I will soon be a Master... or I will be locked in an asylum.

In just under 3 hours I will be defending my MA thesis. So of course I’m here on the Dope instead of preparing.

The college I work for just announced that we will be switching to online instruction, for which we have never been trained on and are woefully unprepared (I work at a remote satellite site and we do not have any meaningful internet access due to its rural location). I literally have no clue how to do this, despite repeated requests from myself all of my fellow department faculty on some fucking PD on using the online LMS.

The Guv just announced that all state schools are closed, so that means my two teenagers will have two weeks of spring break, not one. So today, after my defense, I need to go into the nearest town and, hopefully, procure at least two week’s worth of groceries. The crowds, I fear, will be immense. The good news is that I have lots of toilet paper and not two but three full and unused 8oz bottles of Purell, as well as a dollar-store package of Purell sanitzing wipes. In the hand sanitizer department, I feel like Mansa Musa.

As soon as my wife gets off of work we’re piling into the family car and driving to Portland, 3 hours away. My mom is currently in the hospital trying very hard not to die of exotic and often lethal cardiac ailments. It will be a totally unfun mini vacay. The world is freaking about about the cov-whatever-whatever, and I’m about to go spend two days sitting in a hospital.

So. I will either come out of this weekend with many successes, or I’ll be relegated to a loony bin. Wish me luck.

I hope your weekend is looking more enjoyable than mine.

Good luck! I hope you make it. Um, yeah I guess my weekend Does sound more fun, and next week happens to be a vacation week for me. But I cancelled my trip to Vegas, and then I got tapped for jury duty Mon, so I will be locked in a smallish room with a perp and 12 of my diseased fellow citizens. Kinda still sounds more fun tho.

Again, good luck… Master.

Good luck!

Speaking purely about a thesis defense, not the associated issues you’re experiencing, I found it mostly benign when I defended my master’s thesis. It was my work, I knew it better than them. I described it and was able to answer most of the questions with no problem.


I didn’t expect them to drill down quite so far on the statistics. My experiment had been on teaching methodologies and I ran into a problem at the outset: the two class groups I was using tested differently in pretest. That meant I had to do some statistical gymnastics to account for it, which was facilitated by an actual statistician being one my advisors at the invite of my supervisor. Super smart guy and he hooked me up with some serious statistical tools that I understood in effect, but I’m not a statistician and some of it was far above my head.

At my defense I was asked about it, which I expected. But they kept asking questions and my recollection (this was 20 years ago) is that if they had asked one question further I might have been in trouble. But I answered the last question, the committee looked around at each other and decided they were done. Not by the skin of my teeth, but I was worried where it might have gone if there were more stats questions.

Don’t freak about the transition to online classes. Yes it will be a cluster, but it won’t be your fault and everyone will be in the same boat.

I’m in a recupe center. We are on lockdown. I don’t expect any visitors. I may never get outta here.
If I fall off the Dope y’all send out a posse.

Good luck; we’re all counting on you!


Two fucking years of research and writing and editing and and and…

And it’s over.

Now to worry about all the other stuff.


Way to go, Master!

You are a jack of all trades and a master of one. Good Job.

Woohoo! I bow to the master.