Monday, 30 April 2007


OK, so just to elaborate a little.

The defense was in the afternoon, and there were about 25-30 people showed up to listen: the jury of 5, plus most of our research team, plus my parents, Liz, Ashu, and Valentine.

I presented for 45 minutes, and I was pretty happy with how it went - the feedback I'd gotten on the two practices I'd done was really valuable, and I got in a better zone than I had on the Friday previous.

After the presentations, each of the jury members asked questions. Krzysztof asked lots, and the others asked a few, and it wound up taking a bit over an hour, which I think is a lot by normal standards, but I didn't feel especially stressed.

Once the questions were done, the jury retired and deliberated for a while - half an hour, perhaps - then came out and conferred upon me the title of Dr of the University of Rennes 1. They don't give mentions any more, which was disappointing because I'd anticipated it, but in general its a good policy, as they had become meaningless.

We then retired outside for champagne and nibblies, which also went really well. I was worried about how much food we would need, but as it turned out we got it just right, and the tartes were really good, and pretty much everything got eaten. The only catch was that the Australian bubbly I'd ordered got lost in delivery, so we had to settle for some Blanc de Blanc de Limoux that Dad and I had bought on Saturday as a backup.

In the evening, the jury, myself, Mum and Dad, and Pierre Alain all went out for dinner at the Taverne de la Marine, a seafood restaurant in town, which was a good opportunity to chat and relax a little.

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