Aug 31, 2011

Our Last Mile

Damned, I'm nervous! I've been nervous and on mounting proportions since Monday afternoon, and the reason being that on this fateful Monday afternoon, some minutes after 17 h I received a call from the University: we've been given a date for the defense of our thesis. Yes! A reason to be happy! Ehem, yes, for this Friday at 14 h. *screeching sound* O_O Come again?

Mile and I met this Saturday to work on our presentation. Didn't get around practicing our presentation, only discussing what goes in the slides, but then again, though we knew the deadline for the thesis is, well, this Friday, we had no news on when  the actual defense date would be and we were thinking more on the lines of preparing to ask for a extension, since we would evidently run out of time. I remember telling Mile that it would be a HUGE MIRACLE if we've got to defend on Friday, but that was so impossible, so out of the realm of possibilities, that honestly, in the best of cases, we would defend NEXT Friday. We even made an appointment to meet on Saturday - this Saturday - to practice our defense presentation.

This thesis has been a war through and through. From the struggles with the tutor to get things going on, going over and over the same issues, trying to get information, facing open opposition and animosity, all sorts of strange things to debunk the lectors we really wanted, obstacles and whatnots to get in the way to the people ready to help us... For years it seemed like a monster working against us, trying to force us to desist from the attempt, in way that defy any sense of logic. People from other Faculties stared in amazement at our recount of the things we were told and were exposed to. Then, step by step fighting to get it done, then the struggle to get it approved, biting back the impulse to just slash out and dish a few truths in the open.

Mile and I grew closer, like two soldiers left alone behind enemy lines, holding to our helmets, fisting hard our rifles, and pushing, pushing, pushing.

Then the "administrative mistakes" such as "oh yes, you are in such a hurry, and I know, and I still forgot entirely about sending your request for over three weeks, and were you not called me, it will still be sitting in my desk waiting to be sent".

For years - and literally, YEARS, since 2007 - Mile and I always turned to each other and said, "we are one step closer". It was like a mantra. We only had each other, and we had to stick together, and so we decided not to look at the dark side of the process, but look only at the positive. "We are one step closer". We could be at the begining, the job opportunities and promotion chances sliding past us, chances gone for good, or another set back hideously rolled before us, and still we held our hands hard like two lost little girls in the deep, dark woods and say "But we are one step closer".

Step by step we celebrated each finished stage of the process and took strenght to face the next. In the end, for over a year now - since May, 2010 - our mantra changed to "We are close".

"We are on the last mile," we said to each other "we are done, and these are the last steps."

Used to fight against all chances, we prepared a slideshow "just in case". We fought constantly to stay one step ahead the process, whenever we could have that step given. We tried not to get our hopes too high, so that we didn't brace for the possible blow, and it worked every time. We struggled and we fought and we gained our turf slowly, and inch at the time. I guess we didn't expect this. It is finally here, our last step.

I'm nervous, I won't hide it - not here -  and I feel like screaming and crying. It's like I must be on my toes all day to keep my tears from rolling down my cheeks. I'm so scared! We were prepared to keep fighting the system, and now the system has finally yielded, and - I'm so sure - all by the hand of God. We weren't supposed to defend on Friday, but God made it possible.

In a little over three days time we have to prepare for the defense - practice our presentation - and handle the logistics: snacks, coffee, name holders, water for the table...

This is it. This is.

I rushed yesterday looking for a suit, nothing too fancy,  but then again anything that doesn't look like what a whore would use to play the part of the naughty executive lady, is truly overpriced. I found a suit at ARMI. The pants are huge on me, so Mom and I will work on taking it in and fitting it, but it was that or see what can I use from my currently depleted suit collection. I was really on the point of "buy a suit or get used to having only informal clothes".

Tomorrow I'm on vacations - from work, that's it, so as Friday, as fixing a permit for thesis defense on such a short notice with the appointed HHRR is next to Mission Impossible - so you weren't going to hear or read from me in the next two days, but now you know why else you won't.

Wish me Luck! (and calm)


Sartassa said...

OMGOMG!!!!! *cross my fingers* OMG
no seriously ... I am so happy for you! Finally! Haha you know what I thought as I read it? Won't there be some kind of empty spot in her life when she got this thing done? You know what I mean? Of course you can be glad and relieved but you put so much efford into the thesis, where to put it now? :D


Storm Bunny said...

Hahaha! Oh, trust me, I can deal with that "void". We've actually suffered a lot during this process, so the first thing we will do when this is over and we are finally Licenciates, is relax, kick back, enjoy and not think about it. Then, we'll probably rework the text into an article for a specialized magazine. Have been thinking also that, if all goes well, I'll meet with the people of the project (there is a project about these fishermen) and offer to work with them a bit, until I go to Hungary.

Then, when I have rested all this worrying and running and preparing and fighting, I'll embark on my path towards my PhD, and probably work some more on my theory about the relation between money (goods) and happiness. ^_^ But all that without people leering over me, setting deadlines and making me nervous with unnecessary obstacles and "administrative issues".

Dragonfly said...

Once again, Congrats!

Storm Bunny said...

Thank You!