In a stunning display of bureaucratic efficiency, all of the various agreements and communications required to schedule my oral prelim defense fell into place over the course of two days. This is especially good because starting from the moment my advisor approved my document, I had two days to make these machinations work in order to get the exam scheduled for October 1st. If I couldn’t get it scheduled for October 1st, the next day that all of my committee members would be available without significant wringing of hands would be October 30th. Four months (the minimum time between proposal defense and dissertation defense) after October 30th is February 30th, and the deadline to have my dissertation not only defended but also fit perfectly to the formatting demands of the graduate school is late March. Now I can defend in late January/early February instead of late February/ early March and have a fair shot at getting all the requirements completed to graduate in May. Incidentally, ever since I started graduate school I have been telling people that I would graduate in May of 2016. My stated reason at that time was because my student ID expired at that time and it would be a pain to have it renewed. Now, if I’m very lucky, don’t hold me to it, I may have the distinction of being one of few graduate students to correctly predict his graduation semester from his first enrollment.
Please accept this unrelated cat picture as my featured image, as Google Image search offered zero pictures depicting bureaucracy running smoothly and helping people get things done.