It’s official: Diana Hsieh is now Dr. Diana Hsieh.
I woke up at 5:30 this morning to finish reading my dissertation, as well as to prepare the opening remarks for my defense. I did that, and then, in a bit of a rush, I drove the 55-mile / 65-minute trek to Boulder. As the last of its kind after seven long years of exhausting commutes, that drive was remarkably satisfying in itself.
The defense — from noon to two — went well. My committee was pretty easygoing, but fielding major questions about my work for more than an hour and a half does take its toll. My brain felt pretty well-frozen by the end. And then I had the emotional shock of being really done. So to recover myself, I drank some champagne in the department with my committee. Then Conrad and I enjoyed a beautiful ninety minute hike from Flatirons Vista, just south of Boulder. By the end, I felt like myself again.
After that, I headed to northwest Denver to conduct the second meeting of Front Range Objectivism’s summer Atlas Shrugged Reading Group. I’m very pleased with that group, but I’ll save the details for another post.
I got home about 10 pm, and now I’m definitely headed for bed. It has been a long, exhausting, and most excellent day. I appreciate — far more than expected — all of the well-wishes posted to these comments, as well as the congratulations posted to Twitter and FaceBook. I felt like I had my own personal cheering section on the last home stretch of a race. (My favorite line was via e-mail: “Break a premise!”)
I should mention that my Ph.D isn’t entirely finished yet: I have some minor changes to make to the dissertation this upcoming week before I submit the uber-final version to the university. However, as I’ve learned the hard way of late, even minor changes to a 320-page manuscript will require much time and effort. (I’m not required to make changes, but I noticed some fixable problems when I re-read the dissertation these past few days, mostly just bits of unclear verbiage.) Once that is done, I’ll release it for public consumption.
Again, thank you, everyone!