As if cranking out an additional arbitrary number of pages to my dissertation Saturday night wasn't enough torture, last night I remembered that my defense is a week from tomorrow and I have to make a Keynote presentation about my research. Because once Mom, The Girl & I saddle up & ride out of town Friday morning, we will be visiting & commiserating with family, friends and my NeuroNerd colleagues and there will be precious little time to work on it. I've learned after all this time in gradual school that work does not get done at these week-long intensives. Sooo, I have to get it done by the time I hit the sheets tomorrow night. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.
Not that making a presentation in and of itself is that hard. Really, that's the easy part. The event is open to the public, so the hard part is distilling it down to an approximately 45-minute talk that will make sense to the non-neuronerd people in the audience - like my 80-something grandparents, redneck relations and teenage daughter. It takes a good 3 hours for me to read the damn thing - and I wrote it. I'm trying to just hit the high points but, unlike the prattling witnessed here, my academic writing style is so tight as to make it difficult to decide what to include. I'm not even through the literature review and have 27 slides. Gaah.
Did I mention The Girl has a flute lesson in town (30 miles away) today and I still have errands to run, a meeting with the insurance guy and need to get a pedicure in the midst of all this? Of course I didn't because errands and flute lessons and general mom stuff is just part of the deal of being a mom, right? What the hell is my family going to do when I actually have to go to work at a real job? They'll starve and be naked and have to figure out how to run their own damn errands, I guess.
At any rate, The Girl & I were shopping yesterday for a plain black pencil skirt for me to wear at the defense and the graduation because after 7 years of sitting on my ass in front of a computer and moving nothing but my fingers (which, by the way, does NOT constitute a workout), said ass has expanded beyond the capacity of my previous plain black pencil skirts. Honestly, I didn't think they wanted me to go commando under my robes. Good luck finding anything other than tacky-ass tank tops and flip flops in Texas in July, right? So we were at Macy's in Fort Worth when what to my wondering eyes did appear but a gorgeous red Liz Claiborne suit - half off - my favorite color and in my new giant economy size! Could I be any luckier!? I did a little "Woohoo! Hell Yeah!" dance and happily whisked it away.
So now, when I defend my dissertation, I will be using my red-clad Mac, a luscious red Keynote background for the presentation and be rockin' in my new red suit with a black silk chemise and black suede pumps with little black ribbons criss crossing over the vamp - HAWWTTT. It will be a power evening, for sure. Oh, then there will be much red wine at the reception afterwards. Let's just hope the room isn't green, so the event doesn't have the visual appeal of a fucking Christmas tree, shall we?
Am I nervous about the defense? Actually, not in the least. Know why? Of course you don't, because I haven't told you, yet. I am not nervous because it's my research. Nobody on this planet knows more about it than I do. Sure, my committee has read through it a couple of times, and they'll be asking questions when I finish, but I own it. I AM the expert.