I went to see my supervisor the day after I submitted my thesis. Supposedly I have to get her signature on the thesis submission form prior to submitting my thesis to the postgraduate office but I forgot. Hehe... (Nasib baiklah staff kat kaunter tu terima je thesis daku setelah melihat muka blur daku).
While signing the form, she asked "Are you satisfied [with you thesis]?"
I almost said "NO" but quickly change my mind and said "About 90%".
"That's a miracle coming from you."
It was a huge relief to finally submit my thesis after 4 years of studying and working. Of course given a choice, I would want to redo some part of it (continue some simulation, read some more journals, bla bla bla).
About a week after the submission, I received an e-mail from my supervisor, A forwarded e-mail between her and my internal and external examiners discussing the date for my viva. They agreed to have the viva on the afternoon of the second week of March, 2013. So I have just few weeks to prepare for my viva as well as packing our stuff to go back home. Remember, I have used up my four years of study leave from Ministry of Higher Education hence I have to go back home at the soonest possible. So we decided to book a small freight with a shipping company to come and collect our stuff and booked flight tickets to go home few days after I sit for my viva.
I have always thought we don't have that much of stuff because we rarely go to car boot sales and we rarely bid on e-bay. All the stuff we bought are planned for. So when it comes to packing our stuff I thought it won't take more than a week. Oh! How wrong can I be! Eeek! So don't underestimate how much stuff do you have.
Honestly I only start reading my thesis from cover to cover a week before my viva. I also used that time to run some more simulation on my mathematical model; on the part which I think the examiners might have questions. Oh! I manage to slip in sewing some pants for Auni during this time.
My husband and daughter were ready to send me to school about one and half hour before my viva took place. As we were just about to go out, there is a water leakage from upstairs. Urrghhh! Seriously, the tenant upstairs is making me crazy. She and her son manage to drive us crazy with their constant water leakage from their kitchen. The saddest part is the leakage goes straight to the place where we drain our dinnerware. My husband urges me to just leave the mess and let him clear it once he gets home. Of course I said NO, so I clean up the mess, rewash the dinnerware and put them away. Oh! I also went to see the upstairs tenant and give my piece of mind.
I sat with my supervisor for half an hour before the viva start, just for a small chat. I was a little nervous but not nervous nervous. At that point, the feeling that I have is more like "This is it and I am dead tired, I know what I am doing, I will explain and answer any questions the best I can." I also chat with my postdoc for few minutes. I am glad I took his advice, "Enjoy your viva, this is the only time you get to really talk about your thesis."
The viva took about two and half hours. Both of the examiners were nice; they set the atmosphere of the viva to feel more like a discussion rather than an exam. I still remember the external examiner introduction of the viva "We are trying to determine whether you did the work that was written in the thesis..."
I waited about 20 minutes outside the room where I had my viva before the internal examiner call me in. So the grand finale finally is here. I can hardly suppressed my excitement when the external examiners said "Reading your thesis is a pleasure to both of us." At that moment, the only thought that cross my mind is 'I think I pass the viva. Oh! I HOPE I pass.'
The external examiner then continued on saying "Congratulations, you are awarded a PhD subjected to the six months corrections, Dr. Nor Fadhillah."
(Rasa nak melompat pun ada masa ni, hahaha).
So, after everything has been said and done, this is it: