Wednesday, February 18, 2009

you have got to be kidding me

I have now heard back from Descartes. He is also on board with defending in the next two weeks, although he notes ominously that he "will have some questions for [me] come the defense." Miraculously, all three of my committee members were on campus today (although not at the same time) so I was able to get all of their signatures on the scheduling form as well. So there's just one little thing left to do - a mere formality - we just have to pick a time for the defense, so the department can schedule a room for us. Obviously I'm available at whatever time will work for them, so I sent an email to everyone asking for scheduling information.

Blackwood replied that afternoons are bad for him. Descartes says that in that case, early in the morning would work - maybe 8:00? Victoria responds that she can't commit to that time without making arrangements with "several people" and getting back to us. While the emails were going back and forth, I went up to campus to get Descartes's signature on the form, at which point he explained that he was up against some deadlines of his own - in addition to teaching three classes plus a series of workshops this semester, he's scheduled to give a lecture at Harvard and a paper in Prague within the next three weeks, he hasn't finished writing either of them, and one of them he hasn't even started. On one hand, it always makes me feel better when I see professors doing things like that at the last minute, but on the other hand, it's going to make it difficult to find a time when all three of them are available. Descartes actually mooted the possibility of having the defense without one or the other of the readers, or else scheduling it for an evening. Of the two, he seemed to think the evening option more unorthodox.

The only really encouraging thing he had to say was that I was definitely going to pass, it was just a question of getting the details worked out. Hey, great. That makes me a lot less nervous about the defense itself. Now, about those details ...

No comments: