April 29, 2007
Ok, I did it. I successfull defended my research, I passed my oral comps, and my thesis is just waiting to be bound--I'm officially done with my master's degree. Other than dealing with a semi-serious identity crisis, I'm feeling pretty good about this accomplishment.
Yesterday went smoothly for the most part. I'm sure you're interested in the details, so let me just give you a few of the highlights.
1) My advisor arranged for his 7th grade daughter to babysit for James while I presented my thesis. When I met her I said, "Hi, my name is Amy and this is James!" She looked at James and said "Ooooohhhh, he's SO cute!" A nice, 7th grade girl type of reaction. I did a quick babysitter assessment, and her flowered dress seemed to indicate that she was a sweet kid. Then she looked up at me and said "My name is Taylor. But I prefer to be called 'Storm' or 'Oh-Evil-One.'" She showed me her certified babysitter certificate from the girlscouts and I was like, "uh, ok..." as she and two of her closest friends wheeled my innocent child away in his stroller. Jared assured me that 7th grade is a very awkward time for kids. Thankfully 'Oh-Evil-One' came skipping back to campus with her pig tails bouncing one hour later and delivered James in a single piece.
2) My thesis research was about the suitability of a community assessment model and the development of a revitalization plan for a town in Texas. The small, rural community that I focused on is called Rosebud. When I asked for questions or comments at the end of my defense, this is what I got from my classmates...
Classmate #1: Have you seen the movie Citizen Kane? Because at the end, the guy is all 'Rosebud, Rosebud...' That's the name of his sled.
Me: [thoroughly confused] Wow, thanks for the information. I was not aware of that as I have not seen that movie. (?).
Classmate #2: Do you know what Rosebud needs? They need a race car to break down in their town.
Me: Really? How do you think that would contribute to the local revitalization efforts?
Classmate #2: Yeah, at least that's what worked for Radiator Springs in the movie Cars.
Me: You're right. Thanks for bringing that up. I hadn't made that connection. (?).
3) For my oral comps, I had to ask a question about efficiency and effectiveness in policy making. I used OSHA as an example of a governement agency that increases equity, but decreases efficiency. One of the professors on the panel replies to my answer with the following question:
Prof: I appreciate your point of view, but do you believe equity was truly achieved when all of the doors were left locked and there was a deadly fire in the chicken coups?
Me: [thinking: What in the shnit is this woman talking about???] I'm not sure I understand the what you're asking, would you mind reframing the question?
Yeah, so I still have no clue what the woman was talking about. But I don't care. I passed, and I'm graduating! Phew.