Jul. 18th, 2009 08:36 pm
dr_ether: (Default)

So on Friday was graduation and so myself and Sam and my parents were staying over at Sam's mother's home in Manchester. Of course it has been all the fun of having family all in one place. On the Firday morning we were all up and headed into Manchester to the Whitworth Hall where graduation takes place for the University of Manchester. I headed off to get my robes (see above) and so everyone else waited about and after abit my sister, the other Dr Handley, turned up. I had enough tickets for 4 people, so my sister was lucky enough to get another and was able to take a seat in the hall. Of course the entire affair was long. I had to be in the hall 40 mins early to make sure that everyone was ticked off on the lists. My family then took their seats and the hall filled up to the music of the organ. Prof Gaskell was overseeing the entire ceremony, and for him it was his last as he is now to be head of another university. After some time it was my time to walk up on stage, to which I made out some one shouting out well done. This was Sam's mum, though I missed Sam calling out 'I love you!', as there was lots of clapping going on. So after about 30 mins of nonstop calpping we left, floppy cap on heads, and headed off to the reception of champagne and strawberries and then onwards to meet up with Geoff, Tofu and Nix's. The evening was spent in Dough where we had a chance to meet up with Daniel, Sam's brother, the first time since we had seen him at the wedding in Venice.

Today Sam had her hair cut into a nice new edgy fashion, while I went for a walk , popping into shops to see old friends before meeting up with Alan, Mel and Johnny.

Tonight is going to be a redux on mine Sam's first date, and then seeing who else wants to have drink.

More pictures here

dr_ether: (Default)
So yes if you haven't paid attention to my LJ/Facebook/Twitter then I passed the viva yesterday.

Was it an easy day..... hmmmm. Sort of. I left Leamington Spa at 0945 and made two changes in order to make it to Manchester in time for my viva voce at 1330. I could have got to Manchester earlier but that would have meant leaving at peak time and so my train ticket would have cost double. Yeah £80 return!

Getting to Manchester I made my way to MIB. It was quite different heading into that building. Because I was all dressed up in a suit I just looked like all the other visitors that I have seen come to meet people in the building. Matt from the Popelier group came down to let me in to the building and then I was back in my old office finding out what had been going on since I was gone and what things that they could help me out with for one of my more recent papers.

Then it was time for the viva and I headed down to the office next to Paul Popeliers where the viva was to be held. It was good to see Alan Hinchliffe again. Alan was another of the ex UMIST chemistry lecturers. I took every lecture he gave in all 4 years of my degree and he was my personal advisor in the first year of my PhD until he was selected to be my internal examiner for my PhD. Thank god I get on well with him as it was good to know there was a friendly face in my exam. In comparison Nakul, another ex Popelier group PhD student had another lecturer, Rob Dryfe, be his internal examiner. Rob is a good laugh but in exams he is said to be tricky than the external examiners. Thus the nickname the 'Smiling Assassin'.

My external examiner was Prof Jonathan Hirst who seemed fairly nice. Rob Deeth,  my new supervisor in Wariwck did warn me that Hirst was quite clever. It turned out that Hirst's home town is Leamington Spa so it was nice to chat about the uni and the town.

The first part of the viva was not fun as I got asked to give formulas that I had written down in my thesis. I find those types of questions really shit as I don't learn formula off by heart but I do know how to dervive them and I at least understand them. But other questions were good as I got to talk about the more unique parts of my work and it's relevance. The latter half of the viva was easier as it focused on my work and considering a lot of it is published or in the process of making it to the journals it was rather easy to defend.

So after almost 2 and a half hours I was told to go wait outside, so I went and sat in Paul's office and had a brief chat. Then five minutes later I was called back in and Hirst told me I had passed and shook my hand. Alan was very kind as he had also brought, pre-wrapped, a copy of one of his text books.

And that was it. I was from then on Dr Handley. I waited about a bit as Paul, Alan and Hirst went off for a coffee, and when Paul came back we quickly talked about papers and he said that he was proud that I had passed.

So all in all not a bad day. Just very, very tiring. My brain felt very empty and squeezed.
dr_ether: (Default)
I am now a Doctor of Computational Chemistry. I have some minor corrections to be done and then 4 copies of the thesis to print and get bound (ouchy) but that is it. I am 'teh Doctor' (but not that eyebrow waggler!!).

I now feel very tired like my head is very squished!!!

November 2011

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