Last Wednesday I submitted my thesis to the university. I still have the defence to prep for (which will hopefully be in about 5-6 weeks if all goes smoothly, and of course all the revisions that will come from the 3 manuscripts that are under review for publication), but it does feel good to have the document out of my hands.
I was very lucky that my final 2 week sprint was less of a sprint and more of a fast and steady jog. I wasn’t writing any new material or doing new analyses, I was editing, incorporating feedback, and formatting. It was still stressful, but it I shouldn’t complain. My one “big task” was going through absolutely everything looking for grammar, spelling, formatting, and consistency errors. I did so by doing a visual scan of everything zoomed out for consistency and formatting first, and then used the speaking function on the computer to have every paragraph and legend read back to me out loud. I am happy I did it of course, but it was also frustrating because I did find small mistakes in every single chapter (which is insane because its not like they were drafts, I had read them so many times!).
I am sacred about what the thesis reviewers will say and thus have some associated nervousness, but I also feel relieved that an important mile-stone is done.
Now I am taking a little bit of time out of the city to make sure I am taking advantage of the end of summer (I can see the leaves turning on the trees so it really is coming to an end) and the wonderful ecosystem services lakes have to provide! I am making progress on little bits of work that I didn’t focus on during the end-of-thesis-jog, and prepping my talks for France (and my defence). I really really would like to blow my audiences out of the water with these talks. I want to deeply incorporate the training about science communication I have received and make sure I finish my degree on a high note. I am consulting online resources and thinking about the “stories” I want to tell, but I also know that I need to be practicing!
Next up is France and I will try and use the blog to do some nice recaps of the conference sessions as well as reflections on science communication throughout.