Eight months and ten days after I submitted my thesis, I finally received my results.
My thesis is accepted. The doctorate will be awarded. And all is right with the world.
During all this time I've been silent on my blog but I've always wanted to make this end of the thesis journey more transparent for students coming after me so they know what to expect.
The reason my results took so long is that the first two examiner reports were substantially different. It then took a while to go from one person to another to another and then finally to committee to decide it would go to a third examiner. Thankfully that examiner examined very promptly and I received my results on Friday.
It's a huge relief and I'm a bit numb really. It's a massive weight off my shoulders - after that long you can't help but start doubting the quality of your work and wondering what you should've done differently. That it has ultimately been accepted without changes is a huge honour and a better result than I had expected. It's been a long eight months of wondering, and promising people that as soon as I know they'll know!
For those of you from other countries, the thesis for me is the only form of assessment for the PhD - no oral defense, no viva, no coursework, no exams. So the thesis is the whole thing. And once results are received the question is how many changes you have to make to make it acceptable so you could be facing months or even a year of more work.
(Here's a handy post from the Thesiswhisperer about the examination process in Australia.)
In hindsight, what I would do differently is start calling the Grad Centre earlier. I waited about four months, when really I should've called up sooner. They were helpful with telling me as much as I was allowed to know and it's always better when you know what's going on, even if it's knowing you have to wait longer. I probably also would've tried to work and travel more rather than try to expect when the results would arrive and thus when I would have to work on revisions.
So what now?PhD-wise - I still need to make my final revisions to the thesis, but at least I can make changes as I wish rather than have to tick off any boxes or jump any hurdles to meet anyone else's requirements. Then it's a matter of deciding what colour to make the cover of my thesis, print and bind and submit. At some point the doctorate will be conferred and I'll then be able to answer to 'Doctor'. And in about March next year I'll graduate, with a silly hat and Harry Potter robe. So it's still awhile before it's completely done with, but the most major of summits has been scaled, and it's now just the formality of getting up on the pedestal.
Otherwise - get a job. If you are looking to hire, or know of someone who needs a fantastic... whatever I am: PhD, linguist, researcher, analyst, transcriber, editor, proofreader, slideshowster and accidental illustrator - then get in contact.
And after that: World conquest.