July 2, 2009

A week ago today (that is, on 25 June, 2009), I successfully defended my PhD thesis at the University of Maryland, College Park. Pace a few edits, I’m now a Dr of Philosophy (in Philosophy).

Big thanks to Jeff Horty, my advisor, for making this possible.

I’m happy that my long, international nightmare* is finally over. The short-term career ramifications are minor (other than my having a bit more free time and mental energy): I’d already completed probation at the University of Manchester (though, having a defense date probably helped a bit with that). I should make promotion somewhat easier…at the very least it won’t be something that needs explanation and overriding. I’m, by default, legitimate now. (And that’s my main reaction: a new sense of legitimacy. Yay.)

For the long-term, it definitely opens up some doors that were completely closed to me. For example, I almost certainly could not get a faculty job in the States without a PhD. I’ll still have a weird career shape, but that’s not such a barrier (esp. in computer science; philosophy is another game altogether).

It’s definitely something I never want to do again!

*That’s a Gerald Ford reference, for the interested.

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