The circle is now complete…

In the past two weeks I have:
1– Defended my dissertation
Thanks in part to the extra experience I got giving presentations during my graduate student career, this was not a big deal for me. I rather enjoyed it, but I wish I had more time (I ‘shortened’ my presentation to 73 slides. :-/ ).

2– Made corrections to my dissertation
Luckily, I had no major re-writes, it was just a lot of typos/grammar/formatting I had to fix. If you have ever read ERV, this is not a shock to you.

3– Moved across the country.

Me: *sick of packing* Lets just burn everything.

Partner: Hahaha!

*over 9000 hours later*

Partner: Lets just burn everything.

I am never doing this again.

4– Started new job.
Love it. So happy. I cant believe I get paid to do this stuff.

Things should be settling down and getting back to normal at ERV. I will have ~20 minute bus ride to/from work every day, and my bro/sis-in-law are upgrading their tablets and gifting me one of their old ones with cellular data, so I can blag on my way to/from work!



— ERV, Ph. D.


  1. #1 Blaise Pascal
    November 5, 2013

    Congratulations, Dr. Smith.

  2. #2 thegomezsymbol
    Washington, DC
    November 5, 2013


  3. #3 bobh
    November 5, 2013

    Congratulations and I’m looking forward to reading all of your pent up blag (sic) material – you are one of my favorites here. I got my PhD (Physics) in 1974, believe me you still have a long strange trip ahead.

    * I figured you threw blag in there just to make your point about editing.

  4. #4 Nicholas Matzke
    United States
    November 5, 2013

    Congrats, Dr. ERV! I did this in August and still haven’t fully reassembled my life, I just got a bed last week…

  5. #5 Sannica
    November 5, 2013

    Congratulations from another internet stranger! I too am looking forward to the crazy, jam-packed world of “write-defend-revise-graduate?[findajob]-pack-move” in the next few months. It’s nice to know it’s survivable! Best of luck in your new world…

  6. #6 Cubist
    November 5, 2013

    I predict many LOST IN SPACE jokes in your future career.

  7. #7 biopunk
    November 5, 2013

    Yay, Abbie!

    Congratulations on making the Ph. D.

    But 73 slides? Dare I ask how long the original unexpurgated dissertation was?

  8. #8 fusilier
    November 6, 2013

    Applause, applause, applause.

    … and how is Arnie taking the move?


    James 2:24

  9. #9 Malky
    November 6, 2013

    Really pleased for you – onwards and upwards!

  10. #10 Mu
    November 6, 2013

    Grad students don’t have much stuff ;). Congratulations on getting it done.

  11. #11 Bruce
    November 7, 2013


  12. #12 Stephen Bahl
    November 8, 2013


  13. #13 vhutchison
    November 9, 2013


  14. #14 ERV
    November 9, 2013

    All– Thank you!!!!!

    Sannica– START NOW. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD START NOW. The basics of your field arent going to change, get started on your intro! And start job hunting! Most PIs are totally flexible with the ‘Well I havent graduated yet but I hope to defend in ___’ position. That is normal. The people I know who waited to start seriously hunting until after they graduated were/are *very* stressed out. Ask your PI if any of their PI friends are looking for someone, too. Your PI knows you the best, and will know if you would fit well with those folks, and it might give you an ‘in’ on some positions before they are officially advertised.

    biopunk– When I got to 100, I realized it wasnt going to happen, and I stopped adding/started cutting from there :-/

    fusilier– Arnie was freaked out at first (two days of driving in the car, he had to ride in the front seat because the back seat was loaded). But he LOVES IT HERE. We are renting a house with a yard (no more apartment), there are people walking by with dogs every five minutes, trees and squirrels and new smells EVERYWHERE– he is *happy* 😀

    Mu– Youre right! Grad students dont have stuff, so MY stuff was easy. But then we had Parners stuff (martial arts equipment, security equipment, jewelry equipment) kids stuff dogs stuff AAAARG!!!

  15. #15 Kemanorel
    November 11, 2013

    Congrats, Dr. Smith!

  16. #16 dustbubble
    underground, overground ..
    November 15, 2013

    Aha! I knew it! YOU are The Doctor.
    Couldn’t you just shove all the stuff in the TARDIS and uHaul it that way?
    Well done kid.

    And just keep taking the tablets.

  17. #17 Bob of QF
    November 15, 2013

    That’s *Doctor* ERV to you.


  18. #18 wadhamite
    November 26, 2013

    I also finished my PhD and had my viva (minor corrections) last week… Now I’m lecturing for my university, thinking about new virology/host-path interaction projects, and teaching comparative genomics. Going to send out your blogs to my students for both the courses I teach as some Christmas reading!

  19. #19 W. Kevin Vicklund
    February 20, 2014

    Chiming in really late, but congratulations! I know how much work you had to put in to get this.

    How do I know? Well, it’s the reason I’m chiming in late: my wife just successfully defended her dissertation today! Some edits (mos of which she caught prepping for the defense), but nothing outrageous. I’ve had to spend so much time in a support role that I had cut way back on following ScienceBlogs. But finally, after 16 years (though that includes getting the master’s degree), she’s getting her doctorate.

    And now, sleep.

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