academic PhD Life reflections theology

pre-defense reflections

I feel so thankful for getting to write my dissertation on trauma and also for the defense that is scheduled for tomorrow. I am feeling thankful that the defense is tomorrow, and also thankful as if I already passed my defense even though it hasn’t happened yet. Over the weekend, I was feeling dizzy, which I figured was caused by anxiety and stress about upcoming defense. I am nearly dizziness free today. And just feeling thankful and happy. Yesterday, as I was reading the last chapter of the dissertation, I actually enjoyed what I was reading! My advisor said that usually happens after the defense. All that to say, the defense is scheduled and happening as scheduled. It didn’t get rescheduled, which I believe is a good sign.

I am working on a five sentence elevator speech about my dissertation. 1) The goal of my dissertation is to construct a theology of trauma using affect theory and process thought. 2) In relation to affect theory, the transmission and social dimensions of trauma can be explained. 3) With affect theory, the interconnectedness of individuals become clear. 4) Process thought demonstrates how new beginnings are possible for trauma survivors. 5) With narratives and imagination, and by cooperation of individuals and communities, broken social fabric can be rebuilt, not a full recovery or return to pre-trauma state, but to a new beginning.

Think I need to keep working on my five minutes/sentence elevator speech about my dissertation. I have a funny anecdote related to elevator speech about my dissertation. I chatted with a stranger on a dating app. He asked about my dissertation. I gave him couple sentences the best I could. He said, it’s hard to argue with that. Then soon after that, he ended communication. I knew then that I needed to step up my elevator speech about my dissertation. You can find out helpful things from the strangest places!

I am so thankful for my readers! Can you believe it? Before tomorrow afternoon, three professors–my dissertation committee–would have read (re-read) the entire 250 pages of my dissertation! And then we get to have a defense conversation about my work that took about 2 years to produce. I have never before come so far in a PhD program. Thanks be to God! And thankful for the village of friends and family whose support and prayers have carried me here.

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