Hi everyone, I had to spend sometime far from my blog because I was heavily busy finishing my Ph.D. Since May this year, I have written hundreds of pages, but the hardest part was not writing so many pages, but to review all of them.
The first version of my thesis was ready on July 31st. I submitted it to the jury on August 2nd. After this, I had only one week to summarize everything in a journal article and submit it to the editor on August 12th. I did it, but I had no expectation about its acceptance due to the hurry to prepare the article.
After such a pressure, I dedicated sometime to write my previous post on August 15th. But then I had to stop again my posts in a weekly basis to get ready to the private defense. The private defense is a closed session where only members of the jury, the adviser and the student are present. The student has to present his research and the jury makes an extensive, detailed and tough interrogatory, that might last for hours. My private defense was held on September 12th in a meeting room of my laboratory. It last 3 hours and it was, by far, the most tough evaluation I've ever passed. When it finished I went directly to bed to get relieved from the stress. I completely recovered from the stress a day after.
The main issue of the private defense was to convince the jury that I was capable of finishing all requested modifications in less than one month in order to book the public defense on October 12th. According to the rules of the university, the minimum period between the private and public defense is one month, but I had less time to finish the modifications because the thesis should be printed and follow some internal procedures before the public defense. And October 12th was the target date because my family had already bought expensive flight tickets, booked hotel, rented car and everything else considering October 12th. Fortunately, the jury had agreed to allow me delivering a new version of the thesis within 3 weeks and set the public defense definitively on October 12th.
More relaxed, but still very busy improving the thesis, I saw an open call for a book chapter related to the technology I used to develop my research application. I wrote an abstract demonstrating my great interest to be part of the book. However, I had no big expectation of having my proposal accepted. My family was about to arrive and after my public defense we planned to travel to many places in Europe together before they went back to Brazil. But then my book chapter proposal was accepted and I was supposed to write it while my family was here. Arghs!! Well, maybe I could handle this since I have a lot of content ready in my thesis, but not yet published. Then I received the news that my journal article had been accepted too, the one I submitted on August 12th, but reviewers requested a lot of modifications. God! A book chapter to write and a journal article to modify right during vacation with family?! It was unexpected and undesirable. :( Even worse, I couldn't start writing earlier because I was getting ready for the public defense, preparing the presentation, training the speech and many other administrative tasks. I was about to collapse.
The day of my public defense finally came. On October 12th 2010, I presented the final version of my thesis to the jury, to my family and many other friends. It was very good. I finished on time, answered all questions comfortably, and got the Ph.D. degree. It was so nice that I got very motivated to finish my two other responsibilities: the book chapter and the journal article. However, my body could not follow my wishes. I didn't have a single minute of relaxation after my defense because of the trip with family. During the day we were visiting monuments, museums, theaters and restaurants and during the night I was lying on the laptop, writing as much as I could. Going to sleep late, waking up early, and walking all day, I was about to collapse. Really! At some point I said to myself to give up, then I spent one day doing nothing. Somehow, this day off was enough to recover my motivation.
There were more dramatic details but this post is already getting too long. The good news is that I could finally submit the book chapter and the revised version of the journal article. I'm writing this post now because I finished the whole journey just yesterday. I missed my blog a lot but I definitely couldn't come earlier. Now I'm back and full of pending topics to write about. I would like to thank all my visitors that didn't stop visiting and commenting my posts even after this "sabbatical" period. I'm really happy that I could write texts that have been permanently useful for the community.