February 5, 2011

Last night was a milestone for our family that I some times thought would never happen!  D’Arcy defended his Thesis and has now completed all the requirements for his Masters of Education (Administration).


Forgive me my excitement, but he started this program back in 2006 when I was on bed-rest; pregnant with Olivia.

It feels like a lifetime ago.

(This program has encompassed almost a third of our marriage!)

To say I am proud of him is an understatement.

When he found out that yesterday was the date to defend, he asked if I would accompany him.  I immediately called my parents and they offered to take the kids to their house for a sleepover so that I could go.

The timing of yesterday wasn’t the best, as his students wrote their last exam on Monday and he had to turn in his end-of-semester marks on Tuesday.  Luckily, he had “storm days” when school was canceled on both Wednesday & Thursday so he was able to get some work done.  (Not so much on Wednesday when I still had school so he was home with the four kids!)  Nonetheless, he got his power point presentation designed and ready.

I taught yesterday morning, then left straight after class so that we could head to the University.  I drove while D’Arcy practiced and I have to admit, I was really nervous for him.  His presentation in the car was awful!

We got to the university with just under an hour until the time of his Defense.  We met up with his advisor and the dreaded APA woman.  (At the third reading of his Thesis, it was discovered that he had improperly cited some of his references, so he had to go back through his entire paper (123 pages) and fix all his references so the paper would not be considered to be plagiarized.  This involved getting copies of all the books, journals, etc. and going back through them all – hence the “dreaded APA woman”!)  It was the first time he had met her in person and she actually turned out to be very lovely and supportive!

Because the third reader and external reader were in Ontario, D’Arcy presented his Thesis through Elluminate.  There were eleven people present in total, either in the room or through the computer.

I was able to snap a photo with my phone before it started:

He began at 4:00 and spoke for 40 minutes about his work.  Then his advisors/readers/audience asked him questions for another hour-and-a-half.  (The presentation and the first 45 minutes of questioning were really interesting!)  It was enlightening for me to be in the room.  My husband is SMART.  Not that I didn’t know that, but listening to him talk to me and listening to him present in that situation – there’s a difference.  I hung onto every word.

Finally, his advisor shut the questioning down and told the audience to leave the room.  She looked at me and nodded; at that point I realized I was considered part of the audience.  When we all were outside the room, D’Arcy was speaking to some of the other faculty and I called the restaurant where we had 6:30 reservations to tell them we would be late.

Everyone else left, with the exception of his two advisors and the two readers on Elluminate.  We were invited back in and one of his advisors shook his hand and said, “Let me be the first to congratulate you for earning your Masters of Education!”  His other advisor went on to explain that there were very few changes needed; just some spelling/typographical errors.  “Very Minor”  we were told.

In fact, we learned that he had earned a “Category A” rating which is the highest rating you can get.  The written comment:

“This thesis is very well written.  The purpose of the study is clear and the research questions are clearly outlined.  The student did a great job using mixed methods and using appropriate statistical analysis tools.  The data analysis is complete and a comprehensive description of the findings is provided. Implications for the study and relevant further areas of research are provided.  Congratulations for a job well done!”

When it was over, D’Arcy called the kids to tell them it was over.  The best reaction was when Sarah asked, “So you mean you did it? You defeated your thesis?”

Yes Sarah, Daddy certainly did defeat his thesis!

We invited D’Arcy’s advisor to join us for a small celebration, but she declined, telling us to go out and enjoy our evening alone together; she wants to put a celebration on for D’Arcy at graduation.

I now am starting to plan the graduation party in the back of my mind.  It is so hard to imagine that this is finally over.  I started my Diploma in Adult Education last semester and expect to take at least two years to complete the program.  D’Arcy’s advisor made a comment about building on his thesis for his Doctorate and I was quick to tell her – not for quite some time! It’s my turn right now!

We went out for dinner to celebrate and had a wonderful time.  It was as if a weight had been lifted off our shoulders!

We’ve marked May 1st on our calendars!!  It’s going to be a big day!!


One Response to “Defeated!!”

  1. Swimminhill Says:

    Yipee! Congratulations! 🙂

    And Anne, enjoy “your turn!”

    Lots of love and hugs!!! Us xox

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