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the waiting space

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I have submitted in July.  I felt relieved. I could finally go and have a “real holiday”. No books to take with me. No bad conscience for moving them around and not opening them. Just real time off.

But the feeling was of relief, not of freedom. I knew it was not finished. The Viva is when it finishes… and so one has to wait.

So… I am now in waiting space. When I was writing the difficulty was in not knowing where I was going, now it is in not knowing where I will arrive. The Viva is unplannable. Yes, I am re-reading my thesis and some other stuff to feel like if I am on top of things, but the reality is that I am not. How could I? Can anybody know it all? Can anybody have an answer for everything? Probably not, and certainly not me.  Actually, I particularly praise myself about knowing that I do not know. I always thought that limits are good… they are there to be challenged, but also to give a scale to humility…

So I am in a waiting space with no clear boarders. I could do lots of things to feel more prepared and yet none of those would really guarantee anything. This is good news – as I have very little time in my hands, so at least I  do not feel guilty about not doing more. Is this waiting space part of the process? I think I learned a lot from the “slow becoming” of research (see other post) but what am I learning from this floating state of anticipation?

Maybe it is all about accepting to be judged. Accepting peer reviewing. Accepting “the other” in my neatly wrapped PhD. Although that is what supervisors are for, the Viva is different: they have “supreme power”, they have the final word.

Maybe it is more about stepping out of “accepting mode” and starting “embracing dialogue”. Ultimately this  is what a good Viva is all about: challenging ideas, bringing them to another level, making them alive again…

This is what a good Viva is… and what about a bad Viva?

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2012

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