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In my defense

November 7, 2011

Good news everybody. The thesis defense took place this past Friday and it went well. I met with the committee for about two hours, plus another half hour afterwards shooting the hooey with the committee chair. The whole thing was a terrific success.

I showed up at room 467 a few minutes before one o’clock and saw Meyer standing in the hall reading the bulletin board; clipped articles touting recent publications by PSU’s esteemed MFA professors. A few minutes later D’Ambrosio and Paulson arrived and the four of us stepped into the sanctum sanctorum. Introductions were in order: D’Ambrosio and Paulson were both creative writing profs but they had never met Meyer, who hailed from the Publishing department. After a round of how-do-you-dos, we got down to business.

D’Ambrosio asked me questions about my time at PSU and the development of my thesis. I shared my thoughts regarding the ways in which I felt the thesis fell short of being a complete work of art, namely–and too succinctly–trouble with point of view. This conversation was the juiciest part of the whole process for me. We talked about narrative and point of view–and character and voice and plot–as they related to my thesis. I was delighted to hear well-considered, specific, detailed comments about my text and style. We tossed around a few ideas for changes to the manuscript and discussed why/how those changes might help strengthen the point of view. This conversation was a lot of fun for me and I feel lucky to have had the attention and participation of these three savvy committee members.

So yeah, it went well. I survived. I’m set to graduate. I’ve got some paperwork and writerly stuff to do, but this event marks the end of a chapter.


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