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The Dr. is in

Big news: even though I hit a few bumps along the way, I successfully defended my PhD dissertation on Friday!!!  It was a gruelling, sweat-inducing afternoon of fielding question after question, with nary a snack or bathroom break.  I didn’t make it through unscathed – I have major revisions to complete, and only one month to complete them – but I did it!  Soon I will no longer be able to relate to this hilarious list of “grad school problems”.

It was a difficult task to both defend my work and also recognize room for improvement.  I felt awkward challenging scholars I deeply admire and respect, but in some cases I felt justified standing my ground.  Other times, I readily admitted that my project could benefit from their suggestions.  When this experience is in my rear view mirror, I promise to share some juicier details plus a link to my finished dissertation.  For now, I have a full schedule.  On my list of things to do:

  1. Eat a pan of brownies in celebration.
  2. Make sure everyone I know updates my contact information (to Dr. please).
  3. Get to those revisions!
  4. Eat one more brownie.



  1. Nicole
    December 2, 2013 / 2:54 pm

    From one fellow Ph.D. student to another… CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 3, 2013 / 4:28 am

      Thank you!!! They really set this experience to be super stressful, don't they? I had someone tell me to think of it as a "dissertation discussion," not "defense" and that helped. Although I was still too nervous to eat!

    • Nicole
      December 3, 2013 / 3:27 pm

      I've been told that the proposal is the worst, and that defense is (like you said) a discussion. That does fail to take away the stress of the whole thing though.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 3, 2013 / 5:02 pm

      My proposal defense was rocky – everyone had a different idea of what my project should look like and, in the end, it changed quite a bit from that input. A friend sailed through her proposal defense but her dissertation defense was made difficult by an external who wanted to fail her. Her experience frightened me! One common theme I heard was that if you make it to defense, you're ready. They wouldn't approve someone they didn't think was ready. This was not helpful for me, as one reviewer admitted she'd been on the fence. But in the end I'd give the same words of encouragement to someone. I think there's also a lot of paperwork to fail someone, lol.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 3, 2013 / 5:04 pm

      P.S. I hope your defense goes well – I'm assuming you haven't defended yet. Sending scholarly vibes your way, lol 🙂

  2. Patricia
    December 2, 2013 / 3:15 pm

    Congratulations on your achievement!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 2, 2013 / 6:27 pm

      Thank you!!

  3. Jae
    December 2, 2013 / 3:24 pm


    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 2, 2013 / 6:27 pm

      Thanks 🙂

  4. Ashley
    December 2, 2013 / 4:01 pm


    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 2, 2013 / 6:27 pm


  5. Stephanie @ Sandpaper and Glue
    December 2, 2013 / 4:27 pm

    hooooooray!!!! such a big achievement, congrats!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 2, 2013 / 6:27 pm

      Hooooray indeed. I can't believe the defense finally came . . . and went. Surreal 🙂

  6. Katchups
    December 2, 2013 / 4:50 pm

    Congratulations, that's so awesome!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 2, 2013 / 6:28 pm


  7. Dora
    December 2, 2013 / 5:28 pm

    That is such great news, Tanya! Congratulations!!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 2, 2013 / 6:28 pm

      I'm pretty excited, thanks!!!

  8. Dana@Mid2Mod
    December 2, 2013 / 11:16 pm

    Yaaaaaaaay! Soon the revisions will be behind you, and you'll be able to rest on your laurels.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 3, 2013 / 4:26 am

      Thanks Dana!! I'm looking forward to the resting, lol.

  9. Jordana @WhiteCabana
    December 2, 2013 / 11:16 pm

    Congrats Dr. Tanya!!!! HOORAY!!!! It's the greatest feeling ever, isn't it? Amazing. Now…get those revisions done so you can continue with the house progress!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 3, 2013 / 4:26 am

      Haha, thanks!! I am very eager to return my attention to the house. It's a total disaster right now. I'm so behind in life in general. I need a haircut, a dental check-up, winter socks . . . everything has taken a back seat.

  10. Rachelle Falcon
    December 3, 2013 / 3:34 am

    Congratulations!!, that is awesome

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 3, 2013 / 4:27 am

      Thanks!! It feels awesomely weird . . .

  11. Oona
    December 3, 2013 / 5:30 am

    Hooray!!! Yes! And though we all knew you could do it, that doesn't make it any less exciting that you have. So glad for you, Tanya. Now… eat those brownies (take an extra one in behalf of all migraine sufferers who can't have chocolate), have a lovely hot toddy by the fire… and then as Jordana says, put that dissertation to bed. There's a whole bevy of readers in paint-spattered DIY clothes who are looking forward to reading it!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 3, 2013 / 3:17 pm

      I'm so happy you said that. So much of my family has implied it was inevitable but it sure didn't feel that way from this end of things! Thanks for your support through this process – you've given some excellent advice and I've appreciated the encouragement. You've really understood. I'm turning back to my corrections right now, I swear!

  12. cred
    December 3, 2013 / 2:24 pm

    Congratulations! I'm so excited for you.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 3, 2013 / 3:15 pm


  13. Jenn
    December 3, 2013 / 4:09 pm

    Congratulations Dr. Tanya! I"m a fellow Canadian PhD student (social psychology) so I like to live vicariously through your triumphs 🙂 Love seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 3, 2013 / 5:03 pm

      It's so fun that other PhD students read the blog 🙂 Best of luck on your research – I hear psychology is a very demanding discipline (the statistics sure scared me away!).

  14. Lindsey @ A Pear to Remember
    December 3, 2013 / 5:05 pm

    Dr. Tayna, I've been loving your blog for YEARS and am one of few blog readers who read your thesis when you posted it a year or so ago—I told you then, the content hit close to home, and I was so impressed. CONGRATS to you, such hard and long work!! May I one day achieve a feat so great to justify that pan o' brownies…And congrats on your new home, I showed my hubs and he agrees it is ROCKIN' (though I think he is especially envious of your "foxy" neighbors 😉

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 3, 2013 / 7:11 pm

      I would bet you're the only reader to read my thesis 😉 I remember that it resonated with you. That made me so happy. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement.Haha, yes the foxes are the highlight. I hope to see little baby kits running around.

  15. honbc
    December 4, 2013 / 12:57 am


    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 4, 2013 / 2:51 am

      Thank you!!

  16. muchadored
    December 4, 2013 / 1:41 am

    Congratulations! I've really enjoyed the posts where you discuss your research, and I'm so happy for you!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 4, 2013 / 2:52 am

      Thanks, I'm happy those posts have been fun to read. I promise a link to the finished project, and a better summary of the research too (because the dissertation is so long, even I dread reading it, lol).

  17. MJ
    December 4, 2013 / 5:07 pm

    Congratulations, Dr. Tanya! Thanks for sharing the experience with us. Best wishes for rapid revisions (though I think you can allow yourself time to buy winter socks. It's hard to write with cold feet.).

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 5, 2013 / 12:00 am

      Thanks!!Haha, but I wasted so much time finding a parka, lol! Two socks at a time will have to do for now.

  18. Kelly
    December 4, 2013 / 11:03 pm

    I look forward to reading your thesis and I congratulate you on such a impressive accomplishment!! Now what will you do with all your time……. ? 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      December 5, 2013 / 12:03 am

      Thanks!! I know: free time! We'll finally be moving once I submit revisions. Then I have to make over the kitchen in the lakehouse. I have dozens of projects lined up! Professionally, I need to build my CV by adding more scholarly publications, which will hopefully help me land a university teaching job. In the meantime, I want to start my Etsy shop running again. I'm looking forward to all of this.

  19. tanya
    June 24, 2014 / 3:35 am

    Congratulations! I defended about a month before you, and you spell your name the same way I do, so I feel a bit of a kinship.:)

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 24, 2014 / 3:25 pm

      Congrats to you too! Can I ask what your area of research is? I feel kinship too, but do you pronounce it the same? That's the big question, lol. Mine is "Tawn-ya".

    • tanya
      June 28, 2014 / 4:07 pm

      I DO pronounce it the same! My research is in the area of education, specifically adolescent literacy. All the best to you. I'm amazed you finished a PhD and did all these dreamy house projects too. Go, you!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 29, 2014 / 5:00 pm

      Yay!! Love when another Tanya pronounces it the same. No one ever gets it right – not even my father-in-law says it the way I'd prefer, lol. I've long given up.Your research sounds so interesting – and so crucial. All the best to you as well, thanks so much for saying "Hi" – and stroking my ego a bit, ha ha 🙂

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