Thursday, October 27, 2005

Any questions?

The Doktah and I had several theories about the best way to schedule a thesis proposal and defense. Traditionally, people schedule them for early in the day, so as to get them over with. In addition, hopeful grad students usually try to get on the committee’s good side by plying them with coffee and doughnuts.

But The Doktah and I agreed that this is where typical students go wrong. The best time of day to have a thesis defense is not first thing in the morning, when the committee is fresh and awake. And it is definitely a mistake to give them coffee. The last thing you want is an alert, caffeinated thesis committee, full of probing questions. No, the best way to hold a thesis defense is in a warm room at 2:30 in the afternoon. Bribing the committee with food and drink is advisable, but give them wine and turkey. And warm milk if they’ll drink it.

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