Tuesday, May 11, 2010

thesis = defended

This past Friday, Nathan successfully defended his thesis!

His thesis was the culmination of two years of research, study and classwork, not to mention that summer he spent living in Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. It has been a long and hard journey, not just for him, but for both of us. Supporting a partner while they obtain a Masters degree is no easy task, but don't worry - Nathan will be returning the favor when I go back to school for my MFA!

A Masters in Environmental Science is quite different from a Masters in Library Science. My "thesis" was actually a paper written about a semester long internship I completed. Nathan's thesis was over 100 pages long, and the defense began with a 30 minute long public seminar during which he delivered a presentation on his research and findings. After the public portion, the public left and his thesis committee (five professors) stayed behind with Nathan and shut the door. For the next two hours, they grilled him about his entire thesis and course of study over the last two years. Luckily, the committee found him competent (someone even said he was brilliant, and I swear it was someone other than me!) and Nathan can now move on and graduate!

While I did not have any part in writing his thesis, I did cater the defense. I baked three varieties of vegan muffins (lemon poppy, mixed berry and double chocolate), purchased an airpot of coffee from the local coffee shop, and prepared two bowls of fruit. My hands were shaking as I set everything out, but I don't think anyone noticed.

After Nathan's defense, we celebrated by dining on sushi and Sapporo, purchasing the gun that Nathan had been saving up for, and then shooting the gun. I am not a huge fan of guns (mostly because they're loud) but every now and then I like to take a few shots. Nathan's thesis defense was one such occasion.

Congratulations, Nathan! I'm so proud of you!