging and affirming – a tricky balance to achieve, let alone experience.  This sentiment was also confirmed by another friend who said she had a lot of fun during her 2 and 1/2 hour ordeal.

So I’m puzzled and excited at the prospect of being invited to watch such an important event, not only to put some of my own fears to rest but also to see just how enjoyable it could be.

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